Big changes at Gortnalee

 Its been a bit all over the place this past week at Gortnalee. The farmer next door had the hedge that forms our boundary cut back a few weeks ago and it was clear that the hedge had been completely destroyed by brambles. Last year we had a situation where two of the original blackthorns broke off at the root – they were competely dead.  Most of the other original blackthorns were also failing. 

Puss kept a close eye on the digger man 

There was nothing to be done to revive hedge plants over 100 years old! The farmer decided to remove the whole hedge and the bank replacing it with a stock-proof fence instead. I am really ambivelant about it all. The hedgerow was such a haven for wildlife even if it was a nightmare to manage. 

In some ways it feels like how the garden was when we first came here – the wind whistling through and the whole place feeling really open and bare. However, it is only one side of the garden – the rest of it is unchanged. I have already planted the boundary now all I need is the patience to wait for the new shrubs to grow.

I have extended the Laurel hedge down past the seating area we call the Coffee Corner so that it will once more be a sheltered spot to sit with the best view of the garden – it will just take a while! The rest of the boundary border is Escalonias that I tried to grow there when the hedgerow was behind them and they are already looking happier to have space and air! 

The lower garden is still a work-in-progress but already I am making plans ….

And there was I thinkg the garden was NEARLY finished ……..

4 thoughts on “Big changes at Gortnalee

  1. The laurel hedge at the front is already a decent height and I'll bring laurel down far enough to give me privacy – and then continue on with some shrubs. The escalonia I planted along the boundary are already showing signs of life. They are about 3 feet tall so I'm hoping they will bulk up quickly. I have plans for the lower garden now that the boardwalk has been replaced so I just have to concentrate on the new areas and keep my back to the wide open spaces!!!!


  2. Hi Paddy – We discussed it and it really was beyond saving. It was nearly 5 metres wide of brambles with an occasional stump of the original blackthorn. He offered to replace it with another thorny nightmare so we agreed I would grow a hedge on my side and he would erect and maintain the fence. I already have a mature laurel hedge at the front. Not best for the wildlife but giving me privacy from the newly built two storey house beyond the narrow field section. I also had an issue with rainwater stopping at the bank so it is solving another problem for me.


  3. Gosh Hazel that was a big issue to have to deal with. How long do you reckon it will take your newly planted shrubs to grow to the size you want in that area?


  4. I am surprised that your neighbour could remove the boundary hedging. Was it by agreement? Removal of farmland boundary hedges/ditches is not permitted – certainly, our neighbour had to plant replacement hedging when he removed a stretch here.


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