Hedging versus Wooden FencingFebruary 14, 2017
The important thing to remember, without resigning yourself to unnecessary future upheaval, is that the decision you make about which screen or garden perimeter you choose for your garden is a really important decision and one for the long term, or even lifetime if you’re in your ‘forever home’. You therefore need to consider the lifetime value of the decision, not just the initial outlay or simple monetary implications.
The outlay for a six foot fence panel, cemented in with two eight foot wooden posts may be just £60 for the materials but if you were considering a professional install, the costs could soon stack up into the hundreds. A DIY approach to fence erection requires confidence and patience – accurate measuring and precise leveling, with time to wait for cement to set etc… The end result also requiring staining/weatherproofing, and annual maintenance to retain peak condition. A fence while robust, may also struggle in the harshest of winds/weather conditions, certainly when compared with a robust hedge, so unexpected maintenance issues should also be factored into the equation.
While we appreciate it’s not for everyone, our top pick without question would be a hardy planted natural hedge – something like the wonderful apple green Griselinia littoralis. The initial outlay for a few large 20ltr plants (used to cover the equivalent width of a 6ft fencing panel) may be more expensive in terms of initial outlay (our large, bushy 20ltr Griselinia plants are priced at £35.95 each, with quantity discounts in place for bulk buys), but the lifetime value of the finished hedge is priceless. Aesthetically, as an established hedge, it creates a very pleasing impression, and can be trimmed to any desired height – unrestricted by the limits of a 6ft fencing panel. If you want a 7ft…8ft…9ft screen, you can. The choice is yours. The actual install can be handed over to a gardener/landscaper but is also perfectly manageable by a garden novice – with a bit of manpower behind you.
Once established a bushy hedge requires little maintenance – just an annual hedge cut as desired, and it can withstand harsh conditions, rarely succumbing to the sometimes brutal force of mother nature. In windy Cornwall, this point is particularly important, and all of our hedging options are not only the hardiest, but also able to withstand differing levels of salt-laden winds, whether suited to sheltered inlets near the coast (in the case of Griselinia) or the most exposed clifftop locations (as in the case of Olearia Laxifolia).
If it’s a long term solution to screening that you’re after – an established hedge is definitely the way to go. And if you have time to wait for your hedge to grow and establish you can always opt for smaller plants at a cheaper cost (5ltr Griselinia £9.95 each), rather than buying an ‘instant hedge’ straight off.
Whatever the dilemma, don’t be afraid to take advice and take your time to make the right decision for you and your garden.