Formal Garden DesignTraditional Landscape, Chicago
Formal Garden Design
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3. Hedge plants. A hedge is most easily made from columnar trees or upright shrubs. Plants that make great hedges respond to pruning by becoming more dense. Planting tips. To form a continuous hedge, space plants about half their mature width apart to provide full screening when pruned. For example, an English yew (Taxus baccata) that grows to a mature width of 10 feet should be planted 5 feet on center. (On center refers to the measurement between the plants’ root base.)Example species:Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis, zones 2 to 8), native to the upper Midwest, eastern U.S. and eastern CanadaCarolina laurelcherry (Prunus caroliniana, zones 8 to 10), Native from Texas east to North CarolinaYew plum pine (Podocarpus macrophyllus, zones 8 to 11), native to Japan and eastern China
Green room. Take the idea of an outdoor room to the next level by planting a tall hedgerow to form the walls and place benches in the room. For a whimsical touch, trim some of the hedges lower in sections to look like additional benches. Add a tree or two to provide shade, making the outdoor space more comfortable.
Shrubs maintained as a clipped hedge, as shown here, are a literal interpretation of walls or fences and create a formal feel. Select plants with a dense branching structure; boxwood (Buxus spp), yew (Taxus spp) and privet (Ligustrum spp) are traditional favorites, but I’ve also seen stunning hedges of quince (Chaenomeles spp). Formal hedges will need to be sheared annually — or even more often — to maintain their crisp shape. A plant with an ultimate mature size that is similar to that of your desired hedge will be easier to maintain in the long run. It’s important for the health of your plants to trim them into a wedge shape, with the base slightly wider than the top.Find a reliable landscaper on Houzz