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Deciding On a Hedge or a Fence

Updated on May 29, 2014

Wall of Greenery



I was recently faced with the choice of either planting a hedge or putting up a fence.

I choose to plant a hedge as I decided it would make a better backdrop for the garden I was in the early stages of designing. my garden and there was already a nice white picket fence along the front of the section but we needed something to give us more privacy on a side boarder.

I sometimes do think my husband would have preferred to just put up a fence especially as we now realise it may take some time for out hedge plants to grow. However I still believe the hedge when fully grown and clipped will look better than a fence.

A hedge Can Be Trimmed to For Effect


How do You Choose ? - First Lets Take a Look at The Hedge

You are thinking that you may prefer a hedge over a fence. As I recently came to this conclusion. It took some thought and time to act and I look forward to enjoying my hedge when it finally grows. However I am finding the process rather slow. In training the hedge you also need to trim off the height in the early days to encourage the plants to thicken from the base. This making any progress seem even slower.

At the beginning I was held up with decisions to make. it seems there are many plants to choose from that are suited to hedge planting. It took not days or weeks but a couple months before I finally settled on the plants. There is so much to consider.

What you need to consider before starting your Hedge

  • What hedge plants are available and what will grow well in your area.
  • What appeals to you, remember hedge plants come in many shapes, forms and leaf sizes and shades.
  • How high will it grow and will this height meet your needs.
  • Will the plant be ok in the position you want to grow it in. eg is the ground dry, sunny, shady, too much wind etc.
  • Will the hedge have lots berries or flowers. Do you like the flowers or are the berries poisonous etc.
  • Maybe you want to attract local birds in which case a local native plant may be the answer.
  • Do you want an edible fruiting hedge.?

I believe that thought should go into any new garden planting and something as important as a hedge should take some planning.

Once you have finally decided on a plant you then face another question.

If the plant you have is slow growing you may be waiting for sometime to enjoy your hedge. The other option is to buy larger plants if they are available to get a head start. Or if you really do want a hedge in the long term yet you need a fence to keep in animals etc you could put up a temp wire fence along side your new hedge plantings.

Buying larger plants would increase the cost. However this would still work out cheaper than putting up a fence.

A well kept hedge looks great and can incorporate a formal look and blend in well with the rest of the garden.


Then You May Be Thinking Of a Fence

You have decided that you do want a barrier of some sort you have looked into a hedge but are thinking that maybe you would prefer a fence. Lets take a look.

Again there are lots of things to consider before putting up a fence.

  • What so you need from a fence do you want privacy, effect, security
  • What appeals to you. There are many types of fences to consider.
  • How big does it need to be.
  • Cost. There is a lot of cost to putting up a fence and you may need to consider all your options and the outcome of materials used etc may come down to cost . You may also have to pay someone to build the fence adding more to the cost.
  • Choosing paint or stain then may become the issue so you can see there is lots to consider.

Perhaps the best thing about a fence is that it goes up quickly and is certainly a lot faster than growing a hedge.

A new fence looks good but will need up keep down the track so it does not become an eyesore. I have noticed in our neighbourhood that there is a lot or houses with wooden fences that have not had any maintenance for a long time and they do nothing for the over all presentation of the property.

When It Comes To Choosing a Hedge Or A Fence

What Do You Think Looks Best

See results

Pros or Cons Hedge Verses Fence

The Hedge

Pros- Is cheaper, looks good when trimmed, blends in with the garden, can change colour with the seasons to add interest to the garden and could even produce edible fruit.

Cons-Can take a long time to grow, needs trimming and upkeep including care of plants. If a plant dies off you will not have perfect hedge. A hedge looks messy if un kept.

The Fence

Pros- Goes up fast, looks good when new, Huge choice in materials and colours.

Cons-Costly to put up, Needs maintenance over time. Fences have been know to cause disputes with neighbours also another thing to consider.

Add Interest With Your Fence Or Hedge

Add Interest to a hedge by using a mix of different types of materials.
Add Interest to a hedge by using a mix of different types of materials. | Source
You can add height and interest to a hedge by selective trimming.
You can add height and interest to a hedge by selective trimming. | Source


It does come down to what you can afford and what suits you best.

A hedge could grow higher than the height restriction of a fence. But a hedge takes a long time to grow where as the fence will go up quickly.

The Hedge will need trimming to keep it looking good.

The Fence may need maintenance also with cleaning and painting from time to time.

There are pros and cons with both.

Note - You can buy large ready grown hedges but at cost however this may be another way of getting the look you desire instantly.

A good way to decide is to check out lots of hedges and different types of fences when you are out and about or as you drive around.


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