Illusion and Seclusion: Two Less Obvious Reasons for Adding Garden Heges

Why a hedge, one might ask? There are many purposeful, obvious reasons for adding one or more hedges to a garden. One of the most popular and often stated reasons is as a wind barrier, protecting less hardy plants from harsh elements. But a hedge acts not the same as a fence or wall that totally blocks off wind, but rather it will filter and calm wind, in fact causing improved circulation. In so doing,
hedges can create what is known as a sheltered microclimate, which is a sheltered garden area enclosed within the boundaries of one or more hedges. One would see increased plant growth in garden areas protected by hedges, as hedges also prevent the natural actions of wind that cools the air and causes increased and faster water evaporation. Hedges will also prevent other results of heavy winds such as soil erosion and detrimental effects on pollination activity.

Another obvious purpose of garden hedges is in their inherent feature of containment, that is keeping young children and pets in enclosed areas, rather than their being able to roam free or at least wander off from safe play areas. Kids and pets can happily enjoy the confines of a garden area beautifully enclosed by hedges, with an arbor and gate for supervised ingress and egress.

But what of those other, less obvious reasons for adding Hedges to your dream garden?
The obverse of containment, the keeping of someone or something from exiting an enclosed area, is the seclusion provided by Hedges, the keeping of inquisitive eyes, ears, and entire people, from your personal, private area. Use Hedges to create that private area of your garden, when friends and family know not to disturb you and where neighbors will be unable to look over a back fence to check out what
you are up to, and where strangers, solicitors, contractors, real estate agents and political candidates will be unable to invade your privacy with sales pitches and political agendas.

And then there is the ideal of illusion - what that mixture of garden, hedge and imagination can create. Add Hedges to your garden and enjoy your own personal fête galante in Louis XIV's 17th Century French garden adjacent to the Palace at Versailles, or that 18th Century English Garden with its idealized view of nature and where Lords and Ladies meet to drink tea and pontificate about that bothersome lower class, or your own personal White House Rose Garden, where just outside your Oval Office heads of state discuss world events and you conduct press conferences expressing your opinions on any and all issues.

Let your imagination run wild as you choose where to put Hedges, what specific Hedges to acquire, and what plants will front your new hedge backdrops.

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