Horticultural aide memoire No. 48: Renovate a hedge
Venerable hedges, such as yew or beech, that have grown too wide, perhaps covering a path, can be renovated in two stages. Do one side this year and the other side in a year or two. With hand tools, carefully, neatly and thoroughly cut away all the growth back to the desired point. The result looks unnervingly drastic, but be of good cheer. Remove the discarded growth. Spike the exposed soil with a fork, ruffle the surface with a hoe and apply a mulch of well-rotted organic matter. The recovery will be steady and take time, but it will come.