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Top 14 Best Ideas for Hedges instead of Fences

Top 14 best Ideas for Hedges instead of Fences 

HEDGES make the real difference and are the seldom acknowledged ‘heroes’ of many gardens. 

Hedges (and hedgerows) are a gateway for all species of wildlife enabling a variety of species to shelter. The best kinds of hedges encourage bees! 

As well as all that, hedges provide privacy. 

A well-designed hedge that grows into an established border doesn’t need painting or fixing.  

And a hedge won’t blow over like a fence.  

A hedge requires minimal maintenance (usually limited to pruning once a year) and as an added benefit it’s been reported that hedges filter out air pollution from roads. 

Can you think of a reason not to have a hedge? 

Types of hedges 

There are many types of hedge to choose from. The key questions that determine what type of plants you select are whether it’s for privacy, wildlife or wind protection.  

Of course, your objectives may include all three! 

Lets take a look at some of the most popular hedging solutions. 

Consider a hedge instead of a fence!

14 great examples of hedges:

Gold Leylandii

Gold Leylandii

Leylandii is one of the quickest growing plants for hedges. Leylandii makes a handsome, formal hedge and is best ‘tamed’ at 6-8 feet.  

£21 on Amazon

Laurel Hedging

Laurel Hedging 20-25cm Evergreen Potted Shrubs.

These hedges are evergreen and also fast growing, which is important if you want to get your hedge in place and fully established within a couple of years.

£36.95  on Amazon

Thuja Emerald

Thuja Emerald is an excellent low-maintenance hedge.  An evergreen conifer making a slow-growing conical shrub with erect sprays of bright green foliage.


£29.00 on Amazon

hedge instead of fence Berberis thunbergii

Japanese Berberis Thunbergii  is an upright deciduous shrub notable for its columnar stems bearing golden-yellow foliage turning orange in the Autumn.

Growing to a maximum height of 150cm they make a strong hedge for good security. 

£8.99 on Amazon


Choisyas (or Mexican Orange Hedges) have a vibrant colour of bright golden yellow leaves. They give off a similar fragrant smell similar to Basil and can flower twice a year. 

Choisyas are easily grown and require very little maintenance.  

£8.99 on Amazon

hedge instead of fence elaeagnus limelight

Elaeagnus Limelight (Elaeagnus Ebbingeii Limelight) is an evergreen hedge that is large in size. If you are looking to brighten up a shaded area Elaeagnus is the perfect choice. Producing scented silvery flowers in autumn as well as orange, egg shaped fruits in the spring. 

Elaeagnus is a hardy hedge plant that can withstand the fiercest of winds and grows best in well drained soil. The only downside is that they can take up to 10 years to grow to full height. 

Bee friendly 

£40 or so on Amazon

Euonymus Japonicus President Gauthier

Euonymus Japonicus – large, glossy, dark green leaves that are oval in shape. 

Produces flowers and pink berries. 

Grows well in full sunlight, partial shade and full shade. 

Most suitable soils: sand, loam, clay and chalk. 

Takes 2-5 years to reach full height. Plant 12-13’’ apart. 

Best to prune Euonymus Japonicus late spring. 

Hedging suitability: Screening, Courtyard gardens and coastal gardens. 

£22.99  on Amazon

Prunus spinosa Blackthorn

Blackthorn (Prunus Spinosa) has dense, prickly foliage and provides an great security hedge.  

Grows best in full sunlight. 

A hardy and versatile hedge plant as comfortable in sand as in chalk. 

A fast growing hedge plant (30cm a year) so great for covering large areas – quickly. 

Produce sloe berries in autumn – great for sloe gin! 

If you are looking to encourage wildlife Blackthorn are a great choice. They are dense and bushy and provide excellent shelter and refuge for all sorts of creatures. 

BEE friendly 

£49.99 on Amazon

Fagus sylvatica Purpurea

Purple Beech hedging (Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea’) is commonly known as Copper Beech.  

A colourful, purple-leaved variety of Beech with purple colour in the summer and coppery brown foliage that is kept in the Winter.  

Purple Beech are a very popular hedging species. 

Purple Beech hedge compliment many types of landscaping projects – from simple privacy objectives to using as a beautiful contrast.  

A popular design trick is to mix Purple Beech with Green Beech – an eye catching display to enjoy in late spring. 

Grow 30-60cm per year trimming once or twice. 

£24.99 on Amazon

Olearia phlogopappa Daisy Bush

Daisy Bush (Olearia) is an evergreen shrub named after a 17th century German scholar called Olearius. Daisy Bush hedges are an excellent choice in coastal areas as they are very tolerant of wind (especially salty wind). 

A drought resistant plant that can be planted into chalky soils. 

As a low hedge they’re perfect and can grow around 30cm per year. 

Easy to grow and maintain. 

Bee friendly! 

 £10.99 on Amazon

English Holly

English Holly (Ilex) isn’t just a colourful plant for christmas decorations. Holly’s white flowers bloom in the spring and summer making them a good all year-round hedging plant. Holly is a sturdy evergreen shrub with over 400 species!  

The variety of holly chosen will determine the density and thickness of your hedge. 

Holly is a popular choice if you want to add some red colour to your edging during the winter months. 

Lastly, holly is a very Bee friendly pant producing white flowers in the summer that attract all kinds of bees and other pollinators such as butterflies. 

£29.50 on Amazon for 10 plants

Ligustrum vulgare 'Wild Privet'

Building a privet hedge (Ligustrum) is great if you have poor soil and your area doesn’t get much sunshine. Fast growing and great for wildlife a privet hedge is really easy to get going. 

Privet plants include Ligustrum Ovalifolium AureumLigustrum Ovalifolium, and Ligustrum Vulgare. 

Privet hedging produces fragrant, delicate white flowers that appear in the summer, and then these turn into black fruits in autumn.  

Privet hedging provides a dense covering and its round, dense leaves will make your garden look fantastic. 

The main uses for Privet Hedges are for wind proofing, noise reduction, privacy and screening. 

Privet hedging can grow up to 5 metres in height and can gain 30-40cm in height every year. A sturdy all round hedging plant that is very hard wearing. 

£14.99 on Amazon

Bamboo Bissetti

Bamboo Bissetti provides dense and supple foliage which maintains its dark emerald green appearance even in the harshest of winters.

Bamboo thrives equally well in acidic and alkali soils.  

 £345 on Amazon

Yew Hedging Plant

Taxus Baccata (Yew hedging) can make a great privacy hedge. As a traditional British conifer, Yew hedge plants are seen across many gardens in the UK. 

A Yew hedge makes an awesome boundary (and provides security) as well has helping to reduce noise pollution.  

As a long term hedging option Yews are great for natural garden sculpturing. And the growth rate of Yew is slow – this means they are easy to maintain and grow in difficult to grow areas well. 

  £75 (25 pots) on Amazon

What is the best type of hedge? 

Yew bushes are one of the best type of hedges. Other needle-bearing evergreens can also serve as useful hedging plants buy Yew bushes look magnificent and offer a level of privacy other hedging plants do not. 

How do you calculate hedge spacing? 

Whatever the 10-year width is plant out by half. This means if width is 9 feet, then space 4.5 feet apart. 

How far from a fence should you plant a hedge? 

If you’re using traditional hedging plants (like most in this post) then 50 – 60cm is good. More space will be needed if you’re trying to make a taller hedge. 

How can I make my hedge grow thicker? 

In the first-year prune at once after you have planted out. Cut leading and side shoots by a third. It’s sensible to cut a well-placed bud to encourage good growth. For a thick bush do the same in the second winter. 

How do you make privet grow faster? 

By pruning and trimming regularly you will encourage a privet hedge to grow faster. 

Is privet poisonous to humans? 

The black berries of privet plants are toxic to both humans and dogs. Birds can eat the berries. 

What makes a good hedge? 

Either hedges decoratively trimmed in exact shapes (be that evergreen or deciduous) or more random, if you prefer. If security is your main concern choosing hedging plants with thorns (such as Hawthorn) is a good choice. 

Is Bamboo good for hedging? 

Most bamboo plants are ideal for hedging due to their fast-growing nature. They also provide dense cover once established. 

How deep should soil be for hedges? 

Digging a trench 45cm (18inches) wide and 30cm (1foot) deep will provide the best foundation for planting your hedge. It’s recommended to clear a 1 metre/3 yard diameter of grass and weeds around lone trees or shrubs. 


In this post we tried to give you ideas for hedges instead of fences.

Hedges are capable of providing privacy while attracting wildlife and adding colour to your garden.

Yes, you will need to prune your hedge every year and you will need to pick up the leaves, however, the benefits for nature and wildlife outweigh this minor inconvenience. Plus who doesn’t love some green in their lives??


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