Monty Don talks hedging with passion and in this second selection of his thoughts on a key gardening element, we find out more about why he is so keen.
MONTY DON TALKS HEDGING:
“I love the geometry and patterns of a winter garden and have deliberately planted lots of hedges in my own garden for that reason. Hedges do not have to be four-square.”
“A hedge can have curves and swoops; it can even twist and wobble, and just as easily snake and bend, as march in a straight line.
The important thing is to get the height right in relation to the space that it contains. Most hedges, as a rule, are too low.
Just as a high ceiling tends to improve the proportions of a room, so high hedges make a garden seem bigger and more beautiful.
And as an added bonus, the higher and longer your hedges, the more bird life you will have in the garden.
Within the garden, a hedge creates defined spaces that have their own micro-climate; it will baffle the wind better than any solid barrier and provides the perfect backdrop for flowering plants.
My internal dividing hedges vary from 2-6m (6-20ft) in height. I use hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) because it thrives in our heavy soil, but Beech (Fagus sylvatica) is ideal in lighter soils.
Both beech and hornbeam keep a substantial proportion of their leaves throughout winter, turning a russet in the case of beech and milky coffee for hornbeam.
This becomes an important feature in the winter garden.
Both are ideally cut twice a year, in July and again in February to keep them crisp, but one trim in late summer will suffice.”
Monty Don talks hedging with great enthusiasm including raising that perennial hedging question: Hornbeam or Beech?
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