Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Ask RiotACT

Quality childcare in a
welcoming & supportive environment

Ask RiotACT: Stinky hedge

By MacJanet - 28 November 2015 25

hedge

Does anyone else notice that the flowers of this hedge stink? If so, why is there so much of it in Canberra?

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
25 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: Stinky hedge
crackerpants 10:44 am 03 Dec 15

IMO rubens is much stinkier than robusta, but robusta is often overpowering through size of the plants and sheer volume of frothy white flowers. The bees love them, but the flies love them more – in fact that’s where I hang my fly traps. We have a couple of very large ones out the back which are roughly as old as the house (45+ years) – they formed a fantastic screen for privacy and shade until Actew changed their rules and we had to remove two from either side of a power pole. 5 years later I’m still smarting from that.

We have a hedge of Portugal laurel (not related to Bay laurel but similar foliage) which is wonderfully green, bushy, does well on little water, and in 4 years is shoulder height. Our Port wine magnolia hedge (Michelia figo) is slow growing, at about hip height in 4 years. But I’m willing to be patient because it is beautiful with lighter leaves and the most amazing flowers that smell like bananas and spices (or port wine, hence the name).

rubaiyat 9:10 pm 02 Dec 15

Want a sweet smelling hedge, plant Bay Laurels!

Saw beautiful Laurel hedges in the Yarra Valley vineyards. The smell was divine!

Never seen anyone try it here in Canberra so don’t know what problems there might be, other than needing initial protection from frost, but my Bay Laurel round the back goes gang busters and throws up masses of suckers.

miz 8:36 pm 02 Dec 15

Yes many natives struggle to survive here, and when they do they often look straggly and woody and are short lived – none of which are ideal for a hedge.
As mentioned in another post my preference for a Canberra hedge is viburnum tinus (Laurustinus) – can also grow large if you let it, and is slower growing than photinia, but copes with sun, shade, frost, drought and general neglect and makes a good, dense, dark green hedge. Gets pretty flowers in spring that do NOT smell but attract bees.

rubaiyat 5:21 pm 02 Dec 15

Nilrem said :

rubaiyat said :

bigred said :

Photinia robusta in the yard should be accompanied by a good chainsaw in the shed. I would suggest to anyone contemplating planting this piece of flora to change their mind.

The problem is the lack of viable alternatives. Even Photinia Rubens is a remarkable step down on grwoth and durability.

I tried natives for over a decade, perpetually nursing them until I lost the lot in the last drought, which is certainly going to repeat itself with a vengeance.

Like many good things, growing a hedge takes considerable investment of time and money, so you are aiming for long term certain results.

Photinia Robusta certainly delivers on that, but requires the recommended constant trimming to keep it in line. Neglecting that will let it go to its natural state of a reasonably large woody tree.

One of the various Pittosporum varieties that are very popular. We have ‘Green Pillar’ and its created a nice two-metre hedge in about three years. Doesn’t need much water when established. Comes from New Zealand, which might slightly appease the anti-exotic plant zealots? 🙂

Yes I know of those. Some houses around here have them but they can be “gappy” and are softer, you can “wade” through them, seems Photinia Robusta is still the surer bet and once grown is a real physical barrier.

I like the smaller leaf of the Pittosporum. I thought I’d try the smaller leaf Photinia Rubens but it has barely advanced in the years I had it in. My second shot with the Photinia Robusta between the Rubens has already overtaken the original planting.

Canberra is a tough climate. Talk to some of the older neighbours, they have experience. Mine advised against my first choice of the native Westringia and was right. Did my dough and wasted a decade.

Nilrem 2:39 pm 02 Dec 15

rubaiyat said :

bigred said :

Photinia robusta in the yard should be accompanied by a good chainsaw in the shed. I would suggest to anyone contemplating planting this piece of flora to change their mind.

The problem is the lack of viable alternatives. Even Photinia Rubens is a remarkable step down on grwoth and durability.

I tried natives for over a decade, perpetually nursing them until I lost the lot in the last drought, which is certainly going to repeat itself with a vengeance.

Like many good things, growing a hedge takes considerable investment of time and money, so you are aiming for long term certain results.

Photinia Robusta certainly delivers on that, but requires the recommended constant trimming to keep it in line. Neglecting that will let it go to its natural state of a reasonably large woody tree.

One of the various Pittosporum varieties that are very popular. We have ‘Green Pillar’ and its created a nice two-metre hedge in about three years. Doesn’t need much water when established. Comes from New Zealand, which might slightly appease the anti-exotic plant zealots? 🙂

rubaiyat 9:54 am 02 Dec 15

bigred said :

Photinia robusta in the yard should be accompanied by a good chainsaw in the shed. I would suggest to anyone contemplating planting this piece of flora to change their mind.

The problem is the lack of viable alternatives. Even Photinia Rubens is a remarkable step down on grwoth and durability.

I tried natives for over a decade, perpetually nursing them until I lost the lot in the last drought, which is certainly going to repeat itself with a vengeance.

Like many good things, growing a hedge takes considerable investment of time and money, so you are aiming for long term certain results.

Photinia Robusta certainly delivers on that, but requires the recommended constant trimming to keep it in line. Neglecting that will let it go to its natural state of a reasonably large woody tree.

bigred 9:02 pm 01 Dec 15

Photinia robusta in the yard should be accompanied by a good chainsaw in the shed. I would suggest to anyone contemplating planting this piece of flora to change their mind.

old canberran 6:07 pm 01 Dec 15

One of the reasons there is so much of it is the fact that it was one of the plants issued free from the Yarralumla nursery to new householders up until the 70’s. Most government houses built pre 1950 had photinia hedges presumably also from the nursery. I guess they used photinia because it grew quite quickly as a hedge, required little water and looked good. We lived in Torrens Street and just about every house had the same hedge but strangely I can’t remember it smelling when in flower and we had it along the front and down the side of our corner block.

miz 5:49 pm 30 Nov 15

Clipping it prevents the stinky flowers from developing and stops it getting out of control (they can get huge and be costly to get cut back at that stage).

shellcase 2:41 pm 30 Nov 15

Only occurs in spring, all to do with the flowers and the trees and the birds and the bees ….

rubaiyat 11:24 pm 28 Nov 15

Photinia Robusta and it is everywhere because it is tough and works in our climate.

switch 10:35 pm 28 Nov 15

“Does anyone else notice that the flowers of this hedge stink?”

Yep. Photinia. And I’m sure it exacerbates my hay fever at this time of year.

“If so, why is there so much of it in Canberra?”

Usual reasons: tough, hardy, fast growing, cheap…

Listers_Cat 10:13 pm 28 Nov 15

Yeah, those hedges absolutely wreak, but they’ve got nothing on the semen trees that are also popular in Canberra https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callery_Pear

rommeldog56 9:12 pm 28 Nov 15

UnBeing said :

Photinia isn’t it?

Yep – looks like it. There are 2 main types – Rubens (smaller) and Robusta (can get quite tall). Regarded as being good for heading & screening.

Robusta, when planted as a headge, can smell quite sickly when it flowers. Grows profusely and needs quite a bit of maintenance.

UnBeing 6:43 pm 28 Nov 15

Photinia isn’t it?

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site