Griselinia hedging plants
It’s a great time of year to plant hedging. The plants will settle in over the winter and be ready for the fast growth in spring.
Escallonia proves to be a favourite in Inishowen year after year and for good reason. It loves the coastal weather, is fast growing, tidy, easy to cut back, will tolerate dry and wet and makes a habitat for wildlife.
Another favourite hedging for the coast is griselinia with its large apple green leaves. Like escallonia, this plant can be susceptible to leaf spot but not very often around the peninsula as far as I can see and apart from sheep killing off the top growth when the have a nibble there doesn’t seem to be anything else that bothers it.
Where will Griselinia littoralis grow?
Griselinia littoralis prefers full sun but will also grow in partial shade. Griselinia will take temperatures of around -15 ⁰C.
What type of soil does a Griselinia hedge need?
Griselinia will grow in any free-draining soil (i.e. any soil that is not water-logged), it does not need any special soil.
How tall will Griselinia grow?
Griselinia can be kept at any height and can be used for a small hedge 1 metre (3ft) tall. If it is left untrimmed, it will grow up to 3m (10ft) tall.
How fast will Griselinia grow?
Griselinia littoralis has a growth rate of up to 45cm (18 inches) per year under good conditions, so it will soon form a dense hedge. If you want quicker growing hedging plants then consider Laurel.
When can I plant Griselinia littoralis?
The pot plants can be planted at any time of year. Griselinia planted now in the winter months (November to February) may not need watering in the first year as they will get their roots established over the winter months. However, it is still worth checking your plants once a week to make sure they are not too dry or suffering from wind rock. Also, hedges watered over the summer will put on more growth.
How often would I need to trim/prune a Griselinia hedge?
As with all quick-growing, evergreen hedges, Griselinia needs to be trimmed once a year. Late spring/early summer is a good time to trim hedge although it can also be trimmed in late August or early September.
Ornamental Kale and Cabbage
Another more prostrate favourite at this time of year are the ornamental brassicas. You couldn’t make a hedge from them but the will fill a container or two near the front door. These bold rosettes can make a real statement around beds and borders too. They are easy to grow from seed but if that sounds like too much trouble then most garden centres are selling them at the moment.
Five things to know about these beauties.
1. Which is which? Flowering cabbage and kale are similar in colour, appearance and size, but the main difference is that cabbage leaves have smooth edges and kale leaves are frilly.
2. Create instant borders. Buy mature plants in now and plant alongside potted chrysanthemums for eye-catching colour and texture.
3. Container-ready. Flowering cabbage and kale are made for containers. Plant alongside heuchera (also looking good in the shops), pansies, and cordyline.
4. They love chilly weather. The beautiful blues, purples, greens and whites of flowering kale and cabbage will get brighter as the weather gets colder (well I think they do)
5. Edible or not? Yes, flowering specimens may be used, but are not bred for taste or texture. Clean, organically raised leaves can be used as a base on a plate to hold other foods
Tips of the Week
There's still time to plant daffodil bulbs and other spring flowering bulbs for a magnificent start to next year’s display.
Plant tulip bulbs now to prevent Tulip Fire infection.
As well as heathers, plant grasses and trailing ivy in pots for winter colour.
Lift parsnips after the first frosts when their flavour will have sweetened.
Divide mature clumps of rhubarb once they are dormant.
Now is an ideal time to invest in mushroom kits. It's surprisingly easy to grow your own mushrooms even the fancy oyster mushrooms.
If you have access to fresh manure, now is the time to spread it across the surface of your vegetable beds to rot down over winter.
Stake top-heavy brassicas and draw up some soil around the base of the stem to prevent wind rocking the plant and causing damage to the roots. You won’t need to do this with the ornamental ones.