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A recent *Book of the Week* on Radio 4 got me thinking about my gardening roots. ‘Hedge Britannia’ by Hugh Barker charts the British obsession with hedges – and not just that source of many a  dispute between neighbours. Thus far I have no Leylandii experience. Never planted it and never lived near anyone who has.  Phew!

My first memories of the garden are of hedges. My grandparents had a large plot bounded by an expertly clipped privet hedge. And my grandmother used to spread her teatowels and foundation garments to dry on her pride and joy – the lavender hedge.

I love hedges 

  • lavender to edge a path
  • parsley or chives to edge a veg bed
  • nasturtiums around my cabbage patch
  • box around a formal potager – but watch out for the slugs who love to hide in it and creep out for a midnight feast
  • native hedgerow – birch, beech, oak, hazel, dogwoods and hawthorn around fields to keep the wildlife happy
  • hornbeam because it tolerates poor soil and shade and still happily does its thing

It’s my little piece of order and formality in an otherwise free-range approach to gardening.