Hedges are essentially neatly trimmed screens of plantings and can be decorative or serve a primarily practical purpose. Adding hedges to your Croton-on-Hudson, NY, landscape is a great way to create a sense of neat formality, structure, or natural division, or just add a touch of greenery. Decorative hedge plants are typically trimmed to precise sizes and shapes, and include deciduous and evergreen shrubs. Such hedge shrubs can also serve the practical purpose of providing a property with added security, privacy or shade.
Most densely growing hedge plants will provide security to some extent. But if necessary, you can select shrubs with thorns or prickly leaves to optimize this factor. Shrubs provide a higher level of security, especially shrubs that have thorns or at least prickly leaves.
Holly is an excellent example of a shrub that can be used for this purpose. Holly is a commonly planted evergreen shrub. American holly (Ilex opaca) is a popular holiday attraction, easily recognized by its glossy, dark green, spiny-edged foliage and bright red berries. Not only does it look incredible, it also acts as a deterrent for both animal and human intruders.
If a tight shape and neat cultivation is something you’re looking for in a hedge, boxwood provides an excellent option. Boxwood is a broadleaf evergreen. It grows slowly, and maintains a strong, solid form. Boxwood is easy to prune to maintain a formal look for your yard, and is excellent in providing a “clipped box” hedge appearance that can be used both as a hedge and as a stand-alone focal point. Boxwood is a true gem for the formal evergreen look you desire in your landscape. Apart from the strict geometrical look, boxwood can also be trimmed into pyramidal and spherical shapes.
Hedges for Adding Color to your Landscape
Flowering shrubs can be used as hedge plants to bring color to the landscape. Depending on your liking, choose between deciduous and evergreen flowering shrubs. Forsythia, spirea, lilac, viburnum, and hydrangea are some dense-growing shrubs to consider.
Conifers such as the pyramidal arborvitae can grow to between 12 and 25 feet tall. They’re also relatively fast growers. As such, they can be planted to provide a windscreen or privacy hedge for making the backyard more enjoyable. Apart from the functional value added by tall heads, they also offer an impressive green screen that can add richness and depth to your landscape, or block out unsightly views of surrounding buildings and replace them with lush vegetation.
Deciduous Hedge Shrubs
Deciduous hedge shrubs look fantastic while they’re in bloom, and offer a certain stark beauty during the winter. Deciduous shrubs drop their leaves and stand naked for part of the year. They make for less than ideal privacy screens, but can be interspersed with evergreen shrubs to get the best of both worlds - colorful flowers in the spring and summer, and green foliage in winter. This can be done either by alternating plantings or planting a double row of taller evergreens as a backdrop and shorter deciduous shrubs in the foreground.