Donato Cinicolo gave me this picture. I might be remembering the species wrong but I’m pretty sure he said it is a hawthorn trunk that has been cut down to a stump – the vivid orange colour develops as the heartwood inside the trunk is exposed to oxygen.
Monthly Archives: April 2012
Does anyone want to create a jubilee topiary? Ideally involving a hedge but not necessarily…
A journalist has contacted me about doing an article around the publication date of the book – his idea is for us to go off somewhere and observe someone creating a jubliee topiary or something along those lines, perhaps a union jack shape or crown. I thought this might be an opportunity for someone to get a bit of publicity for their garden or the garden they are working on.
If anyone is interested, contact me at email@example.com.
Here is a related example, Lucy Boston’s topiaries at Hemingford Grey, created to celebrate the coronation in 1952 – they were originally intended to be two pairs of crowns and two pairs of orbs. That year they weren’t fully grown so she clipped them as best she could then tied in extra yew branches from the many trees in the garden. As they grew, one of the crowns seemed to want to be a different shape and she eventually cut it into a dove of peace. Her daughter-in-law Diana Boston still tends the garden today – it is a lovely little garden to which visitors are welcome – especially interesting if like me you are a fan of the Green Knowe books, as she based the house and garden in those stories closely on her own house and garden, so you can recognise elements such as the bamboo hedge where the children play, and Tolly’s green deer.
These two are from a street in North Acton – I like both because they combine a precise cut, which has obviously been done with care, with slightly random design styles.
Combining the battlement hedge with chess piece chic, Alice Through the Looking Glass in suburban miniature.
This one’s a bit more sinuous, looks a bit like a serpent, or possibly a section of intestine?
Just to link to this lovely series of pictures (and descriptions) of the hedgerows in lanes and fields close to the edge of Dartmoor, from the Hermitage blog.
Well worth a look especially if, like me, you are stuck somewhere a bit more urban and feel like taking a bit of vicarious pleasure in the countryside, as seen through someone else’s eyes…
I always like hedges in the shape of elephants, I’ve got a couple in the book and here is another one from the quoteunquotenz blog.
I just saw this blog post, by Kate Bradbury, a gardener who chose to remove the concrete from her front garden. She’s quite right to note that the concreting of front garden space is one of the blights of our towns and cities. People do it to create car parking space, but when this practise is widespread, the consequence is a loss of biodiversity, and increased flood risk.
It’s not a point she makes directly, but it is also one of the causes of hedges being lost in towns – on its own a hedge may not seem like a hugely important ecosystem, but the cumulative effect of many hedges is to create habitats for small creatures, insects and bees, wildlife corridors, and the absorption of CO2. The more hedges we lose the more of these effects we also lose.
I love the idea of removing the concrete from front gardens where it is practical to do so – and ideally I’d also want to see more hedges being planted to replace the ones we have lost.
This is exciting, I got the first finished copy of the book yesterday – the nice people have Bloomsbury have done a great job of production (not to mention the many editorial improvements they made or persuaded me to make along the way). Here it is, anyway – I’ll have some copies to send out to those people who have been promised them sometime soon also.