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Native hedges in the UK
A trip to London is always a great romantic getaway. There are so many things to do and see and this time round we decided to check out the native hedges grown all over the country.
So, why are these hedges planted we asked at a local garden centre. " Planting a native hedge for wildlife is not only worthwhile but a diverse and interesting garden feature in its own right. You'll achieve year-round interest in the form of berries and seeds, flowers and a varied range of foliage, not to mention the increased number of birds, insects and small mammals you'll notice in the garden, " said Claude Mannings, the manager at the centre
Obviously the Brits grow them because the hedges support different mammal and invertebrate species, which add interest to the garden. One can see birds are delighted with a new nesting site and feed on the berries, seeds and any insects and spiders lurking in this new found haven. Smaller mammals use the base of the hedgerow for shelter and will soon add it to their network of trails.
Interestingly there are also night-time visitors,and it's not just butterflies that need nectar, moths need it too. They'll love any white or cream coloured flowers when the Blackthorn blossom bloom on the hedges of Blackthorn. .
Infact some people plant different species of trees in their native hedge to add to the beauty of spring and summer blossom, through autumn colour and berries into the cold and stark winter. Additional evergreens like yew, holly and common beech hold onto their autumn leaves and that means that there's always something to see.
Talking to an avid gardener he suggests that one must " Choose a mixture of hedging trees and shrubs; birch, beech, oak, hazel, dogwoods and hawthorn are ideal. If you have a little patience, the best and cheapest way to create a native hedge is from whips. These are young bare-root saplings, usually around a year old that can be bought in bundles or as single plants from late autumn to early spring. Some nurseries supply hedging mixes which maybe a number of popular hedging trees.
" Don't be put off by the look of these young plants which will be dormant when you buy them. They'll not only surprise you by bursting into leaf when the spring arrives but also by the rate at which they'll establish and grow.
The native hedge will have an informal feel because it's made up of a mixture of different tree and shrub species. It will quickly form a dense barrier and will happily tolerate pruning. But, it won't be the sort of hedge that you can clip into a neat wall of foliage like the Leylandii or the Privet, explains the manager of the nursery.
Apparently the whips can be bought from the local garden centre and today ofcourse even a web search can help. There are a number of companies that provide native hedging plants in mixed bundles by mail order. The local council too helps out and chips in as some have grants available for this type of project.
So, the next time you are in the UK for a getaway, check out their native hedges. It is only in the UK we have seen and admired them for miles.
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