I am sitting under our children’s gazebo, enjoying a beautiful morning. I think it’s the fifth and probably last week of our stay here. It’s been lovely. Work – a lot of it – looms in the near future. So does summer’s intense heat and humidity. I’d might as well relax while I can.
So here I am, gazing out at their swimming pool, peaceful and shaded from the morning sun, and at their perfect ligustrum hedge. It’s about four years old, lush, and flowering.
Ours, on the other hand, is about twenty years old, sparse, and it never flowers. I feel guilty.
Ever since we moved into our current home, I’ve rather resented the fact that I have a non-native hedge along the fence. Granted, ligustrum isn’t known to be an aggressive or invasive plant and it is quite the trooper. But it commandeers the water, which stresses my newer plantings, and it does nothing for the local bugs and ecosystem.
Or does it? At the moment, our children’s backyard is still and quiet. But on a sunny afternoon, butterflies flit from one flowering shrub to the next. Not a few butterflies, but a lot. Bees also visit. Squirrels scamper across the hedge, beneath the trees that comprise the greenspace behind their house. Our children’s standard green hedge gets plenty of action.
In contrast, our hedge has gaps, and I’ve never seen flowers. And what have I done about it? Nothing. I’ve only just realized that in almost seven years of living there, I’ve not fertilized that hedge once.
Shame on me. I might not be a fan, but the hedge is still a living thing. It’s still our hedge. It didn’t ask to be planted. It deserves a little love and care.
Our garden(s) will need all sorts of attention once we’ve settled back into our house. I have a list. The hedge wasn’t even on it, but it is now and near the top.
In the meantime, our daughter-in-heart has one rose bush. She mentioned liking our specimen Belinda’s Dream a couple of years ago, so of course I hunted one down as fast as I could. I don’t think Julia has time to give it a moment’s care, but it blooms away for her. That makes me smile. A rose blooming for a rose.
Keep me away from the wisdom that does not cry, the philosophy that does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. – Gibran Khalil Gibran