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Fast hedges for privacy

Sweet viburnum
Slender Weaver’s bamboo

Can your neighbours see into your backyard? Or perhaps you have an ugly fence that you want to hide? Plant a hedge! Depending on your tastes, there are a variety of hedging plants to choose from, however, if you’re looking for a screen quick-smart, then you’ll need to look for faster growing plant types.

Whether you just find them pleasing to look at, or you just want a bit more privacy from those nosy neighbours, hedges can be a great alternative to building a fence. Add some privacy to your garden with these fast-growing plants that are not only perfect for a natural screen but also add depth and dimension to your garden. Here are some great choices to get you covered.

1. Sweet viburnum:

Aspect: Full sun/part shade

Height: 3-4m

Width: 3-4m

Incredibly fast growing, sweet viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum) has luscious dark green leaves that are adorned with fragrant white flowers during the warmer months. The dense, tightly packed foliage makes it ideal as a privacy screen. As a bonus, you can also use the foliage as a filler for an indoor cut flower display.

2. Slender Weaver’s bamboo:

Aspect: Full sun

Height: 6-8m

Width: 1-1.5m

Most people tend to shy away from bamboo, but choose the right type and you’ll be growing with a wonderful green screen. Looking for clumping types, like slender weaver’s bamboo (Bambusa textilis var. gracilis) — its slim-line culms will form an attractive living wall within a few years.

Tip: Remove the lower stems and foliage to raise the ‘canopy’ for a more formal look.

3. Murraya

Aspect: Full sun

Height: 2-3m

Width: 1-1.5m

With its glossy green foliage and perfumed white flowers that appear at various times throughout the year (bonus!), murraya (Murraya paniculata) is a classic hedge that deserves a spot in your garden. It’s quite fast-growing, but you can keep it at its desired height with regular pruning.

4. Pittosporum ‘Silver Sheen’

Aspect: Full sun

Height: 4-5m

Width: 2-2.5m

Often referred to as an ‘instant hedge’, Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Silver Sheen’ is a little different — its leaves are more silvery-green than your traditional options, and they’re also set against a backdrop of dark stems, making for a beautiful contrasting feature. Plus, it can tolerate coastal conditions and even shaded positions, too.

Top tips for hedges:

Take the time to improve your soil prior to planting. Remove weeds and add organic matter, like Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food.

If your soil is clay-based, help break it up with gypsum. If it’s heavy clay, consider mounding the soil.

Dig holes or a trench, roughly twice the width of the root ball and just a little deeper than the pot.

To ensure you have a dense hedge with no straggly gaps, you will need to plant close, but not too close.

A good rule of thumb is to multiply the height of the plant by 0.3. For example, if your hedge is 1.5m high, then you should space them 45cm apart.

Once planted, lightly trim all over to encourage new growth. Regularly prune to encourage a dense, bushy habit.

Feed in autumn and spring with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food to encourage strong new growth. — Courtesy of Yates