Keeping this thing clipped is a pain in the back and arms. My dad gave us Electric Clippers and I do use them. But I prefer to use the old fashioned choppers as they do a cleaner job with less stress on the leaves, thus less browning. I don't really mind the spring clipping as it is not humid yet and I usually do it at my leisure. But the first clipping of this year was painful on me as I had been doing other back breaking projects beforehand.
We really do enjoy the look of the hedge but it is so much trouble keeping it clipped. I usually clip it about 4 or 5 times per year depending on how much rain we have. Spring and Fall are not that bad but in the middle of the summer, it darn near kills me! With the last few clippings, I have done one side one day then the other the next day to ease the pain a bit.
I think the hedge sort of frames in the house and keeps the retaining wall from being exposed. I try to keep the hedge one brick below the wall. I sometime wonder just how high it would get if I stop clipping it...?.. I also wonder about cutting it back to just about a foot high but I don't think I could deal with the bare look for two years before it took off again. But I would not have to clip it for a long time! Ah... The Saint and I have talked about taking it out and starting over with something else but we fear we may destroy the paved driveway and that would be an issue. So in the end, we only talk. The Hedge stays where it is and I moan and groan and keep on top of the Hedge Clipping....