Privacy, Privets and Pruning Priorities

I like my privacy.  You’ll know I’m not exactly shy and I’m perfectly happy to be the life and soul of a party as long as there’s something cold and bubbly in my hand,  but sometimes, like the 20s film star Greta Garbo, “I vant to be alone” except without the dodgy Swedish accent…mine I mean, not hers, hers was authentic.

Sometimes all a girl wants is to sit and sunbathe in something skimpy doing her toenails and she doesn’t need the neighbours gawping at her and the neighbour’s wives getting all upset and making threatening gestures through the bathroom window.

In short, getting total privacy in town is not always easy but I have found a combination of hedges and pear trees in the back garden really helps.

As the years pass by the privacy they provide improves as they grow. I think that’s nature at her blooming best, but it has led to a problem for me. I may not be quite as obsessed by detail as my pal Drew, but I do like to keep a tidy ship, especially if the ship is my garden, and I like to keep the trees trim, tidy and pruned…rather like me…so they will produce a ton of fruit in the summer…not at all like me. Added to which, I do like my hedges and shrubs to have neat clean lines and a bit of an edge – like an Alpha Romeo with twigs.

The thing is that means a load of work to keep them tidy and I have two problems…

Firstly,  a lot of the work seems to involve ladders. I don’t do ladders and would much rather stay closely rooted to terra firma gazing at someone else up one and occasionally saying ‘oh well done’ or ‘do be careful’.

Secondly with the best will in the world, my pruning skills are a bit wibbly-wobbly, and I once decimated a small apple tree by trying to even it up so haphazardly that by the end it had stopped looking like a tree and started to resemble a broom handle. Added to this, my friend Toby who used to pop round and spend a happy hour tinkering with the two-stroke and liberally spreading privet cuttings on the ground in return for a couple of nice bottles of something, recently had the audacity to move to the country – so who can I get to keep things tidy now?

Ryobi Pruning Power
Ryobi Tree Pruning Power

Luckily, my friend Drew pointed me at a great little tool that I hadn’t really thought of. It’s a dinky little chainsaw on the end of a long pole. and it’s called a…er…dinky little chainsaw on the end of a long pole. No, of course, it’s a tree pruner.  I have to say it is pretty easy to use and incredibly useful. You can see a whole range if you click the link.

My pruning skills are not much improved and I have to think as about it but, at the very least, I can reach the parts of the trees other power tools can’t reach, and the high stuff is taken care of without me teetering desperately on an aluminium death trap; so the combination of that, a bit of care  and my trusty battery powered hedge trimmer for my lower but equally important bushes, will have to do…  at least until I find another Toby.  See ya.


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