High hedges, sculpted with dramatically sloping sides, encircle a pool at a venerable Hamptons estate. Minimalist chaise longues and tables, selected by interior designer Mariette Himes Gomez, echo the clean-lined plantings. Photo by Scott Frances.
Boxwood sets the standard for formal clipped hedges. Its ability to withstand frequent shearing and shaping makes this evergreen popular. You can also let it grow tall to provide a screen. Some varieties grow to 20 feet tall.