Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pruning a Hedge

Hedges are the way we gardeners establish our boundaries. For me, establishing some sort of boundary between my property and the gravel public alleyways that abut my property on two sides has been a challenge.

When I bought the property it had two massive, hollow widowmaker type boxelders at each of the back corners of my lot. I had them taken down. Boxelders are very much a weed tree and do not serve any sort of esoteric function for my gardener's soul. At the one outside corner I put a couple balsam firs. These became the anchors for what has become a fairly deciduous hedge of shrubs and fruit trees.

Along two sections of these length of the alley I planted privet cuttings, which has served very well as a hedge. Instead of trimming them into rectangular boxes that do not serve the growth of the plant, I trim them narrower at the top and wider closer to ground, giving them a rounded shape. You can see their structure during the winter and early spring.

This cultivar of privet has a glossier green sheen to the leaf, holds its leaves until almost the beginning of December here, and leafs out fairly early, in April. I took these cuttings from a branch of privet that acted differently in my yard in Elgin, IL. This hedge is about four years old. It is about 2 feet tall and 2 1/2 feet wide.

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