While garden maintenance may not be everybody’s cup of tea, this broad and often arduous process actively encourages your outdoor space to flourish and grow consistently over time.
Make no mistake; an overgrown or debris-strewn garden may not see grass or plants grow as you’d like, while an outdoor space that has dying or diseased plants will ultimately waste energy and potentially cause the disease to spread further.
A key component of maintaining your garden is trimming your lawn, while it’s also important that you regularly and safely trim your hedges. Here’s some tip on how you should do this:
OK, But What is Hedging?
In basic terms, hedging refers to the process of trimming and maintaining the hedges that exist in your garden space.
A hedge itself refers to a fence or boundary that’s formed by closely growing bushes or shrubs, creating a visually pleasing garden edge that will continue to grow over time.
Outside of these broad definitions, however, you should know that there are different types of hedges and not all have been created equal. This means that they’ll offer different aesthetics and need to be maintained in different ways, from classic Beech and Native Hedging Plants to Portugal Laurel (which is particularly beautiful) and Hornbeam.
You should also note that most hedging plants are fast-growing and evergreen, which means that you’ll need to invest time in regular maintenance all year round.
How to Trim and Shape Your Outdoor Hedges
If you’ve just planted your garden’s hedges, you’ll need to let them grow for a year or two before starting to prune, sculpt and shape them properly.
However, you can trim them roughly into a neat and easy-to-maintain shape and general size early on using pruning shears, before starting to shape them properly once they’ve grown and established themselves. Here are some other trimming tips to keep in mind:
- #1. Use the Right Tools for the Job: As we’ve touched on, younger hedges can be trimmed using pruning shears, but you may want to use an electric trimmer and outdoor power equipment to shape more established alternatives. Take the time to research which type of tool is best for your particular hedge.
- #2. Take Your Time and Don’t Trust the Naked Eye: Trimming and sculpting edges can be a difficult task, especially if you’re rushed for time. However, we’d recommend not relying on the naked eye to achieve perfect horizontal lines, instead opting to stretch a taut string between two canes to help gauge straightness accurately.
- #3. Remember That Large Hedges Should Taper: If you’re looking for a classic finish on large hedges, consider tapering the line inwards towards the top. This allows light to reach the leaves at the bottom of the edge, while it’s colloquially referred to as a ‘batter cut’.
The Last Word – The Art of Topiary
If you want to impress your neighbours and create a more striking visual impression, you may want to consider the art of topiary.
This involves tightly and skilfully clipping your hedges into precise shapes or figures, using frames and supports to help sustain your designs.
Just remember that topiary only really works well on certain hedge types, so be sure to do comprehensive research before making an informed decision!