If you tell enough stories, perhaps the moral will show up.


Hedging Strategies

This weekend, I have been mostly de-wiring.

The mad woman who lived here before us handled the increasing gappiness of the hedges by stapling stock fence on to the more solid stalks. Over time, the bark and wood grows over and through the wire, and new shoots tangle up in it. It becomes absolutely impossible to manage in the normal way: you can't lay the stalks over because they're tangled up in the wire, and you can't use the saw because it'll be blunted on wire or staple.

The only way out is to remove it and this is what I have been doing. You need to cut away the grown-through stalks (a terrible waste because they're the ones that would be easy and productive to lay) and lever out every staple and length of embedded wire.

I could have salvaged some of the stalks by cutting them out of the wire, but unfortunately the wire netting was in such good shape that my tightfistedness took over and I was determined to get it out intact. Which I did and in the process finally discovered how to use the staple remover on the fencing pliers. Instead of ineffectual whacking with the pliers in the hope of getting the hook under the staple, you position it carefully, and then smack the striking face of the pliers with a 3lb hammer. The hook leaps under the wire and you can lever the whole thing out.

Anyway, I've done a good old length, and while my arms are scratched up to buggery, I've salvaged some posts to weave into the lay, I'll be able to buy some chestnut pales to do the rest, and I can start laying next weekend. And I have the wire I'll need to keep the neigbour's horses from browsing on the new growth. (Why do horses prefer thorn bushes to lush grass? FIIK.)

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