Posted on 14th Mar 2013 @ 2:55 PM
The dictionary defines a border as the line that separates one area from another. Flowering shrubs play a big role in the world of hedges. High for privacy or low to define a bed or even a formal transition from one part of your yard to another. Shrub Source offers numerous candidates for hedging and wonderful dwarf cultivars that work well for garden borders. The most common are boxwood and privet and arborvitae. They are easily shaped, have a dense growth habit and two of these three are evergreen. Barberries are often used for hedges as well as spiraea. When I was growing up we had a long hedge of Philadelphus (Mock Orange) along one side of the driveway. My bedroom window was right above it and I welcomed the rich perfume every spring. I would like share some ideas with you for some of our more interesting or unusal options for borders and hedges.
Lo & Behold Buddleia are all dwarf shrubs that can provide a wonderful low hedge. These bushes branch well with regular pruning and continue to provide flowers most of the summer month. Take your pick from Blue Chip, Purple Haze, Ice Chip and Lilac Chip.
My Monet Weigela and My Monet Sunset offer an incredible display of variegated color, pink flowers, and soft slightly ruffled leaves. The like a little shade and so work well as an understory planting where larger trees or shrubs protect them. This variety simply screams border in my mind.
Euonymus fortunei are the low growing variety that have a spreading habit (compared to the upright Burning Bush type). We have four gorgeous options: Blondy (green/yellow variegated), Goldy (solid yellow/gold), Gold Splash (yellow/green variegated), and White Album (white/green variegated). Try these are a foundation border in front of some Little Lime Hydrangeas or at the base of some Rhamnus Fine Line.
Anything planted close enough together can become a hedge. I've seen forsythia trimmed into a box shape even as it tries to force out its yellow blooms! Speaking of Rhamnus (also known as Buckthorn), this is a great alternative to arborvitae for a tall, columnar hedge. The feathery leaves have a softness you do not find in many other shrubs and the dense branching can provide adequate privacy as a hedge while maintaining a rather elegant look.
Red twig Cornus such as Arctic Fire and Arctic Sun will serve you well in both summer and winter. The yellow/red gradation of the stems of Arctic Sun virtually glow in the winter light.
For a really dramatic hedge consider the paniculata hydrangeas we have to offer: Limelight, Pinky Winky and Quickfire. These shrubs will give you height and density and a dramatic display of flowers.
Singularly or en masse, flowering shrubs are the royalty of hedges and borders. With some careful planning with respect to spacing, you can achieve stunning results.
Hedges, hedges, hedges! It’s all about quantity (quality too of course) when planting hedge shrubs. Whether you want to plant a hedge 5 feet long or 100 feet or more, there is the right shrub for you depending on its intended purpose. Hedges are most commonly founds as privacy borders between property lines or alongside a sidewalk, driveway, or street. They can also be used as an ornamental or bordering feature in your landscape. Hedges can be planted to grow tall or stay short. You can let them grow more natural or prune/sculpture them throughout the year for a manicured look.
You may decide to plant a hedge that will provide flowers throughout the season, give you fall color, remain green and leafy all season long, or evergreen to stay green throughout the winter months. There really are no limits! One important thing to consider when choosing your shrub is size and spacing. If your goal is to plant a hedge alongside a fence or instead of a fence to provide some additional privacy, you will want to make sure to plant a shrub that will grow tall enough to fit your needs. Spacing is also important in planting a hedge so they are close enough together to make a hedge but not too close that they do not have room to grow. Make sure to read the label on the shrub for spacing recommendations and allow some time for your shrubs to grow into a hedge.