This shocking photo shows the awful state of the box hedging in our kitchen garden. We only put it in ten years ago and very handsome it looked too, but now it has succumbed to box blight and we are in the middle of the heart breaking and back breaking job of digging it all out. Of the several hundred plants only about three dozen are unaffected, and these we have potted up in the hope we can save them. Box blight is said to be incurable, but I was given a ray of hope today in a chance conversation with Margaret Robinson of The Mammoth Onion. She said that she had been faced with a similar problem with some box hedging which had been planted by her grandfather many years before- she took the very radical step of cutting the plants off at the base and the plants grew back healthily after a couple of years. She had been given the idea after seeing a lavender grower on Jersey cutting his plants to the base and when she queried whether he was being too brutal was told that that was the best way to encourage fresh growth. This advice has come too late for most of our hedging, but we are going to try it out on the rest.