Tag Archive: shredding

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.


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

WP_20160121_13_37_53_ProThis week’s gardening session focused on the avenues in the wilderness garden at Blickling. Gardener Ed led the volunteers to continue felling, gathering, shredding and stacking wood from the trees and overgrown shrubs alongside one of the routes radiating away from the House.

Having delivered two trays of birthday cakes (held over from last week), I made my way over to the Temple area where it was clear that some serious wood cutting was going on. You may recall in an earlier post, that the avenues have not received regular attention and so various trees have forced their way into what were once clear, straight lines of Oaks and similar trees. The main culprits are Yews and Hollies though some ‘rogue” Oaks have also found their way into these areas too.

WP_20160121_10_54_13_ProEd set to work with an impressive chainsaw attachment on an extended pole which made cutting off offending boughs look pretty easy. He later used a more conventional chainsaw to reduce some overgrown hollies to stools, form which bushes will re-sprout.

The shredder which managed to consume vast quantities of brashings from the trees was an impressive machine. ‘The Wolf’ gobbles up quite thick stems and so we were left with just a couple of piles of very thick cuttings that we later stacked in a wood pile for firewood. I imagine the shreddings are mixed in with other organic material to from compost.

I mentioned last week a talk to the Estate volunteers about the Walled Garden Project from Project Manager Mike. This was well attended and proved to be extremely interesting, with plenty of photographs of how the Walled Garden looked over the years since it’s birth in the 1600’s, when fruit was definitely the thing to grow. It was interesting to hear that the original garden was twice the size of the current one, and that the current garden formed the orchard area whereas the adjoining car park was once the area for soft fruit and vegetables etc. There are some fascinating old aerial photographs of Blickling taken in the 1930’s which you can see at this site .

Here’s one taken in 1928 and showing the walled garden in the foreground. About two thirds along from the left  and just up from the bottom there is a feature stretching away vertically on the picture, just to the right of a group of trees; this is thought to be the pineapple growing frames which were orientated to capture maximum sunlight. Apparently the Lost Gardens of Heligan in cornwall have grown pineapples in recreated frames and have calculated that it cost them some £10,000!

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener


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