Irregular hedges at Montacute

At the Garden Media Awards* ceremony yesterday I was talking to Paula, a journalist, who had a lonicera hedge that had been squashed into a lop-sided shape by the snow. She went to some trouble to cloud-prune it, only to be informed by her teenage son that it “looked like a turd”. She eventually cut it down though she is planning to plant a new one, possibly beech.

This anecdote reminded me of the strange patterns of the yew hedges at Montacute in Somerset – the winter of 1947 left one hedge weighed down by snow and twisted into new shapes. But over the following years, the gardeners tended the result, and added the same effect to an opposing hedge, giving the garden an intentionally abstract feel.

There’s a nice picture of a rather precarious looking gardener at Montacute here.

* I didn’t win the inspirational book category, which was won by Led by the Land but the lunch was excellent and it was all good fun.


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Filed under Garden History, Historical Hedges, Topiary

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