Keeping your garden hedge tidy!

Does your garden hedge work for you? Have you left your hedge to its own devices, so that it is now bushy and unkempt?
With the right management, hedges can benefit your garden and property. A dense luscious hedge can provide a smart boundary line; it can act as a security measure, it can even provide shelter for wildlife, all whilst still remaining aesthetically pleasing.

Regular maintenance will ensure that your hedge remains in good condition, continues to have healthy growth and sustains a good overall shape.


If you are thinking about maintaining your hedge, you’ll need to make sure you have the right tools for the job:

Secateurs & Hand shears

These are ideal for small hedges that require minimal pruning and trimming.

Hedge Trimmer

Electrical hedge trimmers are best suited to larger, dense hedges. Remember to always wear protective clothing, gloves and goggles. If you opt to use electrical tools ensure that you adhere to the operating instructions, and if you are ever in doubt about the equipment, seek professional advice.


An out of control hedge can bring unwanted problems. Larger hedges can end up blocking access, they can cause conflicts with neighbours if they grow beyond your property boundaries and they can also block natural light from your indoor and outdoor space. There are a variety of hedges, all requiring maintenance at different times of the year. Known as ‘hedge cutting’ seasons, the basics are:

Formal evergreens (like box or privet) should be trimmed two to three times a year during the growing season (May to September). Fast growing evergreens such as conifers may require more frequent trimming to keep them under control and in good shape.

Dense deciduous hedges such as beech should be cut in late August. If you have a deciduous hedge that requires a major overhaul, this is best carried out in late February whilst the hedge is still dormant.

For the benefit of wildlife do not cut hedges too early in the year, so that you avoid nesting birds.
Remember these handy tips if you are planning to take care of your hedges:

The amount you prune depends on how you want the hedge to look and the shape that you are aiming for.
Cutting a hedge to the same height and width every year can result in woody tips and poor growth.

To encourage a bushier hedge cut at least 2cm above the previous year’s growth.
Taper the sides of the hedge towards the top to allow natural light and rain water to reach the lower sections and the base of the hedge.

Keep your hedge free from grass and weeds in its early years to reduce water loss during dry spells.
If your hedge appears to be growing with ‘gaps’, cut the stems to within 10-15cm off the ground. This will promote fresh growth from the base, and will eventually result in a thicker hedge.

If you are pruning for the first time, use stakes and string to mark out the size and shape you need to prune to. Take regular breaks to take a step back to ensure that you are happy with the shape as this may not always be obvious whilst you are working.

Always make sure that your tools are in working order before you start. This will prevent damage to the hedge, but more importantly will ensure your own safety.

Natural Hedging – The Best Way

Wooden fences, hedges and stone walls. All perfectly suited in providing a boundary for your property.

Rather than opting for the man-made variety, why not stay natural and plant a hedge! Rather than just a boundary line, hedges attract a number of benefits and can do wonders for the visual appeal and use of your garden.

When people think about garden hedges, they may be put off by the cost, maintenance and the time it takes to nurture what will become a well-established healthy hedge; but have you considered the positives?, there are benefits that only a hedge can provide.

Insects, birds and butterflies – Not only is a hedge a food source for natures creatures, it also offers shelter. Imagine a luscious hedge row, when in bloom with flowers or berries attracting butterflies and birds, a perfect picture of British summer!

Wind & noise protection – Unlike fences and stone walls, hedges are able to absorb a level of both wind and noise; thus providing a level of protection for your grounds during windy spells, and a quieter outdoor space should your garden be close to road/heavy foot traffic.

Crime prevention – Thorny or spikey hedge rows are a great deterrent for unwanted visitors; particularly important if your boundary is vulnerable.

‘Cover-up’ – Do you have an unsightly area outside, perhaps where you store your bins? Does your property have a view which isn’t picture perfect? Hedges are excellent for providing a natural attractive looking screen for areas best kept out of sight.

Visual – With so many varieties of hedge to choose from, will you opt for leaves in shades of green, yellow or copper, to name just a few, or; will you opt for hedges with flower blossoms, fruits or berries? Whatever you decide, the right hedge can be visually appealing, adding natural beauty to your garden with the colours and blooms that the seasons bring.
What is right for you?

As well as the number of benefits you’ll gain, choosing the wrong variety of hedge can cause problems. These can range from poor growth due to the wrong location/ type of soil; fast uncontrollable growth which prevents natural light entering your garden/property. A hedge can even take over its area of the garden resulting in nearby plants/shrubs losing out on water and essential nutrients.

All are reasons to select your hedge carefully, keeping in mind:

Maintenance – All hedges require trimming at least once a year. Faster growing hedges will require regular pruning.

Time frame – Nurturing a hedge to its full potential takes time, remembering the reason for a hedge you may need temporary screening. Don’t opt for a fast growing variety just to reach the end result quicker, these hedges will continue to grow quickly, which means frequent maintenance.

Size – Once established how big will the hedge grow? Will it interfere with your property? Could it cause any damage? Or outgrow its location?

5 Top Tips

(1) Think about why you want to plant a hedge. Is it for aesthetic purposes? Security? Privacy? Or simply to mark out boundary lines.

(2) Decide on the level of maintenance you can commit to. An annual trim? Regular pruning? Will you need special tools for the job? The advice of a professional?

(3) Research the most suitable variety of hedge based on its intended purpose, planted location and surroundings. Local garden centres can offer advice on suitability, planting and maintenance.

(4) If you have adjoining neighbours, and your hedge will act as a boundary, talk to them! Hedges need trimming on both sides; will you have the access to do this?

(5) Finally, review the deeds of your property and grounds, or contact your local council if you are unsure of your boundaries. It’s too late once the hedge has taken up root!

Hedge Maintenance


The garden hedge possibly undervalued and overlooked, considering the number of benefits a well-kept garden hedge can provide both the home and homeowner.
Garden hedges are an important part of the landscape, often used as boundaries between properties thus avoiding the need for unattractive walls and fences. They can offer shelter, privacy within the garden, as well as being an excellent noise reducer – ideal if your property is close to a roadside or busy walk way. A solid dense hedge can offer security to your property, they are long lasting and if maintained correctly, will stand the test of time and last as long as the property! As well as the practical benefits, they are visually attractive as they change with the seasons, naturally blending into your garden and surroundings.

Professional trimming

Looking for professional hedge maintenance? You need to look no further than hedge maintenance forest of dean. The best looking and healthiest hedges are those that are regularly maintained and trimmed. Many homeowners, with secateurs in hand will attempt to trim their hedges, not taking into account the type of hedge they have, the implications to its health and appearance, not to mention if it houses any wildlife or other shrubs that may take umbrage to their surroundings being hacked!
Medium sized hedges (those that reach waist/chest height) can be trimmed using a petrol-engine hedge trimmer, providing unrestricted movement when trimming, ideal for use in gardens, leaving the hedge with a neat and tidy shape.

Tall hedges will require long-reach hedge trimmers, even scaffolding to provide a platform to work on.
When looking for a professional company to trim and maintain your hedges they will ask (or even visit) about the type of hedges that you have, they may ask for approximate sizes, the variety etc. to ensure that they have the necessary equipment to carry out the job.

If you have new hedges in your garden, seek the advice of a professional. They will suggest that new hedges are pruned from an early stage, to encourage healthy growth and good shaping. They will advise on the amount of pruning, as this will depend on the type of hedge. Well established hedges require regular trimming, which will leave them looking healthy and dense.

It is also important to take into consideration the hedge cutting seasons, yes they do exist! Conifers, for example should not be cut after the end of August as this can encourage bare patches to appear in later months. Did you know that you should prune deciduous hedges in winter and evergreen hedges in spring? A professional will be able to inform you of the do’s and don’ts to ensure that your hedges have continuous healthy growth.

When trimming garden hedges a professional will ensure that there are no signs of wildlife or birds nesting. It is an offence under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird whilst it is being built or used. Again, this will probably be something that a homeowner may neglect or not realise needs to be done, whereas a professional will know how to assess the hedge to ensure that no wildlife/birds are residing there.


A professional hedge trimmer will already have access to the right tools for the job. This will depend on the type of hedge, its size, location, and the amount of trimming that it requires. They will be appropriately trained in using petrol/electric powered equipment with optimum safety procedures in place. If step ladders, platforms are needed, they will be specific for the job in hand, and will have therefore passed safety checks etc.

Trimming a garden hedge may sound like an easy task, but after reading this blog I hope to have highlighted a few factors that you may not have thought of, hence it is always wise to call a professional for advice!

The benefits of Hedges


These days many properties will have garden hedges in preference to fences/walls to indicate where property boundaries begin and end. Rather than a boundary line that is a solid fence or wall, a hedge allows for natural light, wildlife and an ever changing appearance in line with the seasons. Some homeowners choose to plant hedges, to provide privacy in a garden, to encourage wildlife, and to visually enhance the overall appearance of their garden and land that surrounds their property.


As touched upon in the introduction, hedges are often used as land boundaries. Although hedges require a level of hedge maintenance monmouth (the level of which depends on the variety), the cost is far less than if repairing or replacing fence panels, the upkeep and treatment of the wood, the initial costs of constructing and maintaining a stone wall etc. If a hedge is maintained it will last as long as the property, if not longer! You also have the flexibility to choose the variety of hedge that will best suit your property, maybe a flowering hedge?


A healthy hedge is an attractive hedge. Ensuring that you prune on a regular basis, seeking the help from a professional where necessary will result in a dense and compact hedge that may even add value to your property. As the hedge changes its appearance through the seasons, expect flashes of colour from greens to autumnal shades, flowers to berries, depending on the variety of hedge that you have chosen. The ‘curb appeal’ that your property provides is often as important as the decoration inside, and a well-kept garden hedge will only add to this.


In areas where houses are in close proximity to each other, hedges surrounding your garden can offer much needed privacy from neighbours, or overlooking paths and roadsides.

Wind, noise and pollution

A compact hedge provides an excellent means of reducing noise, whether it is foot or vehicle traffic. In addition, if the area you live in is susceptible to high winds, a hedge will offer a level of protection for your garden and home.
A dense well established hedge is also known to absorb air pollution, which is particularly useful if the hedge surrounds a vegetable patch or children’s play area that is close to a roadside.


Bird feeders are very popular, but garden hedges offer a more natural environment for birds and other wildlife. As well as feeding the birds, a hedge will also attract insects and butterflies that will often take shelter.


So, with a garden hedge come a number of benefits. Many homeowners are put off from choosing hedges as they believe that the continuous maintenance is time consuming and costly – which does not have to be the case.
New hedges do require regular trimming in the first few years, but this is to encourage healthy growth and to ensure that as the hedge matures it adopts an appealing shape.

A well-established hedge will require trimming once or twice a year depending on the type of hedge. A professional hedge trimmer can provide further advice on this.