Hedge types

The term hedge is often interpreted as a strictly formal garden element in which all the shrubs are geometrically arranged and pruned into a straight line. However, hedges may come in many different and much more varied forms. As a result, their ecological value may significantly increase. These different types of hedges demonstrate the possibilities that can be used for best results in private gardens or in public green areas.

Hedges are an essential ecological element in nature-inspired gardens. They can be planted both in private gardens and in public spaces, and thus act as a natural bridge for the local wildlife. The more space a hedge can take up (width counts too!), the greater its value for hedgehogs, birds, insects and all sorts of other small wildlife.

The more varied it is in terms of structure, and the more different species and varieties of woody plants it encompasses, the more different species of fauna, many of which may be endangered, can find food and shelter in it: diversity attracts diversity!

Some of the most important types of hedges include e.g. privacy hedges, wild-growing hedges, niche hedges and low hedges.

Hedges as visual barriers

Hedges providing a visual barrier, so-called privacy hedges, are any hedges that block unwanted views. These hedges are intentionally established to be quite narrow and dense, so that they can deliver the function of a screen and protect your privacy in the most effective way. The planting distance between each plant in a privacy hedge is 0.75 – 1 m. It is recommended to plant these hedges in two rows with a 1 – 1.5 m gap between each row. A good privacy hedge should consist of various shrub species to form a dense wall of leaves in summer. The two-row hedges, in particular, provide a high degree of visual protection. Thanks to their extremely dense branching they block views even in the winter, when the leaves have fallen off. In highly visually exposed places you can combine privacy hedges with evergreen and coniferous species.

Wild hedges

The wild-growing hedge may become a home for a colourful variety of different shrub species. This is a low-maintenance type of hedge that does not need to grown in a linear and formal way. The freedom of growth allows it to unfold its natural beauty. Wild-growing hedges do not require regular cutting or pruning, however this might be beneficial from time to time. Depending on the space available, wild hedges can be planted in two or more rows, in a zigzag fashion or in a straight line, as anyone wishes. The recommended planting distance is 1.5 – 2 m, as wide-spreading wild species need more space than shrubs growing in formal hedges, so plan wisely before planting. The distance between each row should be at least 1 – 1.5 m.

Niche hedges

Niche hedges also consist of a varied mix of species. Planting a niche hedge means designing the space wisely in order to create so-called niches; literally shelters or protected hiding places. To achieve this, shrubs are planted in clusters not forming a perfectly straight line, creating a string of interconnected habitats.


Low hedges

Low hedges are ideal for smaller spaces or enclosures which can only accommodate limited height of growth. There are many possibilities for establishing 0.5 – 1.5 m tall hedges, providing a good choice of colourful and visually attractive varieties. The tallest shrubs in a low hedge would grow to 2 m maximum. The planting distance for low hedges is 1 – 1.2 m with 0.75 m spacing between each row. Low hedges can be planted in straight or slightly offset lines, or in zigzag pattern.

Together for a healthy tomorrow.