Hedges provide natural screens and living borders around property lines, homes and buildings, walkways and driveways. You can also plant hedges to form walls or barriers within your landscape, such as around a garden or patio area. Selecting fast-growing shrub varieties will speed up the time needed to create the wall, and evergreen hedges provide colour all year long.
Abelia (Abelia grandiflora) is a fast-growing evergreen shrub that can grow to a mature height and width ranging from 3 to 6 feet. This shrub's form is dense, spreading, multi-stemmed and rounded with curving branches. Abelia grows best in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness Zones 6 to 9, in locations with full sun to partial shade. The shiny, dark-green leaves turn bronze and then red in the winter, and tiny fragrant flowers remain on the shrub from summer to the first frost.
Cherry laurel (Prunus caroliniana) is a fast-growing evergreen shrub native to North America that can grow to 40 feet tall with a spread of more than 20 feet. This plant is typically grown smaller in landscapes and can be pruned regularly to form a thick, tall hedge. The cherry laurel features long, leathery, shiny, deep-green leaves. Showy, whitish-grey blossoms emerge in the spring. This plant can be grown as a hedge in Zones 8 to 10.
Blue Vase Juniper
Blue Vase Juniper (Juniperus chinensis "Blue Vase") is one of numerous juniper varieties that are fast-growing evergreen shrubs that work well as hedge. This shrub produces branches filled with dense scalelike foliage in blue-grey-greenish colours that form a tall vase-shape. Heights range from 4 to 5 feet tall, with widths from 3 to 4 feet. Blue vase juniper grows best in Zones 3 to 9 in sites with full sun and good drainage.
Japanese pittosporum (Pittosporum tobira) is also called tobira and Japanese mock orange, because the blossoms that appear in the spring on the shrub put off an aroma that is comparable to a sweet orange. The broad-leaf evergreen shrub is fast-growing and adaptable to many soil conditions, but will not tolerate damp environments for long. The Japanese pittosporum grows best in Zones 8 to 10 and can be sheared into formal or informal hedges.
- Texas A & M University: Medium to Large Shrubs
- North Carolina State University: Shrubs: Abelia
- University of Florida: Prunus Caroliniana: Cherry-Laurel; Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson; November 1993
- North Carolina State University: Shrubs: Juniperus Chinensis 'Blue Vase'
- Floridata: Pittosporum Tobira
- Clemson University; Pittosporum; Karen Russ; March 2007