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An Original Idea

Although we don't see them every day, it suffices to visit an English or Italian garden to see Camellias used as a hedge plant.

By Camellia hedge, we mean a classically formed hedge, pruned to varying degrees according to taste.  It is even possible to imagine a flowering hedge of mixed varieties, where different species can intermingle: in this case the effect would be closer to that obtained in flowerbed plantings.

Its dense and bushy evergreen foliage, good longevity and relatively slow growth habit make the Camellia an ideal plant for hedges - not to mention its tolerance for pruning.

Are Some Varieties Better Than Others ?

Yes, certain varieties lend themselves more easily to hedges than others.  For a hedge of more than 2 metres, we recommend the following winter- and spring- flowering varieties: Black Lace, Mark Alan, Mary Phoebe Taylor, Spring Festival, Cinnamon Cindy, Christmas Daffodil, Silver Waves, Tamzin Coull or High Fragrance.  In the autumn flowering varieties, the following are suitable: Plantation Pink, Hiryu and Show Girl. For hedges of 1.5 to 2 metres: Yuletide and Rainbow for the autumn flowering varieties, and for the winter and spring bloomers: Gay Baby , Nicky Crisp, Freedom Bell, Donation, Daintiness, Coquetti, Dahlonega and Brigadoon.

How To Go About It

Once you've selected the setting, amend the soil to suit the specific needs of Camellias:  permeable, no lime, sufficiently rich without being excessively so.  For a classic hedge, you'll need one plant per linear metre, and three plants per two metres if you're planning a taller hedge of more than two metres high.  The best period for planting is between October and April.

What Specific Care Does a Camellia Hedge Require?

Very little care is required once the plants are well-established.  In the first few months, ensure that plants receive adequate water during dry spells.  Keep the ground around the foot of the plants tidy by mulching or by weeding (chemically or manually).  We recommend an annual or biannual fertilisation with a fertiliser for ericaceous plants.  Depending on the look you're after, you can either prune once or twice a year to obtain a tailored effect, or less if you'd prefer something more natural.