Hedge Plants for Wet Sites
All plants need water, but wet sites are often difficult areas for plants. Water makes soil dense and heavy, which leaves the roots significantly less space to develop. However, there is a range of hedge plants for wet sites available, which is a blessing, given the relatively large amount of rain that falls on British soil. Making sure the soil in your garden is well-drained is helpful for just about any hedge plant, but if your soil will always remain at least a little moist or wet, it is essential to look for a hedge plant that can cope with these conditions. Fortunately, having a garden that is located in an exceptionally wet area does not necessarily mean that you cannot plant a hedge there.
Hedging Options for Wet Conditions
While wet conditions do significantly limit your options for hedging, there are in fact a few highly popular hedge plants that will do very well even in waterlogged soils. The hawthorn, a classic British countryside hedge plant, and the similar-looking blackthorn will thrive almost anywhere. Only an actual swamp would be too wet for these sturdy plants. If you are looking for a hedge that will flower a little more profusely, weigela and rosa rugosa are excellent deciduous hedge plants for wet sites. Conifers generally do not respond very well to waterlogging, though it should be noted that the dawn redwood – one of the very few deciduous hedging conifers – has no problem coping with wet soils. Evergreen hedge plants that can deal with waterlogging are rare, but if you take care of proper drainage, holly might do the trick.
Hedge Plants for Heavy Clay
Heavy clay soils can be difficult as well, especially due to the way they respond to the weather. If not maintained well, a clay soil will become hard as a rock during prolonged drought, while they do not provide the room that the roots require when they are wet. The latter situation can be improved by mixing the soil with some sand before planting, while well-rotted organic matter can help keeping a heavy soil from becoming waterlogged. A garden with heavy clay can perfectly serve as a home for colourful flowering hedge plants as the hydrangea, the weigela and the butterfly bush, while several evergreen and deciduous barberry species will make a great security hedge even when planted on a heavy soil.
Plants for Difficult Soils
There is a reason why we refer to wet and heavy soils as “difficult soils” rather than “impossible soils”. While it is true that these soil types allow for a smaller range of hedge plants, there is still a surprisingly large and varied selection of hedge plants that will thrive under these relatively difficult conditions. And some of them even have beautiful flowers.