Low Hedge

bturnerFebruary 28, 2007

I am looking to plant a low formal hedge (18- 24") around a bed that houses mainly, among other things, roses, foxglove, delphiniums, and hydrangea. The border edge ranges from full sun to bright shade (north facing wall) in my zone 7 garden. My main purpose in planting this border is to keep my Basset Hound from roaming through the bed and napping on my plants, but also to provide a nice edge and contrast. What shrub would you recommend to make this hedge? I like boxwood, but the growth is so slow, and I would like this to establish quickly without breaking the bank on plants. I don't mind more frequent prunings, as long the plant can tolerate a low height. Also, would you suggest using bare root shrubs? Evergreen shrubs preferred, but not necessarily a must.

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I should also add that I have about 60' in length to cover.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 4:42PM
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Perhaps one of the small leaved asian hollies such as Ilex crenata 'Dwarf Pagoda' or a dwarf form of the native Yaupon holly such as Ilex vomitoria 'Schellings Dwarf'.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 9:13PM
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You also may want to look into some of the dwarf Pittosporum (mostly P. nigricans varieties) that are out there. "Kirsti" is pretty nice. I like the P. nigricans for their pale, lime green leaves and the contrasting black stems.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 1:28AM
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Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys) could work for you. It is often used to hedge herb or knot gardens and is a nice change from the boring boxwood to edge a mixed border. Grows a heck of a lot faster than box or Ilex, too. Can be sheared to keep a more formal look or left to form a softer, rounded hedge.

FWIW, except for some mail order sources for very small, young plants, evergreens are generally not sold bare root - too much risk of damage to root systems that never go fully dormant. But germander should be readily available at retail garden centers that have a good herb selection.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 4:12AM
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I like the idea of the germander, but I am afraid it might not be sturdy/tall enough to keep my dog from wandering into the border. This would be the ideal edge if not for that problem. Would privet be too much of a battle to keep pruned to 24"?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 1:53PM
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I must have had a temporary lapse in sanity. I really have no desire to have a privet hedge, especially for this use. I am considering Yaupon holly, and any other suggestions would be welcome. I do like the idea of an herb hedge, but worry about its effectiveness as a barrier.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 1:16PM
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Well apparently Santolina is considered hedge material.

There's a thread on the Georgia forum about using santolina for a knot garden.

Here is a link that might be useful: Santolina as hedge

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 1:29PM
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How effective a hedge like santolina or germander is against dogs is a bit dependent on the type and nature of the dogs in question :-) Both are woody based subshrubs so do provide a semi-substantial barrier. With my dogs, admittedly on the geriatric side, if they encounter an obstacle in their path, they go around rather than over or through. Might not work so well with younger, active dogs or big guys like Rotties or labs.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 7:19PM
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