Sunday, 31 May 2015

Camellia Hedge - just beautiful

Sasanqua Camellias make a great hedge. They`re tougher and faster growing than their relatives, the slower growing, more formal, Camellia Japonica`s. This was always a must have, when planing the garden many years ago, and the perfect spot was right along the driveway. Even when not in flower the rest of the year, the hedge is a neat green screen that requires only occasional pruning and feeding - so relatively low maintenance. I hedge with sharp hand held hedgers, which give a neat clean cut, about three times a year, so not too much trouble. They are relatively pest free as well.

It helps when the hedge is 45 metres long! Yep, bigger definetly has more impact when it comes to a flowering hedge. It`s taken about 10 years to get it to this stage - not because they grow slow, oh no, because my naughty puppy Golden Retriever- Sally, slowly dug up the first hedge one by one and chewed them to smitherines! So at great cost I planted for a second time, warning Sally it`s the pound for her if she dug this one up!                                                            

Now believe it or not, the two photos above are the same hedge -no trick photography - just taken at the beginning and the end of the flowering season. You see I planted the hedge with two varieties of Sasanqua Camellias - Paradise Jessica, a pale pink and Paradise Caroline, a deep pink. The pale one starts flowering first then becomes intermittent with the darker pink which then takes over for the grand finale. They have been flowering for over two months and still have more to give. And look at the beautiful pink carpet underneath.

It`s all about early pruning to get a nice compact hedge - there is nothing sadder than a straggly hedge showing it`s kneecaps. The trick is to tip prune from the day you plant. This will force the side shoots to grow, creating many more branches which means way more flowers of course.

Iv`e got lots of other camellias around the yard including the later winter flowering Japonica`s, but it`s the hedge that really makes a statement - especially when there`s not a lot of colour in the garden at this time of year

Hope you enjoyed my hedge as much as I do - perhaps you have one to brag about too. I love a clean crisp green and white flowering hedge too and there are so many new varieties to try - just where to put another hedge? hmmm