There are two ways fo growing hedges- formal hedge and informal hedge. While selecting hedge plants you need to consider which hedge style the garden will have. Formal hedges are created with evergreen hedge plants and need frequent and careful pruning of hedge plants to keep that maintained look. Informal hedges can be created with any type of hedge plants, however berberies and roses are popular choice. Informal hedge does not need frequent pruing to maintain shape. The pruning is needed only to tidy up overgrown plants.
Hedge plants for a formal hedge
Crataegus oxyacantha: Quick, Hawthorn, deciduous, non-flowering as hedge plants
Carpinus betulus: Hornbeam, deciduous, looks like beech and is slightly hardier hedge plant
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana: Law-son’s Cypress, evergreen Conifer, available in green, blue-green, grey-green and yellow.
Euonymus japonicus: evergreen, good as seaside and shade hedge plants
Fagus sylvatica: Beech, deciduous, brown leaves in winter, copper and purple foliage also available
Griselinia littoralis: evergreen, yellow-green, thick, leathery leaves, good as seaside hedge plant
Ilex aquifolium: Holly, evergreen, prickly shiny leaves, sometimes red berries
Ligustrum ovalifolium: Privet, evergreen but brown in severe cold
Lonicera nitida: evergreen, tiny oval leaves, dense hedge plants
Cupressocyparis leylandii: Ley-land’s Cypress, evergreen Conifer, green and gold forms available
Prunus cerasifera: Myrobalan or Cherry Plum, deciduous, quick-growing, can be ‘laid’
P. laurocerasus: Laurel, evergreen hedge plants
P. spinosa: Blackthorn or Sloe, deciduous, very tough, prickly
Taxus baccata: Yew, evergreen Conifer, similar to Chamaecyparis.
Thuja plicata: Arborvitae, evergreen Conifer, similar to Chamaecyparis
The cheapest and toughest of these are Hawthorn, Privet and Blackthorn; Yew and Holly are slow-growing and expensive hedge plants.
Hedge plants for an informal hedge
Acer negundo: ‘Elegans’ yellow-variegated foliage
Betula pendula: ‘Youngii’ weeping Silver Birch, white bark, yellow autumn foliage hedge plants.
Camellia x williamsii :’Donation’ pink flowers in spring, evergreen
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana : ‘Columnaris’, evergreen, narrow, slow-growing
C. obtusa: ‘Crippsii’ yellow foliage ‘evergreen’, conical, slow-growing hedge plants.
Cupressus macrocarpa: ‘Golden Pillar’, columnar, yellow foliage hedge plants.
Eucryphia x nymansensis: ‘Nym-nasay’, white flowers August-September
Elaeagnus pungens: ‘Maculata’, ever-green leaves with yellow centres
Hydrangea macrophylla:’ Blue Wave’, heads of blue flowers in summer
Leycesteria formosa: hanging clusters of magenta flower-heads with white flowers, wine-purple berries on hedge plants.