Saturday, 20 January 2018

Boundary issues

The rain stopped and I was able to resume giving the front boundary hedge its annual trim. It is mainly hawthorn and blackthorn with some dogwood in places. Our road frontage is about 200m long (that is an eighth of a mile) which is a lot of hedge to trim. 

It’s just about established now and puts on about 4 or 5 feet of whippy growth during the summer and my job today was to bring it back down to its annual starting height. I trim the sides first which makes it easier to access and trim the top for a level finish. I can see the previous year’s cuts on the top of the hedge and use them as a height guide.

A couple of sections of the boundary hedge:-

Trimming the top hard back has the effect of producing side shoots and gradually thickening out the sides of the hedge. It has been planted between two rows of post and rail fencing which also provide a guide for trimming it width-wise. We have added rabbit proof fencing to the outer posts and rails to reduce the risk of their destructive incursions.

Because the hedge is a distance from the house, and because blackthorn stems can be quite tough, I use a petrol hedge trimmer for portability and power. It works very well but is heavy to use, especially having to trim above head height. Hard work for someone with an asthenic build like mine.

All the trimmings went into my new wood chipper, bought at half price. It didn’t take long to put together and get started with it (if you discount the 45 minutes before I decided I needed to resort to the instruction manual). It did the job well and got through quite an amount of material. The chippings were spread around the chicken run so were made good use of. Another winter maintenance job ticked off the list.

Christmas Rose in full flower right now
for added January cheer.


  1. You have inspired me I need to get out on the field to do some clearing

  2. Best to get them out of the way soonwe rather than later if you want to spend more time on the vegetable plot this year.

  3. my grandparents were lucky, the farmer next door, used to make his boys cut the hedges with the tractor attachment on the road side and on the inside he used to make them do by hand. Heck knows what they would have done if those boys were ever well behaved. My gran once found one asleep on the milking parlor floor, when she went in to get the bits ready for cow teat cleaning for when they would come down. and there he was, asleep with his face in the gully. yuck

  4. We have been contemplating the mix for the native hedging we want to grow from whips on our boundary.- did you really get more than four feet of growth in a year? Goodness, you've inspired us, we worried about choosing whips over established hedging but clearly it catches up!

  5. Yes, the blackthorn and the dogwood do indeed send out four feet plus shoots; hawthorn a little less. The hedge is 6’ high and is about 5 years old. We don’t want it to get any higher but do want it to thicken out a bit more. It’s always tempting to buy more established plants or trees, but it always surprises me how quickly young plants catch up. The important thing is to look after them well, particularly in the first two years. Keep watered and if you can, mulched. And protected from rabbits.