wp_20161013_15_48_01_proThis week it was a concerted effort to cut back and tidy up the hedge that runs along the ‘ha ha’ on the northern boundary of the gardens at Blickling.

The hedges that run along the ha ha, backed by a wire fence for security, are a bit of a bone of contention. Some are pretty consistent (like the one that was cut back this week- it’s mainly Beech), but others are a real mixture of different hedge plants and hedge plants that want to grow into trees (especially Sycamore). And in some places the hedge has grown out to reduce the space between it and the fence which makes it almost impossible to get in alongside with a strimmer to keep the undergrowth down.

If I had my way I think it would be worth spending time to grub them out completely, as they perform no useful security role, but take  a lot of maintenance if they are to be kept in a reasonably tidy state. Of course they are of value to nature (as nesting sites and food sources for birds) and I must say gardeners Ed and Rob did make a nice job of cutting back the northern hedge so that it should, hopefully sprout forth with new life next spring.

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After cut..looking a bit of a mess….?

Anyway, our session involved finishing off cutting back the hedge and its immediate surrounds and then ‘feeding the wolf’ that is the industrial scale shredder. By the end of the morning, having brought up all the brashings from the hedge to the path above the ha ha the shredder had finished its first pass.

After lunch we tidied up the last few cuttings and then moved on to finish off the hedge at its steepest descent from the path. An earlier attempt at cutting this area had been halted as a wasp’s nest had been discovered. Despite the wasps still being active, gardener Rob proceeded to cut the remaining hedge back…only to disturb the wasps and get attacked for his efforts! A few stings later (one on the head seemed to be especially painful), Rob paused for thought…and we gingerly tidied up as much as we could, but staying well away from the wasps, until the nest can be properly dealt with.

All told it had taken Gardeners Ed, Rob, Rebecca and Jane plus half a dozen volunteers virtually all day to complete the job. But it does look tidy, if bare- the hedge has been drastically reduced in height and girth, and hopefully is back to a manageable size. Now will the next stage be to tackle the east and southern boundaries, or would that be a hedge too far….?!

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

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