Picture taken at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Hedges provide architecture and structure to any garden. The strong lines that they make provide an anchor for everything else that are added to the garden. Hedges provide a privacy feature as they can be used as fence and even divide gardens into rooms.
Hedges are shrubs that have been planted closely and allowed to grow into each other's space and trained into a desired shape and size. Hedges look neat and disciplined but that does not happen without the gardeners intervention. A good hedge require constant pruning and shaping. Left alone for a long period of time, hedges will grow on their own way and eventually look wild. Gardeners need to be ruthless in pruning hedges so that they would maintain their intended shape and size. My own boxwood (Buxux microphylla) hedges keep on growing wider and taking too much space into the pathway.
Commonly Used Evergreen Shrubs for Privacy Hedges:
1. Japanese Boxwood (Busus microphylla)
2. Yew (Taxus baccata)
3. Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Green Giant')
4. Holly (Ilex verticillata)
5. Leyland Cyprus (x Cupressocyparis Leylandii)
6. Variegated Japanese Laurel (Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’) aka Gold Dust Tree
7. Catoneaster (Catoneaster lucidus and Catoneaster divaricatus)
8. Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica)
9. Firethorn (Pyacantha coccinea)
10. Privet (Ligustrum spp.)