The Best Skinny Hedges For Small Spaces
With more new houses being built right up to boundary lines, it gets harder and harder to plant a garden. We want privacy hedges to screen us from the neighbours, and to provide cooling shade - but which hedge plants will fit into these tight spaces?

We've selected some of our favourite narrow-profile hedging plants to squeeze into your garden - they make great solutions for driveways and path edging too.

 

Slim bottlebrush

Slim Hedges

Most hedges are wide and bushy, and that's part of their appeal - especially if you're a bird looking for shelter from the cold or wind.
Not every gardener has space for a broad bushy hedge, especially in urban gardens where space is limited.

Yet in urban gardens, privacy screens and hedges are even more important - to block out the neighbours and hide roads from view.

To solve this problem, there are a few excellent new hedging plant cultivars that have been specially bred by Australian plant breeders Ozbreed to grow upright and narrow, designed for street planting, screening, and squeezing into small suburban back yards.

 

Thin Red photinia

Living up to its name, Callistemon Slim™ is a tall and slender bottlebrush with abundant red flowers that lure in the native wildlife.

At less than a metre and a half wide, and twice as tall, Slim™ is a privacy screen that provides beauty and interest, while blocking out the neighbours.

Also well-named, scarlet-leaved Photinia Thin Red™ gives you year-round foliage colour, and a super-slender profile.

As tall as Callistemon Slim, and a third as wide, it slips into the very smallest of spaces. Thin Red™ is perfect if you love the popular Red Robin hedging with its bright leaf colour, but don't fancy the fortnightly pruning to keep it skinny enough for a small space.

 

Narrow Nessie

Native hedging plants are ideal for informal and cottage garden styles as they tend to grow wide and blousy; ideal for sheltering native birds, but not for creating a slim streamlined look in a compact space.

Honey myrtles are very popular for their vibrantly-coloured fluffy flowers, but they tend to be on the low-and-wide side, rather than tall-and-slim.

Melaleuca Narrow Nessie is a new variety of honey myrtle that gives you pink pompom flowers, hedging high enough that passersby can't peep over, and a slender profile perfect for small spaces.

 


Juniper Skyrocket

Slender Conifers

Conifers often grow tall and slender, with a natural elongated teardrop silhouette. They need very little maintenance and almost no pruning which makes them a wise choice for busy gardeners and areas of the garden where access is problematic.

Most conifers are also reliably cold-hardy, happy in southern states where frost and snow are common.

Juniper Skyrocket is well-named, as its branches will make straight for the sky, creating a dense six-metre column of blue-green foliage that will only spread a metre or so wide, won't need pruning, and will topiarise into fun shapes if you are feeling creative.

Daintree pine

Its relative, Juniper Spartan, is darker, almost bottle green, and a little shorter and wider. Both kinds of juniper are very cold hardy, and they make dense privacy screens, excellent noise mufflers alongside busy roads, and handsome feature plants.

Native conifers also grow tall and slender, like the fine-leaved Daintree pine. It has a lovely teardrop outline of bright green feathery foliage; at only two metres wide it takes up little space, and is soft-to-touch if you have to brush past.

It's a QLD rainforest tree so it's not totally cold-hardy; protect this one from hard frost or plant it in a container and enjoy it as an alternative Christmas-in-July tree!

Castlewellan Gold

A standout for its bright leaf colour all year round is Castlewellan Gold. It shoots up to 7m tall, but only fills out to around two and a half metres full grown.

A fresh vibrant lime gold all year round, this will screen eyesores and not encroach too much on your garden borders or driveway.

A pint-size version, even more lime-yellow in colour, is Cupressus Lemon Scent ; this variety tops out at only 3 metres tall, and an enviably slim metre and a half wide.

If you want a 'matching' hedge in two heights, they are a very complementary pairing when planted together.

 

Straight and Narrow

Skinny Syzygium

Syzygium or lilly pilly is one of Australia's most popular hedging plants, for its dense evergreen foliage, fluffy white flowers, and bright bird-friendly berries.

Most lilly pilly hedges are broad and bushy, but Ozbreed have developed one that is straight and narrow, that they have named... Straight and Narrow.
It grows naturally upright, and has bright attractive new leaf colour in shades of rust and copper.

Straight and Narrow will grow up to 8m tall in optimal conditions, providing you with masses of privacy; but will only grow to around a metre or so wide - as you can see in the photo!

 

Orange Twist™

Another brand new lilly pilly, Syzygium Orange Twist™, is a great choice for a lower hedge, especially if you re looking for bright foliage colour.

This variety has upright stems clothed in small neat leaves that are coloured vibrant orange when young, maturing through copper and apricot to deep green.

Orange Twist is much shorter than Straight and Narrow at up to 3m tall, and only a metre wide, giving you privacy without the need for continual pruning.

They'd make a good pairing where you need two heights of screening along the same boundary line.