Napoleonic, WSS & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Hooptedoodle #453 - Clearing Up after Babet [1]

 This follows from my earlier post about Storm Babet wrecking our hedge in October. I wasn't really expecting them until next month, but I got a phone call from the Tree Men yesterday afternoon to say that they were on a job in a nearby village, and had been obliged to stop work rather earlier than planned, so would it be all right if they came round and made a start?

Well, of course. Some quick opening of gates and shifting of cars and we were ready to go.

The guys didn't have all the gear with them that they might have needed (stump grinder, for one thing), but it didn't matter, since there was not a lot of daylight left, and they were only gong to manage to get some of the work done in any case.

As usual, they were fast - they do not take prisoners - and they were extremely noisy (that gives a little payback to my neighbour who insists on using a chain saw to cut up logs every Sunday morning).

I had wondered how many wagon loads would be needed to shift a 40ft x 12ft hedge 4ft thick. The answer, of course, is not very many. In about an hour, this machine reduced 3/4 of the hedge to a layer of chippings about 8 inches deep in the bottom of the truck. Some racket though. Come on now, if you thought of the movie Fargo, even fleetingly, please go and stand in the corner 

They'll be back within a couple of weeks. I know I have their full attention, since I haven't paid them anything yet. Things are pretty messy, but we are getting there. Having had years of grief from my neighbours about the hedge, it would be ironic if I also got grief for removing it. Whatever, things are moving.

Without wishing to get ahead of the game, I have been looking at possible varieties of evergreen hedges; I have an open mind on the subject, though I have no intention of allowing a Leylandii anywhere on the premises ever again. There are some nice laurels.



  1. Leylandii are a curse , think they maybe some sort of alien vegitation trying to take over the world - thankfully you are fighting back . Beware though they are tenatious !

    1. Mention of alien vegetation reminds me of when I about 10 and my family bought a newly-built house on the site of the old Liverpool Zoo, in Mossley Hill. It had a sizeable garden, which was absolutely smothered in rumex sangineus (which I think is also called red-veined dock, and my dad translated it as "bloody wanderer"). This stuff was terrifying - it spread like lightening from tubers underground, and it had destroyed the remnants of some of the old brick buildings which had been left on the zoo site. It took us years to get rid of it, by painstakingly digging it all out. If you missed a bit, it was back.

      Since I was reminded of it, I looked it up online, and was very surprised to learn that it is regarded as an attractive foliage plant, can be used as a salad leaf, and can be obtained in smart pots from your local pond specialist. This has to be a different plant from the one I knew, or we are all doomed.

  2. Given the previous grief, how about something thorny? ☺

  3. I think there's laurel and laurel, one of the first things we did on moving in earlier this year was get rid of a very young laurel hedge that was shooting for the Moon!
    Given your neighbourly relations, have you considered a wall? Perhaps one with watch-towers, machine-guns, etc.?

    1. The relationship with my neighbours is sort of OK these days - hedges often cause tensions, I guess, and most of the issues here were inherited when I bought the house. We have taken about 15 feet off the length of the hedge at one time, endless loppings off the top, and over 20 years I have paid for for both sides to be trimmed and smartened up every few months. No-one, of course, has ever offered to help with the cost, but that's OK too. Your comments on laurel are interesting - I must read further.

      I realise that mention of a wall is jocular, but such a wall would have to be very solid, with serious foundations, or one of our storms will just blow the thing down (on my car? on visitors?). A ranch-style fence with gaps to prevent storm damage would be expensive and would certainly have creepers grown through it from the far side.

      I reckon an evergreen hedge which grows at moderate speed would be fine.