Hedges have plenty of advantages. They’re usually attractive, particularly compared to the average functional fence. They also tend to be more affordable than fencing, which is excellent if you have a strict budget.

Growing hedges is also a great way to invite birds into your garden. As green areas are increasingly replaced with buildings, bird habitats are reducing. So why not plant hedges to invite birds into your garden this Draw a Bird Day?

Plants to use

You can use most types of shrub to make a hedge. However, some plants are more appropriate than others. Some good hedge plants include:


Laurel is an evergreen plant with big, light green, shiny leaves. It is a resilient plant that can live in shade or sun and wet or dry conditions, as long as the ground isn’t too saturated. Laurel bushes are eye-catching and can get quite big, so are ideal if you want to make a feature out of your hedge.


Yew is another appealing shrub that is suitable for growing into a hedge. It is darker than laurel, so is great if you want a hedge that will blend in. However, yew doesn’t like soggy soil and is pretty slow to grow, so isn’t ideal if you want a fast result.

Colours to choose

Laurel and yew hedges are green but there are more colourful choices available. Use variegated plants, like silver holly or golden privet, if you fancy multi-coloured leaves. Or if you want a flowering hedge, you could use hawthorn or potentilla.

When deciding what to choose, think about the other plants in your garden. If you have lots of flowers, it might be a good idea to pick a pretty neutral, green hedge. But if you don’t have many colours in your garden, a flowering or variegated hedge could be a great choice.

Where to buy them

After you’ve chosen your hedge plant, go down to your local garden centre or find one online. If you’re unsure how many plants to get, tell them the area you need the hedge to cover and they also should be able to provide you with some advice. If you want to buy a large number of plants, tell the garden centre in advance and you may be able to negotiate a discount.

How to keep your security

Lots of people pick fencing instead of hedges because they do not want to reduce their security. A fully-grown hedge can be as secure as any fence but hedges that have only just started growing can leave property boundaries exposed.

If you want a hedge but are concerned about security, there’s a solution. Put up a temporary wire fence when you plant your hedge. This will keep your garden secure while the hedge is growing and will disappear when the hedge grows around it.

So not only are hedges attractive, cost-effective and bird-friendly, they are also simple to grow. Try improving your garden for you and the birds by planting a hedge this Draw a Bird Day.

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