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Historic Hedges

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

Well, that's the hedge-cutting over for another year! We have two very different hedges in the garden- a long beech hedge which runs the full length of the Drying Green and Secret Gardens, and a formal T-shaped Yew arbour, which dominates the Walled Garden. This is believed to be an original planting, so probably dating back to the 1820's. We have a photograph of the gardener and his family (or so we believe) taken c.1900 in the 'middle' of the self-same hedge, which shows formal urns, a bench and gravelled paths. While clearly well-established, the hedges appear to be slightly lower than they are now, with rounded Laurel bushes, whereas these days they are square-cut.

Clearly a formal feature in the centre of what would have been a productive walled garden. undoubtedly helping to create microclimates within the garden.

Nowadays the gravel paths are grass, but those same hedges remain. One wonders what conversations they've witnessed over the past 200 years or so...

Our hedges are trimmed once a year in the autumn, probably later than the books recommend, although I understand the Yew topiary at Levens Hall is trimmed in the late autumn into early Winter. We don't have time in the late summer to carry out this work, which takes days to complete, but we do try to conclude the job before the first frosts arrrive.

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