Wow we’ve had some strong, cold winds blowing through lately. As they say it is winter time and what we should expect. Our shelter cannot grow fast enough for us; neither Quin nor I can tolerate wind. We have been here four years now and our initial shelter plantings are establishing nicely. We have planted native trees and shrubs with specimen trees, and temporary tree lucerne, pines and poplars. We have started removing some of the tree lucerne this year to allow space for the other plants to fill out. We are planting more tree lucerne where we can, as it is a favourite with the native pigeon (kereru); our pair has just arrived back this week. They spend a good couple of months here feeding on the flowers of the tree lucerne through winter; the kids love to watch them and can get up quite close.
Yes shelter is important, though the value of our plantings extends further, they provide screening from neighbours / roadways; create spaces and a sense of enclosure; provide habitat for birds, bees and other wildlife; and are lovely to look at. A fence can never achieve this.
There are many different species that you could plant for a hedge. But have you ever thought of a hydrangea hedge? Not only would it provide a screen but a stunning display for at least 6 months of the year. Imagine the masses of flowers, plenty for the vase, for drying and to enjoy as you look out on your garden from your window or while on a stroll.
Hydrangeas come in a great range of colours and sizes, I am sure there would be something to suit almost any situation. Some examples include:
- Adria or Elbe – Smaller varieties that would make a lovely low hedge (1m) to border a garden or pathway.
- Ayesha, Altona, Gentian & Hamburg – Hardy varieties tolerant of full sun, wind, even coastal situations. These varieties are taller growing to approx. 1.5 – 2m, and would provide good boundary screening or could be used to create a cosy space within a larger garden.
- Agnes Pavelli & Princess Juliana (whites); or Vibraye (pale blue) – Would look fantastic beneath a row of trees, along the shady side of the house or in a woodland dell.
- Dichroa versicolor – For an evergreen hedge. Dichroa is an evergreen relative of the hydrangea, with a similar leaf and blue flowers.
So how many plants will you need? First measure the length of your desired hedge, then decide on the variety you would like and find out the size that it grows to. As a guide the width that hydrangeas grow to is generally equal to their height. Divide the length of your hedge by the width of the plant, this will give you the number of plants you require. If you would like a more compact hedge reduce the width of the plant by approx. 1/4 and recalculate.
Janica and Quin Amoore Woodleigh Nursery 300 Mountain Road RD 3 New Plymouth 4373
Tel 06 752 0830 | Cell 021 072 7394 (phone or text) | Email firstname.lastname@example.org