Archive for the ‘Euonymus’ Category

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.

 

 

 

Hedging Alternatives – Japanese Holly vs. Box

On last night’s episode of Love Your Garden, Alan Titchmarsh and his team of expert gardeners redesigned the Estick family garden to create a beautiful retreat where Mum, Claire could grow her veg and the children could enjoy their outdoor space to its full potential. A hugely deserving family, Hedges Direct were thrilled to be able to help out and provide quality hedge plants to the Love Your Garden team once again.

Rather than going with traditional Box hedging (Buxus sempervirens), we supplied Love Your Garden with Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata) which is very similar in appearance but has added benefits!

Japanese Holly vs Box

Japanese Holly vs Box

It is practically identical to Box, with small, rounded, glossy dark green leaves. Although it is part of the Holly family, the leaves are not prickly so it’s safe to use in all areas of the garden. The main benefit of planting Japanese Holly instead of Box is that it is not susceptible to box blight (a fungal disease which turns the leaves brown and causes them to drop). Ilex Crenata is also a great alternative because it’s not prone to leaf scorch and you can also prune into brown wood if it has been neglected.

Gorgeous green foliage for a compact hedge

Gorgeous green foliage for a compact hedge

Japanese Holly creates a compact, evergreen hedge and can be easily maintained between 20cm – 3.6m in height. It has an annual growth rate of approximately 20-30cm and has an ultimate width of 1.8m. Ilex crenata is suited to most soil types, including chalky or clay and prefers a well drained site. It can be planted year round in full sun to partial shade.

Box or Japanese Holly can be used to create gorgeous Parterre style gardens. The Love Your Garden team took inspiration from these 15th century French gardens last night with Claire’s new kitchen garden. Parterres are formal gardens consisting of planting beds designed into symmetrical patterns and are usually separated by gravel pathways. Traditionally, Box hedging was used to add structure and form to the gardens but Japanese Holly is now fast becoming the new favourite due to its similar aesthetic but added benefits. Claire’s new kitchen garden was a modern twist on this with a mix of bedding plants and herbs.

A modern twist on a parterre style garden

A modern twist on a parterre style garden

Another hedging alternative to Box is Euonymus Jean Hugues. Again, this is almost indistinguishable from Box, only our horticultural experts can truly tell the difference!

An alternative to Box hedging

This month I’d like to look at a different variety for use where Box blight has been a problem.

I really hope you’re not one of the unlucky gardeners who have been made miserable by Box blight.  Monty Don took out all his box hedging on Gardeners’ World last Friday and didn’t say what he was going to replace it with.  The obvious alternative to Box hedging is Ilex crenata or Japanese Holly – not a typical Ilex (Holly) at all but a lookalike for Buxus with small dark green leaves, an upright habit and slow growth which keeps it neat and tidy.

But now there’s another alternative to Buxus –  Euonymus Japonicus Jean Hugues which is a bit of a tongue twister and I’ve checked the spelling twice. It’s almost indistinguishable from Buxus to all but an expert and we think it’s going to become immensely popular in years to come – you read it here first. This photograph shows the Euonymus on the left and Buxus on the right or is it the other way round …. let me just double check that … yes, that’s right, Euonymus on the left and Buxus on the right – see what I mean about it being hard to tell the difference.

What's the Difference?

What’s the Difference?

I hate mentioning Box blight in a blog because I wouldn’t want people to be put off the classic Buxus sempervirens – it’s one of our top 10 sellers (literally tens of thousands of plants per annum) and we have not once ever in over 8 years had a customer report blight following supply of our plants so please don’t be overly worried if you’d like a traditional box hedge.