The dastardly Dursley's of Harry Potter fame have done not a little damage to the street cred of the Ligustrum family. Privet Drive is no longer as attractive an address as it once was and some muggles seem to think that privet hedging is out of fashion.
Well, not with wizards its not. Apart from being an outstanding wand-making wood, Privet has a few other magical qualities of its own. Young Jasper (aged 10) from next door stumbled across one of them when in the garden just before Christmas and just before the freeze.
About a year ago, Jasper was 9 and had not yet become the man he is today. Bit of a brat really. To keep him quiet (he visits a lot) I set him to digging some fortifications - a rather intricate trench system - behind the shed. When I came on a tour of inspection I found he had camouflaged his earthworks with most of a self-seeded privet bush that until half an hour before had been hiding the compost heap from public view.
While the compost heap was now obvious, the Maginot line was truly well hidden by literally hundreds of bits of Privet which General Jasper had stuck in the ground.
War ended, peace was declared and the wife said she wanted a compost heap closer to the kitchen anyway. So behind the shed was forgotten.
Until Boxing Day when Jasper came over with his mate Alfie to make war. About two minutes into the spring offensive, young J came running into the house to say that the battlefield was better than paintballing. Suspiciously, Jasper's parents and I went to inspect and discovered that just about every bit of privet he had pushed into infertile earth a year earlier had rooted and grown away. Several were well over a metre tall.
Jasper is now planning on digging them up, potting them up and going into competition with Ashridge Nurseries. A worrying prospect given that his raw material cost is close to zero.
So, if you have a few gaps in your privet hedge, cut off a few long thin growths on any frost-free day, stick them into a bit of soft soil (preferably damp) in the garden where they can be left undisturbed until autumn by which time they will have rooted and can fill your privet hedge out for free.
If you do not have the patience, then buy some privet from us...
Sit back, watch your garden grow and Enjoy!