Conifers especially Leyland have not always been the most popular conifer over the years as without maintenance they can quickly become to big and out of control in small gardens. But with the right maintenance and care they can be a great asset to a garden, giving privacy and framing your garden with beautiful evergreen foliage providing a dense screening all year round.
To keep a conifer hedge looking its best we recommend pruning yearly which should be done on a dry day in spring or mid-summer to prevent disease and dieback, a little tip - for best results pruning on a dry day applies to nearly all plants.
Many other conifer varieties are also suitable for hedging especially when grouped together. For example, Thuja commonly known as western red Cedar is a great alternative to Leyland as it creates a thick hedge that can be cut back hard when necessary.
The trusty Leyland has its place and with the right maintenance and care can create a stunning hedge in a relatively short space of time making it still one of the best trees if you are looking to create screening and privacy in the garden quickly.
But if you are looking for something different here are a couple of our favourites:
Thuja occidentalis 'Brabant' is an evergreen conifer with reddish-brown bark and a conical shape that can also form a dense hedge. The yellowish-green foliage turns slightly bronze in autumn.
Thuja plicata 'Aurea' foliage is a bright golden colour so it can be used to add a luminous backdrop to larger borders. An invaluable plant for the winter garden, it adds a touch of warmth when the foliage takes on a richer orange hue as the temperatures drop.
Thuja occidentalis 'Danica Aurea' is a slow-growing, evergreen, dwarf coniferous shrub forming a dense globose bush of bright green upright sprays of foliage, tinged bronze in winter.
Podocarpus 'County Park Fire' is a very interesting dwarf conifer changing from green-bronze in autumn to dark reddish in winter to spectacular pinky-orange with new shoots in spring and summer.
Cupressus 'Leylandii' often referred to simply as leylandii is a fast-growing coniferous evergreen tree much used in horticulture, primarily for hedges and screens.