By Larry Hodgson
It’s easier to justify the cost of installing a hedge if it not only provides a visible barrier or boundary for your property, but also something to put on the table.
So, when you’re considering hedge possibilities, you should include not only strictly ornamental shrubs, but also edible ones.
Here are some examples of temperate climates plants that will provide a useful hedge with edible benefits:
|Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)||Shoot|
|Blueberry, bilberry, cranberry, huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.)||Fruit|
|Chokeberry (Aronia spp.)||Fruit|
|Currant, blackcurrant, gooseberry (Ribes spp.)||Fruit|
|Dwarf Cherry (Prunus tomentosa)||Fruit|
|Elderberry (Sambucus spp.)||Fruit, flower|
|Goji (Lycium barbarum)||Fruit|
|Haskap, honeyberry (Lonicera caerulea)||Fruit|
|Hazel, filbert (Corylus spp.)||Nut|
|Mahonia, Oregon grape (Mahonia spp.)||Fruit|
|Plum (Prunus spp.)||Fruit|
|Rose (Rosa spp.)||Fruit|
|Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)||Fruit|
|Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.)||Fruit|
Rosa rugosa was one of the first shrubs I planted here in zone 5. It’s a beautiful care-free rose that produces large rose hips that people and birds can eat. We treat it much as you would Rose of Sharon. Plant it where you can mow all around it – this way you can prevent it from popping up where you don’t want it. It makes a great looking rose hedge and the best part is it requires no spraying or fertilizer. Plus you can leave the rose hips for the birds to eat over the winter.
Would you be able to suggest hedge plants that don’t sucker? There’s a 30 year-old lilac privacy hedge around my pool (zone 4, full sun), and while it does its job and is heavenly when it blooms, I’m forever fighting suckers. And forget trying to underplant it with anything, those suckers grow right through ?
Actually, most hedge shrubs don’t sucker. I don’t have time to make a list, but you could check before you buy them. There are even many lilacs that don’t sucker… although the common lilac can be a real monster!
‘Meyer’ lemon works nicely, but needs to be pruned into shape. (It is shrubbier than other citrus.) In our mild climate, deciduous plants are not used for hedges. Only very old landscapes include hedges that are deciduous.
In colder climates, there really aren’t many evergreen hedge plants except conifers, none of which are particularly edible.
Lilacs, dogwood, willows and buffaloberry are all good hedge plants
Certainly, but not too edible.
We have 7 honeyberry bushes and they are sooooo slow growing. The fruits are very delicious. First fruits in spring too.