With so many demands on time and budgets, why should leisure sites plant hedges? Aside from the obvious functional and ecological benefits there are also sound commercial reasons. As all successful operators know, a holiday park business cannot rely solely on their location or the surrounding countryside and must provide attractive, functional spaces to make their site a destination in itself. Failing to understand the business need for well-maintained outdoor spaces, especially in failing to see them through the eyes of your customers, will lead to poor budgetary decisions and missed opportunities – and failing to understand the conditions on site prior to planting may lead to costly mistakes.
Around the British countryside, solid screening and shelter has traditionally been provided by hedgerows. These provide a haven for wildlife and absorb CO2 from the air (helping to combat climate change). From a more practical stand-point, hedging makes sense as it doesn’t require planning permission, is far less likely to blow down than a fence and provides better security as it is harder to climb over. It absorbs sound, often cutting down noise far better than a solid screen such as a fence or wall, and rather than having to be replaced every few years, such as is invariably the case with fencing, a hedge can outlive its owner!
If varieties are carefully chosen, maintaining a hedge does not need to be hard work or require as frequent pruning as some may think. You can choose plants to
provide different functions in different parts of your site, including those that will make the hedges a real feature of your site.
Traditionally, when planting a hedge you’d use small bare root plants of no more than about 12-18 inches tall and wait 5 – 10 years for them to grow enough to produce a decent hedge. This is of course still the obvious option for areas where there is little urgency and where budgets are limited but for important site improvements, to quickly add privacy and security, or simply just to add a “wow” factor to key areas you’re rarely going to want to have to wait that long, so planting more instant solutions need to be an available option.
One of the main reasons that Leylandii conifers became so popular is because it makes a good, dense hedge very quickly. However, in terms of its wildlife value, it’s pretty sterile (some might even say damaging), not to mention the problems of when people don’t maintain them. Many people plant Leylandii because they want a 6ft or more hedge quickly but don’t realise that there are other options to achieve quick and effective results.
For instance, for a solid evergreen hedge, Laurel is a good choice where the conditions are appropriate as it grows 2-3ft per year but only needs clipping once a year. Heavy Laurel blocks, properly trimmed on the nursery, can instantly provide a solid 6ft hedge for screening and security but, if for whatever reason it’s allowed to get too big, it can be cut hard back and it will regrow from stumps if necessary.
There are numerous other plants that could be used for “instant” hedging, such as Portuguese Laurel, Yew, Eleagnus, Privet, Photinia and other evergreens, Hawthorn or holly for a more traditional country hedge, or for an “everbrown” hedge you can get big plants of Beech or Hornbeam (Hornbeam is particularly useful on heavy clay soil prone to being soggy in winter where no evergreen hedging options would thrive). You could even use plants more often used as individual ornamental specimens, like Forsythia, Weigela and so on to make a really attractive informal flowering hedge. The only limit to hedging really is your imagination but remember to use the basic principals of plant selection in choosing the right plant for the conditions as well as for the function and appearance. A conversation with staff at Wykeham to discuss your requirements will help you to select the ideal hedging options for your needs and for the conditions on site.
Call in the experts for instant results:
With decades of experience in supplying the holiday park industry, as well as expert horticultural knowledge and advice, Wykeham Mature Plants are experts in supplying instant transformations tailored to the site conditions and to the requirements of your business. Supplying the trade with high quality large trees, specimen shrubs, instant hedging and screening plants for over forty five years, Wykeham Mature Plants spans 150 acres of nursery, located in a frost pocket ten miles from Scarborough; the Yorkshire-grown stock is guaranteed to be hardy and free from imported pests and diseases. Wykeham Mature Plants is also certified under the Planty Healthy nursery scheme so customers can rest assured that the highest levels of biosecurity are maintained.
Nationwide delivery is available, and for sites located within a hundred miles or so from the nursery, site visits are available to provide consultations on your site and, if required, a professional and guaranteed expert planting service to help give your scheme the best possible start.
With Wykeham Mature Plants you can buy time, the most valuable commodity. Mature planting provides instant impact and maturity to key areas, shelter to exposed areas and, perhaps most useful of all, privacy and security to give both you and your customers peace of mind. Utilising the expert advisory services will ensure that your planting scheme will be carefully selected and of guaranteed quality and, with all of the information supplied regarding ongoing care and maintenance, you can be sure that your investment will grow and thrive.
Wykeham Mature Plants can be found within the Estate walled gardens adjacent to the main house of Wykeham Abbey, signposted from the A170 approximately ten miles west of Scarborough (open Mon – Fri 9.30am to 4.00pm). For further information, call 01723 862406 or visit www.wykehammatureplants.co.uk. Alternatively, to discuss site visits and planting services (for sites located within a hundred miles or so from the nursery) email email@example.com .