The wacky guide to hedging
There are many reasons that you may want a hedge and many things will influence the choice of plants or plant that will make up the hedge, it is important to give some thought to this as your choice of plants will have different effects on your garden and on your neighbours garden. There have been many examples of people coming to blows due to inconsiderate planting, however this seems to be confined to the miss use of Leylanddii.
If you are planning a hedge just to mark a boundary you have many options as really you can use a great number of plants, however the use of dwarf conifers would never be of any use as they would not become thick enough. If you intend to have a low hedge Lavender springs to mind with its evergreen habit and fantastic scent you really cannot go wrong.
For a medium height hedge most of the conifers are a good bet also it has to be said that Leylandii is misunderstood rather like an irksome teenager, however if you keep it to the height you require and are mindful of others light then you will get a dense hedge that requires very little work.
Pyracantha also makes a fantastic evergreen hedge that happens to be a great additional deterrent for chavs, as it has lots of tough thorns and in the winter it will be covered with just the most darling little berries.
There are some people that go into bat for the mixed native hedge, there is much to recommend this and it is good for wildlife and for farms, I do however have to question its use in towns and built up areas as it would seem by its very nature not to fit for purpose.
Beech is another fine plant for a hedge and you can choose the copper beech with its dark crimson leaves although not evergreen it will form a dense hedge of up to 3meters in height.
Photinia will make a fantastic hedge and is also evergreen with simply darling red leaves to die for in the spring it is possible that this plant would meet all your requirements and then some.