Archive for the ‘Willow’ Category

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:


Hawthorn – millions of miles of it

Undoubtedly the plant that makes up the most miles of hedging in the UK is Hawthorn or in Latin, Crataegus monogyna.  It’s the farmers’ friend being completely safe for animals to chew on – not that they tend to because it’s very thorny. Hawthorn hedging plants are native to the UK and do well in all soils and almost all conditions other than waterlogged soil – obviously in some areas there are plants that are better suited – near the coast for example, we’d generally recommend Blackthorn instead, or in wetter soils, Alder or Willow make good native hedge alternatives.

As well as separating  farm fields, Hawthorn is popular in an urban setting too.  It brings a great deal of wildlife into the garden providing wonderful creamy white flowers in May (hence it’s alternative name of May Blossom), big fat juicy haws drip off the tree in autumn (the hedging you’ll see from the car window on motorway journeys that look so heavy with red berries that the whole tree takes on a red tinge) and the prickly, woody stems provide a sanctuary for small creatures.