As people across Cornwall, the south west, and elsewhere continue to batten down the hatches through the persistent storms and gales, thoughts for many have turned to strengthening or bettering defences, for future protection. It seems the boundary around the home and garden has been a top priority for many, as Trevena Cross Nurseries has discovered.

Graham Jeffery, Owner of Trevena Cross comments:

“Cornwall has taken a real beating and even the sturdiest windbreaks have been tested to their absolute limits this past couple of weeks. Vulnerable structures have succumbed to the weather, as we’ve discovered ourselves, and as a result we’re seeing a lot more interest in our hedging plants, for screening/barriers”.

“A hedge tends to handle the wind better than rigid, impermeable barriers, and in fact, we aren’t far off the best time of the year to plant a hedge (in springtime). While we’ve had an influx of new interest and questions about hedging, we thought it would be an ideal time to share our top tips for creating the perfect hedge – if nothing else, so people can be better prepared for future severe weather”.

Hedging plants at Trevena Cross

Top tips for creating the perfect hedge:

  • Choose a hedging type that doesn’t just ‘look pretty’ but that is hardy and can withstand the conditions it needs to e.g. harsh salt laden winds near the coast
  • Do you want an instant hedge or you prepared to wait for it to form? Plant large plants around 18 inches to 2ft apart for a quickly forming hedge or smaller plants spaced further apart if you don’t mind waiting
  • Choose bushy, rather than ‘leggy’ looking plants – these indicate a healthier ‘pot grown’ start in life and are likely to form  a thicker hedge more quickly
  • Enrich poor soil around the planting holes with a well-rotted manure or compost, and add a good slow release fertiliser to the hole before planting (ensure the roots don’t directly touch the fertiliser or it they might burn them)
  • Once planted, mulch around the area with compost or bark chippings to keep weeds at bay
  • May seem absurd to say now, but keeping newly planted hedges well watered is key to their survival! Drying out is a common cause of hedge failures. Watering really well once a week is better than little and often in drier months
  • Our top coastal hedging picks are: Olearia virgata Laxifolia, (for the most exposed positions) Elaeagnus ebbingei (for positions very close to the sea) and Griselinia littoralis (for positions set back a little/in an estuary).
  • Ask advice from the experts – your local nursery should be able to offer great hedging advice, to help you on your way to creating the perfect hedge

Trevena Cross grows tens of thousands of hedging plants every year in its on-site 32 acre nursery – just a mile from the sea. We’re happy to offer you advice and the benefit of our own experience to help you create your perfect hedge. More information regarding hedging and the most suitable options for your own garden can be found in our hedging section.