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Advancing Hedges

Hedges are walking their way into the garden. Hawthorn, but also privet and what appears to be box.

It started by stealth, the hedge just stopped being a lovely line and started having curves. The curves got bigger and grew into surrounding roses making block shapes in the hedge which have grown thicker and longer over the years. One would think it was obvious this was happening, but the garden has been unkempt allowing the hedge to creep.

I began whacking with a big lump of box - fortunately. Initially I found climbing underneath was the most accessible, that worked well, allowing me to clip the long branches underneath rather than having to chop back all the smaller branches and leaves first.

This worked until the upper structure collapsed onto me. At 8' long and 5' high this was not light and I had a close encounter with a rose stem.

I then tried going in from above, but I couldn't reach the main branches and it would take me an hour or more to get to the structure underneath. I remember the hedge as a child. It was always waist height for an adult so that the garden could be looked at when walking past. It's now shoulder height and instead of being about a foot width, this section is 6' in width.

Eventually I worked out that to be able to get to the structure it was easier to lean into the branches, thank goodness it isn't hawthorn and I had an old waterproof !!! By leaning I could see what I was doing and reach the lower branches.

I could see how the hedge has grown suckers in a clump in 2 sections about 10" forward of the original hedge, but then each sucker has developed two more both moving forward which is why the hedge is so far forward. I will have to separate the suckers from the original hedge which is now looking quite sparse and neglected.

I will have to poison the suckers to stop regrowth. First though I need to separate the roots to prevent killing the hedge.

During my escapades I discovered that the privet I thought was part of the hedge actually isn't. It's grown on its own in front of the box and hawthorn. This will have to be removed and the roots poisoned to allow the hedge to regrow and to allow me to prune back the overgrown Rose in front.

The roses are in desperate need of a good feed. I'm going to try and source some horse manure for over wintering. Possibly in spring I can mulch once the stumps have begun to rot back.

After this there are another two sections of hawthorn and both have tenant roses entwined into them. Weirdly most of the rose bushes have grown wild spurs from their roots and some I will never rescue as the wild roses are too established for the grafted ones to survive. This is not the case with the hedge smothered roses, these are fine, however they are very weak and gangling having relied on the hedge to keep them upright and had to compete for light.

I also have a very over grown fuchsia half submerged in hedge and a massive part rotten pampas grass.

Well, as they say, the devil makes work for idle hands, so I may well get on with it.

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