I’ve been busy doing hedging for a number of clients recently. This prompted me to think about what makes for a good hedge? Regular trimming without doubt encourages thick foliage and dense growth. Leaf size is an extremely important consideration when choosing a hedge. The lower the hedge, the smaller the leaf you will want to keep the hedge looking “tight”. Popular hedges (by their common names) include: photinia, viburnum, box, murraya and lilly pilly. These varieties are hardy and flourish with regular pruning.
I’ve just spent a good part of my day removing the spent flower heads of in excess of 400 Agapanthus at a client’s property just outside Berry! (Removing the flower heads prevents undesirable seed propagation.) These evergreen plants with narrow, straplike leaves provide a colourful display of blue to purple or white flowers every summer. Agapanthus are particularly impressive when used to line garden borders or massed on sloping hillsides. They are generally hardy, low maintenance plants which thrive in full sun or part shade. They can be readily propagated by dividing expanding clumps.
The perfume of wisteria heralds the arrival of spring. As a deciduous climber, wisteria provides interest in the garden all year round, with a mass of lilac to white flowers in spring, beautiful green foliage in summer to autumn and a bare vine in winter. Wisteria requires full sun to flower and responds well to shaping. Throughout summer, when new growth leaders appear, prune them back 20-30cm from the main leader. This will promote flowering the following spring and ensure that your climber is not a tangled mess by summer's end.
In late winter/early spring, magnolias provide a spectacular and colourful floral display. Magnolia x soulangeana (Saucer magnolia) is a deciduous tree which grows to a height of about 5m. Its tulip-like pale pink and white flowers appear in August- September before the leaves. This magnolia works well as a feature plant in lawns or in garden beds. It enjoys full sun to partial shade and will benefit from a good supply of water in summer. A smaller but nevertheless spectacular magnolia is Magnolia stellata (Star magnolia) which grows 2-4m high. It has small white, fragrant, star-shaped flowers. It provides a real impact when several are grouped and planted in garden beds. Both these magnolia species are pest and disease-free.
An ideal small tree for the south coast is the crepe myrtle. Drought and heat tolerant, the crepe myrtle is also disease and pest-free. It provides a beautiful floral display in the warmer months - white, soft pink, deep pink, mauve or red blooms. A deciduous tree, its foliage offers a beautiful autumn display, and bare in winter, the silver and tan trunk can be fully appreciated. The crepe myrtle enjoys full sun and depending on the variety chosen and care, can grow to a height and spread of 4-10m.
Over the summer months, we have been seeing a beautiful display of hydrangeas. Have you ever wondered why the colour variation? Hydrangeas will flower pink in alkaline soil to blue in acid soil. It is possible to change the colour of your hydrangeas. Adding organic matters will turn soils more acid and you can neutralise acid soils with the addition of lime. Cream/white hydrangeas remain that colour.
Vaughn loves to transform outdoor spaces. He has studied aspects of horticulture and with plenty of experience tending South Coast gardens, he can maintain and help your garden reach its full potential.