Tall hedges have many advantages. If their growth habit is dense enough, they will keep the prying eyes of passers-by out of your garden and they enhance the feeling that your garden is a safe haven sheltered from the outside world. Beautiful as a low box hedge may be, they will not provide you with the screening opportunities that tall hedges do. Also, having a large garden or a farmstead allows for a wider range of hedge plants, since you can also choose to grow a hedging plant of which the root system would not have had enough room to establish if they were planted in a smaller garden. The number of tall plants suitable for hedging is impressive.
Hedges for Large Gardens
The countryside classic blackthorn is one of those species that would never thrive in a small garden, as it has a rather fast growth rate and a remarkably extensive root system. It is highly sought-after as a plant to enclose farmlands, as it combines many hedging qualities. Its thorns will keep cattle and intruders at a distance, it flowers profusely and its berries are edible. The similar hawthorn is equally impressive. A majority of cherry laurel cultivars, most prominently the very popular ‘Rotundifolia’ variety, also needs a bit of space, but if you have that space available, they will eventually become stunning evergreen hedges that look reasonably informal, but will still ensure year-round privacy. Bamboo hedges grow very tall very quickly, while beech, hornbeam and privet, though technically deciduous, make excellent privacy hedges as well.
Tall Conifer Hedges
When most people think of tall hedges, however, they think of hedging conifers. This is not surprising, as conifers are simply ideal plants for growing tall, formal screening hedges. They are very fast-growing, their habit is very dense and most of them are evergreen. Though leylandii hedges are renowned for being very tall – when left unpruned, they can reach a height of well over 30 metres at an average annual growth rate of no less than 80 to 100 centimetres – they are far from the only tall screening conifers. In fact, thuja species such as the white cedar and the western red cedar, as well as the Lawson cypress, will be dense enough to provide screening before leylandii hedges are – despite growing somewhat more slowly.
Hedging Options for Large Gardens
Of course, having a large garden does not necessarily mean that you have to settle for plants that grow well in large gardens exclusively. In fact, ivy screening is an excellent option for gardens of any size, as an ivy screen does not take up a lot of space, but it does not need a lot of time to become tall and dense enough to guarantee your privacy. It is a fact, however, that many tall hedges will perform considerably better if they are planted in a garden with plenty of room for them to establish.