Gardening: Brexit bulk buying increases demand for hedges

With Jo McGarry of Caragh Nurseries

Gardening: Brexit bulk buying increases demand for hedges


The year has been so unusual so far, but one of the things that 2020 has brought to us here at Caragh Nurseries is a high demand for some items, including our hedging plants.

The demand for hedging has been Europe-wide and this has been exacerbated by the UK’s Brexit bulk buying prior to the end of the year.

What this means for us is that the high demand for some key hedging plants including beech, laurel and Portuguese laurel has reduced the availability but also increased the market price.

As we have our own stock of availability, we are able to keep prices at a reasonable level but as soon as that stock is gone, it's gone - and although we have secured some stock for thereafter it is at a much higher price.

We have already started selling out of some of our own stocks and although we still have a good selection of sizes available our stocks are getting lower than we’d like at this time of year.

Our beech hedging is available bare-root in only one size now, at 60-90cm, and then the rootballed stock kicks in from 150-175cm, and we still have some stock at these sizes, but a few larger orders will tip those out very quickly. The purple beech stock is even more depleted.

Portuguese laurel has been in high demand for the last couple of years, but this year the demand has been higher again.

The price of the Portuguese laurels that we can buy are ridiculously more expensive than we’d like.

We would prefer not to have to purchase higher priced plants from our European partners at this increased cost - however the huge demand will, I imagine, kick on for a couple of years, unfortunately.

Laurel hedging has also increased in demand but not quite to the same extent - or at least the demand has not outweighed the supply just yet. Yet seeing the demand for supply increasing it will not last for the season until March/ April. So don’t say I didn’t warn you, when it comes to March and lots of the options aren’t available. My message here is that if you need hedging, then don’t hang about.

The good news is that there are some other options that aren’t in such high demand. You can get some more unusual and slightly different options that are still readily available and without the high price tags. These include species such as pyracantha, jasmine, privet and osmanthus, to name just a few. For larger evergreen options, try thuja, yew and bay laurel or perhaps evergreen oak.

The answer is to think outside the box and we are, as always, happy to help you with these choices.

Next week we are looking at screening options in their different forms and the best ways to create security and privacy in your gardens.

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