19.01.2024 - 16:09 / theenglishgarden.co.uk
An established hedge is a valuable commodity well worth taking good care of, but even then eventually it may grow too large. Deciduous hedges however can usually be rejuvenated, given a little patience.
Hedges must be among the most underrated of garden features and despite the fact that they need regular maintenance, they deserve to be more widely planted and more carefully treated; indeed, only in recent years have gardeners started to fully understand the benefits these living boundaries provide. They make a far more durable choice than a fence and a cheaper option than a wall and can be more attractive than either. They are graffiti and vandalism resistant, tricky to scale and when dense hard to push through. They also bring ecosystem benefits; hedges attract wildlife making great nesting places for birds, they can help cool our cities in summer and reduce flash-flooding by absorbing rainwater. They even help mitigate noise and airborne pollution.
Hedges of deciduous species have three extra benefits:
•Most can be renovated when they get too large- this is not the case with many evergreen coniferous hedges, which simply have to be replaced.
•Deciduous hedges filter winds, lowering the speed of damaging gusts and as a result are unlikely to be damaged; evergreen hedges can funnel them causing a wind tunnel and in severe gales may be damaged.
•They are easy to prune. Uneven trimming is generally less obvious and soon forgotten once the hedge grows, or leaves fall.
When to renovate
Once a hedge has reached its desired size, pruning is usually carried out annually for informal hedges, perhaps two or three times a year for the neatest, formal examples. Despite gardeners’ best efforts however, hedges can gradually develop
AS SHE OFTEN DOES, naturalist and nature writer Nancy Lawson—perhaps known better to some of you as the Humane Gardener after the title of her first book—caught my attention the other day.
In a world being reshaped by climate change, gardeners are increasingly asking themselves what can be done to counter the destructive effects of extreme weather events. The answer, as we’re discovering, is to take a nature-friendly approach that supports and nurtures resilience.
Making your spider plants curly and full is the right blend of science and care. We’ll help you how to master the approach with correct tips.
Little is more discouraging than discovering healthy and recently-planted spring borders and developing vegetable crops damaged or eaten by rabbits; it’s enough to bring the Elmer Fudd out in the mildest of gardeners. Annoyingly rabbits are most active feeders early in morning and at dusk, and so often hard to spot; they also seem attracted to newly-planted areas. But by employing a range of tactics it is possible to reduce problems.
These days, it's certainly acceptable to think beyond the traditional all-white kitchen, but you should be mindful when making your color selection.
With bold floral prints and themes coming back for 2024, now is the perfect time to add the most striking kind of decor to your space: a living plant wall.
Bagworms are caterpillars that make homes using twigs and silk. If you see bags hanging from your plants, they might be bagworms, causing harm by eating leaves and adding weight to branches. You can remove them manually, use insecticides with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), or invite birds and wasps to control them. If the problem persists, consult a pest control professional.
In his classic book Mormon Country, author Wallace Stegner noted that nineteenth century Mormons planted rows of Lombardy poplar trees wherever they established settlements in the territory that is now Utah. The trees served as windbreaks and boundary markers, but they were also the flags that marked the advance of Mormon civilization in a hostile territory. In my hometown and lots of other towns all over the United States elm trees served a similar function, marking the spread of middle class residential neighborhoods during the end of the nineteenth and the first third of the twentieth centuries. In the 1960’s almost all of those tall elegant trees fell prey to Dutch Elm Disease, making each municipality a little poorer.
This year, when gardeners look at plant and seed catalogs, I think they will be inclined to go for the safe and familiar. After all, even optimists need a sense of security. It will probably be a banner year for roses of all kinds, with reds selling well. The ongoing vogue for cottage flowers will probably continue to be strong. In fact, the wildest thing many people will invest in come spring will be a few of the more bizarre coleus cultivars.
Tender climbing perennial plants which are free flowering and suitable for growing in pots in the greenhouse, or for planting out of doors. They are closely related to the Snapdragon (Antirrhinum), to whose family, Scrophulariaceae, they belong.