Urban gardens come with their own unique challenges—function and versatility in a design plan are prioritized, along with a desire for plants and design components to be multi-functional as well as beautiful. Installing urban garden ideas are a practical way to increase the versatility of urban space while rising to the challenge of creating an attractive design in smaller, more confined green spaces.

Small gardens, patios, and balconies, even the creation of courtyards and green roofs are all enhanced with hedges. When urban property owners are confronted with smaller ‘natural’ spaces in densely packed areas, hedges can be used to create diverse, multi-functional spaces in a variety of design plans.

For example, a few urban gardens using low boxwood hedge to create a courtyard within an existing space, and to use different heights of hedges to make distinct spaces in smaller gardens and plots.

Many hedges thrive in planters and containers, making them excellent choices for patios and balconies. Using hedge shrubs and trees in containers allows for easy care and maintenance, ideal for smaller spaces.

Potted hedges can soften the structurally rigid edges of corners found inbuilt courtyards and patios, and placing hedges in containers allows the urban property owner greater planting versatility. Implementing some urban garden ideas can increase the number of shrubs and trees in their landscape to increase biodiversity – such a vital practice in our cities.

Urban Gardens

Hedges can also be layered into planters and containers, allowing for a customizable density for urban gardens. Densely layered container-grown hedges can have a similar practical effect as traditionally grown hedges being used as noise buffers, privacy screens and wind/shade barriers.

Growing hedges in containers and planters are a practical way to make use of otherwise uniquely challenging spaces: everything from narrow parking strips to pet areas can benefit from hedge installation as either privacy screens or simply increasing the aesthetic impact of ‘green’ space. Hedges are suitable in both home and commercial gardens.

Urban spaces with existing structures (fences, walls, poles) can be enhanced with hedges planted against them, acting as an attractive visual screen for structures that can’t be otherwise removed or covered. Many hedge varieties can be eventually grown to cover entire walls, with careful pruning to reveal windows and doorways, and urban designers can choose from a wide variety of blossoming/floral or otherwise visually impactful foliage for coverage appropriate to the structure being covered.

Urban gardening hedges are also easily installed on ‘living’ or ‘green’ roofs, which would benefit from the use of a hedge as a privacy screen.

Urban Garden Ideas for Using Hedges in Urban Landscapes:


  • 20801-Taxus-yew-Buxus-boxwood-urban-garden

    Multiple types of hedges are used in this backyard garden to create layers and thus make the landscape seem larger.

  • 23878-Taxus-yew-country-modern-garden

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

  • 23881-Taxus-yew-country-modern-garden

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

  • 37270-Taxus-yew-hedge-Fagus-beech-urban-garden-suburban-patio-courtyard-summer

    Where homes are fairly close to each other, a well-placed hedge like this yew (Taxus) can make your outdoor space more inviting.

  • 43915-Fagus-hedge-beech-urban-garden-privacy-green-space-wall-courtyard

    European beech (Fagus sylvatica) is used to make this narrow city lot seem more secluded.

  • 43917-Fagus-hedge-beech-urban-city-patio-chair-planter-arbor-trellis-privacy

    A serene backdrop is created by using European beech (Fagus sylvatica) for privacy on this city lot.

  • 43924-Fagus-hedge-beech-urban-city-privacy-tall-noise-reduction-green-patio-space

    A small patio space beside this suburban home effectively extends the living area of the home by using an InstantHedge along with a trellis/arbor for a roof of vining plants!

  • 58216-fagus-beech-hedge-planter-container-garden-fall-color-deciduous-patio-urban-balcony-seating-rooftop

    Beech hedges can easily be grown in planters anywhere, including patios, balconies, and green roofs.

  • 01401044-Buxus-taxus-garden-formal-urban-suburban-modern

    Both a boxwood (Buxus) hedge and a darker green yew (Taxus) hedge are at home in this well-designed modern landscape.

  • 172930253-prunus-laurocerasus-english-laurel-tall-privacy-hedge-fast-growing-urban-suburban-border-sidewalk-noise-block-green-screen

    A thick, dense, privacy hedge like English Laurel provides privacy and blocks road noise to create a quiet outdoor patio area even for urban homes.

  • shutterstock_194471111-buxus-boxwood-commercial-container-planter-street

    Urban businesses gain instant curb-appeal with a tidy, uniform boxwood hedge encircling their building.

  • 212160064-fagus-beech-hedge-bench-city-urban-park-privacy-green-space

    Beech hedges add beauty, privacy, and quiet to public parks.

  • 432537352-fagus-beech-privacy-hedge-patio-outdoor-living-fireplace-suburban-modern

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

  • 1088244587-fagus-beech-hedge-low-border-cover-foundation-commercial-urban-suburban-driveway-path

  • 1118737652-fagus-beech-privacy-hedge-urban-suburban-street-driveway-patio-noise-block

    Even urban dwellings have have a private patio for summer gatherings when surrounded by a tall beech hedge.

  • 1170477094-fagus-beech-hedge-commercial-urban-city-bike-rack-green

    Dress up a simple bike rack by adding a green beech hedge behind it.

  • N1003027_140-Buxus-courtyard-suburban-urban-border

    Since boxwood (Buxus) hedges can be maintained at a short size, they are an ideal choice for keeping a clean border along pathways like this.

  • N1003541_140-Carpinus-hornbeam-urban-formal-suburban-garden-patio-outdoor-seating-hedge-design

    This outdoor room looks stunning with a leafy backdrop like a hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) hedge as is featured here.

  • N1005340_140-Taxus-planting-gardening-estate-cottage-country

    The flowers on this patio have even more stunning color when set against the dark green background of a yew (Taxus) hedge.