The phrase “good fences make good neighbors” was coined by the beloved American poet Robert Frost. It holds true. Most people want some privacy and separation from their neighbors. But sometimes a fence isn’t appropriate or even allowed, depending on building codes and HOA rules.
More natural and unique than fences, hedges can be used to create defined areas within your landscaping or between your neighbor’s property and your own. They can add beauty, help block noise, create privacy in your outdoor and indoor spaces, and encourage wildlife to flourish.
Here, we’ll discuss the benefits of using plants for privacy from neighbors and offer our top picks for plants that make good hedges!
Using Plants to Delineate Boundaries
Hedges can provide a more attractive and less aggressive boundary than traditional fences. Not only are hedges great markers, but they’re also perfect plants for privacy from neighbors as they can block sound and sight where you need it.
When it comes to planting hedges to delineate boundaries, It’s important to consult with your neighbors first. Unlike a fence (which can run precisely along property lines) hedges grow over time and usually require some degree of upkeep. That’s why it’s a good idea to ensure you know exactly where the property boundaries are so that your hedge doesn’t intrude into your neighbor’s yard.
But using hedges as boundary markers doesn’t just apply to lot lines. Hedges can also be used to separate areas of your front or backyard. For example, if you want to create a private seating area that’s separate from your outdoor dining room or kid’s play structure, a hedge can be the perfect solution.
Hedgerow vs. Monoculture
Hedgerows and monocultures may seem like synonyms, especially if you’re new to the world of landscaping. But there are a few differences you should know before incorporating them into your yard design.
Monoculture is a term used most often in agriculture to describe a crop of a singular plant species, organized in a row. A hedgerow, on the other hand, simply refers to a row of densely spaced trees, bushes, or shrubs and can consist of multiple different species.
Whether you choose to incorporate a monoculture or hedgerow into your landscape will come down to personal preference. Monocultures require more consistent care, while the multiple types of plant life in hedgerows may have different watering and seasonal needs depending on the species you plant.
Monocultures also tend to offer a more curated and manufactured appearance, while hedgerows provide a more diverse and wild effect. They can both function as a beautiful and effective method of landscaping to block neighbors and give you the privacy you’re looking for.
Habitat Hedgerows: For Beauty and Wildlife
If you love seeing four-legged and winged visitors on your property, planting hedges rather than installing a fence is the way to go! In landscaping, hedges are often referred to as “living fences.” Not only do they contribute to the plant life in your outdoor spaces, but depending on the type of plants you choose for your hedgerow, they can attract an abundance of wildlife too.
Habitat hedges can provide shelter, food, and nesting places for pollinators, birds, deer, squirrels, and other creatures. When it comes to attracting wildlife with your hedges, it’s a good idea to keep meticulous landscaping to a minimum and opt for native plants and evergreens.
Here are a few tips for planting a successful habitat hedgerow in the PNW:
- Consider flowering trees.
- Opt for plants that produce berries and other fruit.
- Remember that native plants will attract native wildlife.
- Consider flowering native perennials that offer nectar for bees and butterflies.
Hedge Plants That Thrive in Oregon
Different hedge plants thrive in different climates and environments. They also offer different benefits. You may choose different species for your hedge project depending on your goals. Are you looking for plants to block neighbors? In that case, you likely want something fast-growing. Trying to attract birds? Then you likely need hedges that produce berries, nuts, or seeds.
At Blessing Landscapes, we’re experts in native plants and our amazing landscape designers can help you choose the perfect hedges to meet your needs. Here are a few of our top picks for hedge plants that do well in the PNW:
These tall, narrow evergreens are among the most popular hedges in Oregon. They’re exceptionally fast-growing (sometimes growing up to three feet per year). They also require very little maintenance. They thrive in wet, cool temperatures and only need to be watered during the dry summer months, making them ideal for PNW weather.
Wild lilac is an incredibly popular choice for hedges in Oregon. There are evergreen and deciduous species. Flowers of both types are colorful, ranging from soft white to neon blue. Depending on the particular species you choose, wild lilac can easily grow to reach 8-12 feet tall once mature. This makes them ideal for providing privacy and separation. Best of all? They require little maintenance, thriving in full sun to partial shade, and most are drought tolerant.
With evergreen leaves that appear green or combine tones of green, gold, and white, euonymus is a popular choice for hedges throughout the PNW. It grows moderately quickly when planted on supports, reaching up to 15 feet at maturity. Although it can be meticulously pruned for a manicured look, it generally only needs to be pruned once every year.
This incredibly fast-growing hedge plant has dense branches and offers lush evergreen foliage throughout the whole year. This makes it ideal for homeowners looking to create a beautiful and effective privacy screen with their hedgerow. Just keep in mind that, because English laurel grows so quickly, it requires more maintenance than other options and may need to be pruned two or three times a year.
Privets are ideal shrubs for classic privacy hedges, as they can grow up to 15 feet. They consist of dense green leaves and bloom with vibrant white flowers in the spring and summer months. They usually need to be trimmed and pruned about twice a year while in bloom to promote healthy growth and maintain strength for winter.
Blessings Landscapes Has You Covered!
Hedges are one of the most attractive and functional design options to incorporate into your landscape.
If you’re looking to add plant life to your yard, create privacy, block the elements, and delineate property borders, Blessing Landscapes can help you create a beautiful hedgerow to make your landscaping dreams a reality.