Hedges can be used in modern garden design to great effect— with the focus on geometric shapes and topiary, clean lines and open spaces, modern gardens provide an excellent canvas to showcase foliage and form.

With the signature focus on ‘shapes,’ any hedge type provides a great way to demonstrate the clean, geometric lines distinctive of a modern landscape aesthetic. Topiary is often used in modern garden design, and most hedges are easily able to be thoughtfully pruned and clipped into a variety of shapes and sizes—everything from crisp, perfectly angular and geometrically-inspired borders to wavy or curved accents – even living doors and windows.


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    This modern garden effectively uses European beech (Fagus sylvatica) to obstruct a view of the neighboring brick wall.

  • 21321-Taxus-hicksii-yew-hedge-border-pond-water-formal-garden-estate-modern-contemporary-landscape

    Dense, evergreen, easily-maintained Hicks Yew hedges are the perfect choice for low, artistic borders.

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    An entryway or courtyard in a modern landscape can give an air of elegance with the use of well-manicured hedges.

  • 26942-Buxus-boxwood-hedge-formal-knot-garden

    Knot gardens almost always showcase boxwood (Buxus) which looks very nice when interplanted with perennials and other flowering plants.

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    Beech hedges can be planted in blocks to create patterns to highlight other plants and sculptures.

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    This outdoor space is framed thoughtfully with well-maintained yew (Taxus) and laurel (Prunus) hedges.

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    This outdoor space is framed thoughtfully with well-maintained yew (Taxus) and laurel (Prunus) hedges.

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    Late into autumn, the leaves remain on European beech (Fagus sylvatica) for superior privacy in all seasons.

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    In winter, the yew (Taxus) hedges in this European landscape are so elegant with a dusting of snow.

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    A formal outdoor meeting place such as this can be made more private with the use of privacy hedges like the yew (Taxus) in the background. Lower boxwood (Buxus) hedges bordering the patio provide an attractive border.

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    This elegant yew (Taxus) hedge not only provides a more effective screen than a traditional fence but also creates an elegant backdrop for an outdoor living area.

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    Yew (Taxus) hedges form an allée around this stunning water feature in a modern country landscape.

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    Stone and metal features like this fountain are made more inviting with the use of a leafy hedge.

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    Walkways around this pond are bordered symmetrically with boxwood (Buxus) hedges.

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    Walkways around this pond are bordered symmetrically with boxwood (Buxus) hedges.

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    Soft evergreen hedges like this boxwood (Buxus) make a stone patio softer and more inviting even when planted in modern, geometric shapes.

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    Use a hornbeam hedge to highlight flowers, herbs, and garden sculptures.

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    A striking formal garden can be created using simply beech hedges of varying heights and colors.

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    This garden room is made elegant and modern with the beech hedge design surrounding the seating area.

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    Simple but impactful, this design uses a mix of colors and heights of beech hedges to make a statement while providing ultimate privacy.

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    This modern garden uses Portuguese Laurel combined with a piece of garden art for an interesting and useful design.

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    Mixing green and purple beech is a simple but highly effective way to create impact in the garden

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    Borders can be more than just a green backdrop - make them the focal point by mixing colors and heights of beech hedge

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    Even after many years, a well-maintained yew (Taxus) hedge like the one pictured here at a European estate forms a dense hedge to the desired height.

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    A private area around an outdoor pool is easily provided with a European beech (Fagus sylvatica) InstantHedge.

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    Swimming pool with deck chairs

  • Bourton House Garden, Glos., UK (Paice) knot garden

    Bourton House Garden, Glos., UK (Paice) knot garden

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    This elegant water feature is made to feel even more serene with a European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge for privacy.

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    One must examine this photo carefully to see through the hedge an effectively-obscured building on the other side!

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    This modern garden appears even more refined with a well-placed shorter European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge along the lawn.

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    Pinus sylvestris ?Watereri? in a contemporary garden with wooden cube seating and Clipped Buxus hedges

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    Multiple types of hedges can be used in a hotel courtyard like this to integrate several layers of textures and colors.

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    Swimming areas have a great need for privacy, which these beech hedges supply beautifully.

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    Swimming areas need optimum privacy and wind protection, amply provided by this dense Emerald Green Arborvitae hedge.

  • 229027474-taxus-yew-buxus-boxwood-hedge-low-border-park-estate-formal-modern-contemporary-fountain-water-lawn-summer-pleached-trees

    With their dark green color and feathery texture, Hicks Yew hedges make excellent low borders that complement other plants and stone.

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    This modern outdoor area feels like a secluded resort even though it is in a busy suburban area.

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    This outdoor room looks stunning with a European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge.

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    A boxwood (Buxus) hedge is attractive with a variety of plants such as the herbs and grasses shown here.

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    This dramatic, modern design further highlights the pond by reflecting the beech hedge up toward the sky.

  • 1113985514-taxus-yew-hedge-tall-privacy-green-evergreen-modern-contemporary-landscape-garden-concrete-stone-table-patio-outdoor-eating

    The feathery, soft foliage of Hicks Yew softens the concrete and sharp angles on this modern patio.

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    This beautiful garden and flowerbed seem even more inviting with the yew (Taxus) hedge providing a background of privacy.

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    An arborvitae (Thuja) hedge can be grown to a larger height to provide screening of neighboring second-story buildings.

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    A stunning water feature bordered with colorful herbs and flowers but closed in for privacy with a European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge in the background.

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    Multiple kinds of hedge can be used in conjunction with each other to provide varied textures in a modern garden.

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    Multiple kinds of hedge can be used in conjunction with each other to provide varied textures in a modern garden.

  • N1005444_140-Carpinus-hornbeam-hedge-formal-modern-courtyard-garden

    Give a courtyard peace and summer privacy by surrounding it with hornbeam hedge.

With the focus on ‘shape’ and geometric symmetry, the use of hedges in modern gardens is quite traditional—particularly for those primarily interested in showcasing symmetry in the garden. Hedges are easily installed in any desired pattern, creating an aesthetic congruence not typically found in other landscape designs.

Modern gardens can take on a formal garden style, and can cross paths with other garden design styles by including elements like knot gardens or maze gardens in the plan. A wide variety of hedging plants are suitable for use in modern gardens, so don’t hold back when evaluating what different hedge types might work in your design.