[[File:1009.jpg|left|thumb|Fig. 1, Anonymous, ''Homestead of Humphrey H. Nye, New Bedford'', 1860–65.]]
Throughout the history of American gardens, hedges were used for a variety of practical and ornamental purposes. The feature created divisions within the garden, protected tender plants from cross-winds, formed barriers against both animal and human intruders, screened unsightly [[view]]s, outlined ornamental [[bed]]s and [[walk]]s [Fig. 1], and brought flowering variety to the garden. <span id="Downing_cite"></span>According to [[Andrew Jackson Downing|A. J. Downing]] (1838), hedges were ideal for these purposes because their architectural form functioned much like a [[fence]] or [[wall]], while their organic material allowed them to harmonize with planting arrangements and to articulate other forms of architecture to the landscape ([[#Downing|view citation]]). <span id="Deane_cite"></span>As [[Samuel Deane]] noted in 1790, live hedges were preferable to [[fence]]s and “dead hedges” (wattle [[fence]]s using woven plant material) because the living plants created a “perpetual fence” whose posts never decayed and stakes never failed ([[#Deane|view text]]). Their versatility also made them adaptable to any scale, whether enclosing a field, screening a privy, or edging a [[bed]] (see [[Fence]]).
<div id="Fig_2"></div>[[File:0969.jpg|thumb|Fig. 2, [[Thomas Jefferson]], Plan of the grounds at Monticello, 1806. [[#Fig_2_cite|Back to texts.]]]]
Changes - History of Early American Landscape Design