What is the best variety of laurel to use as a boundary hedge in a country garden?
There are two main varieties of laurel to use in a big country garden.
In my opinion the common laurel is better to use as it grows much faster and makes a much thicker hedge.
The Portuguese laurel has a much smaller leaf and grows quite slowly. Probably around 9 inches to 1 ft per year. Best suited to urban gardens.
At what rate per year will my Laurel hedge grow?
In the first year your laurel hedge will be settling into its new environment so will not put on a lot of growth. Realistically between 6 inches to one ft can be expected in year 1 but anywhere between 1ft and 3 ft can be expected from year 2 on.
How do I care for my new laurel hedge?
Your new laurel hedge should be checked at regular intervals to make sure it has not loosened in the ground with the and elements etc.
If they are making a collar at the base of the plant just walk them in with your foot to tighten them in the soil.
Its very important to keep weeds and grass away from the base of the plant as they would be competing for food and water and light etc.
This can be done in a number of ways; probably the best and safest way is to put tram around the base of the hedge immediately after planting and cover it with wood chip or stone chip. Chemical or manual methods can also be used. Both organic and artificial manures can be used to feed your laurel hedge.
How often do I have to prune my laurel hedge?
Normally a laurel hedge will not need pruning in year 1.After that you can prune the sides to keep it to the width you desire till it reaches the height you want it to finish at.
Normally twice per year is enough to clip the sides and top of your laurel.Laurel will also tolerate a hard pruning if let get out of hand.
Would laurel be suitable for planting along a main road?
Yes laurel is very suitable for planting along beside roads as they are very tolerant of dust and dirt and water splash associated with roadside plantings. Laurel is also very good to kill noise pollution.