Hedges are an important feature of the garden and provide protection, privacy and aesthetic value to the garden. A hedge shrub that flowers fills the entire garden with fragrance during bloom time. The type of shrub that should be used as a hedge depends on various factors like the terrain, soil, climate and the purpose.
The most popular and commonly used hedge shrub is the boxwood. Boxwood is a tidy, sturdy evergreen shrub. It is a slow-growing shrub with thick and fragrant leaves. Flowers that bloom in April and May on boxwoods are also fragrant. This hedge shrub needs ample sunlight, though a little shade is acceptable. Moist soil is ideally suited for this traditional hedge shrub. Propagation is carried out by planting the cuttings. The shrub has to be pruned by cutting to desired shapes.
For sheer beauty and fragrance of its flowers, lilac is a much preferred hedge shrub. The height of this deciduous shrub is commonly 6 feet and sometimes may go up to 12 feet. The flowers that bloom in spring are colored blue and purple, but there are other varieties as well, ranging from red to white. The shrub with dark green leaves grow well in good sunny conditions in a rich, well-drained soil. Regular pruning is required.
Forsythia is a popular hedge shrub that grows up to 6 feet tall. The fast-growing shrub blooms bright yellow flowers in spring. Forsythia requires good sunny conditions, a rich soil and regular watering. Pruning needs to be done carefully as it affects the flowering capacity, so it should be done after the flowering season.
Spirea is a popular shrub often used as a hedge shrub and is preferred for entry paths. It has long arching branches, ranging from 6 to 8 feet in length. The most popular variety of spirea is the Japanese spirea that has clusters of pink flowers and foliage that can be in shades of blue-green, red, bronze, orange and burgundy. The leaves turn into beautiful red or rusty gold in autumn. Though spirea can grow under a little shade, good sunlight will produce better results. Spirea can thrive even in slightly alkaline soil.
Holly is an evergreen shrub variety best suited as a barrier or fence in a hedge. Holly has prickled leaves that discourage animals crossing over. The shrub produce berries during winter that attract birds. For berries to be borne, both male and female varieties of the shrub need to be planted within 40 feet of each other. Holly can be grown in shaded places on all soil types. Pruning should not be done in autumn.