Used as windscreens in suburban and rural gardens, largely privet, whitethorn, laurel, etc. In America a low hedge takes the place of the English fence or wall.

Various types used for hedges require individual treatment, but all benefit by clipping periodically, not only for the fashion of keeping a close and even appearance, but seasonally in May and September for the good of next year’s robustness. There are two dozen species in popular use; and each have points of preference according to taste, district and purpose. Where the roots of privet and other hedge shrubs invade the border and interfere with the growth of flowers, a simple way of root pruning is to strike the spade vertically and sharply into the ground, so severing the roots. Done 6 — 9 in. from the stem, it will not injure the hedge. Privet rapidly robs the soil of plant food.

Both deciduous and evergreen hedges are best planted in early autumn. They will then establish themselves before the next summer and are less liable to suffer from drought. The soil should be dug to a depth of two spits and generous supplies of humus-forming materials such as compost, peat, leaf mould, hop manure and well rotted farmyard manure mixed freely with the top spit.

Amateurs are very conservative over the choice of plants for hedges. There are numerous easy-to-grow subjects which can and should replace the ubiquitous laurel, privet, and the like. Roses are an excellent choice and the taller-growing floribundas like Faust, Frensham and Queen Elizabeth are ideal. See ROSE for further examples.

Mixing different plants or different varieties of the same plant is rarely successful as the whole purpose is to obtain uniformity of growth. Some suggestions for different soils etc. are given below.

Note that the over-planted Cupressus macrocarpa is liable to die back in the middle and is not recommended for hedges.

For Seaside Hedges. Bcrbcris; Cotoneaster Simonsii; deutzia; Escallonia; Forsythia intermedia spectabilis; Fuchsia magellanica Riccartonii; Potentilla fruticosa; pyracantha; tamarisk; Veronica speciosa.

For Town Gardens:

Berberis; Buddleia Davidii; Cotoneaster Simonsii; chaenomeles (cydonia); Mahonia aquifolium; Potentilla fruticosa; ribes; Spiraea Anthony Waterer.

For Windy Positions:

Damsons or Myrobalan plums; Prunus Pissardii; tamarisk. Gorse and hollies are also recommended.

For Light Soils:

Cotoneaster microphylla; Cotoneaster Simonsii; chaenomeles (cydonia); lavender; Lonicera yunnanensis; ribes; tamarisk.

For Heavy Soils:

Berberis Darwinii; Cotoneaster Simonsii; ribes. Holly is also recommended.

For Low Hedges to about 3 ft.

Hypericum patulum, Lonicera nitida and Potentilla fruticosa. Many of the floribunda roses are suitable, notably Atombombe, Bonnie Maid, Border King, Orange Triumph, Rosemary Rose, United Nations.

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