I’ve been itching to think up a new hedge project for ages, and now we have one. Emboldened by Mike the new gardener we are taking a bite out of what is currently pasture and filling it with an extension to our cut flower bed and vegetable garden. We are also putting what should be a fabulous wildlife pond, which will be the centrepiece for our “making ponds” one day course in April. Although that has to wait, of course it’s absolutely the right time to be putting a hedge in. Its longest side is Southwest facing, so perfect for butterflies in particular. The mix I’m getting is heavy on Alder Buckthorn for Brimstones, and Blackthorn to try to help the increasingly rare Brown Hairstreak. Although the soil here is neutral rather than acid, there is a section damp enough for the Buckthorn, so I hope it will do. We are a little light on Blackthorn in our current hedges, and I do like it (not just for the sloe gin); it can be a painful plant to work with, but it lays well and its spiky suckering habit makes for a great hedge and a fantastic habitat for all sorts. Buckthorn and Blackthorn apart, the mix also includes Quickthorn, Hazel, Field Maple, and Dog Rose. I can’t wait for the plants to arrive.