Are you bored of your plain, wooden fence? Are you looking for more privacy than your garden currently has? Having a hedge can be an excellent solution to both of these problems and more! Hedges can grow quite tall with the right maintenance, and can be think enough to stop anyone looking through them into your space. They also give gardens a sophisticated edge and neatness that anyone can appreciate.
If your garden is currently hedge free however, hedges can take a long time to grow and shape. If you’re under a time crunch and want to implement something that is fast growing and durable, then check out some of the fastest growing hedges that the gardening world has to offer. Each of these garden favourites has its advantages, so see what works best for you.
Fastest Growing Hedges
The fastest of all commercial hedges suitable for home use is Leylandii:
- Other common names include conifer hedging, Leyland Cyprus, and Leylandi.
- Leylandii is the single fastest growing evergreen plant used for hedging, and can grow at the staggering rate of up to 1 meter per year! If you’re looking for quick results, then this hedge is your best bet.
- Because it is evergreen, the leylandii stays green and luscious all year round without becoming a brown, spikey mess. It will not shed leaves in the same way as other hedges and as such, will make for a tidier option than some other hedge plants.
- Leylandii is very sturdy, hardy, and can withstand high winds very well, making it safe and substantial for garden use. It is also very tolerant of cold weather and rain, meaning less upkeep and expense for you!
- Thorough pruning a couple of times a year will ensure the growth is consistent and that foliage cover is dense.
Laurel hedging comes in at a close second:
- Other common names include cheery laurel, common laurel, and English laurel.
- With laurel hedging, you can expect to see around 60cm per year, so if you’re able to wait a little longer for it to be the required height, you will need to prune less often than with the Leylandii, but still see fast results.
- Laurel hedging is also evergreen, so say goodbye to leaf mulch and mess, and hello to tidy garden edges.
- Laurel grows very well in shady areas so it is ideal for more protected gardens that do not see a lot of direct sunlight. That said, it will also grow nicely in sunny conditions, so there is really no downside!
- Laurel leaves are round and glossy, creating a very attractive and dense wall that provides both privacy and aesthetic appeal to your garden.
- One thing to note is that the leaves and seeds of the laurel contain cyanolipids which if ingested, have the same effect as cyanide and can lead to fatal respiratory problems. Care must be taken if dogs and small children have access to your garden.
In third place, we have the Portugal Laurel:
- Also commonly referred to as the Portuguese laurel
- Under optimal conditions, the Portugal laurel can grow at a rate of up to 45cm per year, making it easy to maintain yet not unruly. This is a great option if you are looking for a fast-growing hedge that is not too tall, ideal for decorative purposes as well as screening.
- Portugal laurel is also evergreen and has dark green leaves that are smaller than those of the cherry laurel. The stems are red when young, making for a striking and luxurious appearance perfect for home and commercial garden use.
- Portugal laurel is fairly sturdy, and resistant to temperatures as low as -20°C making it ideal for areas with cooler climates and frequent rainfall.
- It has pretty white flowers as well which add an element of beauty to the dense greenery.
Something a bit different…
- There are many types of bamboo which have different colours, leaves, and textures but one of the most common types used for screening and privacy purposes is Golden Bamboo.
- It can grow at a rate of between 60-90cm per year so it is faster than a lot of typical hedging plants and offers a very different aesthetic.
- If you are short on space, bamboo can be a good alternative to typical hedges as it can grow in very narrow rows and does not take up much room at all.
- Bamboo is ideal for creating an informal and inviting aesthetic, and luscious effect. Bamboo is very sturdy and its wispy leaves create an ethereal look promoting relaxation.
This is not an exhaustive list of course, but it does give a good idea of the most commonly used options, selected largely for their fast growth. If growth speed is not your primary concern, there are plenty of other options which offer different features and colours.
It’s worth taking a look online and in nurseries to see what is available and what you like most. Talk to a professional to see what will work best for your space and the conditions, as some types of hedging will need more sun, or protection than others.
No matter what you are after, there is something out there for everyone in the world of hedges, and you’ll be able to find something fast-growing and attractive with ease!