Gardening: Carol Klein shares how to thicken up hedges using ‘ancient’ technique

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Carol Klein returns this week for the fourth episode of the second season of her series, Gardening with Carol Klein. The gardening pro, who lives in North Devon, shoots the programme from her own garden at Glebe Cottage. She also often appears on BBC Gardeners’ World alongside Monty Don.

Last week, Carol shared an “ancient technique” for thickening up hedges.

Hedges are a great way to section off your garden without using fencing.

They also attract a plethora of wildlife and can look more attractive than fences.

Carol said: “I’m going to show you an ancient technique for thickening up your hedges called ‘laying’.

“You take verticals [branches] like this and actually bend it down so it becomes a horizontal.

“Now, it will be cut right into here. That will stimulate all these little shoots and all the buds along that stem to start growing upwards.

“That means that you end up with a really, really thick hedge, and that’s what you’re after.

“So this is a demonstration of what happens.”

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Carol used “really sharp secateurs” to partially cut the branch so the sap flows through horizontally rather than upwards.

She then tied that branch into another one using string.

“It’s just to keep it in place,” she added.

“When you see a hedge that’s been laid, or you watch somebody doing it, it looks brutal, but it’s not at all.

“It’s all for the good of the hedge and all the creatures that are going to use it.”

Carol then shared a “quick recap” on how to lay a hedge.

Firstly, you need to bend down the branch until it’s horizontal.

Then, you need to partially cut into it with a sharp blade.

Next, tie it into a neighbouring branch with string.

The branch should then grow horizontally and create a thicker hedge.

Gardening with Carol Klein airs tonight at 7pm on Channel 5

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