Tearing out the Hedge-of-Doom

2 min read The house itself isn’t the only dated thing about my little mid-century charmer – it also has an extremely old-fashioned yard.  This is one more element that I plan to bring forward into the 21st Century.

I’ve been told that the previous owner was once an avid gardener with vegetables growing in a sunny patch in the back yard but in recent years it seems his yard work had devolved into harshly flat topping the hedge along the front of the house and surrounding the little decorative fence.  Since the house went on the market, even that had stopped and little shoots were aimed upwards, threatening to engulf the house like the thicket of thorns around Briar Rose’s castle.


Frankly, even if I’d loved the hedge (which measured 4 feet high, 8 feet deep and 30 feet along the front of the house), it would have been hard to preserve it.  It had been planted too close to the building and grown even closer – trying to get behind it to paint the siding would have been impossible.  As it was, my yard-work loving mom joked about showing up to the closing with long-handled clippers and a saw.


Pulling out that hedge was no easy feat.  The greenery formed an impenetrable shield and even once we got inside it there was a dark and scary looking thicket of branches to conquer.


We had JUST missed the city’s fall pickup of brush but they were still picking up leaves and “twigs no longer than 18 inches” so we took hand clippers and trimmed about half the hedge into chunks that met that specification.  The rest we dragged over to the driveway and planned to take over to the city composting site in my dad’s “little red wagon.”  However, as it turned out though, I was painting the front of the garage a few afternoons later when a tree crew came by on other business and let us talk them into picking up the big pile of branches with their tree debris truck, bless their hearts!  It’s great to have the hedge on its way to a compost pile and out of the yard.

Dad brought his chainsaw into town and hacked out the remaining branches.  We’ll leave the roots in place and interplant them with native prairie plants as soon as we finish dealing with the repair work to the house front.


Next step, cutting new soffit vents and scraping the front of the house we have released from behind the hedge of doom!