When you think of hedges, you often have the image of accurately pruned, green hedge plants in your mind. No wonder, after all, classics such as the tree of life (Thuja) or false cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) are still among the most popular hedges today. But if you don’t like the evergreen hedges, you don’t have to do without the privacy screen: Flowering hedges are a great eye-catcher in the garden.
Especially their changeability, with which they present themselves anew from season to season, offers the variety that many gardeners miss with evergreen hedges. Besides, flowering hedges are also an enrichment for the variety of species in the garden. For example, the flowers often attract numerous beneficial insects, while birds like to use the hedges as a place of retreat. We have compiled our twelve favorite winter-hardy hedge plants with flowers in this list for you.
1. Common Ninebark
If you don’t feel like going through boring green hedges, you should definitely take a look at the common ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius). For example, the Bladder Spawners ‘Diabolo’ with its blood-red leaves, which look almost black in sunlight, is eye-catching.
Especially from May to June, the flowering hedge forms a dramatic climax when the cream-white flowers open. The red-leaved ‘Diable d’Or’ or the yellow-leaved variety ‘Dart’s Gold’ also impress with their flowers and foliage coloring. The Bladder Pier is also particularly popular because of its absolutely easy-care nature: the flowering hedge is not only one of the best hardy hedge plants but also very robust and, with a height of up to 6.5 feet, forms a reliable screen in summer.
2. Red Flowering Currant
Thanks to its robust nature, the Blood Currant, (the flowering currant, redflower currant, or red-flowering currant) [Ribes sanguineum] is particularly suitable for a free-flowering hedge. This means that the plant requires hardly any care except for regular watering. Besides, the Blood Currant is particularly hardy as a flowering hedge.
Thanks to its dense branching and a growth height of up to 6.5 feet, the plant is also suitable as a privacy screen. The pretty red flowers of the plant appear from April to May and are a magical attraction not only for the eyes but also for insects. As an ornamental form, the blood-red currant only grows sparsely edible fruits, which have a rather sour taste and are therefore rather unpopular with humans. On the other hand, birds are happy about the berries and like to use the hedge as a source of food.
3. Box-Leaved Barberry
It is probably one of the most famous flowering hedge plants: The box-leaved barberry, Dwarf Magellan Barberry (Berberis buxifolia ‘Nana’), has become increasingly popular, especially recently, because it is considered a good and robust substitute for boxwood.
The barberry is particularly suitable for smaller hedges, as it is considered to be very hardy and tolerant of pruning. In May, when the evergreen, flowering hedge shows its golden yellow flowers, it even trumps the boxwood: the flowers are true insect magnets that attract beneficial insects of all kinds. The spherical, black-blue berries, on the other hand, are gladly eaten by birds.
A flowering hedge in winter? Actually, this is not a dream, but rather the Chinese Winter Flowering – wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox). Already in January – in milder winters even before Christmas – the blooming hedge plant shows its full splendor and opens its yellow star-shaped flowers.
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The exotic plant is not only a ray of hope for people in winter: if mild temperatures attract beneficial insects from their quarters, they will find a welcome source of food in the wintersweet. With a height of up to 10 feet and sparse growth, the winter flower is particularly suitable for mixed flowering hedges. However, it needs winter protection in the first few years. But as soon as the wintersweet Hedge has established itself as a flowering hedge, it can withstand temperatures down to 14° F without problems and is therefore considered one of the hardy hedge plants with flowers in most USA regions.
With its intense scent, the lilac, common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) is a welcome guest in many gardens, and not only flatters the nose. As soon as the shrub shows its blue-violet flowers in May, the plant turns into a real feast for the eyes. But not only are people enchanted by the lilac – the rich blossom, which lasts until June, also attract numerous bees and other beneficial insects that find a rich meal. If you are looking for an easy-care flowering hedge, the uncomplicated and hardy lilac is the right choice.
6. Mock Orange
A strong scent of jasmine and an impressive abundance of flowers – no wonder that the mock orange or English dogwood (Philadelphus coronarius) is also called false jasmine. Especially the intense scent of the white flowers, which appear from May to June, makes the flowering hedge a famous garden inhabitant.
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Beneficial insects also love the common pipe shrub – it is not for nothing that it is one of the bee-friendly shrubs. As part of a flowering hedge for privacy protection, mock orange is well suited: in a relatively short time, it can reach impressive heights of up to 13 feet and looks particularly attractive with its slightly overhanging growth and the matt, deciduous leaves.
7. Beauty Bush
Between May and June, the Beauty Bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis) impresses with its light pink, slightly shimmering flower. The romantic glow of its pastel-colored flowers even gave the flowering hedge the pretty sobriquet “mother-of-pearl bush”. But the Beauty Bush is not only a treat for the eyes – when the hedge is in bloom, it exudes a pleasant smell in the garden, which also attracts numerous beneficial insects.
Thanks to its rapid growth, which can be around 12 inches a year, and its particularly robust nature, the flowering hedge is ideal in summer as a quick and easy-care visual protection. On the other hand, it is less suitable as a screen in winter because the flowering hedge is one of the hardy hedge shrubs but slowly loses its leaves in autumn, after a beautiful autumnal coloring.
8. Slender Deutzia
If one wants to talk about flowering hedges, one cannot pass the slender deutzia (Deutzia gracilis). Slender deutzia shrub has a luxuriant pile of star-shaped, small flowers from May to June. During this period, the white-flowering hedge fills the garden with a pleasant sweetish scent, which also attracts numerous bees. With a maximum height of 3.2 feet and its robust nature, the deciduous plant is particularly suitable for creating a small, flowering hedge.
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Roses (pink) are a must in the garden for many people. However, only a few people know that roses can also be wonderfully integrated as a privacy screen in the garden. Indeed, flowering hedges of wild roses, such as the potato rose (Rosa rugosa), or the sand rose (Rosa Mollis) is an excellent alternative to ordinary hedges.
The numerous flowers, whose flowering time can vary greatly depending on the variety, attract not only people but also numerous insects. In fact, wild roses are a good source of food for all kinds of beneficial insects – in contrast to the more common cultivated roses, which are often useless to insects because of their double flowers. In late summer, the flowering hedge will additionally delight you with healthy rose hips, which are equally tasty for humans and many bird species.
If you want not only a nice privacy screen but also a practical one, there is no getting around the blackthorn or sloe (Prunus spinosa) when choosing a hedge. Blackthorn, as the flowering hedge is also called, not only impresses from March to April with its numerous flowers but is also considered to be extremely insect-friendly. Besides, the white flowering hedge exudes a pleasant, sweetish smell.
From late autumn onwards, edible stone fruits appear on the blackthorn, which can be harvested after the first frost. People especially like liqueurs or jams made from the tart and aromatic fruits, birds, on the other hand, like to steal the berries directly from the tree. The deciduous blackthorn is particularly popular in near-natural gardens, as it is not only important bee nourishment and bird protection shrub, but also offers a reliable privacy thanks to its height of up to 16.5 feet and dense growth.
11. Perennial Hibiscus
It is considered a real insider tip among the flowering hedge plants: The perennial hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos) impresses from July to October with its huge bell-shaped flowers. The white, pink, or red flowering hedge not only attracts people’s attention, but it also attracts numerous insects. Thanks to its bushy growth, the evergreen flowering hedge is perfect as a privacy screen for the balcony and garden. Unlike other hibiscus varieties, it is particularly one of the hardy hedge plants with flowers; an established perennial hibiscus can tolerate temperatures as low as -22° F. Only young plants need light weather protection in winter.
12. Weigela florida
Hardly any other flowering hedge plant is as popular as the Weigela florida or Variegata (Weigela florida). This indestructible, permanent flowering plant is considered particularly easy to care for. It is one of the few hedges that bloom almost all year round: From the end of April, the white to pale pink colored flowers open and bloom tirelessly until June. But even in July and even until the first frost, there are always sporadic late blooms. With a height of up to 9.5 feet, the Weigela florida is wonderfully suited as a privacy screen – but the Weigelie must be pruned, preferably regularly; otherwise, it tends to grow old.