A beautiful informal way to mark boundaries, give depth to your landscaping and create privacy is to plant deciduous hedges. They are lovely when flowering in season, and properly placed can be exactly what you are looking for. Deciduous hedges will lose their leaves at the end of the growing season and go dormant.
Trimming these hedges on a regular basis over a long period will help them develop a dense mat of twigs at the base. This tangle of twigs will provide a windscreen during the winter.
Hedges will grow better and form a dense bushy growth if planted as small plants. If planted correctly they will be superior to hedges planted with larger pot grown plants.
Deciduous hedges will require pruning or reshaping at least twice during each season. The first pruning should bring them to the height you want, and then one more pruning later in the season should be enough for maintenance. If you have planted faster growing plants, you may choose to prune more often to keep them at the desired height.
When planting deciduous plants, make sure they are well watered all through the growing season. New plants in particular should be watered regularly even if it looks like rain. The soil should be well drained and if it is not, tile or drain coil should be placed around your hedge line.
Mulch is needed after planting to moisture in the ground. Mulch does not need to be replaced as it is only used at the beginning of the plant life to ensure proper moisture and promote growth. Usually, deciduous plants will be planted from small plants in a straight line. If you want a denser hedge, planting them staggered in two rows will give you the effect you want.
The Japanese anemone is one Deciduous flowering shrub that produces beautiful flowers in late summer and in early autumn. They serve well as a simple but pretty border. They need lots of sun, but will produce blooms of white or pink.
Forsythia is another elegant deciduous plant which blooms early in the spring and has brilliant yellow flowers. It can be formed into a nice shrub with heights from 3-8 feet. You will love looking out your window and seeing the yellow flowers telling you, spring is here.
The Butterfly Bush is a medium to large shrub that is fast growing and is covered with fragrant with different colors available. White, lilac, dark purple and even some orange colored varieties are available. They bloom during the summer and are a natural attraction for butterflies. You will frequently see each cone shaped bloom covered in butterflies.
Barberries also are an excellent choice for low hedges and are deciduous. These lovely looking shrubs are available with green or red foliage and can be grown both in shade and in sun. They produce attractive red berries that often last through the winter.
Dogwood, Spirea and Lilacs are also excellent choices for hedges. Lilacs also bloom in early spring and have a distinctive fragrant aroma that is popular in many areas of the country. They keep their green color throughout the season and can easily be pruned to produce a thicker, denser hedge at the bottom.
Azaleas and barberry shrubs are also excellent choices for flowering deciduous shrubs. They both have many different varieties and bloom at different times.
If you plan carefully and mix your shrubs you should have a beautiful hedge line that will provide blooms and color throughout most of the year.
Burning bush is one shrub that will give you a fall display of intense color. Mixed in with the other plants we have talked about they provide beautiful color when other shrubs are beginning to lose their blooms.
Bittersweet plants are also something that gives incredible color in the fall. They produce berries that are green in the summer and turn into yellow husks in the early fall. Later into the fall, these husks peel back and a bright orange berry is revealed. Not only that, numerous leaves will turn a bright yellow. This is truly a fall plant to keep the color in your hedge during the fall season.