The last two weekends we’ve (the whole family) been planting new hedgerow on the East and South side of Acre Field, and plugging gaps in the North side. In fact, one of the gaps is behind the new solar panel array, but that’s for another post!
We’ve set two staggered rows of hedge setts in a manner suitable for a good thick hedge once laid. All species are native to the UK, and non-poisonous to animals. In each of the two rows, each sett is spaced 18″ from the next. The rows are 9″ apart. The outside row is all Hawthorn, as the hedgerows local to us are predominantly that, but the inside row that we’ll be able to pick from are all edible, both for us and/or for wildlife.
On the East side, the inside row is, from the North East corner to the middle of the East side, all Common Hazel. From there to the South East corner we planted 5 Brittany Blue Willow (salix purperea) spaced 9 feet apart, with 6 Cherry Plum/Myrobalan (prunus cerasifera) between each, then 5 Common Osier Willow (salix viminalis) with the same 6 Cherry Plums between each. The remainder of the row to the South East corner, around 6 plants, are Filbert Cobnut (corylus avellana maxima). The 10 Willow trees will be pollarded at 6′ high, and the Hazel and Cherry Plum’s will be laid in a traditional manner along with the outside row of Hawthorn. This way the Willows can be grown for their whips whilst the rest of the hedge will provide fruit and nuts.
On the South side, starting in the South East corner (now known as Cobnut Corner!) we have a few more Filbert Cobnuts. Heading West, we then have 5 Oxford Violet Willow (salix daphnoides) spaced 9 feet apart, with a row of 6 Crab Apple (malus sylvestris) between the first four (so 18 in total), and 6 Spindleberry (euonymus europaeus) between the last two. The Crab Apple are predominantly to help with pollinating the apple trees in the orchard quarter directly to the north of them. Continuing West we then have 5 Goat Willow (salix caprea), spaced 9 feet apart, with 6 Spindleberry between the first two, then 6 Field Maple (acer campestre) between each of the last 4 (so 18 in total). Following these are 10 Common European Ash (Fraxinus excelsior). Between the last Goat Willow and the first Common European Ash are 6 Guelder Rose (viburnum opulus), then between each of the first 5 Ash are 6 Guelder Rose (viburnum opulus) – so 30 Guelder Rose in total. Between each of the last Ash trees are 6 Dog Rose (rosa canina), and these run on until the remaining gap is filled, ending at the South West corner. The Oxford Violet Willow, Goat Willow and Ash will all be pollarded from 6′ high.
On the North side, behind the solar panels to the West, are an outside row of Hawthorn, and 10 Common Dogwood (cornus sanguine) on the inside row. Then, to the East of the old oak tree are an outside row of Hawthorn, to plug a gap in the existing hedge, and an inside row of 10 Red Twig Dogwood (cornus alba spaethii), then a few random setts left over from the rest of the perimiter plantings.
Longwinded I know, we’ll get around to a nice, easy-to-read, picture version one of these days. I don’t hold out much for the setts near the oak to survive – the ground was very dry, the oak seems to shelter the ground from the rain, and itself soaks up what does fall. I’ve heard Holly is a good gap filler that might survive this section, so if these fail we’ll try that as a backup option.
As far as the plants we’ve set go, clicking here will take you to a post giving a description of each and why they’ve been planted:
Brittany Blue Willow (salix purpurea)
Common Osier Willow (salix viminalis)
Oxford Violet Willow (salix daphnoides)
Goat Willow (salix caprea)
Crab Apple (malus sylvestris)
Common Dogwood (cornus sanguine)
Red Twig Dogwood (cornus alba spaethii)
Guelder Rose (viburnum opulus)
Dog Rose (rosa canina)
Filbert Cobnut (corylus avellana maxima)
Hazel (corylus avellana)
Cherry Plum/Myrobalan (prunus cerasifera)
Common European Ash (fraxinus excelsior)
Spindleberry (euonymus europaeus)
Field Maple (acer campestre)