Archive for the ‘A Focus On’ Category

Hedges & Pollution

Recently we have been featured in an article by the evening standard on pollution within the city and how hedging can help tackle the problem of air pollution. The harmful impact of urban air pollution could be combated by strategically placing low hedges along roads in a built-up environment of cities instead of taller trees, a new study has found. Hedges are often better than trees at soaking up air pollution, with their lower growth heights they can trap toxins from an exhaust pipe level. Scientists and professors have said that councils should consider planting hedging between pedestrians and the streets, if the pavement size permits. Despite their potential to improve air quality in the most polluted parts of towns, hedges are more commonly found in the suburbs rather than the city.

The use of trees in helping pollution levels is still vast and should not be dismissed, more a continuation of planting, however it is said that hedging has been neglected and their benefits overlooked.

 

“Dr Kumar, of Surrey University, told BBC News: “The big thing about hedges is that they are right down at tailpipe level.

“The emissions from vehicles starts to dilute very quickly as you move away from the road – so any hedge that acts as a barrier slowing down the airflow and catching pollutants on the leaves is going to offer people in homes better protection.”” Taken from BBC news article.

The main areas affected by pollution and in need of new ways to eliminate toxins are mainly in the city,

“Urban air quality continues to be a primary health concern as most of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas (54% in 2014), and percentage is projected to rise to 66% by 2050; this is coupled with the fact that one of the main global sources of air pollution in cities is traffic emissions.” Taken from The Tree Council

Professor Kumar said scientists were currently investigating which species of hedge plant made the best pollution absorbent. At Hedges Direct we would suggest species like Western Red Cedar due to its dense leaves. Not only will it help the environment, it is also very attractive when it’s fully matured with its vibrant fronds that are mid-dark green. Other species like Yew, Portuguese Laurel and Lonicera Nitdia would be a valuable choice also.

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 

 

The Hedging Network: A Focus on Robert Hughes

Here at Hedges Direct, we’re passionate about introducing our customers to reliable, experienced landscapers and garden designers in their local area. In order to pair up our customers with local planting professionals, we created The Hedging Network, which allows you to locate and choose from our database of approved horticultural experts. Having worked with these companies on previous projects, we’ve built up strong, trusting relationships and we’re confident in the knowledge that our quality products are in the hands of professionals. So, now when you see The Hedging Network’s ‘Approved’ badge, you too can be confident that the expertise and reliability demonstrated by your local landscaper or garden designer, sufficiently meets the standards expected of The Hedging Network.

This is the first article in our new ‘A focus on…’ series, which hopes to shine the spotlight on some of our Approved members. To kick start the series, we interviewed one of the founding members of The Hedging Network, Robert Hughes of Robert Hughes Garden Design. A two time RHS award winning Landscaper turned Garden Designer from Cardiff, who is currently living his dream working through a long list of design projects and show gardens. We managed to grab a few minutes with him, in between projects, to gain a snippet into his busy schedule –

 

  1. How did you get started in the industry?

I graduated in Product Design in 2003.  I decided to enter landscaping industry after being inspired by the exciting, architectural and daring designs created by Diarmuid Gavin on Homefront in the garden around that time.  From then on I gained experience by building gardens whilst studying at home in order to achieve my dream to become a Garden Designer.  I established my company in 2008 and went on to win my first RHS Silver gilt medal with my first garden in 2009.

A focus on Robert Hughes Garden Design 2

  1. What does a typical day look like?

Having only recently given up the tools, my days are now much more relaxed. After a cup of tea to start the day and get the brain ticking, I sit at my desk with the views up to the local mountain and let the creative juices flow.  I’m usually juggling up to 10 projects at any one time so I will spend a few hours on one project and leave those ideas to incubate, I’ll then work on another project at a different stage and every now and again I’ll make a trip out to meet my clients to discuss the designs.

 

  1. Which of your projects have you most enjoyed working on, and why?

My most enjoyable project to date would have to be my recent RHS Cardiff show garden, ‘Office box’.  I’m always working towards reaching my goal of exhibiting my own style, having my own personal edge.  This garden is the closest garden I’ve created to date which really speaks of my personal taste and demonstrates my capabilities.

A focus on Robert Hughes Garden Design

  1. What’s your number one gardening tip?

Well I’m more of a hard landscaping expert so I think I’ll focus on that.  A common mistake most people make is using a jet wash to clean the algae from their patios.  This opens up the stones pores and means that the patio will probably go green twice as quick next time around.  There’s some products on the market which help prevent the growth of Algae.  Solve the problem before it arises and keep on top of cleaning off any dust, dirt or leaves to keep those patios looking like new.

 

  1. What are you working on next?

Along with many other exciting projects I’m currently working alongside a local Architect firm to create a contemporary garden which will complement their bold statement of a reimagined 1960’s contemporary house in Penarth, South Wales.  I am also currently seeking a sponsor to work alongside and start making plans towards exhibiting another show garden at one of next year’s prestigious RHS flower shows.

We hope you enjoyed this insight into his expertise. Stay tuned for the next installment in the series, coming in 2016 and head over to our Hedging Network to see what horticultural experts are in your area.

For landscapers and garden designers, if you would like to become an approved member of our reputable Hedging Network, please contact trade@hedgesdirect.co.uk or give us a call on 01257 263876 and ask to speak to a member of the Trade Team.