How to plant a bare root hedge

Bare Root hedging offers a great, cost-effective solution to hedging at home. Generally, bare root plants are deciduous so they can seem slightly disappointing when they arrive as the plants will be dormant. However, what you really get is a substantial root system and a decent amount of stem (depending on the age/height) and side shoots. Once you plant your bare roots and spring arrives you will soon see your plants flourish and realise you have made a fantastic investment!

Bare root hedging is one of the most cost effective methods in hedging planting. They cost less to grow and once they are planted they are left in the fields for years (until ready for purchase) instead of being re-potted year on year. As this root type is only available when the plants are completely dormant, from November to late April/early May, they can only be delivered and planted during this period (exact dates of the season depend on the weather each year). Please watch our video on how to plant a bare root hedge, we have used Yew hedging to demonstrate.

It is important to note that there is a failure rate attached to bare root hedging plants – 10% for most species. However, we find that when planted with Rootgrow all plants establish better, with a low failure rate.

Rootgrow contains Mycorrhizal fungi which is a living organism, essential to all plant root development, which enables plants to extract nutrients and absorb moisture more efficiently – it’s like Yakult for plants! Rootgrow will improve your hedges disease and drought resistance, soil condition, fruit and flower production and the shock caused by transplanting, planting with Rootgrow will result in triple the growth rate compared to none treated plants. Hedging planted with Rootgrow will experience better, earlier growth with fewer losses. Only one treatment of Rootgrow is needed to support the plant for its entire lifetime. For more information on the how to use Rootgrow, please watch the video on how to use Rootgrow Gel, which is what we used in our demonstration video.

 

 

Love Your Home and Garden features Hornbeam Pleached Trees from Hedges Direct

The final episode of Love Your Home and Garden featured Ann and Richard Price from Chester who have spent many years helping others through their charitable work and in addition, fostering almost 20 children. In recognition of their selfless dedication to others which has meant that their home and garden has taken much of a back seat in their busy lives, the Love Your Home and Garden team took on the challenge of creating a new indoor-outdoor space with a harmonious, natural flow for them and their family to now enjoy.

Hedges Direct’s help was once again enlisted to provide plants for the garden, but unlike other occasions, this garden featured products of the non-hedging variety! For this episode we supplied products from our other ranges of plants, namely the Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) tall pleached trees and border perennials which helped to create the wildflower meadow section of the garden.

Carpinus Betulus

Hornbeam Pleached Trees featured on Love Your Home & Garden in the final episode which aired on 13/09/17

Work in progress

Squared cane framework creating distinctive and traditional pleached shaping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pleached trees
, also known as ‘hedging on stilts’, are a traditional and formal method of training young branches onto canes creating a framework over which the tree develops and grows into a specific shape. The stems are long and straight giving the stilt-like effect. These trees are increasingly popular in modern garden design, providing architectural interest in both urban and rural garden settings. They are often used to provide an attractive high level screen above fencing or walls for an extra level of privacy, or to create a shaded area.

The Hornbeam pleached trees featured on this episode will develop in fullness and growth, eventually  providing  this type of screening and shade through the summer months.

 

Hedges Direct are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of these specialist trees with expert growers providing some of the finest specimens in a range of species, ages and sizes including the more unusual espalier pleached, roof form and box head trees. Species varieties include Hornbeam, Beech, Lime, Maple, Cherry Laurel, Oak and Photinia amongst others. Whilst most are established over several years and are removed with their full root ball as developed specimens, we also supply a small range of potted pleached trees.

For more information about our range of pleached trees, click here or call the sales team on 01257 263873.

 

 

 

 

Various pleached varieties in growing field

Tilia Mongolica and Carpinus Betulus Pleached

Pleached Espalier

Roof Form Pleached Trees

Hedges Direct At The 2017 Custodian Awards

Hedges Direct Sponsors Horticulture Week’s Custodian Awards 2017

Stunning and historic Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire this week played host to the combined event which was Horticulture Week‘s Parks and Gardens Live 2017 and The Custodian Awards which recognises outstanding contributions to the creation, renovation, maintenance and management of parks and gardens across the UK.  The Abbey, which has been home to the Earls and Dukes of Bedford since the 1620s has stunning feature gardens which have over recent years been beautifully restored by the team at Woburn Abbey, along with an extensive deer park and elegant building architecture with an ornate and striking interior. All in all it was the perfect setting in which to celebrate the achievements of exceptionally dedicated and innovative teams, striving to preserve and enhance our estates and green spaces to provide enjoyment and education both now and in the future.

 

Parks and Gardens Live featured a number of exhibitors from seeds and topsoil to grounds maintenance machinery, and product showcases of various types took place throughout the day as well as gardener led tours of the abbey and gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside there were a number of expert-led workshops to inform and share best practice on a range of subjects. It was a fantastic opportunity for learning and networking for the horticultural community in attendance.

The Parks and Gardens Live event was followed by the Horticulture Week Custodian Awards which took place in the beautiful Sculpture Gallery building. Hedges Direct were proud sponsors for these prestigious awards which were attended by teams and individuals from all over the UK and Perennial, the horticultural industry charity were also the official partners for the event.

Lord Michael Heseltine, former cabinet MP kindly agreed to present the awards, and spoke with the audience on how he was an avid and ‘manic gardener’. He stated that his garden had provided him with great relief from the stress of life in the cabinet during his time as an MP. He also spoke of how he felt passionately that gardens and green spaces could be of huge benefit to all, but could be especially important in transforming the environment in disadvantaged communities. An inspiring and heartfelt speech.

Hedges Direct were also sponsors of the ‘Gardens Restoration and Development Project’ Award which was won by The National Trust’s Bodnant Garden for their restoration work on ‘The Bath’, an ornamental pool which dates back to the Victorian period at Bodnant Hall on the Bodnant Estate in North Wales. Click here to find out more about this unique project.

Pictured below is the winning team with the award presented by Hedges Direct’s Sales Manager, Nick Elson and Lord Heseltine. Well done to the team from Bodnant Garden!

There were some outstanding projects highlighted at the awards from community involvement initiatives to painstaking restoration. In particular there was a moving recognition for the Thipeval Heritage Park Team from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the memorial and garden at the location of the battle of the Somme at which 70,000 fallen soldiers are commemorated and remembered, and which was the centre of the centenary celebrations in 2016.

Overall, it was a fantastic day and lovely to see the wonderful work from so many dedicated people.

For details on the award winners and all their inspiring and creative projects click here 

 

Love Your Garden 2017

Hedges Direct proud to support ITV’s Love Your Garden in 2017

2017 sees Hedges Direct once again teaming up with Love Your Garden to help create some more dream spaces for the deserving and inspirational people featured in this series. The first episode was particularly emotional featuring Mark Ormrod, an ex-Royal Marine and a triple amputee who was injured in an IED explosion whilst serving in Afghanistan. Being physically incapacitated in this way has meant that although Mark with his iron willpower has embraced life in many positive and far reaching ways, small things, such as being able to create and maintain an outdoor space for he and his family to enjoy whilst still rehabilitating from his injuries, was difficult to achieve. And so in stepped the ‘Love Your Garden’ team and a host of fantastic suppliers, Hedges Direct included, to help the family of five finally have the recreational and therapeutic space that they so dearly needed.

The garden beforehand was uninspiring and characterless and a far cry from the haven that they wished for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Love Your Garden team took the space and turned it into a multi-functional and defined garden with areas for dining, sitting, playing and recuperating. Some of the planting was contained within built planters to contain growth and to aid the care and maintenance of the plants by being at a raised level thereby being easier to reach, and mature plants were also used to create that established garden feel. The outdoor flooring was low maintenance featuring beautiful porcelain paving around the dining areas, astro type turf for the lawn area and rubberised flooring around the play areas, all of which was levelled off to enable Mark to move around more easily on his prosthetics. Practical yet stunning we’re sure you’ll agree!

Hedges Direct were asked to provide some bamboo for the children’s play area to create a ‘bamboo jungle’ for the path leading from the lawn to the play house. Black Bamboo was provided to the team (Phyllostachys Nigra) in 10L pots. This type of bamboo has intensely black canes (creamy green in the first year) against green foliage, is clump forming and has a lovely arching habit.  It’s height made it a great structural yet flexible addition to the play area whilst planted in such a way that it created a secret and exotic pathway to fire the children’s imaginations; the black pebbles of the path meanwhile are reflected by the black stems of the bamboo, all of which contrasts beautifully to the surrounding pale pebbled areas . Below, Frances plants the bamboo complete with their pots to help keep the bamboo contained to that area, although this being a clumping variety, the bamboo tends not to spread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to Black Bamboo, Hedges Direct also provided some Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Rotundifolia’) which was again used in the children’s play area behind the climbing frame. Once grown to maturity, this lovely glossy green hedge will screen the fencing behind creating a more natural feel to complement the chunky wood of the climbing frame.

The family now have the most amazing garden in which to relax, play, entertain and for Mark to continue his rehabilitation. We are proud and honoured to have helped the Love Your Garden team once again in 2017;  we all wish the Ormrod family the very best and hope that they have many happy years enjoying this wonderful, inspirational space!

Love Your Garden continues on ITV throughout the summer and Hedges Direct will feature again later in the year (we’ll let you know when). If you missed this episode, you can catch up at the ITV Hub.

Get the Winning Look!

This month Hedges Direct sponsored the APL Awards at The Brewery, London to the project value of £100,000 – £200,000. The winner of this prestigious award went to the professional landscape company The Gardenmakers for their garden project at Vale Farm. The project was inspired by a contemporary style, incorporating a mixed medium of hard landscaping materials and colourful borders of shrubs and flowers.

APL Awards - Winning project, value £100,000-£200,000

Here at Hedges Direct, we wanted to showcase how to re-create the look for yourself with the help of our fantastic products.

The Gardenmakers were briefed to create a garden that will be used for relaxing and enjoyment throughout the seasons. English Lavender makes a wonderful low hedge and is ideal for bordering pathways. It is the perfect choice for a sensory garden, attracting a variety of wildlife including butterflies and birds. The flowering spikes also produce a sweet scent which will help you feel relaxed and create a calming atmosphere.

When creating shelter from the wind, the rule of thumb is that a good hedge on level ground will provide full wind protection for a distance of five times the hedge’s height. Our Hornbeam hedge plant, Carpinus Betulus is suited for wet sites, working well as a windbreak, noise barrier and creating a privacy screen.

Evergreen hedging provides a year-round green boundary in gardens, along with being a safe nesting site for birds and a great backdrop to show off more colourful plants. They also help reduce noise levels and absorb pollution. Taxus Baccata or more commonly known, Yew is the king of hedging with luxurious, dark green foliage and is slow growing for easy maintenance.

To include areas of interest in the garden The Gardenmakers used a tree to provide a focal point. Cherry Trees are small and weeping, making them ideal for limited spaces. Their display of large blousy pink flowers creates a beautiful display to overt the eye.

The Gardenmakers client’s preferred colour scheme was pinks, purples and blues. Flowering hedging plants is a good way to incorporate different shades and textures into your green space. Escallonia Pink hedging boasts bright pink, bell-shaped flowers which are prominent from June and last right through until around October. Ceanothus ‘Autumnal Blue’ hedging looks great trained against walls and Hebe is an informal flowering hedge which looks great neatened up into a series of mounds with its long tapered flower spikes.

Pink Escallonia, Ceanothus, Hebe

Now we are in Spring and our glorious English sunshine has started to make an appearance, it’s time to get out in to your garden and get creative with your green fingers! Why not show us how you have created this look or your garden transformation over on our Facebook page @HedgesDirect.

For the love of dog! Prune Dogwood now to get radiant colour in winter.

Dogwood varieties are invaluable in winter, their fiery colours and stunning architectural displays are emphasised by the surrounding dismal weather, bare beds and colourless plants. They truly come into their own over winter taking centre stage in any winter garden design.

Dogwoods aren’t just for Christmas! These vibrant plants need to be nurtured in order for you to get the best of their wondrous winter display. Brighter colours are emitted by new growth therefore strategic pruning allows this plant to re-establish throughout the year, ready for winter.

The ideal time and method to prune Dogwood for a winter spectacle is in late March to mid-April, just before the new growth develops. Cut back almost a third of the stem, we suggest keeping the stems about 5-20cm above ground level. It’s a hardy plant so it can withstand such a harsh prune and has a fast growth rate you can cut into the back rest assured that it will grow back. Take a look at the image below of a trimmed Dogwood hedge.

Take a look at our ultimate guide to Dogwood hedge plants for more information on this colourful shrub.

Winners of the Sales Team of the Year award

Hedges Direct was awarded sales team of the year at the Garden Retail Awards 2017. Leading industry title Horticulture Week hosted the awards at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London with host for the night comedian, Jo Caulfield. The event was very much a success with over 300 landscapers and garden professionals in attendance.

Sales team of the year

We wanted to put ourselves forward to recognise our outstanding achievement throughout the year and celebrate success in driving the business forward. Our team were so overwhelmed when we were shortlisted for three awards, and not only did we scoop sales team of the year, but we also went away with a highly commended within the Customer Service Team of the Year category.

“We’re thrilled to have won Sales Team of the Year at the Garden Retail Awards. Our team has over 100 years of combined horticultural experience and that plays a big part in the service we provide to our customers. We have lots of exciting developments in store for 2017 so hopefully we’ll have even more to celebrate next year!”

– Michael McVey, Managing Director

Celebrating our Sales Success

The company has experienced huge growth in 11 years of trading, going from a laptop and a shed to a market leader with over 40 staff. None of this growth would have been possible without an excellent sales technique that continues to drive the company forward.

Our sales staff are experts in the field as they guide the customer through the often confusing process of choosing a hedge, planting and aftercare. They also post impressive sales figures that consistently improve year on year and as a result of their hard work, the company’s turnover has increased 28% on the previous year.

A recent change in the organisation of our customer facing team means that we now have a team dedicated to the care and service of our existing customers and ensuring that everything goes as smoothly as possible. The team are also fully prepped to advise new customers on which plants best suit their needs and ensuring the ordering process is simple. The creation of this new team also means that our sales team can focus their time on new or returning business, ensuring that their efforts are contributing directly to increasing revenue.

Customer Service Excellence

Customers are imperative to success and we pride ourselves on the high levels of customer service we provide. Independent review site, ‘Feefo’, holds over 17,000 customer reviews in which we have a 96% rating. This incredible percentage stems from the dedicated and highly experienced staff who offer expert advice for each individual planting objective along every step of the way.

Year upon year our customer service team grows and matures just like the plants we sell and this year is no different. With additional team members, updated online systems and new relationships with distributers and growers,we are able to help customers in every way possible.

Online Innovation

Hedges Direct were also shortlisted for the Online Excellence Award. Across our two sister sites we received 2.2 million visitors in 2016, a 33.6% uplift on the previous year’s traffic.

With an ever increasing online catalogue of over 100 hedge plant species from a wide range of growers in the UK and Europe, Hedges Direct can proudly boast being experts in the horticultural field. Working within a business that has achieved so many incredible things in its decade trading has stamped an incredible atmosphere on the teams at Hedges Direct. We achieved record turnover, introduced a significant amount of new products and found new ways to offer an exceptional service to our customers.

Plant For A Spring Spectacle

As we turn our backs on winter it’s time to focus on spring and if like me, you’re eager to see new leaf growth, flowers and fruits, Hedges Direct have a great selection of plants with spring interest to satisfy our impatience.

For those wanting features as soon as possible, species such as Blackthorn, Flowering Currant and Forsythia boast beautiful flowers early in the season, so early that new leaves haven’t started to appear yet! Gorse also produce early spring flowers, but being evergreen, its buttery yellow flowers stand out next to the spiky green leaves that remain year round.

The UK didn’t have a white Christmas but you can bring this stunning colour to your garden in spring as Dog Wood, Hawthorn, Pyracantha, Viburnum lantana, June Berry and Wild Cherry, all produce white flowers in different shapes and sizes.

Alternatively, brightly coloured flowers appear on Hypericum, Berberis, Purple Leaf Sand Cherry, Weigela and Potentilla. To get the most of your flowering plants, there are some great tips on pruning spring flowering shrubs in this short video from Gardener’s World Magazine.

You can also access fantastic spring colour with the long awaited new growth of Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’, which offers beautiful displays of red glossy leaves.

Christen the season with catkins! These long, hanging fruits dangle from the branches of Alder, Hazel, Hornbeam and Willow, attracting a range of British birds and other wildlife to your garden.

The species mentioned above are just a handful of spring spectacles. We’ve included a list of our entire collection of plants that offer fantastic interest in spring below:

 

Replacing a 20 year old conifer with a Beech hedge – Green Garden Services 1946 Ltd.

Replacing a hedge may seem a daunting task and a 20 year old, fully established conifer hedge, is as pretty much as daunting as it gets. Luckily for one customer, Tony Work and his team from Green Garden Services 1946 Ltd were on hand to help.

Green Garden Services 1964 Ltd are one of our approved members of The Hedging Network and with over 60 years of gardening experience they are highly qualified and have a strong passion for what they do. Located in the South East of England, they cater for anyone looking for professional gardening services in West Sussex.

Their replacement process began by cutting away the thick foliage of the mature conifer hedge. After heaps of leaves and twigs were removed and loaded into the trailer, the exposed main tree stem is taken from the ground and disposed of.

Tony Work explained we are sure that the old hedge of 20 years did not grow too well due to the planting was direct from the growing pot which should have been broken up so the roots could travel & find their own space”.

Top Tip: Potted plants are cared for in plastic containers which forces the root system to take the shape of its restricted space. When planting pot grown plants it is important to break up the root system so that its structure no longer takes the shape of its container, thus allowing the roots to fully form in their new positions. You can do this by simply shaking off excess soil and freeing the roots with your hands.

The team then placed each pot grown Beech plant in their new position however keeping them in their pots and above the soil. This is to ensure that the spacing between the individual plants is even before they go in the ground.

The plants have been positioned in a double staggered row. When fully grown, this planting method creates a thicker hedge as it will have a substantial depth compared to a hedge initially planted in a single row. Large stakes are then positioned 1.5 metres apart with string tied to each one to ensure the plants are planted in a straight line.

Beech plants have an average to fast growth rate reaching around 30-60 cm per year. A complete Beech hedge will display fantastic bursts of bright green in spring before transforming to a coppery colour in autumn. Alternatively, you can get a Purple Beech hedge for a richer, unique looking feature in spring that will showcase autumnal foliage later in the year. Beech is a native species and therefore offers additional wildlife value.

Tony Work and the team at Green Garden Services 1946 Ltd have a number of ongoing projects so keep your eye out for our blog to see more of their work. You can get their contact details or find local horticultural experts in your area with our Hedging Network.

If you’d like to share your planting process with a chance to be featured on our blog, or are a landscaper, grounds maintenance company or garden designer and want to become an approved member of our Hedging Network please contact trade@hedgesdirect.co.uk.

Hedges Direct Provide Plants For Kingsground Community Project

Hedges Direct recently received an order to help a community project in Eltham. The project was run by Greenwich Conservatives and aimed to screen an area on a busy street in order to provide flats with privacy and prevent a build-up of rubbish discarded by the public.

Matt Clare, the Transport and Environment spokesperson for the Greenwich Conservatives was more than happy to share some information and pictures of the mission.

You can see their planting area below, unfortunately, this open area was littered with a substantial amount of rubbish thrown away by passers-by.

After getting the rubbish cleared up and new bins installed at a nearby bus stop, Matt and his team of volunteers began their work.

They planted pot grown Cherry Laurel plants in a single row spaced around a foot apart, using a spade to dig a hole big enough to simply take the root system out of the pot and plant into the ground.

Top Tip: It is important to break up the roots once removed from their pots to allow them to travel and find their own space in their new position. 

Cherry Laurel plants were chosen for their dense foliage which, when fully grown, will have merged into a close-knit feature that will prevent people from throwing rubbish into the grounds, provide residents with more privacy and help absorb noise pollution from the busy roads.

Being an evergreen species, a Cherry Laurel hedge will keep its lush green leaves offering an effective screen year round. It can either be trimmed to shape to form a more structured look, or left to grow for a naturalistic appearance.

Matt Clare said “Many passers-by spoke to us to share how pleased they were at seeing improvements and a local Facebook group have also been very complimentary. We are speaking with other private landlords in Eltham and very much hope to deliver other projects like this”.

Well done to Matt and his hard working volunteers.

If you have a community project you want to share, get in touch with the marketing department by email marketing@hedgesdirect.co.uk or give us a call on 01257 263873.