What hedge should I plant? (City and suburbs)

Shoud I plant a hedge around my garden? There are reasons for and against this. On the one hand, hedges provide privacy, shelter and a sense of enclosure. However, they also can present a blank facade to the streetscape, they can block views out and make your garden feel smaller. They are one option to consider. Bear in mind that informal clusters of planting provide the same screening but also provide more texture  and variation for the resident inside and the neighbour outside.

Here are some images of hedges in the suburbs around Dublin and Wicklow which may give you an idea of what you like. Most of these plants are available to buy online on this website at a very competitive price.

A nicely clipped beech hedge (Fagus sylvatica) just before leaf-burst in April (Booterstown, Co Dublin). Note the sloping top profile.

A nicely maintained hedge of Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), seen here outside Belfast, can make an attractive hedge anywhere, blending well with traditional houses and providing great nesting and feeding opportunities for small birds. It should be clipped after the berries have disappeared so that the next yeras crop of flowers and berries in not affected.


Beech hedge (Fagus sylvatica) in Dublin 8 in summer.

A graceful arching, informal hege of Spiraea arguta, April, Booterstown, Co Dublin.

A very unusual hedge of clipped Rosemary in Ranelagh, Dublin 6, late March. Requires a sunny, well-drained site.


A formal and dense hede of Yew (Taxus bacatta) in Ranelagh, Dubin 6.


A hedge of Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price' in a garden by Howbert and Mays in Belfast. This is a great evergreen hedge which is attractive, fast-growing, relatively compact and trouble-free.


A highly unusual 'hedge on legs' ('pleached') of Viburnum tinus in Bray, Co Wicklow. Allows light lower down, but provides evergreen screening at eye level.


A low box hedge used at the base of building in Trinity College, Dublin, with English lavender in the foreground.


Another nice Box hedge (Buxus sempervirens) used to make a formal yet relaxed garden in Dublin 8.


A reliable and traditional hedging plant: Privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium). When kept clipped and with a good profile, a privet hedge can be very attractive.


A hedge made out of Phyllostachys bissetii (bamboo) in Mount Merrion, Co Dublin. Seek specialist advice from us before planting bamboos in large quantities, as some varieties get disfigured by wind, can be invasive or require particular soil.


Prunus laurocerasus (Cherry laurel) has leathery, dark-bright green leaves and is very tough. However, because of the large size of the leaves it works better as a larger hedge. Best planted as root-ball plants during the autumn and winter.

We planted this hedge of Phyllostachys nigra in Dublin City Centre a few years ago where we needed a dense but narrow screen to what was then a car park in the adjoiing garden. Plant c 2.5 plants per metre. Bamboos can look unsightly in late winter / early spring, if exposed to dry east winds. However, they do make excellent hedges and screens.

Phyllostachys aurea makes a useful hedge or screen, such as this one here in Dublin City Centre. This one has been clipped into a box profile. Plant c 2.5 per linear metre. Not suitab le for exposed areas.

Cotoneaster horizontalis is perfect for railings or low walls, where it can grow up one side and down the other. An exceptionally low-maintenance hedge, with masses of berries and small white flowers.


A hedge of clipped Phyllostachys aurea in Rathgar / Ranelagh, Dublin 6.


Olearia hedge, Greystones, Co Wicklow

A hedge of Olearia traversii between car parking spaces in Charlesland, Greystones, Co Wicklow. This evergreen hedge grows very well near the sea and can be kept clipped or allowed to grow taller.


Lavender hedge, Sandycove, Co Dublin

A hedge of English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is perfect for beside a sunny path, as the fragrance is released when the foliage is brushed against. Varieties such as 'Hidcote' and 'Munstead' are best as they remain more compact. Lavender should be lightly trimmed once or twice annually, when the flowers have dried out, to keep it compact.