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The hedge is generally built of one type of tree or shrub. The idea of using two or more varieties of unrelated plants is rarely considered, yet an interesting feature can be developed by so doing. Such a hedge could be the only colour note in a small garden, with one contrasting tree as a lawn specimen, It could be planted across the frontage and down each side of the front garden.
COMBINATION HEDGES. - Various plants. are suitable for combination. A green Cypress could be used as pillars at regular intervals in a Rose hedge; Lorraine Lee or Sunny South being the best Roses for the purpose. A golden Privet hedge could be made with a green species for pillars. Crimson Tea-Tree could be panelled with Cypress pillars. Grevillea rosmarinifolia and Lonicera nitida should make a satisfactory combination, or a hedge of Lonicera nitida could be broken by pillars of Pittosporum crassifolium variegatct. Geraniums look well combined with golden Privet, and such a hedge is particularly gallin an exposed position where such hardy plants thrive, in spite of local conditions. Japonica can be trained espalier fashion in a narrow border with an occasional Pencil Cedar to break the line. Hybrid Fuchsias are also trained in this way.
Such combined planting is, of course, not in accordance with the accepted idea of a hedge - yet it takes the place of one, and is better than close, massive growth in a narrow area, having a more natural appearance.
Fuchsia gracilis, the small-leaved, small-flowered Fuchsia that makes
a mass of thin wiry branches, is a particularly good hedge plant on its own, or combined with Cypress. Planted in front of the upright Cypress (Cupressus torulosa), it grows and intermingles with it, and adds a touch of color to its sombre background.
Muehlenbeckia complexa, a twining, much branched plant, with small, dark, bronzy-green leaves will clip into an exceptionally good hedge. It needs a post and wire, or light wooden framework, for support. If pillars are made they should be made taller than the panels of the hedge and definitely broader. They should be kept meticulously pruned, or they will quickly become an eyesore.
SINGLE VARIETY HEDGES. - Natural, or untrimmed, hedges can be made by using one variety of plant which is of attractive growth and flower, and which retains a neat appearance without the usual Clipping into shape. Such a hedge does not conform to strict lines, yet it is of a habit of growth which does not offend the eye. It must, of course, be cut occasionally. The cutting or pruning is rather a matter of removing odd, unevenly growing branches and old, worn-out wood. The plants should never be trimmed or clipped to a regular flat surface. A hedge of this type looks well with an odd specimen tree or two planted in its length. Flowering fruits serve -this purpose excellently, or well-colored foliage trees.
DWARF HEDGES. - A third type of hedge is sometimes used. It is a dwarf edging to not more than two feet, trimmed and kept as neatly as the large hedge. Such a planting is useful at the edge of a wide garden border, or it can be used to divide the vegetable garden from the pleasure garden, particularly in a small area where there is no room for a shrub border. The hedge effectively blocks the view of the vegetables, without shutting out the distant view. Sometimes a dwarf hedge of this sort is planted either side of a garden path or along the wall of a house. Regularly spaced pillars or balls add to the effectiveness of the dwarf hedge, particularly if it is only a few inches high.
To produce a compact hedge of from six inches to two feet in height, it is necessary to plant very Closely. As near as four inches apart for the very dwarf hedge, to nine inches apart for the taller one. Only a few plants are Used for training In this way, and their habit of growth lends itself to such treatment. They are Lonicera nitida (the Shrubby Honeysuckle), which has very small, glossy, dark green leaves, and thin wiry branches: English Lavender, which must be allowed to grow fairly naturally till it has flowered, and which is best cut back to a formal, small hedge in April or May; English Box, with dark leathery leaves, larger than those of the Shrubby Honeysuckle, and which has a variegated form; and the dwarf, purple, winter-flowering Lavender (L. Stcechas) which does not need much clipping; and, for a bright edging, the golden-leaved, shrubby Pyrethrum, or Exhibition Border (botanically Chrysanthemum Parthenium) is well suited to edging a mixed border.