A hedge in the country. Plant selection
A hedge is one of the most popular design elements for park areas, garden and summer cottages. Sooner or later, almost every gardener comes up with the idea of planting a hedge. In addition to aesthetic tasks - an original landscape solution, naturalness and visual appeal, the hedge also performs a number of protective functions. It closes the site from prying eyes, wind and dust, divides it into zones, etc. Another advantage of a hedge over fences made of wood and stone is its durability, because the duration of some plant species reaches hundreds of years.
Green hedges are dense, linear plantings of shrubs or trees in one or two rows. This is one of the most important elements in the formation of cultural landscapes, and they are intended not only for fencing sites, paths and roadways, but also for protection from dust, soot, smoke, snow, wind.
Hedges can be high (over 1.5 m), medium (up to 1.5 m) and low (up to 0.5 m). The latter are usually called borders. Hedges are divided into free-growing and sheared. Sheared shrubs not only reliably separate the areas of the site, but are also an excellent decoration as a decorative element of plant architecture.
Plants for hedges. When selecting the breeds that make up a hedge, it is necessary to take into account the following factors: attitude to pruning, lighting, soil conditions, gas resistance, durability, rapidity of growth and growth dynamics of shoots after pruning, biological compatibility of various species, features of seasonal and age-related changes in the appearance of plants, winter hardiness and drought resistance.
You can not get carried away with widely advertised exotic breeds. To create hedges, common spruce, western thistle, sea buckthorn, hawthorns, spireas, barberries, cotoneaster, rose hips, yellow acacia, sea buckthorn, action, prickly cherries, privet, gorse, derain, boxwood, etc. are used.
Norway spruce is an extremely valuable species, from which it is possible to create practically impassable hedges up to 5-6 m in height. Evergreen spruce plants retain their high decorative effect throughout the year. They are successfully combined with an emerald lawn and a snow-white winter blanket, extremely effective against the background of any buildings.
It should be borne in mind, however, that common spruce plants are negatively affected by soil drought and low air humidity. Another feature of the spruce is its slow growth in the first years of life. Spruce hedges must be cut regularly, this allows you to achieve a high decorative effect of the plantings. In addition, it is very difficult to fix the shortcomings of neglected spruce (and in general all cutting conifers) plantings, since pruning wood older than 3 years of age (with a diameter of more than 5 cm) can lead to the death of the tree.
Of other conifers for hedges, the western thuja can be recommended. It is extremely decorative, flexible, suitable for the formation of any geometric shapes. Moreover, there are many of its natural varieties. However, thuja grows very slowly; a long period is needed to obtain a full-fledged hedge from two-year-old seedlings.
Sea buckthorn is capable of tolerating slight soil salinity, grows well on poor sandy loam, sandy and pebble soils (even with a close occurrence of groundwater). However, this crop grows very poorly on heavy loams and clay soils, as well as in conditions of strong shading. To create a hedge, it is enough to propagate wild-growing specimens with green or lignified cuttings or sow seeds isolated from the fruit, which perfectly retain their germination for up to two years.
Not a single genus of shrub plants can compare with the hawthorn in the number and diversity of species (there are 1250 of them). Most of them are characterized by high resistance to unfavorable soil conditions, winter hardiness, tolerate drought and shading well, have strong wood and high shoot-forming ability, perfectly tolerate shearing and shaping.
The advantages of hawthorn hedges include a long growing season and longevity of plantings that retain a high shoot-forming ability for up to 150 years. All hawthorns prefer open sunny spaces, develop well, bloom profusely and bear fruit on drained fertile sandy loam and loam. The soil must be limed.
With a strong growth of shoots for hawthorns, a 2-3-fold haircut per season is permissible, and the last pruning should be carried out no later than mid-July. In this case, each time cut from ½ to 2/3 of the length of the current increment. Low hedges can have a rectangular profile, and living walls can have a trapezoidal profile with an angle of inclination of the sides of 70-80 °, which significantly improves the light regime for the branches at the base of the structure.
Such hedges must be very carefully looked after. Instead of hawthorn plants for hedges of this type, you can successfully use wild pears, plums, cherry plums, blackthorns, apple trees (especially Chinese).
One of the important conditions for the formation of a hedge is the attitude of the plants that make up it to pruning. The following breeds are poorly tolerated or do not tolerate pruning at all: Norway maple, common ash, dog rose (common wild rose), all types of mountain ash, birch, horse chestnut, larch.
Moderate pruning is tolerated by elms and white poplar. In addition, birch can have a depressing effect on fruit plants, even those located far from it.
Low hedges are used to highlight the parterre. By regularly cutting a green hedge, they give the desired shape: triangular, square, rounded. A hedge becomes especially decorative after a curly haircut.
Widespread hedges are curbs (low green hedges), which are intended mainly to highlight patterns in flower beds, delimit the parterre, etc. It is recommended to use boxwood for these purposes, which is considered a classic plant for ceremonial decoration of parterres.
During the first year after planting, trees and shrubs are left to grow freely, and in the second year, in spring, they are neatly trimmed with special trellis scissors.
In the absence of proper plant care and with age, hedges can lose their visual appeal. You can restore their decorative properties by strong anti-aging pruning. To do this, in the first year, only one side of the hedge is subjected to rejuvenation. Shoots are cut almost to the base on the skeletal branches that bear them. In the second or third year, the same operation is repeated on the other side of the living wall.
The best time for rejuvenating pruning of deciduous shrubs is at the beginning of the growing season. Evergreens, including conifers, are pruned in late April - early May. When carrying out rejuvenation, it is highly undesirable to use the "blind", contour, pruning method. It is necessary to carefully observe the rule of cutting shoots into a ring using a pruner and a garden hacksaw, treating large wounds with a 1-3% solution of copper sulfate and then covering them with garden pitch. With rejuvenating pruning, it is necessary to carry out abundant watering and additionally apply organic and mineral fertilizers.
What is the most optimal shape?
If you turn to experienced designers for the answer to this question, then a trapezoid will be the best option. Experts advise to mow it by 10-20%, so that the lower branches have enough light, and the hedge below is not bare.
A triangle is also universal, the sides of which are inclined by 70-80 degrees. However, the top of such a natural structure usually remains too thin.
The rounded shape requires an experienced "hairdresser" and considerable territories. But the roundness does not interfere with the natural growth of the shrub, and the softness of the outlines gives the figure an extraordinary romance.
Rectangular and trapezoidal-unfolded shapes should only be used for shade-loving breeds. Light-loving plants in such figures quickly expose the lower branches, destroying all the beauty of the picture.
When pruning, branches growing upward do not cut much, and those that stretch to the sides, on the contrary. The top is trimmed when the desired height is reached.
Ready options for fencing the site
Want to create a sleek and functional resting corner protection? Build a Green Wall! The cheapest option is to buy seedlings and wait several years until your “fence” grows to the desired height. For the impatient, there is another - on sale you can find ready-made hedges. Such a "wall" is quite expensive, but in this case there is no need to wait. Have planted - and it is ready.
Alternatively: on the border of the site, you can put a regular fence and twine it with climbing plants, such as ivy.
At the border of the site, you can put a regular fence and twine it with climbing plants
By the way, these representatives of flora will help to fence off nosy neighbors on a terrace or balcony: plant a fast-growing liana in a large box with a trellis - and in a few months you will have an excellent screen!
Plant a fast-growing vine in a large trellis box
Which varieties of boxwood are suitable for a hedge?
For low hedges, which plays the role of a frame for a flower garden or garden, you can choose 'Faulkner', 'Herrenhausen', 'Rococo', variegated 'Golden Dream' and other varieties small-leaved boxwood... But the popular 'Suffruticosa' and 'Blauer Heinz' are not the best option, because moths love them very much. In addition, these varietal plants are often sick.
Small-leaved boxwood 'Rococo'
For tall hedges tall, hardy new selection such as 'National' or 'John Baldwin' are great.
How to protect boxwoods?
Plants planted in well-ventilated areas are more resistant to pest attacks. Try to avoid fertilizers with a high nitrogen content, water the "pet" at the very base and cut off the excess once a year.
Found moths on the leaves of caterpillars? Treat the bush with insecticides. If there are signs of fungal disease, cut the affected parts of the branches to healthy wood, or simply remove the entire plant. It is advisable to use fungicides only if you will process the bushes every 3 weeks.
Are there any types of boxwood that the moth ignores? Most often, this pest suffers boxwood evergreen (Buxus sempervirens) and its hybrids. Oriental views such as boxwood chinese (Buxus sinica) and small-leaved boxwood (Buxus microphylla) are less susceptible to attack by the moth moth (Cydalima).
Plants for hedges: which ones to choose
Before making a hedge on your site, you should think in advance about what plants you need for it. Before purchasing fast growing shrubs, it is important to assess their growth rate as well as their size.
By size and height, hedges are:
- High: they are called living walls, height 3-5 meters
- Medium: they are the very hedges with a height of 0.5 to 2 meters.
- Low: called a curb, height up to 0.5 meters.
A wide range of evergreen trees and shrubs that suit our climatic zone allows you to choose the most optimal options for your hedge.
For a country house or summer cottage, a thuja hedge will serve as a fence. Thuja is quite unpretentious in care. It does not lose its decorative qualities during the cold season.
It is known that thuja belongs to plants that have a beneficial effect on human health. It releases beneficial phytoncides that have antiviral effects.
If desired, the thuja can be cut or given a geometric shape. It can be used to create living sculptures.
Spruce hedges can be composed of different varieties of this tree. When choosing a place for planting spruce, give preference to the north side. There, the spruce will grow comfortably, while protecting your site from the wind.
The spruce must be properly cut so that it does not lose its decorative effect. Pruning is done every spring.
Creating a juniper hedge is simple. After planting a few shrubs, real thickets are formed over time!
It is important not to let the growth of the juniper take its course - it belongs to fast-growing shrubs.
Many gardeners liked its decorative qualities, as well as the unique aroma of pine needles.
Some people prefer deciduous woody plants for hedges. Hornbeam, yew, forest beech are optimal for her.
Flowering shrubs are also actively used for hedges. One of the most popular is lilac. She is an unpretentious and versatile garden culture. The period of its spring flowering is short. Then he compensates for the lack of flowers with a lush green mass of foliage.
Lilac has good frost resistance and does not need special care. The only thing she needs to grow is the sun. Therefore, by planting lilacs on the south side, you will do the right thing.