Using ‘wild’ roses as hedging is great for wildlife, attracting pollinators in summer and birds in autumn. They provide an intruder-proof barrier, thanks to the thorns and are unfussy about soil and aspect.
Roses aren’t suited to formal trimming, as you’ll cut off the flowers and hips. Use them as an informal or native hedge. If you do need to hack them back, they respond well to hard pruning.
Rosa glauca is almost thornless with bluish foliage, red stems alone, pink and white single flowers and autumn hips, growing to 2m (6-7ft) without trimming. R. glauca alba is a white version.
R. canina, the dog rose, is a UK native, with many thorns, making it an ideal barrier. It has pink flowers and red hips - an essential plant for a wildlife garden. Its vigorous, sprawling habit means it will climb given support, reaching 3m (10ft) if left unpruned.
R. arvensis, the field rose, is fast growing, with arching stems and white flowers, followed by rounded hips, It’s used in countryside hedging, reaching an uncut height of 3-4m (10-12ft).