What is a Country Hedge?
Country hedging consists of rugged native plants that are the backbone of the rural landscape: extremely tough, easy to maintain & repair, secure against intruders, and great for wildlife.
They are also great for urban gardens: even in winter with no leaves, a well clipped "country" hedge is too twiggy to see through.
Farm hedges are multipurpose boundary markers, stock proof barriers, windbreaks, nature refuges, and also decorative features.
In contrast to formal evergreen hedges, they are almost all deciduous (a bit of Holly is the main exception, which is not part of standard country hedge mixes), and are trimmed once, maybe twice per year without as much regard for perfectly straight lines.
In the countryside, most farm hedges are pruned with a tractor attachment called a flail, which is a bit like a wood chipper on the end of a big mechanical arm!
• Uses: Informal and stock-proof hedges from 100cm upwards.
• Good Points: Native, cheap, very easy to maintain, great for wildlife
• Position: Almost anywhere. Tolerates poor drainage and dappled shade.
Many native hedge plants are also available as larger trees.
How many Country hedge plants do I need?
The planting density for your native Country hedge depends on the purpose:
- For a normal garden boundary hedge, plant at 3 plants per metre (every 33cm) in a single row.
- A stock-proof country hedge (which qualifies for the B11 Planting New Hedges Grant) requires 2 staggered single rows (i.e. start one row 16.5cm after the other), with 40cm between rows. That works out at 5 plants per metre in total.
- An interior hedge for purely decorative purposes can be planted at 2 plants per metre (every 50cm) in a single row.
What size Country hedge plants should I buy?
- If you are not in a hurry to get a full sized country hedge, we recommend starting with the smallest sizes, typically 40/60cm tall.
- If you are in a hurry and need instant impact, or are filling gaps in an existing hedge, then of course pick the biggest size that fits your budget.
Smaller plants are cheaper, easier to plant, and tend to establish better because they are dug up with most of their roots intact.
You can also clip them attentively and ensure a very bushy plant from the base up.
If you still aren't sure, then 60/80cm tall is considered the ideal compromise between price, size, and waiting time until you get a mature hedge.
Please note that this section is not our full range of native plants, but only those are excellent for a classic country hedge.
You can head to hedging plants & saplings and use the refine menu to select "native", or do the same for our larger, standard size trees.
Your native hedge plants are delivered by mail order direct from our nursery, along with expert advice, friendly support, plus our Bareroot Replacement Guarantee and Free Returns, so you can give them a whirl with complete confidence.