First of all, there is no strict difference between a plant being grown as a screen or a plant put in as part of a hedge. The only defining factor is that a screen will break a view while still allowing dappled light to come through, screens will soften wind but not act as a complete windbreak. Hedges, on the other hand, offer a complete natural wall or block. Many plants can be used for both, depending on how they’ve been cared for.
The greatest benefit of using plants as hedges or screens is that they are providing you with a living, breathing divider that doesn’t just provide a great service, it also beautifies your garden and home!
Choosing the right hedge or screen plant for the right location will set you up for success. When planting a hedge or screening plant, it is important to consider the height and width you want the hedge or screen to be, then choose a plant variety that suits your needs.
Lilly Pillies are a popular example of a privacy plant. These Australian natives, with their glossy green leaves, colourful flowers and edible berries make excellent hedges or screens. Lilly Pillies can grow in full sun or shade and can tolerate drought once established. Improve soil with organic compost and manure. With new hedges do not let plants grow straight up to the desired height, prune regularly on the top and sides to encourage denser growth throughout the plant.
Bamboo is also great for additional style and privacy, it’s tall, quick to grow and responds well to pruning. Be careful to choose a clumping variety as running varieties can spread quickly and get out of control. Bamboo is a very versatile plant and can survive in many conditions. Bamboo placed in the sun will, however, grow the quickest! If soil is sandy or heavy clay be sure to add organic matter. Clumping Bamboo won’t require a lot of attention, however, it will need a little bit of TLC to keep it looking its best. Prune the clump to remove older foliage. Don’t prune too heavily if you want to maintain good privacy from your bamboo hedge.
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