As well as providing structure, hedges can help protect your plants — and hide stray weeds. Mondo grass has long been used as a garden edging. It does often look best if it is up against a hard edge such as a driveway, a patio area or garden edging. Otherwise, its creeping nature can result in itself lacking formality. Available in black and green, the texture offers style. Heuchera are an excellent option for shady areas. The number of available varieties and the diverse foliage colours offers a lot of opportunities for providing contrast. They are neat and contained in their clumping growth habit. Constant foliage colour makes these an excellent choice. Senecio bella grigio is a more recently available plant in NZ. Its name translates to “beautiful grey”. It offers striking silver foliage so bold it stops you in your tracks. Unusual for a silver plant, it seems to survive better in a garden where there is some shade offered. It grows about 40cm high by 60cm wide. For small, compact hedging, there are several options: Buxus Koreana we have found to be an excellent small hedge that does not suffer the blight that afflicts the more common box. Lonicera is a small-leafed, quick-growing hedge. It offers a deep, great colour. Euonymus has a dense, compact habit that is ideal for hedging between 30cm and 1m high. It is faster than the traditional buxus sempervivans (English Box) with a similar look. Corokia Frosted Chocolate and Corokia Geentys Green are two native shrubs that make very easy and mediumsized hedges. Very hardy and give a lovely background colour. Strongly upright, they trim well from 50cm up to 2.5m in height. Edible hedging is another great option. NZ Cranberry (Myrtus Ugni) makes a lovely edible hedge that also produces an amazing fragrance at fruiting time. This can be maintained as a hedge at any height between 30cm and 1.5m. A larger growing option as a screen or shelter plant is Griselinia, a great favourite and coastal hardy, growing 3-5m or so. Gareth Carter is general manager of Springvale Garden Centre.