Hedges can be used to delineate an area or to add colour or contrast to the garden. They are commonly used to provide privacy, as an alternative to fences and walls, to act as a screen or as a wind- or noise- break.
For a successful formal hedge, choose a species with a dense, small leaved habit that will perform well in your soil and climate. Prepare your soil and plant closely together - a good guide is to space them 20-25% of the average spread of a free standing specimen, e.g. a plant with a width of 1.0 m would be spaced at 0.2-0.25 m intervals.
A light clip should be given during the first year to encourage bushy side growth. The general aim is to make a short bushy hedge first then allow the height and width to increase as required. This method usually takes a little longer, but the dense well-leafed result will be worth the effort. As the hedge matures, ensure that you taper it in towards the top, this allows sunlight to reach the bottom of the hedge and keeps it leafy all over.