Are you tired of plain, green murraya or English box hedges? How about a hedge with a difference that creates a talking point at barbecues and inspires the envy of your neighbours? These little beauties are reliable, fast growing hedging plants that are sure to grab the spotlight.
Metrosideros ‘Fiji Fire’
This tough performer is excellent for hedges up to 3 metres tall. It is not fussy about soil and tolerates wind, drought and seaside conditions, including salt spray. It prefers good drainage and wetter conditions over summer for best flowering.
Indian Hawthorn (Raphiolepis indica)
This small, flowering shrub (2m tall) makes a beautiful, low-growing hedge. Sweetly-perfumed flowers appear in spring, followed by bluish-black berries. Handles difficult situations including drought, frost and seaside conditions. Prune to shape in summer after flowering.
Sweet Viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum)
This hardy, fast-growing shrub is ideal for hedges 1.3m to 3m tall and will grow in full sun or part shade. Highly fragrant flowers appear in spring. Adaptable to most soils, but dislikes very heavy clay. Water well until established, after which time it will be drought tolerant. Tolerates light frosts. Plants can live over 40 years in good conditions.
Starry Night (Leptospermum obovatum selected form)
This fast growing, dense weeping shrub features fine, deep purple foliage growing up to 2.5m tall and 1.8m wide, perfect for hedging and screening. Snow white flowers appear in late spring and summer. Great for a cool temperate to subtropical climate and even second line coastal conditions in a full sun or light shade position. This native is adaptable in most soils but can be frost sensitive.
Acacia ‘Limelight’ is a compact native shrub (60cm–1m tall) with outstanding lime green, pendulous foliage all year round. Dry tolerant and hardy, it will grow in full sun or part shade in most well-drained soils or pots. Feed with Searles Robust Native. Tolerates light frosts. Also look for the grafted version (right) for more formal applications.
Syzygium ‘Big Red’
Plant this medium growing Lillypilly for its large glossy
leaves, dark crimson new growth, excellent topiary and hedging properties. Hardy, frost and dry tolerant once established. Responds well to shaping. 4m H x 2.5m W. Plant in full sun to part shade with Searles Garden Soil Mix. Prune to shape during early spring to encourage dense habit.
Bambinos® are without doubt the most versatile Bougainvilleas on the market, there are selections for any application most of them flowering non-stop. As garden plants, the displays are flamboyant and unbeatable. They can be grown as trimmed garden shrubs, as hedges and standards through pruning to establish the height you need, as pergola plants, espaliers and ground cover in larger areas where foot traffic needs control. Bambino have few pests and diseases. All Bougainvilleas are heavy feeders, Bambinos are the same. Feed with Searles Hibiscus & Bougainvillea Food for better flower displays.
Port Wine Magnolia (Magnolia figo)
This handsome shrub (up to 3m tall) bears small, but heavily scented blooms every spring with a delicious, ‘bubblegum’ fragrance. Its slow growth means it could take some time to reach the desired height, but it will also be easy to control once established. Give it full sun or part shade in a well-drained soil. Water well until established.
Cinnamon myrtle (Backhousia myrtifolia)
This hardy shrub (to about 3m) is native to the dry rainforests of eastern Australia and bears a profusion of cream-coloured blossoms in early summer. A close relative of the highly fragrant lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora), its leaves have a sweet, spicy fragrance when crushed. Water it well when young to help it establish and prune annually for a compact shape.
This hardy and vigorously growing shrub can grow up to 5 metres, but if pruned makes a thick glossy hedge in full sun. Photinias deep fiery red new growth makes them an attractive choice for garden colour. Clusters of dainty white flowers adorne this shrub during spring. Frost tolerant.
There are many varieties of the evergreen Pittosporum tenuifolims which are ideal for creating dense hedging structures. Their small leaves varying in leaf shape and colours including variegated make them popular for fine classical hedges and garden colour. Popular varieties of choice for fast and hardy growing are ‘Silver Sheen’, ‘Ivory Sheen’ and ‘James Stirling’ all of which grow happily in a sun to part shade position. Tolerates coastal conditions.
They grow up to five metres but for a compact dense hedge, prune early and often is the best principle to keep their hedge appeal.