Thursday, 14 November 2013

Holly Seedlings

I want to put some holly in my hedge when I plant it.
It's good at stopping people climbing it, gives some evergreen cover, good berries for the birds and can be used for Christmas decoration.
 But after seeing the price of it per plant I decided I better try to find my own source!
 The neighbours who I cut the tree up for (yesterdays post) have a huge old mansion that has a 4 acre garden with beautiful trees and vistas. So I asked if they had many seedlings they didn't want/need. They did, loads of them!
 After being walked round and told I could help myself I went back grabbed a tub and a spade and got digging.
I managed to get 24 in half an hour, but the roots on them aren't that amazing so I decided to plant them up in a little nursery bed in the garden and see if they grow more roots over the winter before going into the hedge.
Hopefully this should help the cost of the hedge a little bit and also give a bit of winter cover.
What other seedlings do you think I should be going after for my hedge?

14 comments:

  1. Look for places where birds perch a lot. The seeds seem to sprout better after passing through a bird. (Or maybe it's because they're pre-fertilized!)

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    1. I'm guessing thats where some of these have come from as they're quite far away from the other holly trees. Still they have a long tap root and not much else so I think they'll need growing on for a while yet.

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  2. great stuff,probably best in a nursery bed as it's so slow growing it might get swamped if it went straight in the hedge.

    My hubby collected lkots of bird cherry pips that had been through the bird and they have all sprouted, he has just planted collected seeds/keys/nuts etc from around the farm (ash,sycamore, beech acorns horse chestnut)

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    1. Yeah it's a great way to get free trees! I'm going to try this with ash seedligns this year for firewood down the line.

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  3. What about things you can later pick; crab apple, sloe, damson, bramble?

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    1. I'm thinking of crab and cider apples mixed in but I don't want too much stuf that can be scrumped!

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  4. Lucky you with holly seedlings, they are VERY slow growing so best in a bed for several years. This is from experience as we put some young holly plants in gaps in the hedges 20 years ago and never saw them again!
    Blackthorn will keep EVERYTHING out!

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    1. I'm going to set up a little tree nusury area for all my little projects so they can go in there for a couple of years I think

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  5. When we lived in the south coast of UK there was an area where we used to pick holly for Christmas.One year we filled several carrier bags full to bring to our parents.They lived in the Midlands,we traveled by train...which was packed,so every time someone got too close to me,I discreetly pushed the holly bag into their legs (Ha!).
    I love American Bittersweet....looks pretty , grows quickly and has heaps of berries for the birds.
    Jane x

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    1. I hate traveling by train (in fact by anything other than a transit van really) but the holly trick sounds like it could make the journey more interesting! Not heard of bittersweet - I will have to look it up

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  6. I can definitely confirm holly's s l o w n e s s !! Beech are attractive as they tend to keep their coppery leaves and grow relatively quickly. Rowan is nice, quick and provides food for the birds. Buddlea grows like greased lightning, is good for one of those sideways layered type hedges - dunno what they're called! - attracts butterflies but needs a firm saw to keep it in check. Would agree with the blackthorn though, grows much quicker than holly and no rambler in their right mind wants to crawl through it. Even most livestock avoids it. Ouch! Hazel would be a nice addition but might encourage foragers both animal and human :)

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    1. Yeah I think hawthorn will make up the most of it (as it's cheapest as well) but I'll add anything else I can find, like these hollies.

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  7. Sea Buckthorn......you can eat the berries too, very good for you! Very hardy and tolerant of winds.

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    1. Do they do well away from the sea though?

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