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Don't hedge your bets, give it a clip; The next seven days in the garden.

AS the flowers grow, so do the weeds and all else that is green in the garden.

If you have a leylandii hedge you know what I am talking about, and if you haven't already clipped it twice, you could always think again, and rip it out.

Leylandii requires clipping three times a year, but you can also check its growth with the use of a hormonal retardant. This spray-on chemical, slows growth to a minimum and may allow you one less cut - but even still, leylandii will get to 50ft plus.

There are numerous plants that you can use for hedging that are more useful than the eager leylandii, and I have heard that there may well be a forthcoming ban on planting leylandii in built-up areas.

Fuchsia magellanica makes a most unusual hedge of purple and red blooms.

I recall that it even survived the rigours of my grandad's gardening efforts - conclusive proof it is a real toughie. It will reach six feet in less than two seasons, and will flower all summer, with one annual snip in August.

Your own hedge will need clipped at least once, and if you haven't done it yet, do it soon. If you leave it too late the new growth doesn't have enough time to harden and is susceptible to frost.

In any case you may wish to get another clip in before the end of the season for hedges such as privet and Rosa rugosa.

Common beech is another top class hedging plant, and surpasses itself in its purple-leafed form, Fagus sylvatica purpurea.

The dry summer has allowed Beech Mealy Bug to build up and if you notice leaves on some of your beeches have curled at the tips and gone brown, check the underside of the leaves. If you see a cluster of hairy green aphids, get some systemic insecticide on the job.

I use "Rapid" as it doesn't harm bees, ladybirds or lacewings, all of which you need in the battle against the bugs.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Chudziak, Bill
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 6, 2000
Words:336
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