Thursday, July 18, 2019

My Date With A Hedge Hog

This past Saturday I was up and out early to tackle another project.  I wanted to get at it before the heat of the day hit as we were supposed to be encroaching on the century mark temperature wise.  We'd had a bit of a thunderstorm the night before so by the time I got out there it was really muggy and humid.

This one on the end is a big fat one!

My neighbors have a HUGE row of hedges along our property line.  Over the years they have slowly been creeping their way over and are now encroaching on our driveway space.

We live on a cul de sac so on-street parking can be tricky making our driveways very necessary.  Several years ago I had put down gravel next to our driveway in order to control weeds and add on to our driveway.  It made the perfect place to park our camp trailer and my truck.

You get way too close backing out past the fat one

Parking on the gravel has been increasingly difficult.  My neighbor has the hedges trimmed every spring and this year and the year before he asked the guy to be a little more aggressive on our side and cut them back.  It never happened.  The guy just gave them a light trim and needless to say we were both very disappointed.

Not only are they overgrown, but also full of wasps and spiders.  They also stink.  If you brush up against them you smell like cat pee.  I don't know why these types of shrubs smell like that, especially in hot weather, but they do.  I've never been a fan of these things.

Three down, two to go

I borrowed a hedge trimmer from a co-worker last week and Saturday morning I got to work.  I used a tarp to collect the majority of the trimmings.  It made clean up super quick and easy.

Much closer to the property line now

I did a fair bit of trimming without going overboard as I didn't want a lot of the interior dead wood showing.  Plus I don't want to do damage and make the hedges get sick.  But I did need to cut back enough to safely park our cars without worry of getting scratches on them.  Plus it was getting really hard to get out of our vehicles once we parked.

I gained back quite a bit of space and most of the hedges are now back toward the property line.  The one at the end is the largest and most problematic.  It will need to be gradually trimmed back overtime to get it back to where I want it.

I didn't want to go much further due to the dead wood inside
This will fill back in now that it is exposed

I'll probably trim it again in the fall and next spring before his guy comes out to do them.  Hopefully we can get it closer to the property line and open up the driveway more making it safer to park and give us more space.

This one is still hogging space, but it is an improvement

By the time I got finished and put everything away I was a hot sticky mess.  I headed straight to the shower and found my bra was full of little bitty hedge trimmings.  What a messy job!

More space for my truck and I can get in and out much easier

But it is done for now and I can park much better in that space along our driveway. I still think they look nice after their big haircut.  They still stink and there isn't much I can do about that.  


After - I think we can make this work

The wasps were none too happy with me either.  Oh well, can't please everybody.


  1. I did a similar project at our house, and had the exact same bra issue! :-)

    I also cut back to hit the line of our steps, and I dislike the exposed wood as well, but we'll have to slowly cut back until it's back "in shape" for where it's supposed to be.

    1. I just have to be patient and they will be cut back to where they belong. Fun, huh?

  2. Since your neighbor is aware of the lack of proper trimming, why did he not call the guy to redo the job or do it himself? That would really annoy me to have to do it myself, have to work hard to get out of car, or have car scratched.

    1. We had discussed it with him and let's just say sometimes you are just better off to take care of things on your own. You know?

  3. You're lucky the neighbor is amenable... we have a large hedge, on the property line between ours and the neighbor's yards, that has been gradually obscuring our view of the mountains over the past 22+ years. (The roots, unfortunately, are on their side of the property, making the bushes 'theirs.') When we first moved here, it was fine. But now we have huge overgrown floppy junipers leaning over our fence to look at from our dining room window. Thankfully they've shed branches here and there, so we can peek at the mt views that direction...sort of. When Husband asked the neighbor if we could pay to have them trimmed back, Neighbor (actually his sister) said no in very snotty tones -- because they didn't want us "peeking into our backyard." The funny thing about that: there's a 6-ft limit according to the covenants (junipers are about 20-25 ft tall), the trimmed-back ones would still obscure looking into their yard, and...

    Her brother and Dad had a hobby (ongoing still) of sitting out in the yard and staring at me while I worked in the herb garden.

    These are the same people who are consistently rude, have a son who's done his share of hijinks over the years, enjoy rude, profanity-laced loud phone conversations in the backyard (she's the worst), loud parties, etc....and shoot off very large, very illegal fireworks every Fourth.
    Go figure.

    Neighbor lady's last comment to Husband was a belligerent "You'll have to take us to court." We are not the type that do that, except as a last resort. Guess it's a good idea that we're moving soon.

    1. That is terrible. I'm so sorry to hear about this. We've been very blessed that they've been really good neighbors. I have a tree that dumps leaves and crud in their yard and we manage to work it all out nicely.

      Where we live we can cut back anything that hangs over the property line, but that would not necessarily be healthy for the trees. So if I was a jerk I guess I could cut those puppies waaaay back, but not at all how I want to handle it.

  4. That was a lot of work! I understand you doing them but it seems to me the neighbour should be responsible.

    I'm not a fan of cedars either, eventually they do die off.

    1. He is older and not really able to take care of them. I was fine doing it myself.

  5. Your bushes look like arborvitae and yes, they do smell like cat They are also very hardy and hard to kill. We had them along the back of our house on the east side and they grew like crazy. I wanted them OUT, so hubby put a chain around the base and yanked them out with his truck. The smaller ones he dug out with a shovel.

    You did a nice job trimming them back. Looks better and easier to access your vehicles.

    1. Thanks Cheryl. I don't mind the privacy screen, but man they stink! LOL

  6. You did a great job. Arborvitae can also get bagworm. Look it up so you can see if the shrub is infected. They are very ugly. The privacy part though is key to being a good neighbor. Take care. Barb

  7. Our next door neighbors drive is offset about 3 feet from our property line so she has a small strip of grass that abuts our side yard. The first couple of years when we mowed tha lawn we were very respectful of the property lines, until she stopped mowing or having her yard mowed more than a couple of times a summer. We asked if we could mow right up to her driveway because our grass was nice and tame and hers was about a feet high. Fortunately she agreed. Yes she should do it, but I like things looking neater so we maintain the strip. I would love to plant a hedge row but the kids in the neighborhood use my side yard as their football field and I guess I had rather listen to kids playing than have a visual separation.

    1. I'm with you on that. I'd rather keep it neat myself than start a war over the issue. I don't think they even know I did anything, to be honest. :)


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