Meanwhile, the smaller varieties suppress weeds, providing a display of white flowers in early summer, followed by berries. To keep it tidy, prune bushes in late winter and trim hedges in late summer, using secateurs not a hedge trimmer, and dispose of the clippings, as laurel are poisonous.
Among the best types for tall hedges is the common laurel, P. laurocerasus, which will reach 4.5m (15ft) or more if left unchecked. Small white flowers appear in April followed by red berries in September which later turn to black. Other good varieties include P. lusitanica ‘Variegata’, which is a better choice for alkaline soil.