I think I must start this post by explaining why a gardener would pay someone to take care of a small patch of lawn and a small hedge. Well, I wouldn’t. But Joseph would. When we moved to this property from our acreage, he got rid of almost all of his lawn equipment. Not only did we not have much space in the garage – he has a (wood) workshop – it costs little to pay someone to take care of the more mundane gardening tasks.
The lawn maintenance guys deal with the edging, hedge maintenance, mowing, and, of course, clean-up. It takes the current three-person crew 15 minutes or less most days, a little longer when tending to the shrubs.
The last crew chose to ignore that part of the deal. The hedge, I mean. We didn’t realize it at first, but one day we were looking at a hedge that was at least two feet higher than it should be according to HOA standards. We basically had ligustrum walls.
Most of the hedge wasn't particularly healthy, either. We asked the guys to take care of it. They never did. Hence, new guys.
We like the new crew. But by the time they trimmed the hedge – a pretty impressive undertaking – it was early winter. Within a few weeks of the severe trimming, the Houston area had one of our weird and unexpected hard freezes. For the first time ever, ALL the ligustrum leaves dropped.
At the beginning of March, they were still mostly bare – mostly being important here. A few were undeniably dead. So we talked with our lawn service boss. We walked the small perimeter together. He recommended that we first replace only the dead ones.
“See?” He pointed to a few buds towards the bottom. “Green.”
And so we agreed. I’m glad that we did.
Oddly, a few leaves began popping up along the lower half of the hedge, towards the bottoms of the shrubs. Not only up from the ground, but from the trunks. The top half seemed dead. I don’t really understand this, but I’m not complaining. The lawn crew pruned, cutting off another foot or two. You know how it sometimes seems that plants leaf or bud out overnight? It wasn’t the case this time. Slowly, painstakingly, leaves returned. The hedge is still fighting the good fight. But I think it might come through!
It’s funny. As a general rule, I prefer native plantings. Ligustrum shrubs are not native to Texas. They’re native to Europe, where they are called privet. But these shrubs had been here for around twenty years, and they’re not aggressive plants. It seemed a shame to me that they would die on our watch.
We kind of like the renewed, short hedge. There’s less privacy, but it’s so much more open than before. Being on the golf course, the hedge is supposed to be no higher than the low fence, anyway. That’s fine by us.
More soon! Happy Gardening!
For years, my husband and I worked at creating a series of gardens on our four-acre lot in a rural, Texas subdivision west of Houston. I have to say, it was a fantastic experience. Now, I have a pocket garden on a golf course.
From me to you with a smile.
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