During the “Closed season” (October till February this year) we undertake the more physical jobs. This year we are continuing our quest to reduce, remove or cut back the remaining Cherry Laurel hedges throughout the garden.

In the last 5-6 winters we have greatly reduced the amount of internal hedges. We have kept the external and boundary hedges as mature wind breaks. Which is vital for the protection of the more tender plants within the garden.

Since I have taken over as head gardener, very nearly 10 years now, I have instigated a rolling plan of opening up the garden to allow more light and air. This includes some very drastic pruning (see my camellia pruning story {CCM:BASE_URL}/trewithen-gardens/camellias/camellia-pruning/) and tackling the huge laurel hedges. Historically the garden was carved out of the laurel understory within the woodland. This created planting bays which, over time expanded. The result was a series of high hedges 20 -30 feet high (10m plus). Apart from the health and safety nightmare and logistics of cutting such high hedges the garden was feeling really enclosed and to be honest dark and dingy in places.

The plan has been to step back and see if the hedges are actually doing their job and if not deciding to reduce or remove them.

We are coming to the end of the laurel project with the remaining hedges left to serve there initial purpose of providing a windbreak and or a division of the bays within the garden.

Hopefully the garden and visitor will appreciate the increased light and air in the garden.