As we begin to see deciduous trees drop their leaves and prepare themselves for winter dormancy, we turn our attention to the role of evergreens as hedges in the garden. Their presence provides critical structure and continuity during all four seasons in the garden.
The term evergreen encompasses a diverse range of broad-leafed and coniferous (cone producing) trees and shrubs, including many native species that retain their foliage over the winter. Evergreens can include cultivars of Arborvitae, Cypress, False Cypress, Yew, Boxwood, Holly (Inkberry), Juniper, Pine, Rhododendron/Azalea, Spruce, Fir, Hemlock, Mountain Laurel, Euonymus, and more. They come in a wide array of hues, sizes, shapes, and textures to appear traditional or contemporary, subdued or showy, formal or informal.
Evergreens can be used for wind shelter, noise muffling, air cleaning, and as a subdued backdrop to a garden’s more ephemeral plants. They can be very effective as specimen plants, ground covers, or for hiding ugly areas, such as cement foundations. In winter, they take center stage and help to maintain appeal, bringing much-needed color and life to our sleeping landscapes. They are also an essential source of food and shelter for wildlife.
But New England gardeners most often value evergreens for their ability to serve as a four-season privacy screen from neighbors. Robert Frost was on to something. Good hedges make good neighbors.
Which Evergreens Make Good Hedges?
We have these taller, upright evergreens in stock right now for a Seacoast Zone 5-6 hedge. If you are looking to create a natural barrier or perimeter, these particular evergreens are good choices. We have signs placed by each plant detailing their characteristics and preferences. Give us a call or come on in if you want any advice on hedging choices.
Green Giant Western
Spring Grove Western
Kotobuki Japanese Black
Pioneer Silvery Pink