MONTY DON TALKS HEDGING (1)

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The host of Gardeners’ World has a unique place in gardening so let’s listen as Monty Don talks hedging – compare it to Mr Titchmarsh thoughts below…

Autumn Planting at Hedge Xpress

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Beech 1.5m

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 “Get ahead, get a hedge: Dividing, lending structure, adding beauty – hedges are the secret to good gardens.”

“The bleaker the weather, the more I appreciate their stark outlines. I think that most gardens underdo hedges, both in quantity and quality.

I think that they are the secret of every good garden. Maintaining them is not much work – certainly much less than a lawn or border – and even a very small garden can usually be improved by subdivision.”

Monty Don talks hedging: “How to plant hedges…

Water or soak each plant well at least an hour before planting.

Dig a trench one spade’s depth and 1m (3ft) wide for any hedge. Remove all weeds and loosen the subsoil, but try not to mix subsoil and topsoil.

Don’t plant too closely together. Allow 30cm (1ft) for Hawthorn and Box, 60cm (2ft) for Hornbeam and 1m (3ft) for Yew. Place each plant slightly proud of the soil using the excavated topsoil, and work it carefully around the roots. Firm in well, water thoroughly, then mulch the full width of the trench generously with compost.

Water thoroughly every week for the first spring and summer.

Stake young plants with canes for the first two years.

Keep the line of the hedge weed-free.”

Monty Don talks hedging: “How to trim hedges…

Winter is an excellent time to cut deciduous hedges as it stimulates fresh, bushy growth.

Other than hawthorn, which should be reduced to half its height immediately after planting, do not trim the top of the hedge for the first three years, and then just reduce the growing tip enough to level the young hedge until it reaches the desired height.

But cut the sides back hard each year, keeping the growing hedge narrow, to encourage bushy lateral growth.

The base of a hedge should be wider than the top. This lets light get to the bottom half, so it maintains its thickness and density right to the ground.

I also have some yew hedges, which are, of course, evergreen and although slower to grow, create a really impressive and substantial green wall. These get trimmed once a year, in August.

…But it really does not matter what plants you use for hedges, as long as they are happy growing in your soil and situation.

What matters is that you create a really strong framework for the garden so that it looks good in midwinter and is better equipped to carry the beautiful floral decoration of spring and summer.”

Monty Don’s many books are available online and in the high street.