Using Hedges for Privacy

by Brooke Tolman
(last updated November 14, 2014)

Need some privacy for your yard but don't want to invest in a big fence? Then you should use hedges. Shrubs and hedges have been used for centuries in landscaping as a way to promote privacy. Not only do hedges give you some seclusion, but they can also make a yard really beautiful. If you're thinking of planting a privacy hedge, then odds are you are in a hurry to get it up. Before you can do that though, there are a few preliminary decisions you have to make.

First you have to decide the type of hedge you want. Your options are to use either a formal or informal hedge. Formal hedges use the same plant repetitively and are pruned into a clean linear shape reminiscent of a fence. As the name implies, they are very formal looking and clean-cut. Informal hedges will use a variety of plants and plant sizes, including flowering and non flowering plants, or evergreen and deciduous trees. Basically, anything goes with informal hedges. Keep in mind that when you are deciding which type you want, take into account how much work you are willing to put into pruning and maintaining your hedges. In addition to the amount of time you are willing to spend trimming, also consider your yard size. Hedges will almost always make your lawn appear smaller than it really is, so if you have a small yard to begin with, then hedges might not be the right choice for you.

Second, you need to decide the location of your hedge. Determine if the hedge will be in the sun or in the shade, note the soil and the availability of water, and most importantly make sure you know where your property lines are so as not to plant in your neighbor's yard. Also be careful if planting next to sidewalks or driveways. Depending on how large your hedges grow, the roots might grow under the cement and cause uneven or broken areas.

Finally, after choosing the location it's time for you to choose the plants themselves. Choose your plants based on how large you want your yard to appear. Before planting them, space the plants while still in the containers to get a feel for where they will go, and how they will look. Be sure to space them close enough that they will provide the privacy needed. However, the plants will need some space in between them to allow sunlight and wind to pass through your yard. Plant the hedges and give them plenty of water. Fill in any gaps with temporary plants while you're waiting for the hedge thicken; as ot does grow thicker, you can transplant those temporary plants somewhere else.

Besides providing privacy, these hedges provide numerous other practical uses. They can act to help block excessive wind from your ward, provide security to your home, and as decoration. These natural fences offer wonderful natural solutions to many different problems, and are a great addition to many landscapes.

Author Bio

Brooke Tolman

Brooke is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Exercise Science. She currently resides in Seattle where she works as a freelance data analyst and personal trainer. She hopes to spend her life camping and traveling the world. ...


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