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…
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.
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.
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.
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!
‘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.
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.
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.
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!