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Hedging out the neighbours

You might be on good terms with your neighbours, but you possibly don’t wish to see them (or have them see you) all the time.

A simple solution for optimising your privacy is to install a screening hedge, which will keep both you and your neighbours happily secluded, while softening the look of your gardens.

Before choosing what plants to use for the hedge, there are a few questions to be considered, such as:

– Is the planting location in full sun or shade?
– How tall should the screen grow?
– Is the space narrow and restricted?
– Will the area have a formal or relaxed design?
– How will it be maintained?
– Is it just for privacy, or are you also looking for a filter for dust, noise and pollution?

Once you have answered these questions, visit your local nursery to find what plant materials are suitable. Some of the more popular hedge plants in Australia include Lilly Pilly (Syzygium smithii), Murraya, or Mock Orange (Murraya paniculata) and Box (Buxus), though these are generally low-growing plants.

For more height, consider Sweet Viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum), or several varieties of Pittosporum which will provide taller cover. A colourful favourite is Photinia Robusta – a dense tall hedge with striking red new growth.

A fast-growing, tall hedge plant is Leightons Green (Leylandii), but beware – it has earned the nickname ‘the spite hedge’ for good reason, as it grows very tall and dense, blocking out sunlight and views in neighbouring gardens. For this reason, many councils have legislated against its use. Leylandii are generally not a friendly plant in your garden, either, as they tend to create a mono-climate and deter other plants from growing around them. On the other hand, if kept well-trimmed Leightons Green offers an excellent, dense-growing, versatile hedge.

Bamboo makes a great hedging plant for a narrow space, as it will grow tall yet dense. Just make sure you plant the non-invasive clumping species, else it will take over your garden and the neighbours’.

Keep in mind that screening hedges are typically composed of just one kind of plant, which can create the perfect condition for the rapid spread of disease. A single infected plant may spell demise for an entire row.

An ideal screen, therefore, would actually consist of a variety of plant material. While this might not be ideal for formal plantings, it is quite suitable for most other garden landscapes.

About Adam Nobel

CEO | Principal
M. Bus, Grad Dip Adv, B.Int Bus, LREA


0417 007 001

Adam is the founder and Principal of Hugo Alexander Property Group. With a previous career in advertising, 22 years experience in property investment, and 16 years in Brisbane real estate, he knows the market inside out to ensure his clients grow their wealth faster.

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