Our native willow species make an unusual informal hedge, especially if your land is damp or tends to waterlog in winter. While other hedging plants may rot, willows will thrive.
They are also popular nesting sites for birds, important habitats for moths and butterflies and provide vital early pollen and nectar for bees and other insects.
The varieties respond well to hard pruning, which is just as well, as unpruned they make seriously tall trees (12m - 40ft high - and above). However, their roots can be invasive, so don’t plant too close to a house.
Salix alba ‘Chermesina’ looks striking in winter, with red and yellow stems, while S. caprea (the Goat Willow) has catkins in late winter/early spring, silver on female plants, golden on males. The classic Weeping Willow (S. chrysocoma) produces graceful, hanging curtains of long leaves on thin, yellow-barked stems.