Wibbly wobbly hedges

Gardener clipping the wibbly wobbly hedges at Montacute House

By visiting National Trust properties you enable us to continue to conserve and look after our landscape.

Looking after what we've got

Hedge Management 

The hedges you see within the garden are English Yew, the gardening team will begin cutting them from September. This vital conservation task will take three months, because there is over a mile of hedging.

By cutting the hedges at this time we can be sure the plants have finished growing for the season, which leave them crisp and clean for the winter months.

We believe that the hedges are about 150 years old. Until 1947 they were a similar height and depth but straight, without all the lumps and bumps you see today. During the harsh winter of 1947, heavy snow remained for weeks, if not months, causing the flat tops of the hedges to collapse under the weight.

This often happens but the snow usually disappears quickly and the hedges bounce back to their original shape. However, by the spring of 1948 the snow had made such an impact that the hedges did not bounce back. Over time the collapsed hedges became lovingly known as ‘wibbly wobbly’.

The wibbly wobbly hedges take two people ten days to complete and we use electric hedgecutters, platform scaffolding and a cherry picker to reach the tops.

Cedar lawn and Montacute House
Cedar Lawn with Montacute House in the background

Lawn Care

During the Autumn months our wonderful gardeners will be using special equipment to improve the turf you see around the property. These machines relieve compaction by lifting the turf and getting the air in. This enables healthy grass to flourish so the Trust can continue to preserve the property for everyone, for ever.