Today we cut the remaining hedges. When I say ‘we’ Peter does the cutting, and I do the clearing up, an equally important job given the wicked disposition of hawthorn hedging.

We’d done the other hedges along the lane and down the side of the drive about 2-3 weeks ago. The bit we tackled today was the hedge that runs between us and our next door neighbours.

Unlike our other hedges which we have reduced to a manageable level over the years, this hedge is not ours and is the original height, that is to say about 8′ at this time of year.

Waving an electric hedge trimmer at arms length above your head for a distance of several hundred yards is no fun, while at the same time  having to  gingerly wade through the herbaceous border beneath, trying not to tread on or fall into the various plants, just adds to the enjoyment.

The only assistance  I can really offer is to marshall the flex and keep it out of harms way. Fortunately we only do this mammoth task once a year, but believe me, that is enough.

Picking up the clipping is a nightmare, hawthorn is unforgiving, and tears into flesh, clothes, tyres and through the soles of the  strongest shoes. It’s one of the few jobs when I wear gardening gloves, even so the air is often blue during the procedure, one of my least favourite gardening jobs.

Clippings from these two major trimming jobs are now piled up in a long ‘train’ behind the old apple trees. All I have to do now is burn it all!