“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

The things men say
Monday, December 29, 2008

I was in the front yard the other day with my wife when I looked at our hedge of arbicola bushes and said, "It's time to trim those things. I think their work is done."

The plants line the sidewalk in front of the house, a good eight feet tall now. I planted them because, when we first moved into this house at the end of the block on the water, the neighborhood seemed to think that this yard was their private park, and we had people poking around our house like chattering squirrels at all hours of the day and night. I've since heard that the previous owner of this house was very laid-back about this ... but not me. I believe in respecting ones property and staying away, especially if the people in the house refuse to put up window treatments and like to walk around in their underwear. (Hey, we're ON THE WATER, and we want to SEE THE WATER, okay?!?!)

So not only did I plant the hedge, but I also planted some bougainvillea bushes at the end of the sidewalk, nearer the water, and let them grow wild. Now, those of you who don't know much about bougainvillea, let me say this: Though those fuchsia blooms are pretty, it is a NASTY, THORNY plant that, I'm certain, was the model for the thistles that grew over Sleeping Beauty's castle. It says one thing: Look but don't touch! Seriously, these thorns can penetrate car tires.

Anyway, my wife questioned me cutting down the hedge.

"I think it would look better shorter," I replied. "And besides ... we don't need it anymore. People stay away now. We have established dominance at the end of the block."

She smiled and repeated the last line. Yeah, I must admit ... it's funny.

But true.

Some species pee to mark their territory. Others plant high, thorny hedges.


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