Archive for June, 2010

No escape from Hedging, even on holiday!

Being a hedge-enthusiast even takes over holidays. I’ve just been, with Dave (husband and co-director) to Ile de Rê which is a small island just off the coast of France linked by bridge to La Rochelle. It’s very flat so ideal for cycling which is what we did – and that gives you a lovely view into people’s gardens! It’s always interesting to see what grows well in places we visit – you get so used to seeing what is all around where you live, and sometimes it takes you by surprise to see how different the plant species are in different parts of the country – or abroad.   We’re always a bit nervous when people buy hedging from us to take to France or to have delivered to France – the weather is so much drier and warmer and what does well here might not do so well in France (we also despatch to Ireland and Channel Islands and the same applies).

Anyway, what was great to see was that the species we recommend for coastal positions here also do really well on Ile de Rê – Oleaster and Escallonia particularly. We were also pleased to see Cherry Laurel, Privet, Hawthorn, Cotoneaster, Gorse, Hypericum, Bay Laurel, Leylandii (though some of it was quite wind burnt but then Ile de Rê is an island in the Atlantic!), Lonicera, Mexican Orange Blossom and Rosa Rugosa – we need not be so cautious with ex-pat customers wanting to use familiar species in the French gardens.

What we were most struck by was the lack of Griselinia – a superb species for coastal locations particularly but also suitable for all but the coldest areas. Our plants are either grown on our own nurseries or sourced from specialist growers in Ireland – so perhaps the French just haven’t discovered it as a suitable species. We were also amazed by the number of Euonymus hedges – this is a species we recommend for coastal situations but the plants are much more expensive than the other coastal species of Oleaster, Griselinia and Escallonia – so we tend to sell smaller quantities of Euonymus – but it did look really good – lovely lush dark green glossy leaves with a slightly serrated edge. Perhaps we should be importing Euonymus from France and exporting Griselinia to France!  Here’s a holiday snap of Dave sitting by a Euonymus Bravo hedge with a few bicycles.   He thinks I was taking a photo of him, but actually it was the hedge!

Dave sitting by a Euonymus Bravo hedge with a few bicycles

Dave sitting by a Euonymus Bravo hedge with a few bicycles