We were at a friend's house for lunch today and on the way in, walking though his garden, I admired his beech hedge. It is not an old beech hedge, maybe 5 years (although I need to check). What struck me about it were two things:
1. It was very full - the lowest branched were ON the ground. No gaps or ugly legs at the bottom.
2. It was incredibly dense. The leaves (all dead now of course but that lovely rich golden brown only beech has) were absolutely crammed together. It was amazing how many there were on a hedge that was less than 3 feet tall.
So, over lunch I asked the obvious question - "Who did you get those fabulous beech hedge plants from?" To which (I kid you not) the reply was "You".
We sell a lot of hedging, and I can be forgiven for forgetting that in (probably) 2003 or 2004 my mate Dave, who buys loads of stuff from us, had acquired 250 beech hedge plants. He could not remember how tall they were, but guessed they were less than 2 feet. What he had done, was broken most of the rules. He had planted them, not trimmed them at all and "waited" until they were growing avay happily. Someone then said that he should have cut them back, so, as best he can remember he had cut them back by between 1/2 and 2/3rds in (probably) June or July....
They had bushed out low down and he was so pleased with the outcome, that he has cut them back every year since, removing about half of the new growth from the year before. All I can say is that the result is a fantastic hedge. I am not saying that this brutal regime is for everyone, but it has certainly worked for him.
Next time we go there, I might just remember the camera...
Sit back, watch your garden grow and Enjoy!