Tuesday, 17 January 2012

An Edible Hedge

The home garden backs on to open fields and the wind rushes through the garden at an alarming rate with nothing to stop it.  The gales, a couple of weeks ago,  have finally prompted me to take action.  I don't want to block out the view completely, but I think an edible hedgerow might be the answer.

As winter is the best time to plant bare-rooted fruit and berry trees I have decided to place an order for 3 Hazel , 1 Crab apple, 5 Sloes and 1 Cherry plum this should be enough for a 4 metre hedge.

Cherry Plum
A deciduous hedging plant which blooms in February and forms fruits from late summer onwards.  This should be a nectar source for bees and attract other beneficial insects.

Sloe
A British native form of wild plum which bears blue-black fruits and white blossom in late winter

crab apple
White, pink-tinged blossom in spring and small, sharp-tasting fruits in late summer.


hazel
A fast-growing deciduous hedging plant, covered in yellow catkins from January to March and producing nuts which ripen in September and October.

My hedging plants arrived today, I am not sure what I was expecting, but they do seem rather spindly.  I think they are called 'whips'.  They should be planted in a double staggered row which should produce a thick hedge than can be easily maintained


This is my hedge - doesn't look much does it.  The crab apple will take approx. 5 years to produce fruit, the others a little less - so this is really a long-term venture, but with a little luck and a following wind, I should have a viable windbreak - eventually!

22 comments:

  1. Hmmm; Out of little acorns big oak-trees grow... It will be a fair while before you have a viable hedge, methinks!
    I wish someone would eat my hedge. It is only about 4 metres long like yours, and stands next to my driveway where it protects my car from wind and teenagers. Trouble is it is made of Leylandii Cypress.

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  2. Oooh! Would love to see how you build your hedge...I hope you do a post on it :) And don't you worry Elaine...it will be a proper hedge before you know it.

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  3. Lovely post.The photo of the bird is wonderful!

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  4. Excellent idea & advice again, along with the wonderful photographs.

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  5. What a nice idea. I wish I had done that in my front garden rather than a laurel hedge. My beech hedge came as whips about 5 years ago, a similar size to yours. and it is now about 6ft and quite thick so it wont take long before your hedge starts to look wonderful

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  6. I'm very envious - an edible hedge would be my ideal windbreak as my plants suffer prevailing north winds funnelling between two blocks of flats; I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be allowed to dig up the paving slabs to put such a hedge in though! I will need regular updates on your hedge to ease my frustration!

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  7. Sounds like a great idea. I'm very envious. I don't think it takes long for those whips to get established. A house near us planted a mixed hedge using whips about 3 years ago and it's looking good already.

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  8. I just love your idea. I have three crab trees and the birds adore them. I'll look forward to reading about the progress of your edible hedge!

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  9. I'd love the space for a hedge but will have to make do with my shrub border!

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  10. What a wonderful idea. Not only will the hedge be edible to you, but I should think it will also encourage some different bird species to visit your garden. That's definitely something to look forward to.

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  11. What a terrific idea! They may not look much now but in a couple of years you'll be surprised at how they've grown. Flighty xx

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  12. Lovely thing to do Elaine. I think the projects that take time and patience will reward even more. I did some pruning of an established hedgerow, it's just glorious with all the colours and so good for wildlife.

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  13. It's a lovely idea and before you know it, you will have your hedge! :) Nice to hear about some forward planning too!

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  14. I think you have a great idea...you will have function and beauty. We have some open areas where the wind wreaks havoc. I hope, in time, the trees will grow taller and shelter those areas a bit more.

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  15. Living hedges of mixed fruit producers aren't used much in the US, but I think its a great idea. You will have to keep us updated.

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  16. A great idea, an edible hedge!The 'whips' don't look like much but they'll grow fast. I planted rowan, holly and native cherry from whips and they grew amazingly fast. In a few years they'll surprise you.

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  17. Great project! It will look lovely and be brilliant for the wildlife.

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  18. Hi Elaine! I really like your blog so have nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. Check out my blog for details of the award.
    Bridget.

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  19. I love this post. I think by creating an edible garden for the birds will give you as much joy as creating an edible garden for yourself.

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  20. This sounds exciting! Wish I could persuade my hubby to ditch our leylandii for a natural one. Who was your supplier hun? Might try and sneak some between the old trunks. . .
    Teri x

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  21. I have just found your website. I love this! My wife and I just bought an old brick school house in Indiana, USA. We will plant a privacy/edible hedge around part of the property. However, the edge of the property will have more moisture. Do you know of any edible hedges than can handle a moderate amount of water? Thanks.

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    1. Sorry - not sure I can help you - I am using British native plants so not sure what is available to you in Indiana.

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