Plant A Hedgerow

I just received a garden update from the Oregon State Extension Service and read an interesting article on hedgerows. You know, the “hedgerows” they always mention in books set in England or Ireland.

Huh? What? Why was the extension service mentioning this? I don’t think I even knew what the word hedgerow meant until I was in my thirties. It’s hardly a part of our lexicon here in the states (at least the Western states- I don’t know about the East. Do you use this term?).

Well, they got me, and I clicked on the link to see what was up. Apparently, these types of mixed hedges were common years ago and have been disappearing. And since they are great for wild life, they’re encouraging people to think about planting mixed “hedgerows” (or borders, to you and me…) when they are able.

Which made me run out and take a picture of our back border to show you:

This started as a patch of grass complete with raised green septic tank lids, and a cement-floored dog run. Yeah, it was a really nice view to see everyday from the kitchen sink.

Honestly, is it just me? Why did the previous owners live with this view?

Whatever. We got rid of the cement and dog run so fast I didn’t get a before picture. And we started planting a mixed border, oh…sorry, a hedgerow, of laurel, camellia, viburnum, arborvitae, weigela, small trees, and perennials. Though at only 100 feet, it’s probably not on the scale of the old English hedgerows.

If you look really close you can see the two RVs and poorly constructed shed behind the fence we are trying to cover.

At least, that’s what we were trying to do in the beginning.

Now, I’m planting a “hedgerow” for all the wildlife and I’m helping our environment. Who knew?






  1. Sherri B. says

    I always say we have a hedgerow that is all along the edge of the property with a deep drainage ditch and the road on the other side. The part that is by our driveway is mixed with different roses, blackberries and I think wild roses and they all are mixed together and very good for wildlife…I always wondered if it was proper me calling it that so thanks for the info.

  2. Primrose says

    Long Live the Hedgerows!

    I’ve just spent a couple of hours rambling around the hedgerows on my brother’s farm in Ireland…picking blackberries, rose hips and wild apples with my nephew :) We had fun laughing at the dogs trying to excavate a maze of burrows in a bank. We’re not sure they belonged to field mice or voles.
    Tonight we’re having Blackberry Crumble for dessert:) Tomorrow, we’re going to make Hedgerow Jelly (2 parts wild apples, 1 part each blackberries & rosehips). I haven’t tasted it since I was a child and the very thought of it is evoking all kinds of memories for me.

  3. Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

    Oh my goodness, Primrose- it’s like you’re talking in another language. :-) But “Hedgerow Jelly?”-I love it! Now just to find where I can steal some wild apples from…

    Sherri B.- you’ve got two of the 3 ingredients to make your own Hedgerow Jelly- so take it from Primrose (who’s from Ireland!), you DO have a hedgerow. :-)

  4. says

    This is a great article! I’d never thought about hedgerow’s being such a plus to wildlife.
    I love your blog and read it so often that I almost feel like I know you. I have linked to your blog a number of times and am a big fan.
    I hope you don’t mind. I linked your post to my Porch and Garden Party at
    Since you have a garden party as well, I hope you don’t think of my party and encroaching into your territory.

  5. Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

    Denise- No, no- the more the merrier! I know people like multiple places to link to. :-) Thanks for the kind words and including this post in your party.

    AuntieK- Thanks, I’m honored!

  6. says

    Thanks for the little lesson on hedgerows! I always thought that a hedgerow was one of those tall hedges you always see in formal English gardens, like boxwoods or privet hedges, that wind all over and make almost like a wall. I had no idea that a hedgerow also consisted of other plantings!
    I think your hedgerow is beautiful and I’m sure a HUGE improvement over the septic tank and dog run!

  7. Anonymous says

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

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