Types of Hedgerows
The most popular images of hedgerows range from the bushy ribbons strewn across the English countryside to the meticulously shorn walls of French gardens to towering rows of Cyprus trees lining ancient Tuscan roads. But a hedgerow can really be any group of plantings that serves a specific purpose. Rebecca Knapp, a landscape architect based in Denver, likes to create hedgerows with more than the standard varietals -- for example, using tall grasses. “A hedgerow of ornamental grasses is a more fluid, less obvious way to screen a view. The grasses are kinetic as they blow in the breeze,” says Knapp.
Many groups these days are touting hedgerows for their environmental benefits. To the Humane Society of the United States, a hedgerow is all about biodiversity, creating a home for everything from butterflies to bats. According to the Humane Society’s Web site, residential hedgerows can play in important role in bird migration: “In the stripped landscape of autumn, birds use hedgerows as full-service rest stops on their routes -- offering both food and protective shelter. Nonmigratory birds profit from this food and shelter as well. Planting just one or two rows of berry-bearing shrubs can attract more than 90 species of birds.”