You can hide a less than desirable view or create a private garden haven by growing a living screen.
Looking at a lush wall of greenery is much more soothing than being able to see into your next door neighbour's living room or watching traffic whiz past your house. Hedges can also help protect you from prying eyes and turn your outdoor areas into a sanctuary. OzBreed is an Australian company that specialises in a wide range of reliable and low maintenance landscaping plants, including plants that are perfect for growing as hedges.
Here are some of our favourites:
Dense Fence™ Viburnum - A lush and dense variety of sweet viburnum that grows to around 3.5 m tall and 2 m wide. It can be left unpruned or trimmed down to 2.5 m tall. It's quick growing and wonderfully leafy and the new foliage has a subtle red tinge. Dense Fence™ requires less pruning than common viburnum and will tolerate light frosts once established. You can also grow Dense Fence™ in a pot.
Thin Red™ Photinia - Photinia has long been used as a hedge, however some can grow quite wide, making them challenging to manage in smaller backyards. Thin Red™ is an excellent choice for narrow spaces as it only grows 60 cm wide but still creates an effective 3 - 4 m high screen. Doing best in full sun or part shade, it has striking new red growth in spring and small white flowers in mid to late spring.
Sweet Privacy™ Murraya - Needing less pruning than the common Murraya, Sweet Privacy grows up to 2.5 m tall and 1.5 m wide and has delightfully fragrant white flowers in spring and also late summer and early autumn. It can be grown in full sun or part shade and makes a perfect potted plant too.
Australian Native Options
Straight and Narrow™ Syzygium - this psyllid resistant lilly pilly is very slender, only growing 1 - 1.5 m wide. It has dense foliage and white flowers, followed by attractive pink-red fruit. It can be left
to reach up to 8 m tall (so is ideal when you need a tall screen) or can be pruned down to 2 m. Straight and Narrow does best in moist, well-drained soil in full sun to shade.
Slim™ Callistemon - with a stunning display of bright red bottle brush flowers during spring, summer and late autumn, this unique callistemon only grows to 1.3 m wide and 3 m tall. Slim™ is drought and frost tolerant and is a hardy hedge choice for tight planting spaces.
Planting & Maintenance Tips
Your hedge is going to be an important part of your garden for years to come, so it's important to give the plants the best possible start. Before planting, nurture and improve the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. Mix Yates Dynamic Lifter into the soil dug from the planting holes and then backfill around the root ball with this enriched soil.
For the best privacy effect, space the plants out as per the plant tag directions. For example, plant one to two Dense Fence™ Viburnum per linear metre and for Slim™ Callistemon one plant per linear metre.
Keep the soil moist for at least the first three months as the plants establish and then a thorough watering each week after that. Applying a mulch of bark chips around the plants will help keep the soil moist.
To promote healthy growth, feed your hedge with Yates Dynamic Lifter every 6 - 8 weeks during the growing and flowering seasons. Yates Dynamic Lifter is safe for feeding Australian native plants.
Hedges can be trimmed as required to keep them to the height and width you need. Regular pruning will also help keep the hedge tidy and promote dense growth. For flowering plants, it's best to prune after flowering has finished.
Hedge Pest Watch
Plants like bottlebrush, viburnum and murraya can be prone to scale infestations, which appear as raised white or brown bumps along the stems or leaves. As soon as scale are noticed, spray scale directly with Yates Scale Gun.
Lilly pillies can be affected by psyllids (pronounced 'sillids') that are small sap sucking insects, which cause permanent pimple-like distortions on new leaves. To help protect leaves from psyllid damage spray foliage with Baythroid Advanced Garden Pest Insect Killer Ready to Use as soon as early psyllid symptoms are noticed. Spray both sides of foliage as psyllids often feed on the underside of leaves.