Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

Hedges

The idea of these posts is to tell you all what I woke up thinking about, on the day when most people get to have a rest from the working week, hopefully relaxing and trying not to think about tomorrow. But this week, I woke up thinking about something very mundane. Hedges. I decided to share this with you anyway, as it says something about getting older, and facing up to physical limitations.

Our back garden is bordered on two sides by tall conifer hedges. We inherited these from the previous owner, and originally intended to have them removed, and replaced with something more manageable. However, the quotes for this job were much higher than we had ever expected, so the plan was scrapped. We also realised that they gave us a welcome degree of privacy from our neighbours’ houses, so on balance, thought it best to keep them.

In 2012, I bought some top-of-the-range cordless trimmers to tackle the job, and spent all weekend getting them nicely manicured, and looking neat. As they are ten feet high, and almost five feet deep, that was a difficult job, involving a lot of time spent on a ladder. I soon realised that this type of hedge grows very quickly too, and the annual trim became something of an unwanted chore. I left it one year, and as a result of my neglect, the central trunks and branches grew back thicker that ever. The next time I got around to cutting it, the trimmers could hardly cope, and I had to resort to using a saw as well. That made a boring job even more difficult.

When I had bad vertigo last year, I let them go again. 2016 seems to have been a record growth year though, and adding nine moths of this year to that, they are now very high and straggly. One of my neighbours from the street behind even knocked and advised me that they are cutting out the light from his garden, and asked me when I was going to cut them. I told him about the vertigo, and he was sympathetic, but it left me feeling guilty. I resolved to start the ‘big cut’ today, as it is forecast to stay dry. But then I woke up worrying about having to do it, and retreated into the office to deal with blogging matters instead.

We could pay someone to do it. We have the money, and there are plenty of companies offering the service. Something inside me says ‘no’. Once we pay someone to do routine jobs that do not require any skill, I am on the way to giving up. Before you know it, we will be paying someone to clean the house, and mow the lawn. I will happily pay someone to do electrical work, painting rooms, or fixing drains. I have no skill in those areas, and they are responsible for their work. But when I stop being able to stand on a ladder, holding a hedge trimmer, it will certainly be an admission of something I don’t want to accept.

So I am writing this, and drinking some coffee.When both are finished, I have an appointment with some hedges.

62 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

    1. Hope you are having a great time!
      Those hedges have almost killed me this week. Still 1/4 to go, and then shifting all the cuttings…Plus I dropped my good secateurs in there somewhere, and can’t find them. Had to buy a new pair today, for Β£12.
      It is only 10:30 pm, and bed is already beckoning…
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh, for god’s sake, just pay someone to do it! I’m just like you, but I’ve now decided it’s time to ditch those principles. Life’s too short, as a lot of your readers have already commented. All the best, Marina

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Marina. I have a little bit more to cut yet, but next year I suspect I will be paying someone. It has worn me out in all honesty, and I still have a mountain of cuttings to dispose of!
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you were OK. I do have a hedge to one side, but when I moved in the next door neighbours happily cut their bit and mine. As the next door house is rented out I’ve had a series of neighbours and not all of them do their part of the bargain. I’ve never dared get a trimmer, and in the last few years I haven’t been around much. I try to keep my side as neat and tidy as I can, but if I’m around I keep trimming bits as I can. Although I don’t dislike how it looks, I won’t miss the task when I sell the house. I understand your reluctance, but in my case is also a task I have no skills for…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It isn’t a question of skill with our hedges, Olga. Just hard sawing up a ladder, then using the cordless trimmer to tidy up. The biggest headache is getting rid of a mountain of cuttings, half of them the size of Christmas trees. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  3. I sure understand the dilemma of deciding whether to pay someone or do it yourself. I have told my husband he can no longer get on the long ladder. So he invented a contraption to clean the gutters of our 2 story house from the ground! He refuses to pay someone too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There are always chores we don’t enjoy doing aren’t there? The last time I had to clean the shower and glass doors (on my knees on the hard tile in cramped quarters) I thought to myself, never again! Well….. I will probably continue to do the job because I can…. but it’s nice to rant about it awhile first! on balance I agree with the comments above, Hire it out next time and just do the fun stuff! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have big BIG problems getting my head around the current buzz words ‘driverless cars’, how on earth are people going to earn money to live in the future? πŸ™‚ Pete if you’re not keen and you have the money pay someone to cut your hedges, get someone in, they’ll have young families and be pleased of the money. Pictures lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pay somebody! That’s what money is for! I have reached that point in life when I am too old to be up on ladders…….and you’re not THAT far behind! But if you do trim the hedges…..take pictures! We want to see!

    πŸ™‚

    Best.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rather than thinking of paying someone in a negative way, this glass is much more than half full, Pete. You worked hard in your career so that you could enjoy your life now. Hiring professionals to do work for you is a way of giving back – and giving yourself the chance to spend your time doing the pursuits that interest you. Mowing the lawn and cleaning the house is one thing – I see these hedges the same as electrical work or painting the house there are pros for that!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m in agreement. Especially if we are talking about Leylandii! Some jobs are better left to the professionals and this sounds like one of them. Perhaps bit the bullet and get them removed and have a nice easier to maintain fence put up instead. You can always plant a slow growing hedge if you want to make it greener using native hedgerow plants. But then you will have to cut them each year too.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have no issues with clipping the beech hedges at the front of the house. I can do them easily. The leylandii/conifer hedges are huge by comparison, and require ten times more effort, and a lot of sawing. We did get quotes to have them removed, and replaced with more manageable, but that ran in the Β£thousands, and we cannot justify that expense.
          Probably better to just pay someone else next time. πŸ™‚
          Best wishes, Pete. x

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Are you done yet? I share your sentiments when it comes to house cleaning. I would never consider hiring someone to do my spring/fall cleaning or moving cleaning or everyday cleaning when I’m perfectly capable of doing it myself. If it’s not clean, I’m just lazy.
    How ridiculous.
    I would compromise with yourself and next time allow the colossal chore be done once a year. You maintain it for the rest of the time.
    When I next move and I have to clean the whole house at once, I’ll hire someone.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I hope it proved easier than expected Pate but since luck doesn’t usually run that way I doubt it. Paying someone is not accepting defeat. it’s accepting someone might have more of flair for it who is useless at something you shine in.
    Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice logic, David. I will bear that in mind. I managed 3/4 of one hedge, mostly using a hand saw. I then had to get ready to take the dog out, and have just got back. I will attempt the last 1/4 tomorrow, and the smaller hedge on Tuesday. Next, year, I suspect I will be paying someone.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hmm, paying someone to do that job doesn’t mean you are accepting defeat, Pete – it makes sense, and could well keep you out of A&E, and fitter for other things for longer….think again!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I feel your dilemma. We inherited an array of lovely yew bushes manicured almost like a topiary. And three are over 10 feet tall. Every year it is a full weekend job to cut them with the hedge trimmers. One year we could not get to it, and the following year felt like facing a hurricane. We had it done, and the one time expense was manageable. Like you, we are do-it-yourselfers, and take pride in good work. But this one had to go. Will hang on to the rest as long as possible. Best to you, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be fair, Mary, he did offer to get his son to do it. However, I still feel that strange urge not to ‘give up’, and watch someone else do it. Halfway through one hedge now, almost 90 minutes of good old hard labour. (It’s the clearing of the cuttings that takes the time later)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Pay somebody! You’ll be glad you did. We had an extremely hot summer here in Florida, coupled with lots and lots of rain, so consequently the weeds grew like crazy and took over, and taming them became such a daunting looking task that I finally cried uncle and got someone to trim them. I’ve always resisted paying someone to do something I could, at least in theory, do myself. Life is too short.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We spend our lives doing things that are important to survive and carve out an existence in this life that gives us worth… waiting for the day where we can simply kick back and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Then we reach an age where we realize it was the survival part that gave life meaning, and kicking back was not a goal after all. But all we have left is grasping onto the menial to again give existence some value.
    Or…
    ..keeping active keeps the old arteries from hardening. πŸ™‚
    BTW.. can I borrow the hedge trimmer? I have a few bushes over here……

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The hedge trimmer is hardly coping, Doug. I have had to resort to a manual saw for the top sections so far…I’m glad I went for it though, and didn’t ‘give in’.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

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