07 August 2012

Other things that have to go

The hedge in its present form has to go. No, not entirely — just parts of it. It's over 100 meters (or yards) long, and it's seven or eight feet high. Maintenance is too difficult, or too expensive.

If you've read Walt's blog or mine for the past few years, you know what the annual hedge trimming requires. It takes weeks, and it's back-breaking work. For nearly 10 years now, we've been trying to keep it looking as it did when we moved in. Enough's enough.

Our house and yard as seen on Google maps — hedge sections
to be pruned back radically are marked with red lines.

So we've asked a gardening contractor to cut down parts of the hedge to a manageable height. In other words, cut it down to about one meter high — that's just over three feet. Or maybe keep it at four feet. But cut it down low enough so that in future years it can be trimmed without anybody needing to climb a ladder.

This section of the hedge and a section that is hidden behind
the tree on the right will be reduced in height by half.

The sections of hedge we are talking about cutting down don't provide any extra privacy — unlike the long sections along the road. We'll just have those privacy hedges along the road pruned only slightly, as usual, this year, trimming off the new growth. Then we'll make a decision about cutting them down more severely next year.

This is the back of our yard, which faces the vineyard.
The pond in the foreground belongs to the village.

In fact, cutting down the part of the hedge shown on the photo above will give us a fine view of the vineyard from our back yard. The cherry tree behind the garden shed, by the way, is old and decrepit, and the few cherries it produces have a odd taste. Adieu, vieux cerisier — tu seras remplacé par un nouveau.

For old times' sake, here's a shot of Walt trimming the hedge
6 years ago. My job was to rake up and haul away the clippings.


  1. What do you do that you need privacy from a hedge? I didn't realise that you had to climb a ladder to do the pruning. Good decision.

  2. I am sure Walt is very happy not having to trim that hedge this year.

  3. What a sensible idea. And why not
    just cut off the new growth every
    other year? Here in shriveled up
    Texas, those photos make me green
    with envy.

  4. I had no idea that you had so much hedge everywhere. Seeing the vineyard out back will be an improvement for sure.

  5. The google view of your house and surroundings is very impressive ;-)


  6. I enjoyed the Google view of your yard, too, and am relieved for you that you will cut down on this huge annual chore (again, no pun intended ;).

    Ken, what program do you use to be able to add words onto your photos? Is it with Photoshop?


  7. Good idea.
    Keeping the hedge in its current state is such hard work that I think I would do the same thing.

  8. I think all of your planned trimming and thinning, and removing is brilliant. You and Walt will have less back breaking work, and better views!

    Donna in SF

  9. Andrew, you are right of course. But in French they say: « Pour vivre heureux, vivons cachés. » I guess you can carry that too far.

    Nadège, that's for sure.

    Sheila, we tried that in 2010 but letting the new stems thicken up over a second growing season just make the trimming job too hard to do.

    Judy, yes, I use Photoshop to put text labels on pictures.

    Evelyn, Marie, Jean, and Donna, yes yes yes yes. I'm looking forward to the changes.

  10. Lots of hard work to maintain a hedge like that, but the birds will miss it!


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