Thursday, 5 August 2010

Hedge funds

We’ve got plenty. Not of the monetary kind, unfortunately, but if shrubberies were legal tender, we’d be rich.

Where hedges are concerned, we are in over our heads, literally. (And that is saying something in Hubby’s case). Whoever said that boxwood grows slowly, had obviously not seen ours. The green monster in front of the veranda reached epic proportions while we were away for a few weeks. Worse still were the juniper bushes that were growing inside it, along with a few other unidentified leafy green things.

SHAPELESS. In the spring (before we painted the house) we could see the hedge was becoming way to big and completely impossible to shape nicely. As the summer progressed it threatened to take over all space. 

Although Hubby pruned it regularly with the hedge clippers, it was getting out of control and it became increasingly difficult to reach the tops.
To make matters worse, the shrubberies seem to be a favoured spot for bees. Frequently it looks like a large green buzzing mass from all the bees swarming in there. And they are not to be trifled with, as Hubby found out the hard way, a few weeks ago.

He was out attacking the boxwood again, when I suddenly heard cursing and swearing that would not be out of place in a dockside bar frequented by brawling seamen. As you can gather, Hubby is not a man to suffer in silence (what man is?) and from the level of shouting I thought he must have cut off a finger or something. But then he very quickly started to lisp and came charging into the kitchen with a hugely swollen lip. I leapt into action, and dabbed the stung lip with vinegar while desperately trying not to giggle as he spluttered “’amn it, it ‘uhts like ‘ell!” Poor, poor man!

Well, for the last week or so, the bees seem to have abandoned their favourite spot, so we figured it was safe to have another go. Obviously we knew that attacking it with secateurs would be useless, but armed with tree shears, a small saw and the hedge trimmer, we thought we’d get to the bottom of things. Alas no, as we worked our way in, it became apparent that we needed a chainsaw. The trunks and branches were thicker than a grown man’s thigh. Hell, some of them were even bigger than my thighs (All the people who’ve seen me now gasp: “Never!”)

After hours of backbreaking work we finally got the worst of it. The problem now is that the garden is strewn with enormous piles of green waste. The wheelbarrow seemed small and futile. To me it looked like we would need a tractor to clear it all away. But Hubby assured me that a wood chipper would do the trick. So off he went to the hardware store and returned with the top model from Bosch, same brand as the hedge clipper. I have to admit that I grumbled something about why it was necessary to always buy the most expensive, and he produced a copy of his DIY magazine electing this model “best in test”. So there! (Same magazine also proclaimed the clippers to be best, I think, and truth to be told, they are pretty good.)

Be that as it may, I now feel that I should get absolutely no trouble next time I want to buy something expensive. Whatever it may be, I’m sure I’ll be able to dig up a test somewhere. (“Yes darling, L’Occitane soap is expensive yes, but it’s the best and as you’ve told me – quality costs.”) Hm, come to think of it, this hasn’t turned out all bad after all.
Only thing is, of course, we should have had some real hedge funds to afford it all.

ASSUMED LOST. The nice pot from Spain suddenly appeared under all the green. 
Well, speaking of L’Occitane, there is still a chance to join in our summer lottery where you can win travel-sized soaps and creams. Good luck to all the contestants!

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