The Council of Perfection dictates many things particularly when pruning is mentioned.  However, the Council of Perfection does not work full-time in a demanding job and over commit itself to too many things in the evenings so it will have to except my lackadaisical approach to the hedges.

There are two hedges in the front garden both planted by myself to give privacy.  Between myself and my neighbours there is a beech hedge which really has reached its maximum height and I think needs reducing a little – maybe next year.  It dips at the end because when the hedge was planted some of the plants did not take and had to be replaced the following autumn.

I am a little wary of the hedge trimmer and find it quite awkward to use so my youngest son took charge of the beech hedge.  The sides could be a little tighter and neater as could the top but its a vast improvement on how it was before we started and it will do for another year.


The laurel hedge goes along the front of the garden and was planted one Christmas Eve before I took over the annual responsibility of the family Christmas dinner.  Now here is where the Council of Perfection would get very cross with me as they dictate that you are meant to use secateurs for broad-leaved hedges such as Laurel.  This is because if you cut the leaves with a strimmer the cut edges will brown and look unsightly.  I have done this ever since the hedge was planted but this year it was too warm and life is too short and to be honest the hedge needed it a more drastic cut so I did the whole hedge with the shears.  I have really cut it back hard which will benefit it in the long-term even if it has a brown tinge for a while.

Again the hedge dips, this time around the birch, this is mainly because the laurel hasn’t grown as strongly by the tree, no doubt because the tree takes up most of the moisture.   I decided to make a feature out of it and I think the dip really shows the white of the birch bark off better.

And yes we didn’t clear up after ourselves very well despite sweeping and raking there are leaves on the road and also along the border in the front of the hedges but the leaves can rot down and there are more things in life to worry about.  So a dull and hot job is done for another year and the pruning have been taken to the dump and we patted ourselves on the back and had a well-earned cuppa.


Buttery Autumn colour

I noticed this morning that unlike the back garden the autumn leaves in the front garden are predominantly yellow.  Whilst I do like the fiery reds of autumn I find the buttery yellows quite soothing.

The beech hedge along one of my boundaries particularly intrigues  me.  If you look at the photograph above you will see that one end has already turned a dry copper and then as you come up the hedge the colour goes through yellow to green.  I think there are two possible reasons for this range of colour change in such a short space.  Firstly the soil were the leaves have completely turned is much drier than the green end which is also in shade.  Secondly, we had to replace most of the far end of the hedge a year after planting as the first set of plants didn’t take.  The nursery we got them from were happy to replace them free of charge as they had lost quite a few – I think it was a very dry summer the year before or something.  So maybe the second lot of beech aren’t as established as the first and therefore have turned quicker.  Either way I do like the gradual change it looks a bit like a colour chart.

I also have a Mountain Ash or Sorbus in the front garden.  Whilst the leaves do have an orangey tinge to them they are going more yellow than anything  else.  The few remaining red berries really stand out against the paler foliage.

The Mountain Ash is only about 4 or 5 years old and I bought it as little more than a stick but it is beginning to have a nice shape and is really beginning to put on some growth now.

Even the Euphorbia griffithii is joining in the buttery decline.  I do like this plant it just keeps giving from the bright red stems in the spring and the fresh foliage, the orange flowers and now the autumn colours.  Even the flowers look nice still in a shabby sort of way.

Even the ‘lawn’  is joining in with buttery mushrooms.  I have no idea what these are but we do get a lot of mushrooms in the front grass and I wonder if it has something to do with the roots of a large conifer I had removed a number of years ago.  I had the bottom of the trunk ground out but there are many root deep below the grass and they are all slowly rotting so maybe this is what the fungi are living off?

So that is my autumnal front garden – more subtle than the back garden but purely accidental.

The Malverns on an Autumn day

I’m lucky to live in Malvern in Worcestershire and to be surrounded by this magnificant scenery.  This is the view from my local supermarket car park.  Having seen so many posts on blogs about Autumn colour and especially those of my American friends I have found myself looking with new eyes at the trees around me.  As you can see from the photo above, apart from the trees which are planted in the car park (I think they might be Liquid Ambers but could very well be wrong) there is no strong autumn colour in this area.

Whilst I now there are a lot of Chestnut trees on the edge of the common near me I havent really engaged with what the other trees are that are naturally prevelant in this area.  So today, as I had a days leave, I went for a walk up the hills to have a look see.

The most autumnal looking trees here at the moment are the Beech trees.  These are one of my favourites.  When I was a child we have three big beech trees at the end of our garden and in the autumn we would have great fun raking up huge piles of leaves and jumping in them.  Whenever I see beech leaves in the autumn they remind me of those times.


 For more autumn colour visit Dave’s blog The Home Garden