People plant shrubs to make hedges around their house. These hedges have varied purposes, such as beautification, an attractive façade to cover an unattractive fence, creating privacy, or serving as a fence or screen. Often, the purpose or landscape determines what type of shrub or hedge will be planted, whether it’s just for ornamental purposes or to serve as a façade, fence, or screen. You can also use cypress mulch underneath to make the hedges more attractive and keep the shrubs healthy.
Planting and caring for hedges
Before selecting a shrub for your hedge, you need to remember these three things:
- On average, plant the shrubs one metre apart. It can be closer if the hedge is for ornamental purposes. Plant in a trench rather than holes and add some fertiliser and extra water.
- Prune the shrub tips often to get a bushy and dense hedge. Prune both tops and sides.
- Even for privacy or fence screens, the best height for hedges is one where you can reach to prune without a ladder.
Coastal Rosemary (Westringia fruticosa)
Coastal Rosemary is commonly found near the coast in eastern Australia and can serve as a low-growing compact hedge ideal up to half a metre. Its beautiful grey foliage and small white flowers with orange/purple spots make for nice colour contrasts. This shrub is both drought and frost tolerant.
Kohuhu (Pittosporum Tenuifolium)
One of the popular evergreen screening hedges that is native to Australia. Varieties available are Green Pillar, James Stirling, Silver Sheen, and Tasman Ruffles. If trimmed properly on top and the sides, this shrub can grow up to five metres in height, and is dense enough to serve as a fence or screen.
Ornamental Gold Bamboo (Alphonse Karr)
Bamboos are tall and sturdy shrubs, grow quickly, and are low-maintenance. It’s crucial to select a type of clumping bamboo because running varieties can spread rapidly and become hard to control. The shrub is easily trimmed, and can serve as both ornamental or as a screen fence.
Leighton Green (Cupressus leylandii)
This is a hardy and fast-growing evergreen shrub conifer that is a popular ornamental or screening hedge. It can be trimmed into a hedge if planted nearer to each other, or serve as windbreaks for visual break fences. The plant can grow up to 15 metres high, so the top needs to be trimmed regularly to maintain your desired height.
Cypress mulch for hedges
Placing cypress mulch underneath your hedges not only makes the bottom part of your hedges more attractive, but also keeps the shrubs healthy. Nutrients from the mulch slowly seep into the soil, to be absorbed by the plant roots, and mulch cover keeps the soil moist since water takes longer to evaporate.