Hedge cutting and garden maintenance are extremely important when defining your exterior boundaries with your neighbours.

Like all garden maintenance jobs, planning is essential, and none more so than the equipment to be used. Not only is it is vital to ensure your trimmers and shears are in good working order, but you must also give some thought to your safety equipment such as gloves, goggles and for high positioned tasks, helmets and proper boots.

For smaller hedges, hand shears would usually suffice; however, petrol or electrical trimmers would be seen as the standard option nowadays for large scale jobs.

The majority of hedges have to be clipped after planting and then twice a year in spring and late summer.

Typically, you would only trim the side shoots of more temperately growing hedges leaving the leading shoots untouched.

The most vigorous species might need trimming 2 or 3 times in the growing season. Once the leading shoots have attained the desired height, cut them level to make a flat-topped, wider-growing hedge.

Whilst trimming the hedge, it’s imperative to make sure you always have a good vantage point to assess how your “lines” are running.

It can be challenging to determine accurately by eye; it’s only when you have finished that any mistakes become apparent.

The great thing about working in the garden is that it’s a dynamic environment.

Even if you make mistakes, they will soon be remedied. Take, for example, the rosebush; roses are very hardy and forgiving, so short of cutting them off an inch above the ground, it’s hard to make a mistake. Get a good sharp pair of secateurs for this job. Cut off all the dead branches and the branches that are aiming in the wrong directions.

Finally, trim the branches that you want to regenerate the new buds for future growth – keep around three growth buds on the branch in question.

Another great tip for freshening up the layout is to move plants from one part of the garden to the other. If you are moving shrubs, don’t try it with anything too big, as you will have a problem getting up all the roots.

For smaller shrubs such as daphne, rosemary or roses (again), all you need to do is first dig a sizeable hole where you desire to place the shrub. Put some blood and bone down the end.

Then cautiously dig up the shrub you want to transplant, taking as much root and as much soil around the root as you can. Then move the shrub roots, soil and all into the pit where it’s going to do.

Put in as much soil as you need to fill the hole to the top, then water it.

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