Hedges and Windbreaks

Plants for hedging are often selected for their ornamental qualities, but there are also other aspects to consider.  Boundary hedges may provide visual privacy, or just screen unsightly buildings; they may also be bushy or thorny to keep out animals and intruders.  Make sure that plants for screening will grow grow to the required height, choosing conifers or evergreen shrubs for year round interest.  In exposed areas, trees and large conifers can be used as windbreaks; two or three staggered rows are usually much more effective than a single, close planted one.


Berberis darwinii (Darwins barberry)
Vigorous, evergreen, arching shrub.  Small glossy dark green leaves and a profusion of rounded, deep orange-yellow flowers from mid to late spring followed by bluish berries H 3m (10ft)          S 4m (13ft)

Buxus semp. suffruicossa (Box)
Evergreen, dwarf shrub that forms a tight, dense mass of small, bright green leaves.                        H 75cm  (2.5ft) S 75cm (2.5ft)

Choisya ternata (Mexican orange blossom)
Evergreen, rounded, dense shrub with aromatic, glossy, bright green leaves composed of three leaflets. Clusters of fragrant white blooms open in late spring and often again in autumn.  

H & S 3m (10ft) 

Eleagnus x ebbingii
Evergreen, busy, dense shrub.  Oval, glossy, dark green leaves, silvery beneath. Fragrant, bell-shaped, silvery-white flowers are borne from mid to late autumn. H & S 5m (15ft)

Euonymus jap. macrophyllus (Japanese spindle)
Evergreen, upright, dense shrub.  Has very large, oval, glossy, dark green leaves and in summer small, star-shaped, green flowers.

H 4m (12ft) S 2m 6ft)

Griselina litoralis (Broadleaf)
Fast-growing, evergreen, upright shrub of dense habit.  Bears oval, leathery leaves that are bright apple green.  H 6m (20ft) S 5m (15ft)

Hydrangea macrophylla cultivars


Lavendula cultivars

Leptospurmum scoparium cultivars

Ligustrum ovalifolium  (Privet)
Vigorous, evergreen or semi-evergreen, upright, dense shrub with glossy, mid green leaves, red when young. Spikes of small, fragrant, white flowers in summer.
H 4m (12ft) S 3m (10ft)

Lonicera nitida  (Shrubby honeysuckle)
Evergreen, bushy, dense shrub.  Small, oval, glossy, dark green leaves.  Tiny, fragrant, creamy-white flowers in late spring.

 H 2m (6ft) S 3m (10ft)

Photinia x fraseri ‘ Birmingham’
Evergreen, upright, bushy, dense shrub with glossy, dark green leaves which are bright red-purple when young. Broad heads of small white flowers are carried in late spring.

H 6m (20ft) S 5m (17ft)

Prunus lauroserarus (Cherry laurel / Laurel)
Evergreen, dense, bushy shrub becoming spreading and open.  Long spikes of small white flowers in mid - to late spring.  Large, glossy, bright green leaves.
H6m (20ft) S 10m (30ft) Restrict growth by cutting bach hard in spring.

Prunus lusitanica (Portuguese laurel)
Evergreen, bushy, dense, shrub or spreading tree.  Reddish purple shoots bear oval, glossy, dark green leaves.  Slender spikes of small, fragrant white flowers appear in early summer.

H & S 6-10m (20-13ft)

Pyracantha x watereri 
Evergreen, upright, dense, spiny shrub with glossy, dark green foliage.  Cup-shaped white flowers in early summer are succeeded by bright red berries in autumn. H & S 2m (6ft)

Rosmarinus officinalis and cultivars ( Rosemary)
Evergreen, bushy, dense shrub with aromatic, narrow leaves.  Small purplish blue, to blue flowers appear from mid spring to early summer and sometimes in autumn.  Used as a culinary herb. H & S 1.5m (5ft)


Alnus cordata (Italian Alder)
Fast-growing, deciduous, conical tree.  Yellow, male catkins appear in late winter and early spring, followed by heart-shaped, glossy, deep green leaves.  Has persistent, round, woody fruits in autumn

Arbutus unedo (Strawberry tree)
Evergreen spreading tree or shrub with rough, brown bark and glossy, deep green leaves.  Pendant, urn-shaped white flowers appear in autumn-winter as previous years strawberry like fruits ripen to red.

Carpinus betulus (Common hornbeam)
Deciduous round headed tree. Has a fluted trunk and oval, veined, dark green leaves that turn yellow and orange in autumn. Green catkins from spring.

Cratagus monogyna (Common hawthorn)
Deciduous, round headed tree.  Oval, deeply lobed, glossy, deep green leaves. Clusters of fragrant, white flowers are borne in late spring - early summer.

Fagus sylvatica (Common Beech)
Deciduous, spreading tree with oval, wavy-edged leaves. These are pale-green when young, mid to dark green when mature and turn rich yellow and orange-brown in autumn when nuts are produced.

Laurus nobilis (Bay laurel / Sweet bay)
Evergreen, broadly conical tree.  Narrow, oval, leathery, glossy, dark green leaves are very aromatic.  Has small, star-shaped, pale yellow flowers in spring

Prunus lustanica (Laurel / Portugal Laurel)
Evergreen, bushy, dense shrub or spreading tree.  Oval, glossy, dark green leaves.  Small, fragrant, 5-pettled, white flowers appear in spring.


Abies grandis (giant fir / Grand fir)
Very vigorous, narrow, conical conifer, with a very neat habit.  Mid-green leaves have an orange aroma when crushed.

Cedrus deodara (Cedar)
Fast-growing conifer, densely conical with weeping tips when young, broader when mature.  Has spirally arranged, needle-like, grey-green leaves.

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (Lawson cypress)
upright, columnar conifer with branches drooping at tips.  Bears flattened sprays of scale-like, aromatic, dark green leaves

Cupressocyparis x leylandii (Leylandii)
upright, vigorous conifer. Ideal for hedging.

Juniperus communis (Common Juniper)
Conifer, ranging from a spreading shrub to a narrow, upright tree.  Needle like, aromatic, glossy, mid- or yellow to green leaves.  

H 30cm - 8m (1-25ft)   S 1-4m (3-2ft)

Pinus nigra (Black Pine)
Upright later spreading conifer

Taxus Bacata (Yew)
Slow growing conifer with a broadly conical, later domed crown.  Needle-like, flattened leaves are dark green.  Female plants bear fleshy, bright red fruits; only the red part, not the seed, is edible. Will re-grow if  cut back.


Arundo donax (Giant reed)
Herbaceous, rhizomatous, perennial grass.  Has thick stems that bear floppy, blue-green leaves.  Produces, dense, erect panicles of whitish-yellow spikelets in summer.

H 6m (20ft) S 1m (3ft)

Fargesia nitida 
Evergreen, clump forming bamboo.  Small, pointed mid green leaves on dark purple stalks and several branches at each node.  Stems are often purple with closed sheaths.  H 5m (15ft) S indefinite.

Pseudosasa japonica (Arrow Bamboo / Metake)
Evergreen, clump forming bamboo that may run.  Has long, persistent, roughly pubescent, brown sheaths and broad leaves.

H 5m (15ft) S indefinite