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19 messages
02/02/2014 at 15:07

Hi There,

First time emailing this website (excuse awkwardness of writing), but have a quandry regarding a laurel hedge which has grown a bit since we bought the house 2 months ago (so lucky to get house and garden).  As you will see in the photo its quite an established hedge - which fits in with an ornate boundary wall.

I am aware it is around the right time to consider cutting the hedge back - but wondering if there is anything I need to consider to make sure the hedge grows back to fit snuggly with the wall - not sticking out infront as it is now ....

Any advice on timing of hedge cutting and how to manage its presence around the wall columns etc would be greatly appreciated.



02/02/2014 at 15:17

Lovely hedge and wall Malcolm.  Are you able to contact the previous owners to find out how they managed it?  Cutting it with shears or hedge trimmer I believe spoils it as that would chop leaves up and it will look horrible.  Someone on here is bound to know how to attempt the job.

02/02/2014 at 16:08

I like that slightly proud of the wall look. It adds depth to the picture

02/02/2014 at 16:18

Nut, I agree - it gives it a lush and generous look - and also trimming it so that it is absolutely flush with the wall would risk damaging the hedge trimmers.

Malcolm   It looks perfect as it is - I would just keep it like that, slightly proud of the wall, with regular trimming two or maybe three times a year with an electric hedge clipper - I know they're not recommended for laurel as they cut through the large leaves leaving a raw edge which might go brown - possibly you're going to have to go over it from time to time with secateurs removing any individual leaves which are spoiling the look of the hedge by turning brown - a bit of a faff but in my humble opinion worth it to maintain the beautiful boundary you have there - hopefully the rest of the garden has been planted and maintained with just as good an eye - I hope you're very happy in your new garden. 

02/02/2014 at 16:45

Thanks all for comments so far - we are looking up the address of the family of the previous owners to drop them a line and ask them about their previous hedge management - as well as having now entered into negotiations with top management (my wife) as to allowing the hedge to possibly protrude beyond the boundary wall.  The rest of the garden is al lovely - goes all around the house - some bits need work and other small trees do need managing - to be honest we are a bit afraid where to start ...... all good fun though (we are very lucky).

02/02/2014 at 17:02

You are lucky Malc. 

02/02/2014 at 17:55

Hi Brumbull - its roughly oabout 1m wide and about 1.9m hight - quite big trunks behind the wall from where hedge has fitted into the gaps between the columns - but needed to cut it back by the end showing in the photo - since was pushing the drive gate and couldn't get the car up the drive safely (so needed to cut the end bit - will do more on that bit I suspect).

02/02/2014 at 19:21

looks lovely MalcB, I agree with others it looks better hanging over. plus it stops people sitting on the wall. (something my mum hates) 

I planted a laurel hedge about 15 meters worth in 2012 along one side out back, only just now reaching about 5ft. I'm going to give it a month then take it down by half to make it more bushy. I'm thinking its going to take me 10years+ to get it like yours. I'm a little jealous I must say.

02/02/2014 at 19:32


Your hedge looks great as it is. ,please don't cut it back to look like most other hedges that are characterless and boring. Yours looks "comfortable" and right there 

02/02/2014 at 19:55

Plus if you do cut it back beyond the current leaf line you're bound to get bits of die back. It's what laurel does

02/02/2014 at 19:57

I'd agree with Dove, Verd, Zombie and nut. The hedge is framing and enhancing the wall so they are both benefiting each other. I've used hedge trimmers for laurel in the past-  when it's a long hedge it's very time consuming to do with secateurs or shears although that's the recommended way. As Dove said- just go over it now and again with secateurs and take off any brown leaves which have been cut in half with the trimmers.

It means you'll have more time for all the countless other jobs! 

Looks like a cracking garden  MalcB - enjoy working and sitting in it. 

02/02/2014 at 20:17

I think that's right, it's when you go back beyond those buds and into brown wood that the trouble starts.

02/02/2014 at 20:19

Tsk tsk - someone forgot to credit the original work

There we are 

02/02/2014 at 20:23


02/02/2014 at 21:37

Dove.    Makes me laugh too 

02/02/2014 at 22:29

Cheers for thoughtful comments everybody, I actually found a photo of the same bit of hedge but about 2.5 months ago (the picture shows my wife looking longly in on the house we would finally get a few weeks later - hence two months ago getting the keys - see for sale sign still up).

The reason why I put it up is to say that it shows the hedge more in line with the wall/columns (but still protuding I do realise) - when we first saw the house the hedge was flush with the columns.  I should also say the house is in a conservation area so not sure what that means in terms of the hedge (if we get things wrong with it???).

Have some thoughts on other parts of the garden - will take a few more photos and ask a few more question in time if thats okay ....

Cheers again.



02/02/2014 at 23:03



A very healthy looking hedge indeed.  As Someone has already mentioned.  Taking shears or hedge trimmer to this type pf shrub, really spoils it.  It's quick and easy, but what an awful mess it makes.  To keep the hedge in good looking appearance.  You will have delve inwards a bit. Make sure any cuts you make are in fact.  Out of sight.  Always cut back to the joints of leaves.  That way you will avoid ugly dead end sticking up.  Keep an eye on any heavy thick growth. 

03/02/2014 at 00:06

I'd agree with the majority, don't use a hedgetrimmer. I've cut back laurel to a stump, dug it up and left it by the fire area , and it's still sprouted. I'm not suggesting anything so drastic, but , in my experience, laurel reponds well to being cut back.

03/02/2014 at 10:05

Hi Malcb ,thats a nice hedge,we have loads of it so we are very mindfull of March 1st to July 31st  ish for the birds breading season as around here im told they love nesting in the middle of  Laurel, because we have so much we use electric trimmer and its ok, keeping people from sitting on your wall is a very good idea and it looks really nice,good luck

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