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It’s nice having neighbors sometimes, but then there are times when you are in your garden, and you just want to be shielded from them to give yourself a bit of privacy and the ability to relax while you enjoy the hot weather in your garden.
You may have fencing up in some parts of your garden, or the fences you share with your neighbors may be low, and might not provide any privacy either – just distinctive boundary lines.
This is also the same for any sides of your property that are directly exposed to the streets outside – it’s nice to have privacy from anyone walking past your garden, too.
The best solution to this issue is to plant evergreens. They have a great bush and dense look, which makes it hard for people to see through them – plus, they are lovely to look at.
Also, if you enjoy gardening, having an evergreen to tend to can be great, especially if you have the time to design them into shapes to make them more unique.
If you don’t know much about evergreens and the different types available to purchase, this guide will help you choose the perfect evergreen to suit your needs.
What is an Evergreen?
You will find an evergreen hedge in an outdoor space, which generally surrounds a private garden to give the occupants a barrier between their home and the streets or other people’s homes.
Three types of evergreens are defined as either a bush, a plant, or a tree.
The characteristic of evergreen is that it will have green leaves all-year-round. Unlike other bushes, trees, or plants, the leaves won’t turn to a brown color when the season changes to the colder months. The brown leaves will then fall off and leave the plants, bushes, and trees bare with no bloom until the weather starts to get warmer again.
This doesn’t happen with an evergreen – as the name suggests, it’s always green.
There are many types of evergreen trees worldwide, with around 55 or so types being the most common for use in populated areas.
Some of the trees will grow to a small size while others can reach extreme heights of over 150 meters. Obviously, you will want to avoid the extremely high evergreens for your garden – you don’t want to create a forest!
Evergreen plants and bushes also come in many varieties. Some will flower in the warmer months, and some grow berries when colder, although not all species do.
Each evergreen will grow at different rates; some will grow very quickly and provide great coverage, giving you a full hedge to provide privacy. Some will take longer to grow, and their growth is very subtle. Depending on your urgency for privacy, make sure you choose the right evergreen for your situation.
Types of Evergreen for Your Garden
This list below contains a mixture of trees, bushes, and evergreen plants. They’re good choices for gardens.
Privet – (Ligustrum)
Privet is an excellent choice if you want to create a stable and dense hedge around your garden or a barrier to prevent people from looking into your window from the street.
There are many types of privet, but you need to be careful when deciding which one to pick, as not every privet is an evergreen.
Privet evergreens have small flowers when warm. Berries will form in the colder months, although depending on the type, berries may not form at all, and it may just be the flowers.
The great news about the privet is that it can grow in many different soil types. Plus, it doesn’t need constant exposure to the sun to grow, making it an easy solution. Another bonus is that these grow quickly, which is excellent if you need height straight away.
Many people enjoy pruning these types of evergreens as they are quite sturdy, and all kinds of shapes can be made from them. Also, you could choose to cut them low one year and let them keep growing the next to provide more privacy.
Boxwood – (Buxus)
Just like the privet, the boxwood makes a great hedge too. These can also be pruned in the same way as the privet and can handle a good cut or shape without damaging the hedge. If you regularly cut and neaten the boxwood, it will provide an extremely dense hedge that will look the part.
The boxwood has small green leaves that make this a neat looking hedge once cut and shaped after it has had a growth spurt.
The boxwood tree is used widely throughout Europe due to its robust strength and growth rate.
The boxwood doesn’t require a large amount of sun exposure, but it will need a little bit. It grows well in soil that’s drained.
Bay Laurel – (Laurus Nobilis)
The bay laurel can be classed as a tree or bush and works well as a hedge.
The bay laurel’s characteristics are its aromatic scent and leaves that are smooth to the touch. The leaves are longer in size than the privet or boxwood.
There are many different types of laurel; another popular type is the spotted laurel (Aucuba Japonica). This is a distinctive laurel; the leaves have gold spots on them in a variety of sizes – some larger gold areas, and some more speckled – and it makes this a very eye-catching hedge.
If you’re looking for a high hedge, this is a good option, as it can reach heights of 9 feet.
The laurel will need some sunlight exposure but can grow well in shady areas. It grows well in dryer soils.
American Arborvitae – (Thuja Occidentalis)
If you’re looking for something a little bit different for your hedge, try the American arborvitae. It’s classed as a tree but makes a great hedge, as the branches are packed tightly together. This makes it nice and thick to provide privacy. Also, it has an appealing look due to the feather shape of the greenery.
As the American arborvitae is classed a tree, it can grow up to 20 feet or taller, although you can prune it regularly to reach your required height.
The good news is the American arborvitae will grow in many soil types. It only needs partial sunlight to grow, although it can also handle full sunlight.
Hicks Yew – (Taxus x Media)
The Yew is a great bush for creating a hedge to provide privacy. It also looks nice and is different from a standard type of hedge. However, it won’t grow as tall as some of the other types of evergreens, with an average height of around 10 feet.
This is a spindly type of bush. It has long spindles, containing small green leaves that sprout off in a 360-degree manner.
Unlike some of the other evergreens, the Yew takes longer to grow, which is good if you don’t enjoy regular pruning – you won’t need to worry about this one.
It will grow well in a range of soil types and both shade and sunlight.
Holly – (Ilex)
If you want a hedge with a bit more color, then a holly bush is the ideal choice.
The holly can grow berries which are a nice bright red color. It has lovely green leaves that complement the red berries. There is a wide variety of holly bushes and trees available, including the American holly and English holly.
This bush would work well in your front yard, but can also look good as a full-length hedge if you want one with a lot of color.
You can prune this type of hedge into something neat and tidy; you can shape it to your desired effect.
It can grow to around 10 feet tall, which is adequate for a normal hedge. The holly growth is gradual and won’t require constant pruning. It will grow well with the right amount of sunlight and with partial shade. The soil type needed for this one is slightly different from the others; it will require fertile soil, which is drained.
No matter what type of evergreen you choose to create your hedge with, you will be able to grow a good dense hedge that will give you some privacy while you relax in your garden.
All of the evergreens above have unique characteristics compared to standard hedges. You have lots of choices, from privet and boxwood to the more colorful hedges like holly or laurel.