Your lavender hedge has been a dream of beauty through the summer, but now, its charm is beginning to fade. The answer to this problem is to give it a haircut. The intention is to deadhead the flowers, working carefully along, removing each faded flower back to the base of its stalk. Secateurs are the tool for this job, as shears will do a pudding-basin job. This isn’t the work of a moment and, after a while, your joints will set into apparently permanent numbness, but your reward will be the customary admiring remarks.

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