Hedge in autumn

In summer, hedges give us the desired shade and protect us from prying eyes, but they turn into one of the main elements of the landscape design of the site in late autumn and winter.

In November, not many bright colors remain in the garden. Thanks to dense rows of trees and shrubs, blazing with crimson foliage or the greening lace of needles, the garden retains its structure and beauty and does not look dull.

We will tell you how to zone a garden with a hedge and what plants to plant so that the hedge is decorative all year round.

Hedge in autumn

Hedge in autumn

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Why do you need hedges

The first thing that comes to mind when answering this question is to fence off the site. And indeed it is. But in addition to the protective function, hedges are a great way to divide the garden into zones, align the borders of flower beds and paths, disguise unsightly structures, decorate the wall or foundation of the house.

Therefore, today we will not talk about how to create a barrier for animals or protect the yard from dust and noise with the help of dense rows of shrubs, but consider a hedge as a formative design element.

Creation of cozy “green” rooms

Especially often, plant walls are used to fence off recreation areas. This can be done in different ways: plant a solid hedge that completely blocks the view, create an openwork partition, for example, from climbing plants, or mark conditional boundaries with the help of low plant borders.

Usually the hedge is positioned so that it is behind the back. This creates a sense of security. In addition, if you plan to use the recreation area during the cold season, a wall of plants will save you from the piercing wind.

When calculating the height of the green partition, proceed from the fact that it should be higher than the back of the garden furniture standing here, otherwise you will not achieve the effect of privacy. Year-round protection and decorativeness will be provided by evergreens: western thuja, Virginia juniper, berry yew, etc.

A secluded corner in the garden

In such a corner, you will feel fenced off from the whole world.

Green room

A living wall behind the back, a border around the perimeter of the site and a pergola – a classic version of the “green room

Masking unsightly buildings and functional areas

There are corners in the garden that we, for one reason or another, do not want to put on public display. A sunbathing area, a drying area, a toilet, a shed, a vegetable garden, a compost heap – all this can be disguised as a hedge. In this case, the wall must be solid, at least 1.8–2 m high to block the view.

Vegetable garden separated by hedges

A thuja hedge separates the garden from the living area, and trimmed borders limit it around the perimeter

Designation of borders of flower beds and paths

The hedges, laid along the perimeter of the flower beds, perfectly structure the garden. In summer, green borders set off a riot of colors of annual and perennial flowers, and in autumn, when the flowers fade, they maintain the shape of the flower bed.

If the garden is large, garden paths can be framed with low hedges, creating vantage points visible from afar along the way.

Boxwood, spirea, cinquefoil, heather, holly mahonia look good in the borders. For low hedges along the paths, a forest beech with purple foliage, a shiny cotoneaster, and euonymus are suitable.

Live curbs as a site zoning tool

Live curbs are a great garden zoning tool

Decorating walls and fences

If you want to decorate a long and tall fence (wall), use a hedge. In this case, the “green partitions” should reach the middle of the structure, visually reducing its height and creating a complex and interesting shape.

For intermediate hedges, small, compact plants that lend themselves well to shearing, for example, Thunberg’s barberry or privet, are suitable.

A hedge for decorating a fence

Thanks to the hedge, the long wooden fence doesn’t look boring

Creating a background for garden plants

In order for the garden composition to look harmonious, it is important to choose the right not only plants, but also the background for planting them. And if there is no suitable background, you can create it yourself.

Hedges as a background give structure and volume to landscape compositions. Especially in this respect, plantings of evergreen species benefit: in autumn, against their background, cereals, late-flowering asters, chrysanthemums, heathers look favorably.

Landscape composition on the background of fir trees

A wall of dark green fir trees is a great backdrop for any garden arrangement

When and how to plant

The right time to plant a hedge is autumn. By this time, active biological processes in plants slow down, the seedlings do not waste energy and nutrients for the growing season and take root perfectly before winter.

When it comes to planting deciduous shrubs, in the fall you can refuse to buy plants in containers and purchase planting material with an open root system. It is cheaper and will be accepted no worse.

How many plants you need depends on the recommended planting density. In a single-row hedge, shrubs are planted at intervals of 35-60 cm, trees – 80-120 cm. But it is better to check the specific distance for each crop in the nursery.

If you plan to trim your hedges, buy young plants – 2-3 year old hardwood seedlings and 3-5 year old conifers. For free-growing plantings, more mature planting material can be used.

It is better to plant plants in a trench 50–60 cm deep, after removing the soil from it and mixing it with fertile soil.

Laying a hedge

When planting, pull on the string to help you arrange the plants in a straight line

What are hedges

The choice of plants for a hedge depends on its shape and height. Consider what kind of hedges are.

By form

According to the method of formation, free growing and sheared are distinguished. The former look harmoniously in natural-style landscapes, the latter – in classical (formal) and landscape (English) gardens.

The best free-growing hedges are obtained from deciduous shrubs with drooping shoots or beautiful flowers – barberry, mockweed, weigela, forsythia, spirea, viburnum, lilac, hydrangea.

If you want to add bright colors to the autumn garden, pay attention to the European euonymus (Euonymus europaeus). Its dense openwork crown will delight in the summer, and in the fall the leaves of this amazing shrub will turn yellow, orange, scarlet, scarlet, purple colors. Euonymus grows both in the sun and in partial shade. Prefers light, fertile soil.

Spindle tree hedge

Is there anything that can compare with such beauty?

For molded hedges, plants are selected that lend themselves well to pruning. But here you need to consider the profile of the haircut.

  • In rectangular hedges, the sun illuminates the upper part well, but almost does not hit the lower one. For such a profile, shade-tolerant plants are needed – berry yew, hornbeam, honeysuckle – otherwise the bottom will be constantly exposed.

An excellent choice for a rectangular hedge with an eye for fall would be bright red pyracantha (Pyracantha coccinea) – an evergreen shrub with red berries that are so abundant that even the leaves are not visible. It is light-requiring, but it tolerates partial shade well, is drought-resistant, grows on any soil. At temperatures below -15 ° C, it can freeze.

Bright red pyracantha hedge

Bright berries remain on pyracantha until the end of winter.

To ensure that the plants in the hedge are evenly illuminated, use a triangular or trapezoidal cutting method. In such plantings, common privet, brilliant cotoneaster, dogwood, Thunberg barberry feel great

One of the best deciduous shrubs for molded hedges is the brilliant cotoneaster (Cotoneaster lucidus). It is especially beautiful in autumn, when the dark green shiny leaves turn purple. The bush is very plastic, shade-tolerant, winter-hardy, durable. A cotoneaster can grow in one place for more than 50 years.

Cotoneaster border in autumn

Red cotoneaster border is effectively combined with conifers

The formation of a rounded plantation profile requires special skills and dexterity. Boxwood, privet, and common hornbeam have sufficient plasticity for this.

If you want not only to zone the garden, but also to fill it with a pleasant aroma, pay attention to the common privet (Ligustrum vulgare) of the “atrovirens” variety. In June, it becomes covered with white flowers, exuding a pleasant honey scent, reminiscent of the scent of linden.

Rounded privet border

In terms of density and plasticity, privet is often compared to the king of topiary forms – boxwood


Depending on the height, there are three types of hedges:

  • borders – up to 0.5 m;
  • hedges (fences) – up to 2 m;
  • walls (screens) – up to 3 m and more.

Low-growing slow-growing shrubs and dwarf shrubs are suitable for trimmed borders – evergreen boxwood, Japanese euonymus, rosemary.

In free growth, spiraea, cinquefoil, heathers, Japanese quince, holly mahonia, border roses, lavender look great.

Spirea border

Spirea with yellow foliage looks beautiful against the background of green thujas

Medium-height hedges are well obtained from most decorative deciduous shrubs, as well as conifers amenable to shearing – thuja western, cypress, juniper.

In recreation areas designed as “green rooms”, it is better to abandon thorny plants – barberry, hawthorn, Japanese quince, narrow-leaved oak tree.

  Medium-height molded hedge

Medium-height molded hedge of two types of thuja

Living walls are usually planted where you need to close from prying eyes or protect from the wind. Therefore, tall trees and shrubs are used for them, most often evergreens – common spruce, western thistle, Leyland’s cupressocyparis, Lawson’s cypress, Virginia juniper. From deciduous trees, holly are suitable, small-leaved linden, irga, common elm.

Excellent living walls are obtained from the hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). It lends itself well to haircut, forms a dense dense crown, extremely shade-tolerant. In the fall, its foliage turns golden brown and does not fly around in winter.

Hornbeam hedge

Hornbeam hedge looks great in any garden design

Unusual hedges

In addition to classic hedges for garden zoning, all kinds of partitions with climbing plants are used. They take up little space and grow rather quickly. And then the plant can be given any shape – rectangular, rounded, inclined, in the form of an arch.

Trellis dividers can be quickly filled with maiden grapes, ivy, hops, kampsis, climbing honeysuckle, climbing roses, clematis.

Arch - as a kind of hedge

Arches perfectly zone the garden and allow you to preserve its structure in the cold season

As you can see, plant walls and curbs can be great tools for garden zoning. In the Kaliningrad region, deciduous shrubs can be planted until the end of October – mid-November.