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Ere! Ow did that hedge get so big!? by Dave Squire

Posted by sheiladearing on 29 Mar 2012 at 03:12 PM

Hedges are sneaky… Even when you promise yourself that they won’t be allowed to get too big, somehow they always do…!

That’s what happened in Rosemoor’s Spiral Garden to our Chinese privet hedge, Ligustrum sinense. It is a major feature of the garden and was planted in 1991. Echoing the design it does literally spiral outwards, subtly gaining height as it does so. Unfortunately it had long since ceased to be a thing of beauty and had turned into our version of the Berlin Wall, (old joke I know!). At about 75 metres long and up to 3 metres tall it took an age to cut and created far too much shade.
Something had to be done! 


John pruning the privet back hard

Forms of privet rejuvenate well, even when pruned hard back into the old wood. Spring is the best time to take this job on. By summer many of the bared branches will then have produced new shoots. Our mission was to reduce the height by about a third. To maintain the gently and precisely raising level, a series of canes were inserted along the whole length of the hedge. These were carefully measured and cut so we had a correct line to follow and prune the hedge too.

John Bridge, ably assisted by other garden staff, took the job on using a selection of secateurs, loppers and pruning saws. It was a big undertaking, accentuated by the precision required, (yes, we really do use a spirit level as a final check!), but the final effect was a great improvement!

John checking the levels

Hope the children aren’t too upset, it was the nearest thing to a maze that we had! 

Dave Squire


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