This weekend’s work left me with bleeding hands despite my leather gauntlets – hawthorn and blackthorn inevitably find your weak points.
I lopped the branches growing straight upwards that are too thick and difficult to bend and weave without breaking. The remainder I weave in turn, using them like the binders on the top of a laid hedge. I discovered this anchors the branches & results in a stable framework.
Above, the hedge, before I’d lopped or woven any branches this year. Below, the same section when I’d completed it. The uprights arre last year’s growth – mainly Hazel, with some Hawthorn and Beech.
Once the hedge has been pleached I can see where new hedging is needed – this is the 1st section I ever planted out and where I 1st experiemented with pleaching – you can see the gaps where I’ve not planted close enough. I’m developing the knack of knowing where to prune to encourage new growth to fill these gaps and to weave in next year.
You get a better sense of the rhythm created during pleaching as the hedge undulates up the hillside.
Now Ive finished it, I want to see how it leafs up, and if the cuttings I’ve planted root well to fill the gaps.