When used for screening or as a partition/border, hedges can be much more attractive and softer than fencing and also more durable. However they will take up more space and will need regular pruning or clipping; at least twice a year if not more.
Not only are hedges attractive they are good for reducing the effects of wind as they allow some of the air to pass through, slowing down the air flow. Whereas a solid fence will just buffet the wind over top.
The following selection of plants and shrubs are suitable for hedging or screening in domestic gardens in the UK.
Evergreen plants keep their leaves all year around, providing a permanent screen or barrier. Because of this they tend to have more vigorous growth than dececiduous plants, so may require more clipping.
Photinia x fraseri
Deciduous plants shed their leaves in winter, allowing light into the screened area of the garden during the winter months. Certain varieties, such as Hornbeam and Beech, will still keep a few of the dried leaves on the plant until new growth starts in the spring, thus providing some level of all year round screening.