Tag Archives: Leylandii

The Fence

That could be the title of a novel. It won’t be one of mine, because the way I’m going at the moment with the edit of my latest, it may never see the light of day.
The fence is the problem. Fifty metres of our back garden borders a main road, and over two consecutive bad winters our uncontrollable Leylandii hedge slowly died. Uncontrollable because each year it sprouted huge branches into the road that even professional tree surgeons couldn’t reach safely.
Losing the hedge was no great loss. A) because it was Leylandii, and B) because I am allergic to firs.
So, what to do? A new hedge? A beech perhaps, that grows two inches a year? Or a mixed native species hedge that becomes see-through for two-thirds of the year and will eventually overgrow the road (we are so close to the road we would have to set up traffic lights to cut it safely).
It had to be a fence, and a substantial one. The road has a forty limit, more honoured in the breach than the observance (Hamlet, I believe), and since the hedge died it’s like having articulated lorries doing 60 in our back garden, to say nothing of the boy racers (most of them middle aged and in vans, Audis and BMWs) seeing how fast they can take the bends without actually killing themselves.
Life is almost back to normal, the fence is almost done. What’s more, I now have 50m of new growing space for cordon apples and pears, raspberries, loganberries, gooseberries and redcurrants.
Yes, I know these also drop their leaves in Autumn, but what the heck.

(the hedge photo is Google Streetview and shows the hedge before it died. Its trimmed top is 9ft above the road) 

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Hedge Fund

I don’t like Leylandii hedges. I’m allergic to fir tree sap, so even if they looked attractive they wouldn’t be my hedge plant of choice. Ours came with the house. It was fifty metres long, eight feet tall and four feet thick (excuse the mixed units) and it did a very good job of separating the bottom of our garden from the A701 road. Every year it sent thug-like new growth skywards almost at random, some of it well over four feet tall. The year before last we hired a professional hit man to slice off the top and he did a super job of cutting the whole hedge down to seven feet. A few months later we had three feet of snow and -20ºC frosts and the hedge went from green to brown. Last year there was new growth and we hoped for the best, but alas, last year’s early winter finished it off and it went from very brown to very brown indeed. In fact it looks, as my father occasionally said about me, as if it has been dragged through a hedge backwards. So what to replace it with, that is the question. It has to be evergreen. Beech would do, but I suspect that because lorries pass it, at well over the 40 limit, they would soon would whip off all the crispy brown leaves that look so nice in winter. The alternative is a wooden fence – and I’m thinking of a FENCE, not B&Q panels. So, Fence Fund, rather than Hedge Fund?

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