Hedges are one of my key specialisations and a special interest of mine. As a Horticulturist, I understand the significant purpose of hedges and the place they hold in a good garden design. I've been working with hedges for many, many years which means I keep this in mind when I'm drawing your design so that your hedge doesn't become a nightmare to maintain in the years to come.
In my 20 years in industry I can say that one of the biggest problem areas for hedges is when it comes to swimming pools. These often require screening and hedging is a beautiful and impressive option. However, too often landscape designers don't allow space for future maintenance to be undertaken. I've had to trim hedges with a ladder inside a pool or with aluminium planks placed across the full length of the pool!! Not very practical to say the least, and unfortunately, more common than you might think.
The real shame is that the client becomes disillusioned and usually blames the hedge (or whatever greenery they've used for screening), believing that it's too hard and expensive to maintain. Whereas if the designer had used a bit of foresight, the problem would have been avoided, and the client would have had a great outcome.
Do not make this expensive and disheartening mistake. When engaging a landscape designer make sure there is a horticulturist involved early so that they can advise you on the requirements of your plant and the best position for it.
How often does my hedge needs to be trimmed and why?
The following factors need to be taken into consideration to determine how often your hedge needs to be trimmed:
Type of plant - pittosporum, lilly pilly, olives, photinia, murraya, ficus and cypress species require 4 to 6 trims per year to keep them looking dense. In order for your hedge to look at its best there should be no more than 10cm surplus growth being trimmed off.
Position has a lot to do with the amount of sunlight it gets. Generally a plant that is shaded by others will not grow as well as the one in full light.
Slope and Soil conditioning - it is recommended to have your hedges mulched and regularly fertilised to keep them looking healthy and less susceptible to pest and disease.