Sunday 4 August – Hedgeonism

At the end of last week’s blog I mentioned that we were due to get some rain but, if it stayed dry, I would be able to start cutting some of the hedges.  Both happened.

The weather did change at the start of the week and, not only did we get the much-needed rain we had a mini storm pass through which kept us inside for a couple of days. Thankfully the high winds didn’t do too much damage other than shred a few leaves and small branches off the trees.  It did however highlight that the cover on our new serre we put up a couple of weeks ago was not anchored down as well as it needed to be!

Being a ‘brico’ serre, it doesn’t have any reinforced anchor points to attach it to the ground, and very few to tie it to the frame, and I had tried to weight it down with slate.  Evidently it wasn’t enough. Thankfully we caught it (almost literally) before the cover was blown out of the garden and we have now bought some additional things that should assist hold it down.  While we haven’t yet reattached the cover hopefully when we do it will be much more secure and last the few years that we are likely to need it.

When the weather dried up from Wednesday I started the major task of cutting the hedges.  Ideally I’d be able to cut the hedges at least twice a year to make sure they stay thick and bushy.  However, with only a couple of exceptions, I haven’t yet been able to achieve that.  What I also have been able to achieve is to take any ‘before’ photos to make a comparison.

As the many hedging plants we have planted (100 + yews; 50 + hollies, lonicera, griselinia) mature over the next few years cutting the hedges will become an even longer task to complete but, it makes a huge difference when done.  It does highlight that the area at the end of the Granary garden, where currently there is massively overgrown laurel, bay and bramble, does need to be cleared.  It has been on my list for a while but perhaps should be given higher priority – although there is a lot to compete against!

Sadly, this summer some of our privet hedging on the front drive has started to die off.  We always understood that privet was as tough as old boots and could survive everything but sadly we have lost a number of well-established plants and we’re not sure why.  Most distressingly, while the photos don’t show it clearly, one of these is the bush that makes up the north half of the arch which, over the last 3 years, we have been trying to create over the gate into the Granary garden.

If the suffering is just because they have been getting too dry and baked on the talus they may be recoverable but we are worried that there may be something more terminal in the soil.  We may not know until next spring and, if the latter, we may need some major surgery and replace them with something else.

I didn’t manage to cut all of the hedging so will continue next week and progress a number of other smaller projects we have on the go – will update next week.

À bientôt.