Hedges have an important aesthetic and structural role in urban landscape settings.
They create form and structure, define boundaries, create spaces and protect privacy as well as provide interest, strong visual impact and colour. In addition, they provide increasingly important habitat in an urban setting for wild life, particularly birds and insects.
Many hedge plants are long-lived if they are planted and maintained correctly. Maintenance needs can be intensive and sometimes expensive particularly if the wrong species has been planted in an inappropriate location.
At the simplest level, pruning shrubs correctly will ensure that plants are healthy and vigorous, free of structural weakness and less likely to be infected by disease.
Basic maintenance operations throughout the year should include pruning to remove dead and diseased material and to eliminate nuisance, overhanging and intrusive growth.
In addition, by carrying out pruning operations at optimum times throughout the year the plants natural performance will be improved and ornamental features such as floral displays will be enhanced.
However, shrubs are often planted on mass in monotonous un-creative schemes and then subjected to crude maintenance regimes.
Poorly timed pruning and maintenance operations result in cube like structures that have no resemblance to their natural form, loose their seasonal diversity and have a lower ecological value
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The idea that access to good quality green and open space improves wellbeing and productivity at work is not a new concept.
During the 19th century industrial era, wealthy factory and mill owners would create parks to ensure their work force had access to clean fresh air and places to relax when not working
Today as these principles are developed and ideas moved forward the results show that access to good quality green and open spaces improves health and wellbeing, reduces stress, and improves creativity and cognitive function.
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