The moment I saw a photograph of the house that was to be our home in Sussex, I wanted to trim the hedges.
It was a neat, well proportioned little semi in a beautiful location but the unkempt, overgrown hedge running along the front boundary made it look totally unloved. I was determined to change that.
Today, the sun was shining in a glorious blue autumn sky and the hedge was calling to me.
Before we moved in, the house was cleaned, redecorated, new carpets were laid and the front hedge was trimmed in a fashion. It was certainly tidier than it had been but this hedge needed more than tidying. It had been allowed to grow so wide that the front garden was engulfed by it. It was a solid, impenetrable wall of green but I had my trusty hedge trimmer and I was not going to be beaten by it.
I plugged in my Black and Decker and I attacked.
I have been doing a lot of cutting back and chopping down in the rear garden over the past weeks. There is much still to be done but I am definitely reclaiming a garden from the jungle. The previous occupant had a dog who was clearly fond of playing with (and hiding) balls. I have found and disposed of over fifty balls - mostly tennis balls, a few cricket balls, the odd golf ball. As my battle against the front hedge continued, I found two more tennis balls and a third more difficult to identify ball to add to my total count.
Dealing with the front hedge was no like ordinary hedge trimming. I felt more like a brave prince hacking through the dense forest shielding his Sleeping Beauty. Incidentally, I have been watching a lot of the wonderful series Once Upon a Time on Netflix. I thoroughly recommend it, if only for the gorgeous Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook.
In the contest between hedge and me, I was without doubt the victor but I like to think that the hedge has benefitted enormously. I've taken a lot of the weight away and it now has light and air to work its magic. I hope to see new (manageable) growth before too long. The front garden looks so much bigger and most importantly, cared for.
The only downside to my morning's activity is that I have created a small mountain of hedge trimmings to dispose of. I have piled them all onto a tarpaulin.
My husband is used to me getting carried away in the garden. This won't be the first time that he has come home from work and the first thing I say to him is, "Darling, I might have made a little mess".