As well as the Yew Hedge, featured in a recent post, we also have a beech hedge which runs along the south side of the Kitchen and Secret Gardens. The beech hedge is rather shorter than the Yew expanse – a mere 146 metres to cut and approximately 1.5 metres high and .75 metre across.
When we came to the Garden ten years ago, the Kitchen Garden stretch wasn’t in good shape with quite a few bare patches but since then, with an annual trim, it has grown in well.
During the winter of 2011/12, we restored the Secret Garden stretch. This had been allowed to grow into tall coppiced trees and we wondered how it would respond reducing some quite thick trunks (15 – 30cm) right back to 1.5 metres from the ground. In the past couple of years, sure enough, new leaves and shoots have appeared from these bare trunks and this part of the hedge is starting to thicken up very satisfactorily.
The sunlight now gets into this part of the garden and the wall-trained fruit trees responded very well this year with an excellent crop. We think it likely that these trees may not have fruited for 15-20 years or so, maybe more!