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Design

Beyond the Green Wall: Naturalistic Hedge Ideas

Fine Gardening - Issue 189

Whether you live in town or the country, privacy in and around your home can be an essential part of comfort, peace, and well-being. As gardeners, we naturally look to achieve this with plants. Yet traditional hedges just don’t fit the bill for everyone. Not only do they have a particular aesthetic that doesn’t appeal to all, but they can require a massive amount of energy to keep up—from pruning and the residual cleanup, to fertilizing and dealing with pests and disease, which can run rampant in a monoculture planting. Moreover, when shrubs are repeatedly sheared over time, a congested mess of interior branches develops, creating a bare, unhealthy center that, aside from being unattractive, can be quite fire prone.

Enter the alternative: a naturalistic “hedge” comprised of a variety of compatible species and cultivars that are appropriately spaced and sized for screening needs and that ultimately…

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