Archive for the ‘Advice’ Category

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!

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

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.

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.

Popular pests and diseases to look out for

Our gardens are our sanctuary, a place where we can escape into our own little patch of nature. We pride ourselves in the time and effort it takes to make our backyards one to show off. So, to ensure our gardens remain impeccable is to keep it healthy and one of the best ways to maintain a healthy garden is to familiarise yourself with the common garden pests and diseases.

Not every leaf spot, scab or miscolour is an indication of a pest infestation or fungal/bacterial disease, some symptoms are caused by planting conditions or environmental stress. It’s important to spot early signs of pests or diseases as precautions can be made to prevent any unwanted damage as the sooner a pest or disease is identified, the easier it is to eliminate.

But what are the main signs to look out for? Here is some information and expert advice on the 10 most common pests and diseases of hedging plants in the UK, including what to look for and how to deal with them.

Firstly, pests. As all gardeners are aware, there’s always some kind of pest eating away at your plants, but that’s just nature. It doesn’t mean your garden is fighting off an infestation as the healthiest of gardens have all types of bugs which do a sterling job in all sorts of ways, from helping to decompose plant matter, enriching the soil, to aiding with pollination, letting your plants blossom. However, it’s the ‘bad bugs’ which warrant action. Here’s a list of the most conventional UK pests we encounter in our gardens and some advice on stopping them.

Aphids

Aphids are the first on our list as this 3mm long insect is the most common pest your hedge plants will encounter. This sap sucking bug will usually infest young, soft growing tips of plants in spring and summer. With over 500 species in the UK, they are mostly referred to as ‘greenfly’ or ‘blackfly’ but come in all kinds of colours such as yellow, light green and even pink, with some covered in a woolly layer, as with the beech woolly aphid. Aphids multiply quickly, but move slowly so with early identification and correct methods of removal, they are relatively easy to control.

aphids

Aphids themselves are difficult to see however the impact of an aphid infestation is visible to the naked eye. Look for misshapen, curling leaves with a yellowing distortion. You can also check the underside of affected leaves as these troublesome bugs tend to hide there. If leaves or stems are covered with a sticky honeydew, this is an indication of an aphid infestation as this substance is produced by the insect as waste.

Natural predators will do their best to reduce the presence of aphids however you can get rid of them by wiping the infested leaves with a damp cloth or spraying with cold water. Chemical control is also available or use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

 

 

 

Scale insects

Another sap sucking insect, is the Scale, these are limpet-like insects with a protective shell-like casing. There are more than 25 species of scale insect and they are active all year round.

scale

They weaken the growth of young plants, and some species produce white egg masses on stems and on the undersides of leaves. Like aphids, they too leave behind a sticky honeydew substance as a manifestation of their presence.

It is possible to remove scale insects with a brush and warm soapy water or you can purchase an effective insecticide spray.

 

 

 

 

 

Winter moth caterpillars

When discussing winter moth caterpillars, we are not referring to one specific pest. Winter moth is a common name given to the species that have adult moths, they are present and lay eggs from November to April. This name can be deceiving to us gardeners as these insects do all of their damage during the caterpillar stage and can lead us searching for the wrong pest. The caterpillars appear in spring, chewing their way through new growth, leaving holes in leaves and disfigured foliage behind.

Using pesticides in late March to April will prevent winter moths from infesting your plants as they have not hatched, leaving them vulnerable to chemical control. In conjunction with this, attracting birds to your garden is an effective way of eliminating hatched winter moth caterpillars. These insects are favoured among bird species such as tits, so encouraging them with the correct bird food or planting bird friendly hedging will benefit you and your efforts to prevent a winter moth caterpillar strike.

Spider Mites

If you’re a greenhouse gardener, these insects may be your number one enemy as they enjoy wreaking havoc on indoor plants, but will also enjoy attacking outdoor plants, especially Buxus sempervirens. Spider mites are made up of around 1,200 species, live in colonies and are often found on the underside of plant leaves. They leave tiny yellowish green mites and egg shells under affected leaves and if left untreated, a heavy infestation will see fine silk webbing in addition to leaves losing their colour, turning yellow, and may dry up and fall off.

spider-mites

We recommend discarding the use of pesticides as they are quick to develop resistance to them. Regular clipping of the hedge, ensuring that the clippings are disposed of immediately, is an effective way to prevent spider mites from infesting your healthy plants. Insecticidal soaps, horticultural oil or simply washing your plants with a strong blast of cold water are all valuable methods of removing spider mites.

 

 

 

 

 

Vine Weevil

Vine weevil is a beetle known to infest a wide range of ornamental trees, hedging plants and fruits with the tendency to favour plants kept in containers. These 10mm, dull black bugs can be found on plants in spring and summer and will leave irregular notches on the leaves as a sign of their plague. Adult weevils are difficult to find as they mostly come out at night. Give your plant a good shake if there are vine weevils present, as they will fall off your plant when force is administered. In addition to the vine weevil beetle, in autumn and winter, root-eating, soil borne grubs target the roots of a plant which will inevitably cause plants to weaken and die.

vine

Precautions can be made to prevent a vine weevil attack such as chemical and physical control. Check your planting areas, root balls and pots for vine weevils before planting or repotting. There are also a number of insecticides that can be used to treat damaged plants and give protection against a potential attack.

Fungal Diseases

It’s recorded that around 85% of most plant diseases are caused by fungal-like organisms. Their symptoms result in miscolouring, leaf markings and unusual substances covering the surfaces of plants.

 

 

 

Honey fungus

According to the RHS, honey fungus has been the most commonly reported garden disease for 20 years running and is deemed to be the most damaging fungal diseases in the UK. Made up of several destructive species, honey fungus spreads underground attacking the roots of healthy trees, shrubs, hedging, woody and perennial plants.

honey

Honey fungus hinders the growth of developing leaves, whilst causing mature leaves to become pale. At ground level, white fungal growth appears between bark and wood and in some cases, golden brown mushrooms appear briefly on infected stumps, usually in autumn. Honey fungus is a tough disease to get rid of, often digging out the affected shrubs and surrounding plants is the only option to minimise potential spread to other parts of the garden. If you have a known honey fungus contamination in your area, we have a number of plants resistant to this disease. Species such as Box, Hornbeam, Griselinia, Lavender, Lonicera nitida, Yew, Holly, Hebe, Hazel and Blackthorn – all are great choices.

 

 

 

Powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease which occurs on specific species and targets the foliage and stems. Often associated with water stress, powdery mildew appears in summer and autumn. If your plants are experiencing this disease, it can be easily identified as a white powdered substance will be materialise on the foliage.

powdery

You can neutralize powdery mildew both naturally and chemically. Raking autumn leaves and disposing of them will impact the level of water stress your diseased plants will encounter. There are also heaps of chemical products to treat powdery mildew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phytophthora

Phytophthora is a genus of plant-damaging Oomycetes that can also have a negative effect in natural ecosystems. This fungal disease attacks the root system and is the common cause of root and stem base decay of a wide range of trees and shrubs. Its presence derives from heavy or waterlogged soils causing large roots to appear blackened and finer roots to rot away. Above the ground symptoms arise once the root decay is well advanced. Deciduous plants will yellow and branches are likely to die back, whereas conifer plants will turn a dark matt green or brown.

As this disease is caused by waterlogged soil, it is important to improve the drainage with grit or land drains and for potted plants, ensure the pots have an effective drainage system.  If you are experiencing a Phytophthora infestation, remove and destroy all infected plants and replace topsoil in effected areas as soon as possible. To fully avoid this disease, you can plant species which are less susceptible to Phytophthora, such as Berberis, Hornbeam, Leylandii, Hazel, Hawthorn, Photinia and Western Red Cedar.

Bacterial Diseases

Bacterial Canker

Bacterial Canker (Pseudomonas syringae) is a disease caused by two closely related bacteria that affect the stems and leaves of a number of the Prunus genus, although Prunus laurocerasus (Cherry laurel) and Prunus lusitanica (Portuguese laurel) are more resistant to this bacterial disease than their relative species.

This disease is also known as ‘shothole disease’ as infected plants display small brown patches on its leaves in midsummer, which eventually fall out to leave small round holes. Alongside these unsightly leaf disfigurations, sunken dead areas of bark will joined by a gluey ooze.

To prevent Bacterial Canker from infecting your plants, carrying out all pruning in July or August when tissues are more resistant is an effective way to reduce the chance of infection. On infected plants, cut out all cankered areas, pruning back to healthy wood. You can then paint all pruning wounds with a wound paint to protect your plant from reinfection. While mentioning the possibility of reinfection, it’s important to remove and destroy these cuttings.

Firebright

Hedging plants such as Cotoneaster, Hawthorn, Photinia and Pyracantha can be effected by this waterborne bacteria. Most apparent in late spring and autumn, this disease attacks the shoots of blossoms, giving the plant the appearance of drying out and sun scorching. Cankers on branches, especially where infected shoots join larger branches appear and a slimy white liquid will leak from infections in wet weather.

Prune and destroy all signs of infection immediately, soaking your cutting tools with disinfectant between cuts to avoid spreading the bacteria. Jersey fluid or methylated spirits are recommended by the RHS.

Here at Hedges Direct, we ensure that all of our stock is pest and disease free. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above but are unsure on whether you can correctly diagnose your plants, we have an expert service team who are more than happy to help identify any pest or disease infestation and offer advice. We simply require you send in some pictures of the plants in question to helpdesk@hedgesdirect.co.uk

Go For Gold!

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games are truly under way and I must admit, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching all the different sporting events and getting in the Olympic spirit by cheering on team GB.

I’m sure that you can guess that my recent obsession with the Olympic Games inspired me to write this blog. Like the thousands of athletes competing in Rio, I too am going for gold. However, I’m not talking about the prestigious gold medal presented to the winning competitors, I’m talking about golden foliage as a glittering addition to a garden design.

At Hedges Direct, we offer a range of hedge plants with lavish foliage displaying golden tints, perfect for creating a garden worthy of first place.

Golden Bamboo is certainly the first to mention. Its strength and speed are similar to those of a 100m sprinter with the intention to get to the finish line in the quickest time possible. This hardy species breaks our growth records achieving 60+cm a year. The Usain Bolt of the plant world.

gold bambooGolden Bamboo

Our conifer varieties boast fantastic shades of gold. Golden Leylandii and Monterey Cypress ‘Goldcrest’ are beautiful, evergreen species with golden yellow spray-like foliage. Monterey Cypress ‘Goldcrest’ has the brighter foliage of the two species and has a lemon scented fragrance in summer, especially when cut or brushed.

Gold leylandii

Golden Leylandii

Monterey

Monterey cypress ‘Goldcrest’

Golden Elder, which displays an attractive bronze colour when young, turns golden yellow with maturity. Lonicera nitida ‘Baggessen’s Gold’ is the perfect option for summer colour as it is well suited to sunny areas and its leaves are capable of reflecting sunlight which emphasises its golden tint. Golden colours can also appear on variegated foliage, Golden Privet and Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald n Gold’ have green glossy leaves with an outline of golden yellow giving these hedge plants a contrasting appearance.

Lonicera

Lonicera nitida ‘Baggessen’s Gold’

Privet

Golden Privet

Euonymus

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald n Gold’

This blog couldn’t have arrived at a better time as Hedges Direct welcome a new hedging species to their team, Ilex Crenata ‘Golden Gem‘. Slow and steady wins the race with this plant as it will achieve 10-20cm per year and will therefore require little maintenance. It’s a golden alternative to the green Ilex Crenata and the popular Buxus sempervirens as it is used for creating a low garden border.

Ilex

Ilex Crenata ‘Golden Gem’

You can utilise the brilliant foliage of these plants as individual features or as a bright setting to offset the colours of other plants. So bring home the gold with my suggestions and make your garden a winner.