Turning Archive 2004

OT Garden Hoe (pics)

Bill Grumbine, Kutztown PA
>Or, instant hedge made easy. As I mentioned in another post today, we are planting some full sized forsythia. There is a story here.

Three summers ago, SWMBO and I were discussing some landscaping possibilities, specifically some privacy hedges. We have a fairly large property, but being on a hill on a corner we don't have lots of privacy. We thought forsythia might be a good option, as we both like the plant, it is very easy to grow, and it makes for a very bushy plant.

However, cash flow for things like plants was not always what we could wish, so the hedge went to a lower priority, until one day as I was driving home. I was about a mile from the house, and I saw a guy out in his yard yanking these huge forsythia bushes out of the ground with his Ford Expediton. I quickly turned around, pulled up, and asked him (in my best log acquiring manner) what was going to happen to the bushes. He told me I could have as many as I wanted. I had a young gentleman coming over the next day for cutting wood, but we rearranged the schedule, and made it bush moving day. SWMBO happened to be off as well. To make a long story a little shorter, we moved 13 bushes using my tractor and pick up truck. They were planted along the road on our property the next day, and despite the drought that summer, they flourished.

This summer another neighbor asked me if I wanted his bushes, which were horribly overgrown after being untended by the previous owner of his house for years. Those of you who were at this year's Five Barns picnic may remember my "ugly hedge" up by the barn. It was planted with the help of the gentleman in the pictures below.

A couple of weeks ago another neighbor contacted me and asked if I wanted her forsythia (I was going to write bushes, but there are some naughty fellows here). Since we still have lots of landscaping we want to do, I said yes. Today was the day. My neighbor with the backhoe dug them up in the one yard and loaded them on two trailers we had. The bushes were transported to our yard, and pulled off the trailers using my trusty Super Dexta tractor. When the hoe was done at the neighbors, he came up and started trenching along where we had deposited the bushes earlier in the day.

We decided to use these eight very large bushes to create a privacy screen along the edge of the pool. As it is, anyone coming along the road can look in and see what we are doing (swimming of course!). Seriously though, this will make life a lot more pleasant.

SWMBO got a shot of me holding the bush while it is being backfilled. We still have some work to do with hand shovels, but we put in about 50' of hedge in about an hour. We will let it take root for a few weeks, and then prune it down to the ground so that it can grow up with those beautiful wild arching shoots. Being that this is the north side of the pool, the bushes will never get in the way of the sun, and they are far away enough that they shouldn't need to be pruned - ever.

I forked out $135 for the backhoe. He did a few other small things for me while he was there. Try and find this much hedge for that much money doing it any other way. The neighbors might think we are a little strange - I have what amounts to a logging yard here, and we plant fully grown hedges - but it is a lot of fun and instant gratification to boot.


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