I recently returned from a trip to Holland to see how the Dutch grow hedging plants. I visited nurseries specialising in field-grown and pot-grown hedging. Larger sizes of field-grown plants are dug up in the winter months with a ball of soil around the roots (called a rootball) and this is wrapped with hessian to keep the rootball together. Pot-grown plants can be planted at any time of the year.
Most of the plants were planted in the field using a global positioning system (GPS) so the rows are perfectly straight and perfectly spaced out to allow them room to grow. This also allows for easy pruning by overhead mounted machines that trim them to ensure they grow bushier.
The Dutch growers I visited specialise in Laurel, Portugal Laurel, Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar), Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald’ (Smaragd), Box (Buxus) and Yew (Taxus) as well as specimen conifers such as Lawon’s Cypress ‘Yvonne’ and ‘Columnaris’. Although we grow most of the hedging plants that we sell, occasionally we buy in plants from Holland to increase our range of sizes and types of hedging we sell. Wherever possible we source plants from UK growers but, sometimes, for the quantities and sizes we require, we have to go abroad.
This year we will be expanding the size and range of Portugal Laurel, Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar) and Thuja ‘Emerald’ we have for sale by buying only good quality plants that I have seen growing in the field. Rootballed plants will be available at the end of October/beginning of November so give us a call if you are interested in any of these.