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12 shrubs for a versatile mixed hedge: evergreen, berries, foliage and deciduous


Out with the unending lines of thuja! These days, planting mixed hedges is all the fad. In such a hedge, evergreen leafage, colorful blooms and species that pollinator insects find useful grow next to each other. The hedge then becomes a perpetually changing landscape that every season paints in different hues. Here are 12 great shrubs for a mixed hedge!

4 shrubs with evergreen foliage


  • Cotoneaster in a mixed hedgeHeight: 2 to 20 feet for hedge varieties (there are also a number of low-growing creeping varieties).
  • Foliage: evergreen, dense, shiny deep green.
  • Blooming: simple pink or white flowers from May to July.
  • Special feature: hardy down to -13°F (-25°C), with uncountable tiny red berries that decorate the tree from the end of Summer to the end of Fall.
  • Learn more about cotoneaster

Bay laurel:

  • Bay laurel, a mixed hedge shrubs that birds loveHeight: 6 to 15 feet (2 to 5 meters)
  • Foliage: fleshy, oval, deep green evergreen leaves.
  • Blooming: small cream-yellow flowers from April to June.
  • Feature: fragrant leaves that are great for marinades and grilling. Watch out, because two other laurels – oleander and cherry laurel – are toxic!
  • Learn more about bay laurel

Japanese andromeda:

  • Young red leaves of pieris japonicaHeight: 1½ to 10 feet (0.5 to 5 m)
  • Foliage: pointy-tipped oval evergreen leaves that are green or red.
  • Blooming: white, pink or purple bell-shaped flowers between February and May.
  • Feature: A shrub with a compact bearing that will fill in for the too-common photinia with its red leaves.
  • Learn more about Japanese andromeda

Choisya ternata ‘Aztec Pearl’:

  • Choisya Aztec pearl in a mixed hedgeHeight: 3 to 15 feet (1 to 5 meters)
  • Foliage: evergreen shrub that has 5 very thin leaflets per leaf, a big change compared to the type species that has rounded leaflets.
  • Blooming: sphere of pale pink flowers in May-June.
  • Feature: graphic, rare leafage and fragrant blooms.
  • Learn more about the Aztec Pearl choisya

There are more options to look into, like Italian buckthorn, elaeagnus…

4 Shrubs for a flowered mixed hedge


  • Deutzia looks great in a mixed hedgeHeight: 5 feet (1.50 m)
  • Foliage: deciduous, long veined leaves that are average green in color.
  • Blooming: pink or white star-shaped flowers form clusters from May to June.
  • Feature: Abundant blooming with a fragrant scent.
  • Learn more about deutzia


  • Hydrangea in a mixed hedgeHeight: 3 to 10 feet (1 to 3 m) for non-climbing varieties.
  • Foliage: deciduous, each serrated leaf measures around 4 to 12 inches (10 to 30 cm).
  • Blooming: large flower clusters, for which the soil type dictates the color: blue if it’s acidic, and purple, pink or red for alkaline and chalky soil. Long-lasting blooms, from June to September.
  • Feature: flower clusters come in various shapes, it’s a plant that evokes English gardens and small village gardens in French Brittany.
  • Learn more about hydrangea

Shrubby cinquefoil:

  • Cinquefoil mixed hedgingHeight: 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 meters)
  • Foliage: deciduous, soft green or blue-hued leaves with 3 to 7 leaflets.
  • Blooming: many 5-petaled simple flowers, yellow for the type species but white, pink, red or orange for the various cultivars.
  • Feature: compact bearing, ideal for hedges in a small garden.
  • Learn more about shrubby cinquefoil

Japanese Kerria:

  • Kerria for mixed hedgeHeight: 5 to 15 feet (1.50 m to 5 m)
  • Foliage: small, narrow, serrated alternate leaves that are a luminous green hue. Deciduous foliage.
  • Blooming: it will rain tiny yellow pompoms from April to June, and then again, albeit less, from August to October.
  • Feature: hardy down to -13°F (-25°C), resists urban pollution very well.
  • Learn more about kerria

Kerria, yellow pompoms of color in a mixed hedge

4 Melliferous shrubs


  • Snowberry, cute for mixed hedgesHeight: 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 m)
  • Foliage: small deciduous leaves with a gray underside.
  • Blooming: clusters of white flowers in July and August. Very ornamental round white or pink berries appear after the flowers.
  • Feature: Blooming is loved by honeybees who come visit it often.
  • Learn more about snowberry

Buddleia davidii

  • Buddleia, nice for butterflies to come to the hedgeHeight: 2 to 30 feet (0.60m to 10m)
  • Foliage: opposed normal green deciduous leaves that have fuzz on their underside.
  • Blooming: long, fragrant inflorescences that are usually purple.
  • Feature: very appealing fragrant nectar that insects love, especially butterflies, which gave it its “butterfly tree” nickname.
  • Learn more about buddleia


  • Laurestine is easy to control in mixed hedgesHeight: 3 to 15 feet (1 to 5 m)
  • Foliage: opposed oblong leaves, dark green in color, evergreen.
  • Blooming: small, white flowers clustered into flattish corymbs from November to April.
  • Feature: gives food early on in the year to pollinators of all sorts.
  • Learn more about laurestine

Cornus mas (Cornelian cherry dogwood):

  • Cornus mas is a nice early blooming mixed hedge shrubHeight: 9 to 20 feet (3 to 7m)
  • Foliage: veined and textured leaves that have fuzz on their backside.
  • Blooming: bouquets of yellow flowers in February-March, before any leaves appear.
  • Feature: excellent melliferous and nectar-rich plant.
  • Learn more about cornus

→ Discover more about hedges:

Images: 123RF: Aleksey Eremeev, CC BY 2.0: foooomio, Peter Stevens, Paul and Jill, CC BY 4.0: Stephen James McWilliam, CC BY-SA 2.0: Dana L. Brown; Pixabay: Dhyan Wisselo, David Thomas, Nikolett Emmert, Nabin Mewahang, Fran Dekkers; Public Domain: megachile, Peter de Lange, Sheila
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