All Posts Gardens by Peter Donegan Garden Design

Fruit Hedge. Front Garden, Dublin

fruit hedge, dublin

Fruit bushes planted are nothing new. But like a very young Elvis realising his hips moved in two directions, sometimes it’s not that you can, but how. Or like that t-shirt of mine says: It’s not the winning that counts but the arsing around. In short what I’m getting at is, what rule book is to say one can’t have a hedge, upon which there grows fruit ?

Bush n 1 a dense woody plant, smaller than a tree, with many branches; shrub 2 a dense cluster of such shrubs; thicket

Hedge n 1 a row of shrubs or bushes forming a boundary.

source: Collins Dictionary Paperback fourth edition 1999

Maybe you’ll counter that with why did I ask that question ? To answer, this was planted just last week and scratching my head, I think I’ve only ever done two fruit hedges in a suburban type Dublin garden ever before. I don’t particularly know why. That said, what a beauty of a walk out ones front gate that will be, picking ambidextrously, chomping and stuffing as many red currants, black currants or gooseberries [red] as you can fit in your satchel. The way I see it, fruit bushes are in reality normal plants, just no one told them we only really really like them when they give us nice things.

Don’t crop ’em or do… to me its a bit the smarter fellows option to low maintenance time saver grow your own, without all of the getting dirty and double digging. And that has to be a good thing, right ?

In my own garden I did something similar with around 34 fruiting trees. Planted in a cul de sac to make a wee micro garden for Ella. Within that group I have 5 cherry trees that I have never picked from though they are always eaten by my neighbouring personal full-time buskers, the birds. I like to think of that as a fair barter ; and a little of the some for you some for me style of thinking. And though some garden folk may disagree with what may also be known as pests (the birds, not Ella) I’m more than happy watching her smile as Nanny’s bird comes to make sure she is eating all of her dinner.

Back to the hedge, maybe the ye olde types of pre ‘low maintenance only garden requests’ were hit badly by the gardeners fashion police. Sometimes thats no harm; Most of the 1980’s reminds me of Privot, grisilinia and a tang top wearing Sir Cliff – An entire era of bland, beige and right angles trying to appear rounded where the most exciting thing was variagation.

To me, the the merging of a non laborious grow your own with the a new funk ye olde to create a fruit hedge is lot like a glitter covered Marc Bolan relieving Sir Cliff Richard of his duties, whilst he is halfway through a chorus of we’re all going on a Summer Holiday and busting straight into the intro for 20th Century Boy. And you think to yourself, I kinda like how this new wheel works ~ even though the strategy behind it is nothing new at all. I mean pre Marc and T-Rex there was of course Jimi and The Experience ;

fruit hedge, front garden dublin

Of note:

  • this Dublin front garden is north facing. In reality, that very simply means a lesser amount of light, not no light. The fruit will grow, just not as well as it may do in the South of France.
  • the primary function of this hedge, is to be a hedge. The Brucey Bonus or bi product is that it will give you nice things to eat. And so long as we know that’s the deal, the gardeners book of how to care for a fruit bush rules do not really apply here.
  • there are over 30 plants in this hedge planted at a rate of 3 per metre squared. The 1% loss in light equals 1% loss in production equation in mind, there’ll be more than enough for everybody
  • joined in with ‘normal landscaping at the top, it looks pretty darned fine if I do sy so myself and makes a fantabulous addition to what one would most usually and very simply walk past, if it were a normal hedge.

Q’s or thoughts [?] leave a comment below or drop me a line.

Peter Donegan:

donegan landscaping

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