Nudge for the diehards

Sandra O'Hagan
2 min readJan 14, 2021


It’s late Autumn and even die-hard gardeners need a nudge to leave their cosy fireside, days are short and the weekends seem to end before they even begin. However, I am going to urge you to take a good long look at your garden, because a bit of time spent now could not only save you money but also enhance your outside space no end. This is all about bare root trees and shrubs.

Around about now, until early spring, woody plants become dormant and they can be pulled from the ground with their roots bare for all to see. These, twig like, plants can then be easily put in the ground and will establish much quicker than anything from a pot. The cost is a fraction of what a potted variety would be, which means a good long run of Beech hedging is now very affordable. In my own garden I inherited a variety of handsome hedges; all of them very different, each one sheltering flower beds and creating back drops. I have taken full advantage of the bare root season in recent years, planting Laurel and Box.

So, as you stand outside, having taken my advice, ask yourself ‘Is the wind so strong you have to steady yourself’? ‘Are the plants in your shrubbery so battered that you feel like wrapping them in a blanket’? If so it’s time to act, pace out the line where the hedge can go and keep a note of the measurements, on average you will need about one plant every two feet. If that wasn’t enough exertion for one day, then you may as well head down to the local garden centre or nursery. They will advise you on the best varieties to suit your conditions, availability and of course the price.

If, on the other hand, your garden is an oasis of calm, then there may be something missing but you just can’t put your finger on it. Perhaps a small tree could create a focal point or a low box hedge might be just the thing to pull it all together. A well clipped hedge is a thing of beauty and it not just about shelter. Thanks to some well established Escallonia and other evergreens, my one-acre plot is divided into a series of rooms which really adds interest. It also makes my outdoor space a lot more manageable.

Once all the plants or saplings are safely in the ground, you can now forget about the garden and concentrate on the upcoming festive season. Installing a sparkly neon snowman for the front lawn or Santa and his reindeer parking on the roof. Whatever floats your boat. I know that in a few years, you will be admiring your handsome hedge and healthy young trees, knowing that your garden is now well protected and looking great.