Yew, Taxus baccata, makes a lovely dark green dense hedge. It tolerates shade and sun, is tough once established, and bears bright red berries in autumn. Birds eat the non-toxic, gelatinous seed cover. Of course, yew does take time to grow, but since the years will pass no matter what I do, I'd rather plant a hedge I like.
The Kitchen Garden already has a lovely old yew tree, shaped in a bush, which hides the potting shed and old greenhouses. It must have been planted thirty to forty years ago. The new yew hedges, which edge part of the Kitchen Garden, will introduce some evergreen colour and structure and will, in turn, hide the shed and compost bins.
I've ordered my Taxus baccata, as well as most of my fruit trees, from Ashridge Nurseries. I like the them for several reasons.
(1) You can call or email them and they give you helpful advice.
(2) You can pick and choose which week your plants are delivered in, which is helpful if you've got a lot on, and plan your planting time carefully.
(3) Plants arrive well packed and cared for, and are guaranteed for one year.
And they really do guarantee them! Last winter, for example, I ordered and planted a lot of hedging and fruit trees from them. When one tree, a maiden plum, began to look unhappy, I emailed them some photos asking for advice. They identified the problem as probably being due to me failing to prune it during the summer, but still sent me a free replacement in this winter's order.
Top tip: if you have a dog, avoid using bonemeal as a base dressing!