Garden News: A look of shear delight

Garden News: A look of shear delight


These living and breathing boundary structures offer shelter to countless forms of wildlife as well as helping to reduce the impact of air pollution in the surrounding area and when strong winds blow, they are unlikely to keel over as air filters through the numerous gaps. 

And of course, the crisp, clean lines of a newly cut hedge smarten the appearance of any garden. 

Depending on which variety of plant the hedge is comprised of will determine when it should be cut and whether it needs just one annual prune or more regular attention. 

It goes without saying that no hedge should ever be cut when birds are nesting within, in fact it is an offence under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 to intentionally damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built. 

That doesn’t mean you can’t prune a hedge in spring or early summer but always check for nests before starting. 

It’s currently a little too late to prune conifers such as the commonly grown Leyland cypress which is best trimmed in August but it is still safe to sharpen the outlines of hedges that include yew, holly, Griselinia, Thuja plicata and hawthorn. 

This can be done either manually with hand shears or with electric or battery powered hedge cutters. 

Always take the precaution of wearing safety glasses to protect your eyes from the myriad small particles that fire out in all directions when hedge-cutting is under way. Sturdy footwear and a well-positioned ladder are also a must. 

For lengthy jobs, ear protectors should be worn. 

A small garden may not warrant the use of a full-sized hedge cutter or indeed have space to store one but an ingenious little gadget from Stihl provides gardeners with a lightweight, compact pruning tool that will keep shrubs and hedges in good shape, with little effort. 

The HSA 25 Shrub Shears have interchanging blades that include a grass cutting blade to maintain borders and lawn edges and its Lithium-ion battery has a running time of 110 minutes. 



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