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01 Dec 2021

Gardening with Jo: Hedge your bets

With Jo McGarry of Caragh Nurseries

Gardening with Jo: Hedge your bets

The recent Ideal Home Show in the RDS was a fabulous show and a great success for us at Caragh Nurseries. It was so lovely to be able to show our trees and plants off and the new products that we have added since we last did a show went down so very well.

I was absolutely blown away by the response to my outdoor furniture collection, called Finn & Elder. The collection has been my dream for so very long that as it's now become a reality and the response was phenomenal, I have had to pinch myself. We were in the privileged position of selling out of all our 2021 stock quite early in the summer and we’ve had a battle on our hands to get more built by our amazing craftsmen but now we have some stocks and more in production too. I have also been back in the design studio creating the new collection for 2022.

That aside, I did say I’d have some hedging information for you this week so here goes.

The two main categories available in root-ball are those used for evergreen hedging and trees. Evergreen root-ball plants are ideal for establishing a tall hedge quickly that will provide cover all year around.

Laurels, on the other hand, offer huge practical advantages since they are fast growing, hardy, and will thrive in most growing conditions. These features make them an obvious choice for garden hedging.

Cherry Laurel, or Common Laurel as it’s widely known, is, as the name suggests, the most sought after option. Its thick, large, glossy green leaves provide an effective privacy screen with instant impact, if so required. Dense growth structure will also reduce the amount of wind and noise that passes through the area.

Portuguese Laurel, along with the main features mentioned above, provides beautiful contrast, with darker, glossy green leaves against deep red stems. Leaves are slightly more pointed than the rounder Common counterpart, and they will develop small, white, fragrant flowers in spring. Little red berries develop later in the year, although do bear in mind these are in much demand this year and will become scarce after Christmas when the prices are likely to hike up!

Laurel Etna, while also featuring the elements apparent in all Laurel varieties, is characterised by a warm, bronze appearance on initial growth, that turns green as it ages into bright, round glossy leaves. Soft, white flowers are produced in spring, progressing to shiny, black berries in autumn. Laurel Etna also grow wider and resemble more of a spherical shape than upright so they are great when you want really good cover but they do keep their shape well which is really attractive.

We also stock some attractive alternative evergreen hedging that offers similar features to the Laurel varieties. Photinia Red Robin makes a spectacular evergreen hedge, with its red, glossy young foliage, and large, rounded heads of ivory flowers. It can cope with hard pruning, so can be trimmed to form an informal hedge or clipped into strong shapes.

Viburnum Tinus Eve Price also provides winter interest in the garden, as its dense, dark green foliage produces flowers from late winter all the way through until spring. Pink flower buds appear first, opening to small white flowers and it finally produces small dark berries later in the year.

Next week we are continuing with more hedging and looking at those all important edibles with some help from our in-house foragers Marie and Kathryn. Until then, happy gardening.

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