Hedge Cutting: Why is it important to maintain a hedge?

Hedge Cutting: Why is it important to maintain a hedge?


Written by Megan Randell Project Manager Stephen Charles Landscapes, contributed to by Stephen Charles Director Stephen Charles Landscapes, links to the RHS website



Hedges are an important part of our garden. Not only do they need to remain in a good condition, but they need to be healthy, in good shape and can act as a shelter for wildlife.


With the right management problem hedges can benefit both your garden and your property. Hedges act as a boundary line, or sometimes give additional security to your property. This means that if it is going to be something that marks the outside of your property that is must look aesthetically pleasing, not just to you but to the outside world.


Hedges tend to be left to their own devices because people think that bushy hedges are best. However these are not necessarily the healthiest. Regular maintenance ensures you achieve the best out of your hedge, whilst ensuring it is healthy and fits into your garden needs. Lack of maintenance can create access problems, complaints from neighbours, block natural light out from your house and garden,


Top tips


Taper your hedge so that it is wider at the bottom than the top – this allows light to get into the lower part of the hedge which encourages a continuous healthy growth.


To get the most accurate level you might choose to use string. Choose two canes of equal size. Put them in the ground. Measure the same length up each cane. Tie your string on both canes tautly. This creates a level line between the two which you can use to cut level.


The species of your hedge determines cutting frequency, but generally May to September is a good time of year.


Once the hedge is established, regular maintenance will ensure it keeps healthy and neat.


Conifers, in particular, react badly if you cut into old wood.


Always check there are no animals or birds within the hedge before cutting the hedge. It is important not to cut too early in the year so as to avoid disturbing nesting birds.


When should you prune hedges?


This depends upon a number of factors, including the potential for birds nesting in the hedges and the type of hedge.


The RHS has this to say and sums it up far better than anything I can write:


“These are the optimum timings for pruning hedges:

Deciduous hedges

  • Formative pruning: In winter, just after planting, and for the first two years after planting

  • Maintenance pruning: Each summer (21st June – 23rd Sept)

Evergreen hedges

  • Formative pruning: In the spring after planting and for the first two years after planting

  • Maintenance pruning: Each summer”



So, if you want to start keeping your hedge in a healthy manner contact us today to see how we can help you. We offer advice as well as carrying out the work.






Written by Megan Randell Project Manager Stephen Charles Landscapes, contributed to by Stephen Charles Director Stephen Charles Landscapes, links to the RHS website





Recruiting: Experienced Landscape Maintenance Senior Gardener (3-5 years experience minimum)

Stephen Charles Landscapes is a small firm based in Richmond Upon Thames. We cover both private gardens and commercial estates.

We are now looking for a Landscape Maintenance Operative to join our team in Richmond upon Thames, Surrey, TW10.

Responsibilities include:

The senior Gardener in a 2 man team (1 other plus yourself) on Team 1 garden maintenance rounds; assisting in the upkeep and maintenance of all client grounds to our expected standard.

All aspects of garden maintenance including:

  • Mowing – lawn cutting and maintenance
  • Strimming
  • Weeding
  • Planting
  • Pruning
  • Watering
  • Seeding
  • Hedge cutting
  • Leaf blowing
  • Spraying
  • Edging
  • Commercial and Private estates
  • Maintenance of equipment/cleaning·
  • Ensuring you complete all tasks on our client system at each visit and all other tasks allocated to you on our other software·
  • Using our time keeping software to log in and out to record your hours, as well as our client software at each job.·
  • Taking daily pictures at each job, including other work that needs doing so we can discuss with clients·
  • Ensuring other employees are meeting our high standards and if not discussing with our management team·
  • Eye for detail and good communication a must.

Person Specification Essential

It is essential the candidate has previous maintenance experience

Full clean UK driving licence is essential – we prefer age 25 and over due to insurance reasons, candidates without a full drivers licence will not be considered for this role.

Team player and well-organised and able to take direction, as well as able to give instruction

Highly motivated individual

Keen attention to detail and take great care within the gardens

Confident communication skills, with the ability to interact with individuals from a range of backgrounds

Proactive and flexible approach to work

Keen to take responsibility and ownership for tasks

Be polite and courteous at all times and complete any reasonable tasks requested

Experience using essential garden maintenance machinery and tools e.g. pedestrian mowers, strimmers and leaf blowers as well as hand tools

Excellent interpersonal skills (client liaison experience)

Good/Excellent plant knowledge

A positive, can do attitude with excellent communication skills

Able to use own initiative where things either go quicker than expected or slower than expected

An advantage/Desirable

Relevant qualification in gardening or horticulture desired

NVQ in Horticulture 1 and 2 is an advantage or similar qualification

No other Qualifications required but it would be useful if you had competency certificates, PA1 and PA6, if not we will in the right circumstances send you on the relevant courses

CRB checks will be carried out if you have your own please send us a scanned copy

Hours of work 1st April to 30th September the hours of work are 745am to 545pm including one hour break split into a half hour lunch break and two smaller 15minute breaks 1st October to 31st March the hours of work are 745am to 345pm with a half hour lunch break and two smaller 5 minute breaks.

Throughout the summer months it is compulsory that you work one Saturday in four.

Holiday entitlement 28 days rising to 38 days upon 5 years’ service

Starting Salary – Circa Wages will be dependent on experience starting between £320 a week and £450 a week (between £22,880 and £26,350 a year) and rising as you progress through our assessments and training programme.

Wages reviewed after 3 months

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: £22,880.00 to £26,350.00 /year

To apply: email your cv to caroline@stephencharleslandscapes.co.uk or call 0844 736 5888 on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday.


Landscaper Wanted

As we continue our buisiness expansion into 2017 we now seek a Landscaper to work along side:

Stephen Charles Proprietor

Megan Randell-Charles Administration, legal and Management

Caroline Bevan Administration, social media and accounts

David Shoebridge Landscaping and Tree surgery

Andy Nugent Team Leader and garden Maintenance

Jake Thomas Garden Maintenance

Michael Bridge Landscaping and general operative

Click for full details

Full details

Read More

10% off the quotation plus a FREE Tongue & Groove Gate worth £396.93 fully errected with Ironmongary.

January is the time to re-fence your garden. We are taking bookings now for January 2017.

We can supply and erect all types of fencing either bespoke or manufactured. To see full details of our services click here.

If you book a quotation by 30th November 2016 at 20:00pm we will give you 10% off the quotation plus a FREE Tongue & Groove Gate worth £396.93 fully errected with Ironmongary.


Pressure treated framed ledged and braced clad in tongue & groove side entrance gate with Surface mounted tee hinges. Available in various finishes and sizes.

Includes two posts.

Includes ring latch to be used for handle.

To get this offer quote the place you first saw it along with fencing offer eg if you saw it on facebook quote “facebook fencing offer”

Contact us at info@stephencharleslandscapes.co.uk

Autumn Cleanup … from as little as £125 garden size dependent

We are proud to launch our newest service called Autumn Cleanup. Available September to December each year.
So what exactly is an Autumn Cleanup you may ask?
An autumn cleanup is a one off visit to ensure your garden is ready for the autumn. It is tailored uniquely to your garden needs.
There is a reduction in growth in the garden throughout the Autumn and Winter months. The entire focus of the garden changes. Weekly maintenance visits start to become less needed and of shorter duration (unless of course you want other things being done in your garden).
Autumn is the ideal time to give your garden a thorough tidy, before the cold weather sets in. In England your garden needs is tailored to by the weather around it. So for example a cold summer may mean that you need an autumn cleanup earlier than the traditional hot summer that is expected.
As well as clearing fallen leaves, there are lots of other simple tasks that will make a big difference to the look of your garden. It’s worth putting in a little extra time and effort, so your garden will look neat and well-tended through the winter months. Let us help you simplify that process.
When is Autumn this year?
Autumn is Thursday 22nd September 2016 to Tuesday 20th December 2016
What does the service include?
  1. Leaves can smother and kill the grass if left on your Lawn. 
    1. To remove  Leaves and other debris and dispose of Arisings .
    2. Sweep, Rake or Blow all Lawn areas
    3. Sweep, Rake or Blow all Planting Beds and Borders
    4. Sweep Rake or Blow All Hard standing, Driveway Terrace areas and Paths
    5. All leaves will be taken out of pots, raked off of beds,  raked off of the lawn and swept up and removed – using our blower equipment as a final check to get any lingering leaves after the initial rake.
    6. Piles of leaves allow slugs and snails to survive over the winter period so clearing them will help next season as they will not have eaten all of your nice plants and trees.
  2.  Pruning is a vital part of our autumn garden clean-up and maintenance.
    1. This includes pruning any dead, diseased or out-of-control branches from trees and shrubs.
    2. Pruning to remove broken, dead, and winter injured branches from shrubs small trees and climbers.
    3. It also involves cutting off dead branches, infested with insects or disease. This allows your trees and plants to flourish, and encourages new growth in the sprint season.
    4. If a tree branch is longer than 12 foot in the air this will fall under a separate service and will not be included in your autumn clean up.
  3. Cut back and pruning perennial growth to just a few inches above the ground or back to the crown.
    1. Throughout the winter, leave the stems above ground to protect the crown. The crown is the part of the plant at ground level where the stem meets the roots. Pick up any plant parts you cut back and any other plant debris that has died and fallen off.
    2. Remove any weeds and other garden debris as well, disposing of cuttings. 
    3. Leaving this organic matter in your garden could bring disease, insects and rodent infestation, as they are all attracted to decaying vegetation.  
  4. Perform light pruning of woody ornamental s to remove dead or dying branches.
  5. Fork over all Planting Beds and Borders
  6. Remove by hand any weeds that have germinated over the summer.
  7. Check Climbers and they are attached to their supports – prune out any dead climbers
  8. Fertilize existing Bulbs this will help their flowering and growth next season.
  9. Trim Lawn edges to Borders, Paths, Terraces Driveways and Hard standings
  10. Box Cut with Rotary Mower all Turf Grass areas
  11. Collection of Arisings from cleanup
  12. Disposal of Arisings

How much is it?


Our average garden will be from £125 depending on the size of your garden.


Are you the cheapest in Richmond?


No. We are not the cheapest garden service provider because we believe in quality as opposed to quickness. We will give you an accurate quotation.  Most company’s will give you an estimation. There is no obligation to instruct us.


Why you over someone else?


We are a team of hard working honest and ethical men, who believe in quality as opposed to quickness. We have been in business for 33 years. We work as a team, which allows us to check all work prior to leaving. If you are at home we will walk around the garden with you before we leave and ensure you are happy with our service, giving you the opportunity to raise anything before we leave.


How do you determine price?


We will come out to visit you prior to carrying out your autumn cleanup. We will walk around your garden with you discussing your garden needs. We will then give you a quotation, as opposed to an estimation, which will not change. This price will take into account the work that needs to be done, how long the visit will take, and other relevant factors. We always send two men to carry out the work.


How do we book?


Click on Book Now in order to book a free visit to discuss an autumn clean up.


Once you’ve accepted your quotation you will be sent an invoice for 25% the total cost quoted. Once this is paid a visit will be scheduled. You will receive an email. Autumn Clean ups are currently being done on tuesdays.


Book Now

Announcing: Stephen Charles: Weekly Gardening Question time

You ask … we answer … a weekly video blog, simply send your questions in and my daughter will ask them to me live on

camera and I will answer them … coming in September 2016

question time


We want to give you tips based upon what you want to know. There is so much useless information out there that really is not that helpful. So give us a clue, what do you want to know?

The last few days of the summer holidays are a time to enjoy your garden with impromptu entertaining and dining if the British weather allows! I’m simply amazed at this years August bank holiday – no rain!!! So enjoy enjoy enjoy while the weather allows!


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