One Day In The Hedgemaze

privetinarow One thing you need to know about your hedge maze: it’s not something that can be ignored for weeks at a time. I made the bad mistake of disregarding the status of my hedge maze and it turned into a nightmare. You need to spend some time on the hedge maze every day if it’s going to look decent. Once planted, you may think there is little to do because privet (should you use this bush) is so hardy. Wrong! The hedge maze will turn into a jungle in your own backyard if allowed to grow out of control. The other day I feasted my eyes on a grove of bamboo and wondered how anyone could allow it to become so dense. It’s not as bad as a privet grove, but both tend to grow out of control if allowed. I’m sure there was an amateur gardener who thought bamboo looked nice and would be a swell addition to his or her yard. Then one day the bamboo took over most of the yard. The same sort of thing can happen with privet, although disposal of it isn’t as bad as for bamboo. To continue, expect to spend some time each day in your hedge maze, snipping growth of the shrubs, digging up weeds, sawing off dead privet limbs, and picking up the trash blown into it. This is another point: a hedge maze can turn into a trash collector if you’re not careful. Right now, mine has yet to recover from the Big Trim. Which is to say that trash blows into and through it sometimes. Enough trash impacts on the shrubs that I need to pick out the garbage each day. When the shrubs were large, the trash impacted on the hedge line to the west, from the wind direction. At least all I had to do was walk the line with a trash bag and collect the mess. Now, I need to pick in out of the hedge maze every day. Every day, put on your hat and gloves before working in your hedge maze. I recommend a bush hat as it keeps the sun out of your eyes and the sweat off your brow. Since I’m bald, there’s no issue about what to do with my hair. I’ll leave that one to people who have hair. As I’ve said before, get a sturdy pair of leather gloves with cuffs, as your limbs will appreciate the extra effort. Sharp, broken privet branches can rip your skin. Worse of all, poisonous vines can turn your flesh into something that resembles the surface of Mars. We’ve plenty to deal with in Eastern Pennsylvania with poison ivy. I’ve heard horror stories about poison oak and poison sumac. I’m grateful those things aren’t found around my borough. One commentator let me know that sheep shears are used in the large entertainment parks where hedge mazes can be found. I’ve made a mental note to test a pair out when I have the chance. From the picture I saw, they don’t appear to have the “jam” problem encountered with grass clippers. I’ll post some images of them in use, should I buy a pair. You’ll also want to take some background sounds when you’re at work. It can get lonely down in that hedge maze by yourself. Have a little respect for the neighbors and don’t drag a boom box down there to play the Plasmatics while you work, no matter how soothing you may find their music. I’ve opted for podcasts, which I can listen to on my Android phone. Also, a big help when you need to take a phone call. However, it can be a bit hard to pick the phone out of your pocket when down on your knees trying to find the source of another vine. And chose an interesting subject but not offensive. You won’t have too many complaints from your neighbors if you listen to a podcast on the history of china. If your favorite podcast concerns the latest adult films, you’ll have a string of complaints. Use a little common sense. After all, if you’ve gone to the trouble of planting a hedge maze in your back yard, the neighbors have already marked you as a little odd.
A vine trying to sneak into the hedge maze.
Start by examining the base of the privet shrubs. Make sure there are no saplings of whatever invasive tree exists in your area. Small maple trees I can pull out by hand, forget it when it comes to oak or mulberry seedlings. Those little freaks have roots that hang onto the soil. In many cases, you’ll need to cut the invasive tree sapling close to the ground and cover them with dirt. This won’t stop the most tenacious ones from trying to come back, but at least you can slow them down. And you must do this, as certain trees, such as maple, will grow back fast. You’ll admire your even hedge line and how nice it looks, only to discover a maple tree popping through the shrubs the next day. Vines are another problem and will sneak up on the shrub base. The worst one in these parts is poison ivy, as previously mentioned. English ivy will wrap around the shrub and wind its way to the top. Honeydew vines sneak up the shrub and emerge from the surface when you haven’t paid enough attention. All of these must be stopped in the early stages. Next, walk along the vines with whatever trimmer works for you and examine the hedge sides. Does any strange branch poke out? Now is the time to nip it before the branch blocks the row. Finally, trim the tops. You must trim the tops often. If you don’t, they’ll grow way too tall and then you’ll need to rent a pole trimmer. Trust me, you don’t want to do that. You’ll spend an entire day grinding off excess hedge branches. Which creates a massive brush pile that needs removal. Plan to spend a reasonable amount of daily time on your hedge maze and you’ll have an impressive addition to your property. First published 9/2019

About Timothy L Mayer

Timothy Mayer has written 43 post in this blog.

I'm a full-time ghost writer, business owner, expert on spy fiction, martial artist, tax payer and self-appointed expert on obscure movies. Available for lectures. Donations appreciated

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