Right Plant, Right Place: Part 2 – Sun, Shade, Water

Our look at the rules of Right Plant, Right Place continues with the two fundamentals required, in varying quantities, by all plants: light & water…

Winter Planting at Hedge Xpress

Laurel-Cherry 90-120cm

£16.95 exc. VAT3.

3. Right Plant, Right Place: Sun or Shade

The RHS lists four basic categories of shade. A useful aid tfor those looking to get the Right Plant, Right Place:

  1. Light shade: A site that is open to the sky, but screened from direct sunlight by an obstacle, such as a high wall or group of trees
  2. Partial shade: A site receiving sunlight for two or three hours either in early morning or late evening. Midday sun supplies considerably more light
  3. Moderate shade: Mainly reflected or diffused light, for example through tree canopies
  4. Deep shade: Usually under dense deciduous trees, e.g. beech, conifer hedges or overgrown shrubberies

All of the following hedging plants will thrive in full sun and either light (1) or partial (2) shade

  • Beech (Fagus sylvatica) (1-2)
  • Common Box AGM (Buxus Sempervirens) (1-2)
  • Escallonia Macrantha AGM (1-2) Pictured Top
  • Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’AGM (1-2)
  • Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ AGM (1-2)
  • Griselinia Littoralis (1-2)
  • Hornbeam AGM (Carpinus betulus) (1)
  • Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Rotundifolia’) (1-2)
  • Lonicera nitida (1-2)
  • Privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium) (1)
  • Yew (Taxus baccata) (1-2)

These hedging plants will only thrive in full sun:

  • Photinia Red Robin AGM (Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’)
  • Purple Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea’)
  • Perovskia Blue Spire AGM (Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Blue Spire’)
  • Leylandii (Cupressocyparis Leylandii) Pictured Bottom
  • All Rosemary and Lavender

4. Right Plant, Right Place: Wet or Dry

Wet

While no hedge plant will tolerate prolonged waterlogging, three species can cope with wetter feet than most:

  • Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)
  • Common Box (Buxus sempervirens)
  • Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Rotundifolia‘)

Of these, Hornbeam is unquestionably the most tolerant (it needs damp conditions), and deserves greater consideration that simply being the go-to plant if your garden is too wet for Yew. But, don’t forget, even Hornbeam will not tolerate being waterlogged. The other two come very close to Hornbeam’s level of tolerance.

Flooding can strike at any time – one of our own yards recently flooded for the first time and we had a mad scramble to remove the containers before any damage was done.

Dry

All hedging plants obviously need water and, with the exception of Hornbeam, most have a fair degree of drought tolerance…

The most drought tolerant include:

  • Beech (Fagus sylvatica)
  • Griselinia Littoralis
  • Lonicera nitida
  • Perovskia Blue Spire AGM (Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Blue Spire’)
  • Photinia Red Robin AGM (Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’)
  • Privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium)
  • Purple Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea’)
  • Yew (Taxus baccata)

The following hedging plants will still tolerate drought, but to a lesser extent:

  • Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Rotundifolia’)
  • Common Box AGM (Buxus Sempervirens)
  • Escallonia Macrantha AGM
  • Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’AGM
  • Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ AGM