Plant A Natural Hedge For Berries, Nuts, And Wildlife

A natural hedge is a great way to support wildlife in your garden.

It provides habitat and food for beneficial insects, birds, hedgehogs, lizards and more. All these creatures help to achieve a natural balance in the ecosystem. They only wait to help themselves to caterpillars, slugs, greenflies or mice.

As a result, you will encounter fewer problems with pests and diseases in your garden.

Apart from that, it can produce edible berries, nuts and other useful products like timber and fencing material.

How To Grow  A Natural Hedge


Find A Suitable Spot For A Berry Hedge


A natural berry hedge is particularly suited for boundaries on larger gardens and properties. But even in smaller gardens they can be useful and replace a conventional one species trimmed hedge. You will have to just choose shrubs that will stay smaller and more manageable.


These hedges need less maintenance and care than a conventional hedge because they don't have to be trimmed regularly. The shrubs can be coppiced or thinned every 4-6 years if necessary.

A well-grown berry hedge will provide shelter from the wind and will help to create a microclimate. They can also function as a privacy hedge.

natural hedges attract wildlife

10 Shrubs For A Natural Hedge

Here are 10 shrubs that are suitable for a natural wildlife hedge:

Juneberry - Amelanchier lamarckii

juneberry
  • multi-stemmed large shrub up to 12-15 ft height
  • deciduous
  • white flowers in spring
  • blue, edible berries during the summer
  • nice autumn color

Sea Buckthorn - Hippophae rhamnoides

sea buckthorn
  • deciduous shrub up to 20 ft high
  • silvery foliage
  • thorny
  • orange berries full of Vitamin C and antioxidants
  • nitrogen fixer
  • male and female plants, both are needed for berry production
  • choose named cultivars for best results

Wild Roses - Rosa rugosa

wild roses, rose hips
  • suckering, thorny bush up to 6 ft high
  • deciduous
  • pink or white scented flowers all summer
  • edible orange-red rose hips are also loved by birds
  • check out Rugosa Roses here

Black Chokeberry - Aronia melanocarpa

Black Chokeberry

Hazelnut, Filberts - Corylus sp.

Hazelnuts

Gooseberries - Ribes uva-crispa

gooseberries
  • deciduous, thorny shrub 3-5 ft high
  • green or reddish, juicy berries (depending on the variety you choose)
  • suitable for smaller hedges
  • great fruit for jams, tarts, and eating fresh

Cornelian Cherry, Dogwood - Cornus mas

Cornelian Cherry
  • deciduous shrub up to 20 ft high
  • flowers are an early nectar source for bees
  • choose named cultivar if you are interested in the edible berries
  • good wood for tool handles
  • learn more about dogwood shrubs here

Elderberry - Sambucus nigra

elderberry
  • large deciduous shrub up to 20 ft
  • edible flowers and fruit
  • great for wildlife, especially birds, and insects

Raspberries, Blackberries - Rubus

raspberry

Blueberry - Vaccinium sp.

blueberries

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