If you’re looking to create a bit of separation and privacy between your garden and the rest of the world, planting a screening hedge can be a subtle and beautiful way to give you what you want.

Going for an evergreen or deciduous plant is your first decision, and working out your soil type is the next port of call. There are plants more suited to clay, sand, and chalky soils so make sure you go for the right plant for your soil type.

Finally, before you sink your spade into the ground, figure out how much maintenance your chosen screening will need. Finally, check you’re not going to be planting a long-rooter too close to any drains or buildings as the last thing you need is a dodgy fence and crumbly brick work and drains.

Three popular options for hedging are listed here.


Beech (Fagus sylvatica)

Beech is a native plant and deciduous. Over the winter months it does retain its leaves in a dry state, which creates a kind of dead-leaf effect so can offer year-round screening. Beech needs a trim in August and grows well pretty much anywhere. Make sure it gets a good watering regularly from spring right through the summer – especially while it’s young.


Conifer and leylandii

Before you go for a conifer or leylandii, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into. Yes, these plants are fast growing, yes they are evergreen, and yes, they can grow in excess of 6 feet. However, both species can get very quickly out of control. They also pretty much destroy anything growing near them – even the lawn. They suck moisture out of your soil and unless you have a huge garden or need to grown an exceptionally high hedge (beware planning laws here!), they might be better left to country house estates.


Yew hedge (Taxus baccata)

The good old yew is evergreen, slow growing and popular with the bird community. Yew’s are very popular because they have lots of good points, and very few bad ones. They grow well in almost every soil and don’t grow too far, or too fast with a height gain of about a foot per year. Give them a trim once a year in late summer, or early autumn to keep them in shape and beware waterlogged soil, they don’t tolerate such conditions. Yews can also be grown in planterstake a look at our range for some great options.



For a smooth unbroken line and solid screen, plant shrubs slightly closer than advised on the label. If the guidance says to position each plant 1 metre apart, make things a little tighter by going 75cm apart instead. Dig a hole a little bigger than the container and position the plant in the hole so that it’s surface is level with the surface of the ground. Fill in with well-prepared and weed-free soil, give it a good water and you’re all set.


Good luck!