Amanda MackinnonHedge experiments with Daphne and Leptospermum

I’ve been playing with a couple of low hedges in my garden lately – although most of my garden is planted out in what I would loosely call an ‘informal, coastal, and predominantly native style’ I must admit I am partial to a good hedge. Murphy’s Law says that one plant in the hedge will always die and ruin the look, but I think it’s worth the risk. See what you think of these…

Daphne Eternal Fragrance hedge

Daphne Eternal Fragrance hedge with both pink and white flowering forms in my garden.

The first is a daphne hedge. I actually planted a mixture of ‘Eternal Fragrance’ and its sister ‘Spring Pink Eternal Fragrance’. Both plants are super hardy and their difference only becomes apparent when they burst into bloom. ‘Eternal Fragrance’ having a white flower, and ‘Spring Pink Eternal Fragrance’ being pink.

Daphne Eternal Fragrance hedge

Daphne Eternal Fragrance hedge

My daphne hedge is two years old now and I love it. It’s planted at the base of a steep bank at the bottom of my driveway and forms a border along the length of a car parking space. Planted in this spot means it gives a lovely fragrant welcome to those who park there.

This hedge receives very little attention – just the occasional look in whilst I’m (very occasionally) weeding and an annual feed if it’s lucky. This plant is terrific as it repeat flowers throughout the year. It’s easy to grow and super tough, unlike most other daphnes. It makes a great border along the edge of this car parking space, which can be very hot and dry over the summer. I haven’t watered this hedge since planting.

The more formal Daphne Eternal Fragrance hedge

Inspiration from a more formal Daphne Eternal Fragrance hedge

Here’s a couple of photos that provided me with my inspiration. The gardens are far more formal, but I still love the look I have created with an informal garden bed behind my hedge. These plants will reach a maximum height of about 60cm.

Daphne Eternal Fragrance hedge

Daphne Eternal Fragrance hedge

My second pick is the native Leptospermum ‘Fore Shore’. This can best be described as a native alternative to English Box. I have 3 hedges in progress at the moment and they are all flying along. They are about 6 months old at the moment, and you can see that all the plants here are all looking happy. Once again, no watering. It’s a tough environment in my driveway!

A newly planted hedge of Leptospermum Fore Shore

A newly planted hedge of Leptospermum Fore Shore

Leptospermum Fore Shore hedge

Beautiful dense foliage on Leptospermum Fore Shore hedge

‘Fore Shore’ will grow to around 1m in height. You can prune it however you desire. An unpruned version is just as nice I think.

Leptospermum Fore Shore hedge in my garden

Leptospermum Fore Shore hedge in my garden

A couple of years ago I convinced a girlfriend to plant a ‘Fore Shore’ hedge along her front boundary. She lives right across the road from the water, literally 20 metres from the bay to her front door. It’s the perfect spot for this little beauty. You can see the result here. A beautiful dense hedge. This plant is great for coastal regions and very tolerant of salt spray and salt laden winds.

Leptospermum Fore Shore hedge along my friend's front boundary

Leptospermum Fore Shore hedge along my friend’s front boundary

As you can see in the image, ‘Fore Shore’ can be pruned to shape if required. This hedge was only given a trim a week before this photo was taken. Of course, you don’t need to trim it – it maintains a pretty neat shape all by itself – but it’s a great alternative to English Box if you’d prefer a native hedge. Very dry tolerant and super hardy too.

This particular hedge did fall victim to a lone joy rider running into one of the middle plants in the hedge about a year ago. The plant in question was cut back and has now bounced back amazingly well. It’s recovered and has bounced back to 3/4 of the size of the others. You can just make out the dip in this photo.

Leptospermum Fore Shore hedge -see the dip where the hedge was damaged but has since bounced back

Leptospermum Fore Shore hedge -see the dip where the hedge was damaged but has since bounced back

Once again, you can see here where my inspiration has been drawn from. I’ve seen many great ‘Fore Shore’ hedges and heard very little – in fact I am struggling to think of any negatives about this plant. Highly recommended!

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Amanda Mackinnon

About Amanda Mackinnon

Amanda is a freelance writer working from the quiet rim of the world - beautiful Tasmania. Amanda's career has led her on a fascinating journey through marine science, education, horticulture, marketing and communications. Living in a busy male dominated household – chasing around 2 growing boys, a sop of a golden retriever, one cheeky ginger cat, a handful of chickens and even some stick insects, Amanda loves to write in her 'spare' time. With a keen interest in achievable gardens and family friendly projects, Amanda loves to share her experiences of what works well in her coastal Tassie garden as well as tips and tricks handpicked from all corners of the globe.

10 thoughts on “Hedge experiments with Daphne and Leptospermum

  1. Leptospermum ‘Fore Shore’ as a hedge is absolutely stunning. Thanks so much for the idea – I can already think of a sunny spot in one of the designs I am currently working on that it would be just perfect for. We need more Buxus replacements up our sleeves, in case of box blight.
    On another note, your garden looks beautiful, Amanda. Perhaps we might have a virtual tour on a future blog post (please???).

  2. Hi Janna, I definitely recommend the lepto as a hedge. It’s so tough.
    A virtual garden tour sounds like fun! I might wait until spring when everything is looking its best.

  3. Merenia Vince on said:

    Do you think this hardy Daphne would be alright in an Adelaide garden? ( 40 degree heatwaves, full sun, very low rainfall) Curious about this as I loved growing Daphnes in NZ but always thought they needed partial shade, cool climate, plenty of H20…

  4. Hi Merenia,
    Yes. This variety was really a breakthrough in Daphne circles (even winning a Best New Product upon its Australian release) They have always been regarded as touchy plants – needing just the right soil, water levels, light etc. ‘Eternal Fragrance’ thrives in a wide range of conditions, loves full sun positions (a huge win for daphne lovers) and is dry tolerant.
    That hedge of mine is in quite poor soils, receives no water other than rainfall and is in full sun most of the day. It also happily went through a harsh bushfire season 2 years ago before the plants were fully established.
    Give it a go!

    • Hi Amanda, thanks! I’ll be giving Eternal Fragrance a go for sure. Might have to have both colours too…

  5. Sandra on said:

    Hi. I love the Daphne hedge! Can I ask how far apart they are planted to create the hedge effect?
    Thanks
    Sandra

    • Amanda Mackinnon on said:

      Hi Sandra, mine are planted about 40cm apart.

  6. Guess what Amanda,
    with the heavy rains in Sydney this year, my two Daphne Eternal Fragrance succumbed to what I have to call, Daphne rot. Same problem as the traditional Daphne. I was shocked!
    It had been so hardy for over 3 years then just became unthrifty and died.
    The Scaevola nearby coped much better.

    Marianne

  7. Shari on said:

    I love your Daphne hedges, Amanda, and I’m considering doing the same with Daphne Odora. How far apart should I place them?

    • Amanda on said:

      Hi Shari, my daphne were planted about 40cm apart. Eternal Fragrance is an awesome plant- highly recommend it- much hardier than normal odora.

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