If you want to grow a hedge that flowers, it is important to choose plants that flower on old wood. That way, you can prune and shape the new growth without cutting off all the flower buds. The port wine magnolia, as seen in our segment, is an excellent choice for a flowering hedge. It does flower on old wood, and it produces heavily perfumed, small flowers in spring.
Common name: Port wine magnolia
Botanic name: Michelia figo
An evergreen, dense shrub from western China. It grows slowly to around 3m (10′) tall, and produces small, purple-brown flowers from early September to late November. The flowers are insignificant to look at, but they have a sweet, heavy scent reminiscent of juicy fruit chewing gum or bananas.
Michelias grow well in frost-free areas of Australia.
Screen or hedge perfumed gardens.
Strong perfume compact, evergreen foliage.
The flowers are small and do not open fully. However, their lovely fragrance makes up for their insignificant appearance. The port wine magnolia is slow growing, so not a good choice if you want a quick screen.
Michelias like a position in full sun or part shade, and a well-drained soil enriched with compost or well-rotted cow manure. Prune after flowering to encourage new flowering growth.
Port wine magnolias are readily available at nurseries, particularly in spring when they are in flower.