The benefits of instant hedges - Building NZ
The benefits of instant hedges

The benefits of instant hedges

Planting an instant hedge will instantly transform any garden, creating an alluring living wall and the feel of a mature garden immediately...

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Planting an instant hedge will instantly transform any garden, creating an alluring living wall and the feel of a mature garden immediately. Here’s six other benefits of bypassing years of growing a hedge and instead choosing to plant one that’s already grown.

If you’re craving privacy in an outdoor area, or you’ve just built a stunning home but the landscaping leaves something to be desired, an instant hedge can offer a variety of benefits, from an aesthetically pleasing vivid green screen to a living wall that filters wind and pollutants. Here’s the top six benefits of an instant hedge.

Creating outdoor rooms with Living Walls™ instant hedges from Twining Valley Nurseries

1. Create immediate character

Instant hedges are fully formed, mature hedges that have been tended to at the nursery. When purchased, they are ready to install and offer immediate impact. The alternative is purchasing immature hedging plants. “Growing a hedge to heights of one, two or three metres can take up to seven years depending on the variety chosen,” Twining Valley Nurseries’ Lisa Bowman says. “If you’re wanting to create character that can be a long time to wait, which is why pre-grown instant hedges are a sought after option.


“This is particularly relevant when buying a newly built property or moving into one you have just built. In the majority of new builds, the house itself is completely finished but the landscaping is generally left to the end of the process. This means people are moving into properties with incomplete and immature gardens that will take years to become established and offer the desired aesthetics.”


2. Provide the ‘bones’ of the landscaping

Instant hedges can be used to create outdoor rooms, privacy screens, to delineate a property’s boundary, or to create a sense of layering in the planting. “A hedge often provides the backdrop and the framework for the rest of the garden,” Lisa says. “This is especially true if you have more than one type of hedge in a garden. For example, you may have a smaller buxus hedge planted along the sides of a pathway, or as garden edging, as well as a hedge running along the boundary for privacy. By having these two heights, the sense of depth in an outdoor area is intensified, and the garden feels mature from the outset, even if other planting is still getting established.” To create more layering in a landscape design, planters can be used for instant hedging. “This is a great idea if there is a deck or patio area that requires definition or greenery but there is limited planting space. It also allows for that real sense of depth by having different heights of planting that would otherwise take years if plants were grown from infancy.”

3. Delineate the boundary and create instant privacy

Instead of, or in conjunction with, hard landscaping such as fencing or boundary walls, instant hedging can be used to define a property’s boundary. “In many cases, there are covenants or requirements that mean a property owner cannot install a fence or wall that exceeds a certain height. In heritage-listed properties in particular, this can often be quite restrictive. However, these types of regulations don’t generally include hedges or other planting. 

“In situations like this, planting an instant hedge can solve two problems at once: the provision of privacy if it is required; and, a solution to stringent covenants or regulations.”


4. Green the views

As higher density living becomes more normal in New Zealand, the obvious result is smaller section sizes. “For those living in homes with smaller sections, it’s more common than ever to find that its occupants have designed beautiful interiors, but they are looking out onto a fence or neighbouring property, which immediately reduces the charm of the home. Replacing or covering that fence with a Living Walls™ can change the entire experience of the home,” Lisa says.


“It’s hard to put a value on the ability to look out the window and enjoy the beauty of a vibrant living screen as opposed to hard landscaping.”


5. The best of both worlds: combining walls and hedges

In the case that there is a wall or fence of some aesthetic value, instant hedging still offers a variety of choices to complement an outdoor area. “Pleached hedges - those with a clear trunk and foliage trained into a dense hedge at a higher level - can be used to create a stunning statement. Often these are used when there is a wall or fence that has an element of interest. That element can be highlighted between the clear trunks, while the trained foliage at the top serves to provide the element of greenery.

Screening the road but not the view with Living Walls™ instant hedges from Twining Valley Nurseries

“Pleached hedges are also generally sold at higher heights than other types of instant hedging,” Lisa says. “This makes them particularly popular for clients who want instant privacy, because they have a screen that is over two metres tall when it is planted. To add further height, pleached hedges can also work well in raised planters.”


6. Create a wildlife haven and a wind barrier

An instant hedge provides an immediate haven for wildlife, creating a unique ecosystem for local fauna. “Hedges also naturally create an effective wind and sound barrier, particularly if a denser species is chosen. They also help to filter pollution, which is a sought after quality - especially in urban areas with busy roads,” Lisa says.


Twining Valley Nurseries offers a range of instant hedges, ranging from low-growing buxus hedges to tall-growing, pre-grown hedges, and pleached screens reaching more than two metres in height when purchased. Find out more about the benefits of instant hedges

Heritage zoning privacy with Living Walls™ instant hedges by Twining Valley Nurseries
Recommended reading