Archive for November, 2017

Hot Topic- Blue Planet II, beautiful or devastating?

Plastic pollution has reached the very depths of our oceans, according to data released on behalf of Sky Ocean Rescue. A team led by scientists at Newcastle University has sampled organisms found in six of the world’s deepest ocean trenches.” Taken from skynews.com

In wake of the widely praised Blue Planet II, the topic of pollution in the Ocean and the amount of plastic being found in the deepest layers is a global concern. Plastic is being found inside the stomachs of many creatures and recently it was broadcasted a 5 mile stretch of plastic and waste was found floating in the Caribbean. This just shows the effect we are having on our eco-system with the use of plastic and how it is reaching the most remote and secluded areas, meaning the inhabitants of said areas are digesting materials that are foreign to their digestive systems.

 

“An estimated 300 million tonnes of plastic now litters the oceans, with more than 5 trillion plastic pieces – weighing over 250,000 tonnes – currently floating on the surface.” Taken from skynews.com

We are consciously told and informed about the effects pollution has on a numerous factors. The health of our Oceans, the air quality we are living in, welfare for wildlife, greenhouse gas contribution, just to name a few. Blue Planet II has shown us breath taking footage of never seen before creatures but it also highlights the deteriorating habitats that they live in,
“The health of our oceans is under threat. They’re changing at a faster rate than ever before in human history.” David Attenborough, Blue Planet II. I think the most disheartening factor is that all mentioned effects of pollution have one thing in common- they are caused by Humans.

 

Ocean pollution is a hot topic as of late and it is reassuring to see it was one of the main topics discussed in the budget that was announced this week. The chancellor, Philip Hammond, will announce in next week’s budget a “call for evidence” on how taxes or other charges on single-use plastics such as takeaway cartons and packaging could reduce the impact of discarded waste on marine and bird life, the Treasury has said.” Taken from theguardian.com. This proposal was greatly accepted and commended by wildlife groups. This is in line with the 5p single carrier bag charge that was introduced 2 years ago, which has resulted in a 85% reduction in their use in the first 6 months of being implemented. One of the biggest contributions to plastic pollution is coffee cups. Most coffee cups are lined with a layer of polyethylene which makes the cup waterproof, but makes it difficult for the cup to be effectively recycled, because it can’t be easily separated. Taken from sciencealaert.com The chancellor proposes a ‘deposit return scheme’.

Tisha Brown is an Oceans campaigner for Greenpeace UK and stated that, “Ocean plastic pollution is a global emergency, it is everywhere from the Arctic Ocean at top of the world to the Marianas trench at the bottom of the Pacific. It’s in whales, turtles and 90% of sea birds, and it’s been found in our salt, our tap water and even our beer.”

Fashion brands are also doing their part to help in this global emergency. Adidas have recently brought out a pair of trainers that are made entirely from Ocean plastic and there is an eyewear company called Sea2See Eyewear that is making boutique spectacles from plastic pollution.

“Sea2See employs local fishermen to collect the plastic that accumulates in trawler nets, which is then divided into what can be made into eyewear and what can be sold to other companies which recycle. It takes 10kg of plastic to make one pair of glasses…which given that there’s more than 8 million tonnes of the stuff being thrown into the ocean every year, is a pretty sustainable business model.”

Blue Planet II has done more than just introduce us to the weird and wonderful, viewers have had a front row seat to the damage we are causing to marine life and the devastating effects it is having on the creatures that call the ocean their home. We just hope that with all the new campaigns and legislation’s that are soon the be put into place, we are able to clean up the Oceans and restore habitats before it is too late.

Blue Planet II is shown Sundays on BBC1 at 8pm.

Fore more information, please see graphics below and visit these organisations:
Greenpeace
BBC Blue Planet II  
Plastic Oceans
WWF
Sea2see Eyewear

 

Self-Care Week, Garden Feng Shui & Superstar Sea Buckthorn

This week is self-care week, which I bet most people need every week, especially with the harsh weather now making the early morning commute that less desirable. However it is not all doom and gloom, this time of year is one of the busiest and best times for events, socialising and enjoying all the festivities. So naturally we are all going to start feeling a bit tired and worn out. General advice like taking a long bath, finding yourself a quiet space to sit with your thoughts for an hour are drilled into us and we find ourselves spending money on a super fruity, vitamin packed smoothie that promises to make you feel like a spring chicken again, only to disappoint. You don’t need to go to such extreme lengths and effort to have a bit of ‘me’ time to get yourself feeling like you again.

 

If one of your main hobbies is gardening or just horticulture in general, then there are so many ways you can combine this with your health. For general well-being, try introducing some plants into your home, some of them have qualities that most people don’t know about. For example, Aloe Vera is great for air purification, the plant continuously releases oxygen through the night so it’s a good one to keep in the bedroom as it keeps the air very clean. Usually we read not to keep plants in the bedroom due to release of CO2. Another champion and one that might surprise you to have in your home is, English Ivy. Although more commonly used to climb up the sides of our homes, English Ivy (Hedera Hibernica) is a great air purifier, The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that English Ivy can remove up to 78% of airborne mould in just 12 hours, taken from metro.co.uk. Most commonly know for its calming effect is the Lavender plant, used widely in lotions, candles and room sprays. Lavender is a market favourite for helping people who struggle with sleeping issues. Other air purifying plants include the Spider Plant, Peace Lily and Lady Palm. To view more plants that have health benefits, visit here.

If you are thinking about doing some re-development in your gardens, keep in mind what you can interpret in your designs that can turn your gardens into a ‘peace garden’. Adding a water feature, no matter the size, can be really beneficial in achieving a bit of zen and it will make your gardens a place you can sit and relax to the sound of trickling water.

Now I think it would be a bit rude of us to not mention the incredibly talented Sea Buckthorn hedge. This is a very interesting plant, the berries are edible and nutritious (15 times more vitamin C than an orange according to Wikipedia) but bitter and oily, the oils are used in cosmetic production. In China it is used a great deal as a herbal medicine for coughs, digestion, blood circulation and pain. There is also talk of cancer fighting properties found in Sea Buckthorn. Although it’s not well known, it has a lot of uses, Sea Buckthorn berries have long been used in India for their many health benefits and are most commonly used in herbal teas. A powerful antioxidant, Sea Buckthorn is known as nature’s most balanced fruit. Bursting with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals such as, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, K, P and Omeaga 3, 6, 7 and 9. Studies have shown that Sea Buckthorn can help with cardiovascular, memory, growth, anti-inflammatory, and skin health.

 

It is very prickly and is great as a vandal proof barrier hedge – the thorns are hidden amongst the berries so it could take an intruder by surprise. The leaves are an attractive grey colour, which is a common colour for coastal plants. The berries are bright orange and there are loads of them – it makes a spectacular display in Winter and the berries are often retained throughout winter. It is resistant to salt spray so that explains it’s name but actually as long as it is grown in full sun it will grow in any soil other than heavy wet soils. It is used to stabilise river banks and on steep slopes, it’s good as a windbreak and its roots fix nitrogen in the soil so it’s of great use in poor soil areas.


What a champion of a hedging plant! Hedges Direct hope you all have a fun and enjoyable weekend, even if it consists of a TV box set marathon, put your feet up, you deserve it!

 

Gardening Essentials

As we wake up to frost on our cars and the heating bill increasing over the next few months, it’s safe to say that the love-hate relationship we have with Winter is upon us. Bare roots are being lifted and now is the perfect time to plant them in preparation for a bloom in spring. Here at Hedges Direct we have many planting essentials that can help the growth and development of your hedges and make Winter gardening that bit easier. 

Topsoil

When planting a new hedge or tree it is always advised to check the quality of your soil. Plants require a certain amount of nutrients in order to thrive and all plants look for these nutrients in the first 5-20 cm (2-8inches) of the soil, hence the name Topsoil! This is the ideal, easy solution to improving your soil ready for new plantings. Topsoil is a specially selected, graded product and, as the name suggests, is the top layer of the soil – the upper 2-8 inches to be more precise. This section of the soil plays an important role when planting new hedges and shrubs as it supplies the bulk of the nutrients and it’s where the majority of growth takes place for the first few growing seasons.

Topsoil has a variety of uses in the garden, suited to the planting of hedges, shrubs and trees, whilst also being beneficial to new turf. From levelling your planting surface to increasing the nutrient count in the soil, topsoil is the perfect planting product and reduces the need to apply further compost or fertiliser.

For all round improvement and a nutrient boost for new plants, topsoil is the go-to option.

Rootgrow

No garden should be without this planting companion. Made from a combination of native fungi, known as mycorrhizal fungi, Rootgrow is an all-natural product that is hugely beneficial to the roots of plants and the surrounding soil. When applied to the root system during planting, Rootgrow provides a sort of secondary root system that gives the plant easy access to the nutrients in the soil as well as reducing the impact of drought and other environmental factors that can affect establishment.

It only takes one Rootgrow treatment to reap the benefits and notice a difference to your plants within a few weeks.

 

How much will I need?

Rootgrow can be applied in a granule form, to sprinkle into the planting hole, or made into a gel, ideal for dipping bare roots. Except for the 150g packet, which is granule only, all of the Rootgrow sizes can be made into a gel formula or sprinkled. We recommend using the gel method for bare roots, as the paste will go much further and be more cost effective than granules. Use the table below to calculate how much Rootgrow you’ll need, note that we have based this table on the use of the gel for bare roots and granules for all others. Usage is approximate as root sizes vary by species.

Don’t forget if you are ordering Rootgrow with Box bare roots then please add 20% to the recommended usage level to allow for the large root system.

Well-rotted organic matter

Adding well-rotted organic matter such as compost or manure to your soil is both a traditional and effective way to improve your soil. You can start by improving the texture, digging into the soil and breaking up any large lumps which will be helpful to the root systems of new plants trying to establish. You can then dig in about half a wheel-barrow full of organic matter, ensuring as you dig back over you are making sure it’s fully incorporated into your soil.

The list of benefits associated with adding organic matter to your soil include: increasing the nutrients in the soil; improving the structure which provides easy access to the nutrients; improving the water holding capability; and attracting worms and other insects that play a part in continually improving the health of your soil.

 

 

The Landscape Show 2017 & Why To Choose Hedges Direct

The Landscape Show 2017

Recently Hedges Direct attended the annual Landscape show. “A trade event dedicated to qualified garden designers, landscape architects and contractors. It is a platform for them to network and source market-leading products to use in high end projects worldwide.” taken from landscapeshow.co.uk. The team chatted to many landscapers about what we do how we can help. It was great for the team and the day was filled with giving and receiving advice and knowledge, we also gave away a free bottle of bubbly to a lucky winner! We can’t wait for 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So why do Landscapers use Hedges Direct?

Here at Hedges Direct we pride ourselves in the highly established relationships we have with landscapers across the country. With over a decade of experience in the horticultural industry and a wide range of the finest suppliers and growers, we are confident that we can provide landscapers with everything they need for projects large or small.

Availability

Our friendly staff are on hand 6 days a week (7 in peak seasons) to offer immediate, bespoke quotes guaranteed to beat our competitor’s prices and unrivalled advice should you need it. Available by phone or email and if you’re busy at the time but want to talk to our staff, you can request a call back and one of our team members will get back to you within the hour.

Our range of fantastic Stock

We have a wide range of stock to satisfy even the most diverse of your customer briefs. Over the past ten years our product range has grown to successfully achieve an increasing range of project objectives. We now supply over 100 hedge plant species, and almost all are available in every root type; cell grown, pot grown, bare roots, root balls and professionally maintained instant hedge units for an immediate garden feature. We have all heights of hedging from 10cm to 9m and even larger specs available with this years’ addition of extra tall root ball plants in our most popular species. We know that our landscapers are faced with large garden projects which is why we offer discounted pallet deals so they can achieve these big projects when restricted to a budget.

In addition to our wide selection of hedging, we offer pleached, topiary, ornamental trees, turf, and a selection of the best planting essentials in the market.

We have a great relationship with some of the finest growers in the industry. When you order from us you can rest assured you will receive high quality plants as they are grown in perfect conditions by professionals with generations of experience. With this supply base, we are able to source external products so if we don’t stock what you’re looking for, we can source it for you.

We offer simple, quick and convenient delivery solutions

It’s important for landscapers that delivery is prompt and on time with no hassle, the last thing they want is to turn up to a new job and be stood twiddling their thumbs waiting for the plants to arrive.

Using our experience in dispatch and logistics, we can assure our landscapers that our delivery is made accurately and on time. Most orders are despatched within 3-5 working days with the option of next day delivery available, just call us on 01257 263873 when placing your order to see if we can get your plants to you the following day. We can guarantee landscapers AM delivery at no extra cost or at a time more suitable to them at a location of their choice. We don’t require a signature upon delivery so we can deliver them to the project location before you arrive. We take great care in selecting our currier partners so our plants arrive to you in perfect condition. We like to save landscapers money whenever we can so for order over £50, delivery is on the house!

Ive been delighted with Hedges Direct, they’re reliable in both their delivery arrangements and the quality of their stock. Deliveries on the day and at the time that I needed them”  Helen Voisey, MSGD & BALI Registered Designer, Helen Voisey Garden Design, Leeds.

 

The Hedging Network!

You may have already heard about the The Hedging Network through one of our email newsletters or read about in numerous trade publications. As a nationwide supplier of hedging plants (amongst other things) we are regularly asked by our customers for recommended horticulture experts in their area, and until now, we did not have a complete referral solution. The Hedging Network was created to bring together a selection of reputable and experienced landscapers and garden designers from around the country, in order to display their contact details in one location.

Joining The Hedging Network allows your company details to be visible to the thousands of potential customers browsing our website every day. As an Approved Member, our Sales team are able to refer customers directly to you when placing their order. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from Approved Members and it’s completely FREE to join!

In addition to your contact details being visible within our database, a direct link to your website will also be included so that browsing customers can easily access more information if it was needed. An Approved Member has full access to our approved badge which can be displayed on your website so you can showcase your membership and advertise that your company demonstrates the high level of quality service and expertise required to meet The Hedging Network criteria. We also broadcast our new joiners on our social media pages, reaching even more clientele.

We’re a social bunch at Hedges Direct and continuously share the relationship we have with our Approved Members through our various social media accounts. Our Approved Members frequently send pictures of the projects they have completed with our products, which are then shared to our thousands of social media fans and followers. These posts include a link to your website and a mention of your relationship with us to exhibit the high level of trust we have with your services.