All too often the front garden is a kind of no-man’s-land. It’s not really used for anything, and whenever you go out there you’re in full view of the neighbours. Don discovered a front yard where the owners had planted a wonderful murraya hedge, and transformed the area into a private playground for the children. The hedge is pruned about once a month using handshears.
Murraya (Murraya paniculata)
This evergreen shrub from south-east Asia grows to around 3m (10′) tall. Its genus name commemorates Dr. Johann Murray, an eighteenth-century Swedish botanist. Murrayas, along with such plants as choisya and citrus, belong to the Rutaceae family, which explains why their creamy white flowers smell just like orange blossom. The flowers are produced in abundance in spring then again in late summer or early autumn, but they also tend to appear after heavy rain. The plant has a dense, twiggy habit and glossy, dark green foliage, and makes an excellent privacy screen or hedge. Murrayas grow best in warm climates from Sydney to Perth and areas north.
hedge privacy screen perfumed garden
attractive, glossy green foliage dense growth habit gorgeous perfumed white flowers easy to grow long lived
People living in cool climates (Melbourne and south) should consider planting the frost hardy choisya (Choisya ternata) instead of murraya. Choisya is a similar looking plant which also has white, fragrant flowers.
Murrayas prefer a sunny position in well-drained soil enriched with organic matter. To maintain a murraya hedge prune lightly two to three times a year in spring and summer. Give a final prune in autumn after flowering.
The garden was designed by:
40 Jamieson Street
Wentworth Falls, NSW
Phone: (02) 4757 2511
Mobile: 0408 572 511
Murrayas are readily available at nurseries and garden centres. Expect to pay $14.95 for plants in 200mm (8″) pots; $29-$35 for 250mm (10″) pots.