(Guest blog by Stuart Mabbutt Gardening Ltd)
Look out into even the tiniest of gardens and most will have a hedge of some description. They can be the perfect shelter and even a food source for many forms of wild creatures.
Best planted between early October and early April, its best to choose plants that happily grow wild in the area within which your garden is situated. When finalising the choice of plants, go for a mixture which will attract more life that just one type of plant.
Dig a big trench and fill with apply quantities of garden compost. The hedge will be there for a long time so you need to give those hungry young plants the best start possible. Planting a double row if you can will provide a much denser hedge in the end.
For the initial 3 years after planting the new hedge line will be susceptible to wind rock and invasion of competing plants. As the plants grow, layer more compost and lawn mowings around them to counteract these ongoing threats.
When the hedge is well established, try planting some climbers to grow amongst it, brambles and honeysuckles are ideal.
Planting the old small tree along the hedge line will work wonders to, for example Crab Apples give extra height and fruit during autumn and winter. Your hedge doesn’t have to be totally level, so the odd tree is great.
Hedges are ideal sources of nectar if planted correctly, so have a go at growing a native mixed hedge and watch the bee’s move in.
Wildlife Gardening Specialist