Sunday 29 August – Privet Dancer

Last week’s blog said that my focus for the last 7 days would be hedge cutting – if the weather stayed fine and it didn’t disturb our guests.  Thankfully, for the most part, that is what I have been able to do so this won’t be a very long blog.

The week’s weather has been glorious.  Totally dry and one of the hotter weeks of the summer so far which has been great for our guests, it has allowed me to make a good start attacking the hedges (which I think will now be at least a 2 week job twice a year if I can manage it.) However, because the weather has been glorious, and because, we are delighted our guests increasingly enjoy relaxing in the tranquillity of our lovely gardens, so as not to disturb them with the noise of the hedge cutters, I have restricted the hours I work on it.

That said, I have trimmed our box hedging around the champignon beds behind Priory which are beginning to look great.  We don’t often look at back at how things used to be generally preferring to look at the long list of things that we still want to achieve!  However, these box plants have grown so much since we created the beds in 2016, they can now be called an actual hedge, rather than individual plants.  We just want them to grow a little taller still, so they become more of a visual barrier to the few dogs who choose to jump over, and sometimes run through them!


Box plants placed prior to planting


Our box topiary hedges coming on well around the champignons

Other hedges I have managed to complete are the privet in front of Hayloft:

The lonicera in front of Stable – which has also recovered from its major hacking when we widened the parking space and rebuilt the wall. 

Lonicera hedge at Stable entrance trimmed

The new loniceras we planted in April have grown really well too – testament to the lovely, rich soil our friend allowed us to use and to the wetter than normal spring and summer.

One hedge that I have not given any love to for a few years is the yew, holly, hawthorn and privet hidden behind my atelier and Grange.  To some extent it is ‘out of sight, out of mind’ but had made the area where our wood store is very dark and a bit narrower.  This year I have managed to have a proper cut and it has made a huge difference – I should have taken a ‘before’ picture.  Next spring we will speak with our neighbours and ask if we can access his field to complete the job properly, cut the hedge down to the height we want along its entire length and tame the brambles growing through.

Finally, the lonicera one side of the back gate has also had a trim and looks good – this one was only planted in 2017 using cuttings we had taken about 18 months earlier.  Again, we used rich loose soil when I built the new walls and the plants seem to love it.

The vegetation at the base of the wall is a small fraction of that which I cut from behind the Granage.  These branches we are keeping to shred and use as mulch with a first trailer load already having been taken to the déchetterie.

It has also been another sociable week where we celebrated a couple of birthdays.  Earlier in the week was one close to home as David started what he tells me is his ‘birthday month’ and Mercedes very kindly invited us down to Au Lac when she was closed for a birthday meal.  Yesterday, we were invited to a BBQ in the next village to celebrate a friend’s birthday too which was very enjoyable.

David never told me what he wanted for his birthday so I thought I’d get him something practical, fun and associated with exercise.  It was possible with the kind assistance of a number of friends to collect and service and this afternoon we took it out for its first run.  It’s going to require some practice!

A bicycle made for 2

More hedging next week as the weather seems to have set fair so may not be a blog next Sunday – there is only so much you want to hear about cutting hedges!

À bientôt.