Special dispatch: The Garden Restaurant, Mayford, Surrey
Woking Garden Centre
Surrey GU22 0NH
by Emmanuel Petit-Déjeuner
“Dear Gardeners World, I have a leylandii hedge along the north boundary of my garden. I dislike leylandii as I find it boring (and I'm allergic to it!). There are too many to dig out, and due to the terraced nature of my garden, I can't grind or pull the stumps out. The hedge is about 5m long with about 18 leylandii (planted about 30cm apart). The hedge is currently about 1.5m high. As it's a northern boundary, I want to have something to protect from wind etc, and a panel fence wouldn't suit the rest of the garden. I was considering trimming all the branches and some of the top of each leylandii to leave bare stumps of about 1m-ish tall. I then wanted to plant or transplant other plants in-between the stumps. I have 2 buddleia and 2 ceanothus that need relocating. Have you any other suggestions?
Well Kitty, the first thing I would advise would be to visit the Woking Garden Centre, where they have a fantastic selection of climbers such as Clematis Montana which could easily spread if you enrich the soil with manure or compost first.
While you’re there, if you’ve got a mo (not a fly-mo though!) you could also consider forking up (!) some breakfast from the fortuitously-named Garden Restaurant. Park up your wheelbarrow, kick off your Hunters and dig in (!) to the Great British Light Breakfast – it’s guaranteed not to be pot luck! – and dilute with one very small heat-resistant watering can full of Rainforest Alliance or Tregothnan botanical tea…the Camelia sinensis in particular is a real grower!
In the winter months, you’ll be wanting to provide hardier nourishment to keep out the cold, so turn over a new leaf (!) with the Hearty Breakfast, wherein Freedom Food bacon and sausages, organic ciabatta and free-range eggs all mulch together nicely!
Now, Kitty: if your garden is anything like mine, things get unruly pretty quickly and it takes a real effort to keep your borders and bushes tidy, if you catch my drift… so have a look on the noticeboard and see if you can’t rustle up a good solid local professional who can come round and give you a good strimming. Are we still talking about gardening? I don’t