PLANT A HEDGE
A native hedge is an attractive alternative to a fence, acting as a sound barrier and offering shelter for wildlife. Spiny holly, blackthorn and hawthorn improve security, with bee-friendly flowers and berries that birds love. Add honeysuckle and ivy with nectar-rich flowers and berries, and you’ll give birds and bees a vital lifeline. Native hedges are best established using bareroot specimens, planted this month if the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged.
PREPARE THE SOIL 1
Allow a strip of ground 50cm-1m (20in-3ft 3in) wide, depending on whether the hedge is to be single or double thickness. Remove weeds and large stones.
2 DIG A TRENCH
Excavate the soil to a spade’s depth and width. Peg out a line of string, or wind the string around a brick as shown, to ensure the trench remains straight as you dig.
3 WATER & WEED
Plant bareroot specimens into the trench and back fill. Firm in place and water well. Keep the soil moist and weed-free until the hedge is established.