Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pleached Perfect

I've been promised a row of pleached Bay trees by Son # 5. Once MOTH's finished doing his thing with the retaining wall & new path down on the small meadow, I'll have just the spot for them.

Pleached trees are really just hedges on stilts. While most often ornamental, Jack deLashmet has used them to great effect to fill a space between 2 buildings in this exquisite courtyard.

And Peter Fudge has incorporated them in a really formal hedged garden in country Victoria.

The lovely Leigh from Brabourne Farm has a line of them in her wonderous garden in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. When establishing your row, clear the trees of all the low branches for about 1.6-1.8 metres up the main trunk. You then need to be very diligent in pruning the canopy to form a continous elevated edge. Regular clipping to maintain its shape is mandatory, & once they are mature you'll probably need to scoot up a ladder to do the top. But I reckon it's truly worth the effort.



  1. How beautiful. I'd never seen them before, and they are so much more elegant than boring grounded hedges.

  2. Oh I just love pleached trees. I just cant imagine living anywhere long enough to have my own. What trees do you suggest? Fiona

  3. I too have never seen before Millie. Scooting would be well worth the effort. My husband was up high on the extension ladder trimming our palm trees on Sunday. I was sitting on the ground saying my prayers!

    Lovely ♥

  4. They can really change a scale of a garden in quite a magical way. My only issue with them is how to get to the top for trimming without danger to life and limb! I would love to experiment with planting some unusual species ~ such as the purple leaved Agonis ~ to see how they would go.

  5. I adore this look, thanks for the images Millie! And I hope you still have The Hedge going when your pleached bay trees finally get planted!
    Romana :)

  6. A bay of hedges on stilts?

    A stilt of bays on hedges?

    A hedge of bays on stilts?

    Oh, pardon me I must be giddy with excitement over this new endeavour!

    Can't wait to see the progress reports,

    Felicity x

  7. i think the look is smashing.
    i want them as well.

  8. They're gonna be lovely! What an industrious and remarkable son.

  9. Beautiful images - love that courtyard in the first photos. I'm not sure what trees we would have to compare. I use Bradford Pear trees to get a simialr look. The trimming is never-ending, but the result makes it worth the effort.

  10. I love those kind of tree, never knew what they were called. like in a fairy tale...


  11. What a lovely surprise Millie! Thank you so much for including me with such wonderful company - I'm truly flattered. Pleached hedges are indeed a beautiful thing - worth every ounce of the work to keep them looking fabulous. Fingers crossed yours aren't too far away. Leigh

  12. Millie The Pleached Trees will be so beautiful, please show images when ready!!

    Art by Karena

  13. I love pleached hedges. They always look impressive.

    Jamie Durie has quite a few good examples in his books as does Paul Bangay and young gun landscape designer Jack Merlo of Melbourne seems to like them too (Jack began his business at age 16!)

    Sandy K

  14. Oh I would love these! They are in my Bangay books. Even my husband is a fan. I wonder if they would grow in the YP? Letitia x

  15. What a great idea!!! I have an area at the back of our property where this would work wonders!

    How are you dear Millie? Hope the new year is treating you and MOTH well!

    Smiles and hugs

  16. Oh yes, I can see why you love them. Such a nice effect pruned that way!

    What a lovely promise! What a lovely son! :)

  17. You taught me something new. Looks like a cherry picker would be needed to keep the tops and sides trimmed. I love this look too. Heidi

  18. I agree, they are most certainly worth the effort! We inherited a full fence line of James Stirlings and they are great for screening but not what I would have chosen for that particular spot. I think I would go with your lovely pleached Bay trees. Rachaelxx


And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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