Thoughts and obsessions from Langdon’s south side

John Little



There are only a few things I do that don’t carry some regret or disappointment. Meeting my wife and having kids of-course, but for a completely guilt free pleasure, planting a hedge or building a dead one is hard to beat.

Dead Hedges

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Dead hedges are not live hedges that have died, they are ‘hopefully’ a free flowing stack of brash that is both beautiful, sustainable and useful. We use them to define and enclose space, to weave through landscapes and thread habitat together. I love the aesthetic but more importantly dead hedges give you somewhere to put stuff! I spent years at my place carting brash off site or burning, now I have network of dead hedge that is never far from where I'm working. Unusually they provide a neat but dense environment, brilliant for nesting birds, small rodents and hibernating insects. We have added waste pieces of pond liner into the stack to add to the mix of dry and damp niches.
So stop burning and start dead hedging. It feels good. :)

Planting Hedges

There is something wonderful about planting a hedge. I think it’s the permanence, the legacy, the enclosure and the sense of place that hedges create. When you plant a hedge along a boundary, the chances are that the hedge will be there, boosting biodiversity, deadening noise, sucking in carbon and making people smile many, many years after we are gone. What else do we do that does all that?
So go plant a hedge, use native species, use small bare root whips, water well, pamper in the first few years and then sit back, put on a Dylan track and feel good :)