Table of contents:
Coniferous hedges have both many advantages and disadvantages. Let's start with the disadvantages. There are few of them. First of all, do not forget that if you live in central Russia, you need to be very careful about the selection of species and forms of conifers for a hedge. Conifers grow slowly and are expensive. Therefore, if one or more plants freeze out in your “green fence” in some severe winter, it will lose its appearance immediately and, most likely, forever.
The second disadvantage of coniferous fences is not so significant: they look the same throughout the year. However, for people who love consistency and have a sense of healthy conservatism, such a fence is even preferable. Of course, we will not have the opportunity to observe how the buds swell on the branches, bright spring greens appear, and in the fall the foliage is painted in yellow-crimson tones. Regardless of the time of year, we will see a monochromatic green wall, but in winter on the site, sheltered from prying eyes by a wall of coniferous plants, is somehow cozier and warmer. And in early spring and late autumn, coniferous plants not only enliven their garden with "non-seasonal" greenery, but also help improve the microclimate on the site. They protect from cold wind, dust, noise and, which is also important, from prying eyes.In summer, a coniferous fence will be an excellent backdrop for many brightly flowering plants.
In short, a coniferous fence is the best choice for those who value stability and reliability above all else. Austerity, monotony, the ability to withstand a haircut well make the coniferous fence a welcome decoration of the garden. These fences look especially good in formal gardens with flat paths, sculptures, fountains and pools. Coniferous fences are always "aristocratic" and, in addition, have at least one more clear advantage over fences made of deciduous plants. They have very dense crowns. In hardwoods, this quality is achieved with the help of special pruning or shearing, while conifers are given by nature. By the way, the feathered inhabitants of the garden also appreciated this property of conifers: they love to build nests in dense coniferous hedges.
Conifers for hedges in central Russia
In central Russia, various varieties of western thuja and common juniper are most often used for hedges. Juniper loves the sun, tolerates drought well, and is resistant to frost. Thuja western shade-tolerant, frost-hardy, not demanding on the soil. Both crops do well to be cut. The main thing is not to be mistaken with the choice of shape. For a hedge, pyramidal and columnar forms of thuja are suitable, but not spherical and dwarf. Most often, thuja varieties such as Columna, Smaragd, Fastigiata, Rheingold are used for hedges. Of the junipers, pyramidal and columnar varieties are also preferred (Hibernica, Suecica, etc.).
It is interesting that you can form a hedge from … spruce. In Russian farmsteads, spruce hedges were once quite popular, but now our gardeners prefer thuja, juniper and even yew, although there can be big problems with the wintering of the latter in central Russia. Spruce, on the other hand, is stable and quite decorative in its unusual role as a shrub.
To create a spruce fence, you need to start "educating" the plants from a tender age. Therefore, for the future hedge, seedlings are taken no higher than half a meter high, planting them at a distance of 40-60 cm from each other. The next year after planting, the plants are pinched, removing up to 2/3 of the annual growth. The operation is repeated in subsequent years. Thanks to this execution, young Christmas trees begin to actively branch out, creating an impenetrable green fence.