I Desire a Formal English Hedge

wjgaddisJuly 1, 2008

I've been to the UK on several occasions and fell in love with the formal hedge. I now want/need to grow one in my back yard and want that lovely formally clipped, straight line row. I realize the English Yew isn't practical for our region so I have done extensive research and have come across the Leyland Cypress to the Thuja Plicata. I have narrowed my search down to the Thuja Plicata and would like to know if this is, in fact, a good selection for what I want to do?

Is there a better shrub for the Carolinas? If Thuja Plicata is the right choice, where do I get it? Can't locate it anywhere . . .


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Try Buxus microphylla
CompactaÂor Kingsville Dwarf
Buxus sempervirens
from Clemson extension
may be a good choice for
a formal hedge.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 11:42AM
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Formal hedges are a LOT of work! be forewarned. Get your pruning tools sharpened or hire a gardener.

What you want is something bushy and fast growing that wants to live in your yard under your care. Some people love to tweak their plants every day while others would rather just look at the hedge and maybe clip it once each year. How much gardening work do you want to do?

The beauty of something like boxwoods is that you can find replacements just about everywhere - replacements? you ask? yep, at some point one of your bushes is gonna get injured or dead and you will want to replace it. Fast growers fill in quickly and within one season most folks won't notice the difference.

You also want to watch out for plants that are promoted as disease free or disease resistant, everything has some sort of disease issues. Plenty of plants get sold that way and then after a few years some disease shows up that no one knew about, and shrubs die out everywhere.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 12:32PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

leylands are a perfect example of what TJ said.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 12:44PM
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Got deer? If so, you may want to try ONE thuja out in the open to see if they want to eat the whole thing, or just sample it.

I have no other suggestions beyond what is mentioned for a tall hedge.

However, if you want to make a short hedge (like for a Victorian knot garden) or up to 3 feet (allowing for shaping), rosemary is great. It takes to shaping, too. It's fragrant and you will have a lot of rosemary for cooking.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 3:24PM
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