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6 messages
22/08/2013 at 09:04

Hi all,

II'm attaching 3 photos below of some shrubs that were planted by the previous owners. They were planted about 10 months ago. A few have died and need replacing (youths pulled 3 up when walking past) so I wondered if anyone knows there name? I think they must be pretty common as they said they got them from a town market.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/29719.jpg?width=544&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/29720.jpg?width=272&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/29721.jpg?width=272&height=350&mode=max

 

Secondly, they are about a foot tall on average, ideally I would love them to grow into a hedge of about 4 to 5ft, is this likely to happen anytime soon? I havent seen any noticable increase since moving in February so I imagine it could be quite slow? Depending on how many years it might be I would consider something faster that I can shape into a nice box once or twice a year, perhaps Leyandii? If you look at the first photo I wonder whether they should have been planted slightly further away from the pavement?

22/08/2013 at 09:58

..they're Box plants...Buxus sempervirens...

one thing I would not do is replace with Leylandii..

..they are slow growing however if you can be patient they make, what I think, is the very best small hedge... about 4 foot by 3 foot width.. over time... of course you may be impatient for this..

..they would benefit greatly by having the grass and weeds surrounding them..removed, mulched and fed...best fed in Spring... but can remove the grass anytime...that's what I would do, to speed things up... but they are slow.. later on you would appreciate that modest growth...

22/08/2013 at 10:17

Excellent, ideally we would like something established about the 3 year mark so they may be just a bit too slow.

I think perhaps then maybe Photinia Red Robin may be a good comprimise? - Good growth, very pretty and would get us to above waise height in 2-3 years. More maintenance but not as much as Leylandii.

If I do stick with the box is there a particular mulch I could get from the garden centre that you would recommend?

22/08/2013 at 10:25

You could also try Laurel whips. My late ma-in-law planted these when they moved to their new bungalow just over 12 years ago and it made a hedge that looks very nice and doesn't need a big job to prune.

22/08/2013 at 11:55

In my experience laurel is a thug and the more it's pruned to size the more it wants to grow outsize.  It's also very dark and dull, especially on grey days.

Those box plants will provide a decent hedge in three years if you remove the grass and feed them as suggested above.  Box is also easy to maintain and trim whereas laurel looks a mes sif done with power trimmers as its larger leave sget shredded and turn brown at the edge.   

To encourage fatser growth, you can give them a good thick mulch of well rotted garden comost (or bought) this autumn and then feed them pelleted chicken manure or blood fish and bone next spring and give them a liquid tonic of seaweed too.  trim the fornt and back sides of the box but not the tops or facing sides around Derby day to encorage vertical and lateral growth to fill up the hedge.

Photinia would be a good alternative if you're really impatient but you'll need to wait till autumn to plant new shrubs and will have to do a lot of work to improve the soil to give them a good start as a hedge is a long term investment in future growth.  It will also cost a fair few quid to buy enough to replace all that box but, if you're clever, you could save the box by digging it all up carefully - in autumn and after a good watering - and potting them then selling them on E-bay or via a local gardening club.

22/08/2013 at 13:32

Good advice already Adam and I'd just add that clearing the ground properly around them to make a defined border will benefit them enormously and of course it's aesthetically pleasing too. Feed, water and mulch as the others have alkready said. You don't want  grass invading and competing for nutrients with any shrubs or hedges. 

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