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How to... trim hedges; Gardening.

Byline: with Adrienne Wild

NOW is the time to trim conifer and evergreen hedges so any new shoots can mature and toughen before frosts arrive. So get cracking with your holly.

Ideally, maintain a boundary hedge at two to three metres tall so it is easier to trim in future.

Beech body ready

If you prune beech hedges now, the leaves will dry out and turn an attractive brown colour. They will remain on the plant throughout in a add a few water to the winter until the new growth pushes them off in spring. Test ladders and platforms to make sure they are stable before getting on them with a hedge trimmer.

When lopping tall conifers, always take the central leaders down about 15cm below the height you want to maintain the hedge.

Cutting edge

Use bamboo canes and taut string to mark a straight edge, which can be used as a guide to cut the top of the hedge level.

Wearing gloves and goggles, trim the top by holding an electric hedge trimmer horizontally with both hands.

Shear the sides inwards towards the top, making long sweeping strokes to ensure an even finish.

Always shred before putting in the compost bin.

Aim high

You can grow trees such as lime, ash, beech and hornbeam into a high-level narrow entwined hedge.

Tie and interlace the flexible young shoots on a framework of wires set about 1.5 metres above the ground.

This pleaching is a great idea where you want to screen tall buildings from view or create a seethrough corridor in the garden.

Tip

WHEN arranging chrysanthemums in a glass vase, add a few drops of household bleach to the water to stop it becoming cloudy and smelling.

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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Sep 4, 2016
Words:290
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