Are you looking for a beautiful hedge?

Are you looking for a beautiful hedge?

By Lidia Boque Gousgouni
06 Jun 2018
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Growing a hedge can mean many different things. Some want a hedge for privacy, to add a screen or sometimes to divide areas within the garden to heighten anticipation. There are traditional hedges that can be quite formal and then there are semi-formal hedges and totally informal hedges.

Mostly hedges are grown to give privacy and can be a living alternative to a fence or a wall. Traditional hedges such as Box are not as popular as they once were and other plants are stealing the show. A semi-formal hedge growing at Wodonga TAFE is a real winner, it’s defining a space, giving privacy, looks great and smells even better. This hedge (pictured) is Gardenia augusta ‘Florida’. The Gardenia is native to Eastern Asia and even though it looks high maintenance it really isn’t. With glossy leaves and white to cream flowers from November to May this plant is a show stopper. The perfume from the flowers is amazing too.

If you would like a Gardenia hedge there are a few points to follow. Firstly they prefer a warm and frost-free location, that’s not easy in our region but if you provide some protection they seem to do well. The beautiful Gardenia hedge at Wodonga TAFE gets a fair amount of protection from buildings and during the summer they receive afternoon shade from an overhead walkway. When it comes to soil, they like it slightly acidic and they need it well-drained. Fertilising can be carried out in the spring, summer, and autumn but make sure it’s a fertilizer suitable for acid-loving plants. Mulch is also important during the summer to help maintain the amount of moisture in the soil, regular watering is a must when the weather is hot.

A row of Gardenias can be formally hedged, but this would mean cutting off flowers and ever flower buds. If you’re constantly pruning your Gardenias there’s a strong chance you’ll get few flowers, why plant a specimen as lovely as the Gardenia and then prune it over and over again!  If you want a very formal hedge then go for the Box that has an insignificant flower.  I advise keeping a Gardenia hedge informal or semi-formal because you need to let the plants flower profusely – so what if the hedge isn’t perfectly straight. When flowering is completed you can re-shape the Gardenia hedge if it needs it.

Growing to about 1.5 metres the Gardenia hedge looks good and smells even better.

Diary

Mark your calendars for the last weekend in September. Jindera will be holding its 150th celebrations and these celebrations include Jindera open gardens. More information closer to the date.

 

Photo

3rd Year horticultural apprentices Lachlan Drummond, Chris Fuery and Cameron Isedale admire the Gardenia hedge at Wodonga TAFE.

 

Written by

Deborah Delahunty, Horticulture Teacher at Wodonga TAFE.