Posts Tagged ‘hedging’

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.

 

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

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.

Win one of three Hedges Direct vouchers worth a total of £150 in our LYG Get The Look competition

Following the overwhelming response to our #HDLoveYourGarden campaign in June and July, for August we’ve taken more inspiration from ITV’s popular gardening makeover show, Love Your Garden, to offer tips and inspiration to help transform your own outdoor space.

This series we’ve supplied Yew instant hedging and Ivy screens to help create dream gardens for the worthy participants featured on the programme. This follows Mature Cherry Laurel hedging supplied in 2013, and mixed native instant hedging, English Lavender, Portuguese Laurel hedging and Box hedging in 2014.

Throughout the series, the team – led by Alan Titchmarsh – has updated gardens in all manner of shapes and sizes, adhering to the latest trends in landscape design. Lavender has been used to add colourful bursts amongst the flowerbeds, whilst creative topiary transformed tired looking terraces. The team leave no detail undone in producing something truly individual.

At Hedges Direct we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to love their garden, and so we’re dedicating the month of August to helping you make changes to your outdoor space, to convert your garden into the natural haven of your dreams.HDGetTheLook

To give you a head start, we’ll be offering three lucky winners the chance to get their hands on a Hedges Direct voucher to spend on anything that takes their fancy – whether that be an ornamental tree, some topiary or turf. Prizes are as follows:

1st Prize – £75 voucher

2nd Prize – £50 voucher

3rd Prize – £25 voucher

The competition closes on Friday 21 August 5pm, and winners will be announced on Monday 24 August. To enter, simply visit the Hedges Direct Facebook page, click on the #HDGetTheLook tab and input your details. The winners will be chosen at random and announced on our Facebook page. We’d also love to see photographs of your own gardens, tweet us @HedgesDirect with the hashtag #HDGetTheLook.

In order to help fuel your ideas we’ll be sharing how-to guides for the blog, to get your creative juices flowing – so stay tuned.

Throughout the summer we’ll be providing advice on how to make the most of getting out into the garden. If you’ve got any specific questions then please get in touch, our friendly team are on hand to help you make the right decisions for your gardening project.

Make sure you enter our competition, and stay tuned to ITV for Love Your Garden!

Cold Storage

What is cold storage?

Cold storage is a technique used to extend the bare root season, which normally lasts until early April depending on the weather. Cold storage involves the use of large, cold containers, powered by solar panels in our case to reduce environmental impacts, and these stores trick plants into remaining dormant by simulating light conditions and temperature levels similar to those we experience in winter.

The store is kept dark and at a temperature of -3C, which keeps the plants in what is known in the horticultural industry as “suspended animation”. By creating artificial conditions, the plants remain dormant even as the weather outside begins to reach temperatures that would normally induce the growing season to begin.

This is a completely safe method of lengthening the bare root season. As the plants are placed into storage during the winter when they are completely dormant, and kept moist with occasional watering to the root systems, our hedging plants can remain in cold storage until the end of May.

Why do we use cold storage?

Traditionally, this technique was used by nurserymen to create ‘transplants’ with good, fibrous root systems and a strong, bushy framework of branches. This was done by storing one year old seedlings from the previous growing season and suspending them in dormancy until the ground was ready for them to be transplanted for their second year of growth. The same procedure is used to safely store hedge plants beyond what is considered the usual end of the bare root season so that they can be planted several weeks later (after Easter), resulting in a thriving hedge, equally as healthy as a hedge grown from plants that had not been cold stored.

The benefits of being able to plant bare roots slightly later in the year is that the air and soil temperatures rise in the spring, which stimulates quick growth and a wealth of foliage and flowers. We do advise planting cold stored bare root plants as soon as possible after delivery, within three to four days, as the plant begins to awaken from dormancy as soon as it is exposed to the light and temperatures outside of the cold store.

What plants can be cold stored?

Due to limited space in our cold stores and the dormancy habits of some species, it’s not possible to cold store all our hedging plants. Some of our taller plants would take up too much room in the store and evergreen species never enter full dormancy, so are not suited to cold storage.

Because of this, our evergreen hedging species and our taller plants are only available to order until mid-April, within the normal bare root season. After this they cannot be lifted from the fields until the following season, but can be pre-ordered from the autumn for delivery in November.

The quantity of bare root plants we place into cold storage each year is worked out using previous years’ sales data, which gives us a relatively accurate forecast. However, once our stores run out, bare root hedging plants are not available again until November, so make sure you don’t miss out!

Hornbeam bare root