The Privet – Getting There

This is starting to look as I had planned - much more structured and formal.

This is starting to look as I had planned – much more structured and formal.

The privet has been an ongoing saga since I first arrived here. It was towering, leggy, unattractive and hardly an environmental asset – bound for a Council edict. The initial plan, after inspiration from locals who pointed out that it was once a well-ordered and regularly trimmed hedge, was to see if I could cut it back dramatically and get it to regrow neatly after maybe 40 years of neglect.

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The privets in their prime.

After tackling a number of bushes with a branch saw over a year ago and getting great results, the rest of the hedge came down in July with the help of chainsaws. The old fence – high galvanised iron with hardwood posts – has a rustic charm of its own which I have now come to love, after originally plotting its downfall. I am now adding rambling roses behind the privets to add another layer of interest and take advantage of a sound structure.

Looking bare but much tidier.

Looking bare but much tidier in July.

Whilst the privet bases will be slightly “leggy” and the ground before it is a bit rough, I’ve edged it with timbers and backfilled with pine bark mulch, planted out with Kurume Azaleas, Helebores and Japanese Windflowers (Anenome x Hybrida). The privets are now all beginning to show signs of new growth and should thicken into a hedge over the next year. Planting of the edge border has begun in earnest, so this side of the garden is now taking on a far more formal appearance, which I was hoping for.

So far this is very raw, but I’m hoping over the next few years this will become a more structured part of the garden and add substantially more interest. I should be a major improvement given it was the biggest eyesore and so environmentally unfriendly.

A year on, I expect the photos to look vastly different.

The border with mulch now runs down the whole side of the fence. The provosts are just beginning to show signs of reshooting.

The border with mulch now runs down the whole side of the fence. The provosts are just beginning to show signs of reshooting.

Hopefully it follows the lead of the previously trimmed privets.

The initial limited experiment of trimming earlier this year, well under control.

2 thoughts on “The Privet – Getting There

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