Managing Our Privet at Bridge Gardens

July 19, 2023

By Kathleen Kennedy

Bridge Gardens

Many landscapes on the East End have privet hedges. Usually planted for privacy, they can also be useful as a border between garden areas in the landscape. Such is the case at Bridge Gardens. Our privet hedges were planted years before the Trust received the gift of Bridge Gardens from Jim Kilpatric and Harry Neyens in 2008. They were planted to delineate between the Inner and Outer Gardens and had intermittent “porthole” openings so one could peek through and view the garden from various perspectives.


Today the privet hedge continues to define the Inner and Outer Gardens, and the job of pruning and managing its growth falls to Shawn Gant, our Assistant to the Garden Director.

Shawn hand prunes the privet twice a year, a 2-week long process using electric hedge cutters, hand pruners, and wheel barrow to cart the cuttings to the compost pile. It is arduous work, but something Shawn takes pride in doing so that the privet continues to afford visitors with a frame from which to enjoy the landscape.

If you visit this week, you’ll see this job in progress, soon to be completed. Be sure to give a wave hello to Shawn!

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