Over the weekend I browsed the internet for the first of our hedging plants and ordered from Beechwood Nurseries. I was pleased to receive notice yesterday that the plants would be arriving within 48 hours, so I am hoping that they will be here today.
I want to create a hedge of native plants that will provide some wind shelter for the fruit and vegetable garden and provide the local wildlife with flowers (to encourage pollinating of our garden) and berries and nuts (to provide food for the autumn wildlife visitors to the garden). I also want to create some visual structure to the boundary of the garden as currently it is post and pig netting. While the existing set up is great in some ways as it allows an almost seamless view, making our garden look huge, the downside is that there is nothing to reduce the howling winds that come up from the estuary.
The obvious choice would be a fast growing evergreen screen like Leylandii or a thick one like Yew but I don't want to completely obscure the fabulous views that we enjoy so much nor do I want to create too much shadow over the garden as the hedge will go along the east, south and west sides of the garden.
I'll add into this some willow, which together with the wild and dog roses should be easy to propagate from cuttings. I remember being delighted with the little furry buds of willow even as a small child, my parents called them 'rabbits feet', I still get a pleasure from seeing them every spring.
Then I will break up the hedging by interspersing with some taller trees. I've selected five Lombardy Poplar which will add height but are also fairly light in their structure. It will take many, many years before they are as huge as the one shown in the photo below and no doubt we will have replaced them before they get to monster proportions.
And also a Rowan (Mountain Ash) because I love the featheriness of the leaflets and the vibrant berries in the late autumn.
Just inside the hedge as a group on their own I have chosen three Silver Birch (Betula Pendula) trees. I like the sound the of wind rustling their leaves, the airiness of their structure and of course, the pale bark.
So it looks like we are going to be busy around the edges of the paddock which we are slowly turning into a fruit and vegetable garden. I think we will both be pleased when the bulk of the structural work is completed and we can get on with growing our own food, but in the meantime at least I have some planting to look forward to.