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Gardening Column: In the Garden with Jo

Hedging for colour - and privacy

Hedging prices over the last couple of years have been edging up slowly but we really do see the difference this year, especially with availability, the most obvious of which is the Portuguese Laurel which is going to be scarce. We have already sold out of our own stock, and the demand is very high so when we have to bring more stock in and thus, have to pay the market prices which are generally higher than what we would set ourselves.

Laurel and beech are also in high demand and the prices have edged up a little too. They are equally our most popular hedges, yet very different, beech being slow growing and deciduous (although it does hold on to some of those copper leaves in the autumn and winter) takes up very little room and is, after the real native hedging like whitethorn, the most cost effective hedging for a residential garden. Albeit you need a little patience.

Laurel is evergreen, fast growing and relatively instantaneous but needs more maintenance and can get very wide, it is more expensive than beech but you will need less of them as they are wider and denser plants, especially when we start looking at our more mature hedging sizes, When looking at say 5-6ft plants you will still need 3 beech plants to the metre but you could usually get away with only one of the laurel at the same size.

Don’t discount, however, lots of other options and varieties available for your garden, some widely used options like Photinia Red Robin, Portuguese laurel, Grisselinia, Privet and Yew which are all available in rootballed options or Hornbeam, whitethorn, blackthorn as well as Viburnum opulus, rosa rugosa as a mixed native hedge, which can be beautiful in its naturalness all available bare-root and to be honest as cheap as chips but not really suitable options for town and city gardens.

Bare root v root balling

The reason some of the options are bare-root and some rootballed is because evergreen plants don’t survive well as bare-roots, you may see options available in small sizes but I stopped selling most evergreen hedging plants bare-root some years ago as the success rates at these sizes can be hit and miss. If the sizes are small enough, then it can be a cheaper option and we do have some of these like smaller box hedging.

Hedging comes in such a wide range of sizes these days from the smaller 2 - 3 feet options (smaller again for things like the box hedging for which 8-10 inches is a normal enough size) through to some amazing plants for screening and privacy and instant maturity at 8-10 feet tall. These more mature sizes of hedging are where we have really made our name and now specialise in. We always hold a range of hedging up to 8 feet tall and would usually have several options bigger than that again, providing instant cover, privacy and screening when you need it.

Contact Jo at Caragh Nurseries for any of your queries: email

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