Why plant a hedge
Hedges, fences and walls all provide boundaries around our gardens, but hedges have many advantages over the man-made alternatives. Cost Planting a hedge is a DIY project and all you need is a free day, a spade, plants and some compost to give your hedge a good start (unless you're in a rural area where you'll need rabbit guards). A very roughindication of an average hedge cost for 10m is € 245 assuming €8.10 plants with 3 per metre. A wall of the same length and height would cost approx (assuming a builder does it for you) is € 1,160. A fence would be a bit cheaper, perhaps about € 465 So, hedges win hands down, and can last longer than a fence and just as long as a wall. We've designed our website so that you can quickly compare the cost of various hedge plants - some will  be considerably less than we've quoted here, some more, and a lot depends on whether you have the patience to order smaller plants (which are much cheaper) and wait an extra year or two for them to mature. Crime prevention Thorny or spiny hedges are tremendously offputting to burglars. Particularly where your boundary is vulnerable, think about Hawthorn, Pyracantha and Berberis. It is thought that crime rates are lower in green areas and even that people are inclined to drive more slowly down a hedge lined street. Attract insects, butterflies and birds You can hang a bird feeder off a wall, but it doesn't compare with providing a Hawthorn hedge with  luscious red haws in autumn, or the berries on a Spotted Laurel, or Pyracantha or Holly. And beneficial insects love Lavender, Oleaster, and Hawthorn. As well as feeding the birds, butterflies and insects, hedges give shelter. Always check that fledglings have left their nest before clipping your hedge. The occupied nests of all wild birds are protected by law. Wind protection The overwhelming reason to plant a hedge is to provide shelter from winds. Unlike a wall or fence, which divert the wind upwards over the obstruction creating turbulance, a hedge filters and calms it, which leads to improved air circulation and the formation of a sheltered microclimate. In the garden, this gives better growing conditions as a result of warmer soil. In seaside areas, a hedge is particularly useful in reducing salt erosion and damage to foliage from salt and sand. Hiding unattractive features We don't all have great views from every window and a hedge can quickly mature to whatever height is appropriate to block the view of rubbish bins, washing lines, compost heaps, or ugly buildings. This is particularly useful if you need a high screen, when the cost implications of walls and fences becomes even more persuasive in favour of hedges. Framing a feature The dark background of an established hedge can help to focus the gardeners' eye onto the plants in the foreground. Hedges are used by garden designers to help enhance a view and herbaceous borders are shown to best effect in front of a hedge. Low maintenance All hedges require maintenance but fences need to be painted, panels need to be replaced when rotted or wind-damaged and ok, yes walls don't need a lot of maintenance so even we will admit that a wall's got the edge over a hedge when it comes to low maintenance. Think carefully when choosing a hedge about the maintenance requirement - our products section specifies the  frequency of clipping needed. Environmental benefits Dense evergreen hedges are a useful way to reduce noise levels (reduce but not eliminate). The  degree of sound deadening is directly influenced by the height, maturity and density of a hedge, and particularly by the elevation of the source of the noise - a noise from above the garden level being more difficult to reduce. Hedges planted for sound proofing are also known absorb air pollution, particularly useful for near herb and vegetable gardens, childrens' play areas etc. Colour Leaves in shades of green, grey, yellow, cream, lime and copper, blossom, flowers, fruits and berries - carefully chosen hedges will reward the gardener with colour throughout the seasons. House value We have seen research that shows that house prices are higher in streets in green areas. So, get the neighbours to plant a hedge!
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