Among the first plants to colour up, cherry hedging provides a fantastic wash of colour come spring, bursting in life as a mass of wonderful blossom. Later, they produce edible red berries - a favourite of birds - and fantastic warm colours come Autumn.
Prunus avium is native to the UK ,while cerasifera is naturalised, but both are great for wildlife. Cornus mas is actually part of the dogwood family, producing dainty yellow flowers in late winter and red cherries, ready to harvest by late summer. All of the aforementioned species' fruits are best cooked, rather than eaten fresh, and the Cornus' ripen only after harvest.
The fruits of laurocerasus on the other hand are toxic, and are best avoided altogether. Bred for its glossy evergreen foliage, which works wonderfully well as a screen, 'Rotundifolia' produces racemes of small white flowers.