Monday, September 19, 2011

We interrupt this program... bring you up to date on this year's hedge trimming extravaganza. Yes, it's that time of year. You may recall that I hurt my neck late last summer and was unable to trim the hedges. I've been dreading cutting two years of growth from them this year, but it's actually going very well.

Before getting started. The hedge is full and bushy this year.

The section of hedge pictured here (you can only see about a third of this section's length) is arguably the most difficult to trim. It's definitely the highest section, which means I'm up teetering on a ladder to do the top. But the side you can't see is up against a neighbor's rusty chain-link fence, and there's not much maneuvering room back there. Not to mention that his shrubs and the hedge tend to reach out and grow together, along with his vines (some of which are quite thorny). Once I do the side, I have to get the ladder back there to do the top. The hedge is too wide to cut the top from one side only. Ugh!

This section is done! The remaining chore is to gather up the trimmings and mulch them.

But, as you can see, I'm done with this section. It took two and half hours over two days and it went pretty well, aside from a few scrapes and punctures from thorns. I also got a nasty poke in the eye from a branch and was quite uncomfortable for about twelve hours, but all is better now.

I did this short section along the road on Sunday. Took about an hour. I didn't take a before shot of this part.

As is my wont, I built a spreadsheet to track my hedge trimming. At Ken's suggestion I am keeping track of the time it takes to do the whole thing. I measured the first section of the hedge and it comes out to about 29 meters in length, which is about 95 feet. The section in the last photo, along the road, is 6 meters long (19.5 feet) and it took an additional hour to trim. The total hedge, which wraps around three sides of the yard, is close to three times what I've cut so far. I'll measure it all and let you know.

Back to Paris photos tomorrow!


  1. Funny things - hedges. It seems to take years of impatient waiting for them to grow to the right height. Then, suddenly, they are bulging out in every direction.
    You seem to be doing a great job. I rather like the idea of a time and motion study: might do that next year.


  2. The place is a credit to you both. It's looking great as you grow into it over the years.

  3. Ditto what Leon said, that's for sure. What great views in these shots. Great job on everything you two day!


  4. You were using an electric hedge trimmer? When we had things to trim, ficus and ivy mainly, it was a life saver.

  5. A hedge spreadsheet. I LOVE the idea. And my favorite thing to do in the garden is trim. Never thought I could combine my two favorite things -- spreadsheets and trimming. (Oh, the hedge looks magnificent. Don't poke an eye out!)

  6. The sun was shining brightly when I arose around 10h30, a bit early for me, but it happens now and then. You're really good at hedge trimming. I wouldn't even think of attempting that task.

  7. Curious. Have you guys applied for citizenship? Do you plan to do so?

  8. Well you certainly got that wavy, undulating hedge nice and straight across the top. It looks great.

    Also like your lavender petunias (I think they're called waterfall or wave petunias?) under the window.

  9. Quel courage, Walt ! Bravo ! Je pense qu'Evelyn a raison, porter des lunettes de protection, et pas seulement des lunettes de vue, serait plus prudent...

  10. even without the spreadsheet figures that's a lot of hedge! Well done you. When we had a [leylandii]hedge it was our least favorite job.

  11. I think someone has commandeered your Twitter account. They keep posting this obvious scam: want to start your own business in 2011? look at this -

  12. anna, we inherited these with the house. We hired someone to trim them the first two years, then figured out how much money we were wasting and decided to buy a trimmer. That investment has paid for itself several times over now.

    leon, thanks!

    judy, it feels good when we get something accomplished. It looks like somebody is actually taking care of the place!

    andrew, yes, electric. That means lots of meters of cord. But it's lighter and less messy than a gas trimmer.

    evelyn, I have some, but they steam up, so I don't use them.

    mitch, that's pretty much only a danger behind that hedge next to the fence. It's so cramped back there that the branches get caught on my clothes or on the trimmer then spring up unexpectedly. One of them just caught me in the eye.

    starman, no plans for citizenship at this point. We have (more or less) permanent residency and that's ok for now. Thanks for the heads up on the Twitter thing. I haven't use the account for a while, but I went in and changed the password.

    diogenes, they're called surfinia, I think.

    mary, je ne portais ni lunettes de vue, ni lunettes de protection ! La prochaine fois...

    n&a, I'm ok with it as long as I can take my time and the weather isn't nasty. I read that the best time to trim these laurel hedges is late summer, early fall.

  13. I'm late to weigh in, but please wear safety goggles. I'm sorry you hurt yourself. Good luck finishing the hedge.


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