K's Garden

Building a large garden on a budget

Front Hedge Replacement Thursday 11 June 2009


Removing the Front Hedge

The hedge in the front of the house is an overgrown Leylandii. Ghastly! but also impossible to get back to being a smart clipped shape – you can’t cut them back to old wood as they don’t regrow.

We took the top off it back in February 2007

Hedge topped (Feb 2007)

Hedge topped (Feb 2007)

but it was still 8 feet thick, and shaggy

Front hedge, April 2007

Front hedge, April 2007

so by the Summer of 2008 we had decided it had to go.

I haven’t got any really good pictures of what we are trying to achieve, but we want some topiary yew (on the house-side) with a Beech (maybe Copper Beech) hedge behind, but which also “sticks-out” between each topiary yew:

The Plan

The Plan

This shows some views of the Topiary and the “sticky-out” hedge in between.

Topiary Style

Topiary Style

and this shows how the Topiary shaping of the Yews might look – similar to Pawns in Chess. I am working on the basis that, ultimately, the Yews might be 8 feet in diameter, at the bottom.

(These pictures are from Château de Berzé-le-Châtel just west of Mâcon, France)

Work started on 16 October 2008

Hedge removal starts

Hedge removal starts

Midway through removal

Midway through removal

I hired a Digger to remove the stumps, and then the large shrubs (to the left of the picture below)

Removing the stumps

Removing the stumps

Once I had removed the large shrubs too it opened it up!

Large shrubs also removed

Large shrubs removed

I moved the large shrubs to an area of the garden where we plan to make a herbaceous border. They will do to fill-in the area at the back of the bed

Shrubs ready for replanting

Shrubs ready for replanting

then I dug a trench ready for the new hedge – what was looking pretty tidy will now look a mess until the hedging plants arrive

Trench dug for the new hedge

Trench dug for the new hedge

We had a large pile of grass clippings from the last 3 years, so I used the opportunity of having the digger here to move it, and provide some “compost” for the new hedge.

I plan to plant the new hedge before the end of November

I also dug some planting holes for a row of pleached lime trees which we are planting to replace one of the Lombardy Poplar rows, and a number of holes in the “spit” for some new trees.

Next page

Pages: 1 2 3 4


9 Responses to “Front Hedge Replacement”

  1. ofer Says:

    Great attitude,

    Had few years of maintenance (myself and teams) since not very keen on hedges.
    Also think that we have enough walls indoor so why in the garden.
    Topiary can add lots but need people with vision that seemed that you were blessed with.
    once again I enjoyed your Blog

  2. kgarden Says:

    Hedges need cutting, of course, but I do like to make “rooms” in a garden. I can’t abide Leylandii though … its fine if it is kept clipped into a nice shape, but sadly the ones here were neglected long before we moved in.

    I’ve seen a Leylandii hedge near here “revived” by cutting it right down, and letting it regrow on just one side. I’ll take a picture next time I’m passing, because I’ve not seen it done that way before – and a picture will explain it better than my wibble …

  3. Julian Says:

    Hi – I was looking for something completely different when I stumbled across your blog. Which is very good, by the way, but imagine my surprise as I read down the front garden hedging project. First I saw what looked like an Ashridge Trees pallet, then a Nightfreight lorry (btw I think most of their drivers are grumpy but there is not much choice with odd shaped parcels).

    Then I saw someparcels on the grass that were unquestionably from Ashridge Trees and since Ashridge is my business I had to drop you a line. I hope they have all grown for you (if not please remember we guarantee our plants and replace them if their deaths are reported in a reasonable period. If they have and if you are happy with them, we would love a plug on the blog…

    Hopefully this rainy weatehr is helping them all along nicely, but drop me a mail if you have any problems.


  4. Wow! What a great job on the hedge. Are the “fingers” going to be clipped like a butress, or are you going to keep them square? Lots of great ideas for my garden!

    • kgarden Says:

      My plan was to keep them square, but I hadn’t thought about buttress-shaped. I’ll keep it in mind as they get bigger and see what will look best.

      Thanks for your encouragement!

  5. I look forward to seeing more pictures as the front hedge grows! Your garden will be and is now, amazing!

  6. K Currie Says:

    Hello, can ypou tell me how you prepared the soil after removing the leylandii hedge before planting the beech. Also did you prune the beech after planting and by how much? Thanks

    • kgarden Says:

      We incorporated lots of rotted manure and compost. No, I didn’t cut the Beech back, they were quite tall and I wasn’t sure about doing that, but the norm for deciduous hedging plants is to cut them back by 1/3rd or more at planting to encourage them to bush up. I did pinch out all the buds on the side branches for the first 3 or 4 Winters – of course that gets more time consuming as the hedge develops! although once the face starts to be cut, at first just the bottom few feet, they no long need pinching out in Winter, so it then becomes a task that is only necessary on the top part of the hedge.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s