Hartley Magazine

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Instant Privacy Hedges—Now You Can Buy Time

InstantHedge arrives in 40-inch long containers

Recently, while walking through the aisles of the Independent Garden Center trade show in Chicago, I discovered a product I’d never seen before—containerized hedges. A row of neatly sheared plants outlined the booth. Clearly, they were field-grown and root pruned, their branches naturally intermingling. It was a living privacy wall you could buy.

It would take years and plenty of effort to grow a hedge like this. This one could be delivered to your doorstep and, depending on the length, planted in an afternoon. For everyone whose back garden has suddenly been invaded by a towering house next door, or for those who need the design control of a clipped boxwood right now, here was the answer. I had to know more.

This month I’m talking with Brent Markus, founder of InstantHedge, a wholesale company supplying retailers in the U.S. with field-grown, sheared hedges, designed to quickly adapt to any garden space. The journey to what Brent calls “plantscapes” started in 2012. Brent was traveling in the Netherlands. As the owner of the wholesale Rare Tree Nursery in Canby, Oregon, he was researching other horticultural businesses when he visited the growing fields of QuickHedge. “It left me speechless,” he says. “QuickHedge was revolutionary—efficient beyond belief.”

Brent came home, and in 2013, he says, “After months of dreams, I began producing our first InstantHedge crop, 60,000 plants.”

Now, InstantHedge has over 60 miles of carefully pruned plants in their nursery fields. Both evergreen and deciduous, the hedges come in all sizes, from low-growing 2-foot boxwood (Buxus ‘Green Mountain’) up to towering English cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), which will eventually top out at 40 feet. They offer varieties of arborvitae, yew, maples, and dogwoods. The hedges are sold in 40-inch long units, approximately 16 inches wide.

Brent Markus talks about InstantHedge at the Chicago IGC Show

Of course, any hedge will need maintenance, such as scheduled pruning. InstantHedge will also need a balanced fertilizer and a steady water supply to the roots until they venture out into the surrounding soil. Drip irrigation is recommended.

And, like the price you would pay for quality craftsmanship in your greenhouse, the cost of an InstantHedge reflects the years of controlled care. On the other hand, because time is literally money, you can now buy the privacy or the formality you need.

To learn more about sizing and plants, go to the InstantHedge wholesale website. For retail purchase, ask about them at your independent garden center or go online to Fast Growing Trees or Wayside Gardens.