It’s hedge-planting-time. Now is the best time to plant a new hedge providing the soil is neither water logged nor frozen. Do check planting guidelines, and remember it will take a good two years for your edge to become well established. Top dress after planting and mulch if possible. During the first year snip off the tops to encourage growth widthways. This will help to reduce the risk of growing a hedge that is sparse around the base. Water well in any prolonged dry spells, and finally, always check the best season to prune.
Hedges are far more attractive than fence panels and are currently enjoying a revival. This is thanks to renewed interest in providing an environment that is conducive to providing food and shelter to wildlife. Even if your home is surrounded by fences, you can plant a hedge in front of it. If you want to do your bit to help the wildlife, use native hedges such as hawthorn or Cotoneaster and Pyracantha. Bothh produce an abundance of berries.
To create a decorative or functional hedge, there are many alternatives to the old favourites of privet, yew and box. Lonicera nitida, a cousin of the honeysuckle makes an excellent hedge. Pittosporum is very fast growing and does particular well in coastal areas. Photinia, the red robin, will create a boundary in a rich combination of red and green foliage. While the colourful ‘Silver Queen’, makes a compact low and slow growing hedge. Again, it is another shrub that grows well in coastal gardens. So, make your local wildlife happy and get planting today.