This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
All the hedges we have named above should be trimmed twice every year to produce the finest results, viz: in June and the middle of August; with the exception of the Osage Orange, which may be left till the middle of September. The last trimming is not only beneficial to their future growth, but it greatly improves their appearance, as they are not likely to push after that period; if not cut at this season they are loose, and have an unsightly appearance through the fall months. The trimmer before he uses his garden shears sets, with a crowbar, two poles, one at each end of the hedge, so that the tops are a little above the top of the plants; he then stretches a line from pole to pole as near the centre as possible, and settles it to a level. This gives the centre of the hedge, and is a good guide. The sides are then cut without other guide than the eye; the best form is that imitating the shape of a sharp gothic window. A hedge of this form ought never to be wider at the bottom than thirty-three inches to three feet; the pointed top will prevent snow from lodging. A pair of large hedge shears is usually employed by the trimmer, but a practiced hand will do it equally well and more rapidly with a hook made like a sickle, but with a sharp edge.
We employ it advantageously to trim the Juniper into a cone after it is tied up. By a little practice an apparently large job is soon finished.
Hedges are important both as useful and ornamental objects; in the latter department they are too much neglected, as well before as after planting. We shall be contented if we have stimulated a few of those who have seen them in perfection to go and do likewise-ly.
For garden hedges there are many plants that suggest themselves for use. The Honeysuckles, particularly the Chinese evergreen, may be thus trained to great elegance; the Evergreen Euonymus, or Strawberry tree, the Tree Box, the Althea frutex, Syringa and Lilac, the Snowball, and the Deutzia scabra, the Yucca, especially at the South, Savin, the Phillyreas, with various others, may be adopted on a small scale to great advantage. The Pyracantha, with its beautiful berries, should also not be forgotten, and the small golden Willow makes a neat little hedge, looking remarkably well even when the foliage is gone.
In some of the foregoing remarks we have been obliged to differ from previous writers, but as our object is solely to elicit the truth, we shall be glad to have the results of experience from well informed correspondents in the varied climates penetrated by our pages.