Yew is the great statement hedge – and has been for centuries. It has always been in style – horticulture’s Little Black Dress and, like the LBD, it has a simple but compelling elegance. The great thing about Yew is that so many people – especially non-gardeners – believe it is difficult to grow so they give generous plaudits to those who do and know it really isn’t…
Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ is, apart from being just as easy to grow and maintain, at the opposite end of the hedging spectrum. One of the newest and brightest hedging plants, Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ makes a different type of statement entirely…
Glossy green leaves rarely get glossier – or greener – than those that grace Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ and no hedging plant can offer the deep, vibrant red provided by its new growth. As this new growth matures so it returns to the characteristic dark green – Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ offers constantly changing colours.
Happy in any sheltered, sunny spot with its feet in a moist, well-draining and fertile soil (an annual dose of all-purpose feed will do the trick if needed), Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ will grow happily into a thick hedge or a ground / container planted specimen shrub.
It needs no specialist treatment though you must trim in early spring to achieve a thick garden hedge. Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ takes pruning in its stride and you can get out the sheers, if you wish, up to three times during spring and summer. Pruning (and nipping the tips of young shoots) encourages new (red) growth but avoid any trimming once autumn is imminent as that new growth won’t have time to establish itself before colder weather strikes. Always cut just above an outward-facing bud – in perfect conditions, Photinia × fraseri ‘Red Robin’ will put on 30cm in a season.
Finally, if you want even more contrast and to make that statement even bolder, plant Euonymus (either Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’ or Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’) and/or Lavenders in front of your Photinia × fraseri ‘Red Robin’ hedge.
PS: Photinia × fraseri ‘Red Robin’ is also known as Christmas Berry but as many other plants share the name, don’t get confused!