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Instant Hedging; The Ultimate Landscaping Materials

13/10/2020 - Featured Products

Hedges have been a feature of British gardens for generations – and presumably of the countryside for even longer than that. It’s little wonder, for the benefits of a good hedge go far beyond a boundary marker.

  • Excellent wind break.
  • Sunshade.
  • Dense privacy barrier.
  • Great at deterring intruders.
  • Wildlife interest.
  • A source of food for insects, birds and even humans.
  • Defines boundaries and creates outdoor rooms.
  • Lends structure to the garden.
  • Creates a microclimate.
  • A great tool in the art of hide and reveal.
  • Absorbs noise and muffles sound from beyond the garden.
  • Filters pollution from the air.
  • Produces oxygen for us to breathe.
I could go on – but I’m sure you already have half a dozen more reasons of your own to love hedges.


Laurel hedging installed by Craig McGibbon Landscapes
Instant laurel hedge installed by Craig McGibbon

The one disadvantage of of using hedges as landscaping materials, is that they take so long to grow. Realistically, bare root hedging plants take 3-5 years to create a dense, impenetrable hedge. Fortunately, I have the perfect solution to that problem. Instant hedging.

Instant Hedging Solutions – Achieve Your Perfect Hedge Within Hours Not Years.

As you know, I’m forever looking out for innovative landscaping materials that save time on site. A few years ago, I stumbled across a farmer who had diversified his business into growing instant hedging.  He had dedicated a large area of prime agricultural land, fenced it to keep out deer and rabbits and set about perfecting his growing methods. Quite a financial investment on his behalf, but this particular gentleman is passionate about sustainability, ecology and environment and he wanted to produce something useful, beneficial and 100% British. I think he’s achieved all 3 of his aims.

As an added bonus, the farm is in an area of low employment – this enterprise has created jobs, and those jobs have stayed secure during the COVID crisis. Which is what I like to hear.

What is Instant Hedging?

Instant hedging really does do what the name suggests. My farmer friend grows thousands of linear metres of hedge in his fields. Each hedge is established in a long trough which is lined with a permeable geotextile.  He feeds the plants, nurtures them, trims them twice a year and irrigates when necessary. After 5 years, he has beautifully presented hedges which can be harvested in sections without disturbing the roots.
As a landscaper, what you receive is literally, a whole hedge in 2.4 metre lengths. It’s all harvested to order, and as each piece is harvested it’s labelled. So that when your hedge arrives on site, you can see straight away which order they need to be planted in. The result – a seamless and very attractive hedge with no gaps and a nice straight top.

instant hedging production

section of instant hedging ready for dispatch

How to Install Instant Hedging

The one downside of instant hedging is that it MUST be installed on the same day as delivery. It will have been harvested the day before (sometimes same day) and it’s crucial that the roots are not allowed to dry out.
Your job is to make sure that you have a trench ready to receive your hedge BEFORE the lorry turns up. Doesn’t matter if it’s a temporary solution, but those roots are not protected by moisture retaining plastic pots – so they need to be put straight into soil and kept damp.
As you can imagine, a 2.4 metre length of mature hedging is very heavy and a bit unwieldy. You will need mechanical lifting gear to unload the lorry and manoeuvre the plants into place. If you are ordering instant hedging and don’t have a forklift, ask about our machinery hire service. Our prices are very competitive.

Just before planting, loosen the soil at the bottom and sides of your trench so that the roots can easily spread as the plants grow. You could also sprinkle some Mycorrhizal Fungi onto the soil to speed up establishment.

Using your forklift, simply lower each instant hedging section into place. Ensure that the plants are properly upright and backfill with a 50/50 mix of topsoil and compost. Water well and mulch. Keep well-watered for at least 4 weeks and do not let the soil dry out at all for the first 12 months after planting. For an extensive hedge it’s worth installing an irrigation system.

Types of Instant Hedging

Fortunately for the UK’s landscapers and garden designers, my farmer friend has nurtured a wide range of instant hedging species – 13 of them in fact -  all of which are available to order online on the Arbour Landscape Solutions website.

Each species can be supplied as 1.2m high, 1.5m or 1.8m and I’m sure, given enough notice, he can accommodate other heights. Did I mention that delivery lead times for standard height hedges is 3-5 working days?

Top 3 Best-selling Instant Hedging Varieties

Mixed Native Instant Hedging

sloe berries and haws on mixed native instant hedging

A favourite with landscapers and landowners, mixed native instant hedging creates an informal but beautiful hedge. 5 native species of hedging plant intermingle to give a mix of textured leaves, a succession of spring blossoms and a fine show of autumn berries. This is a wildlife haven and don’t be surprised to start seeing insects and birds visiting the hedge within hours of it being planted.

Instant Laurel Hedging

Robust, shiny and highly sought after, this particular type of instant hedging is one of our best sellers. It’s easy to grow, suits most soil types and seems to be particularly good at blocking road noise.

Instant Yew Hedging

A classic and a beauty! There are so many uses for this hedging from boundary hedges to internal garden “walls”. Slow growing and easy to clip into neat, tight and formal shapes. In my opinion, Yew is one of our best architectural plants.

Our Instant Hedging Range