Thursday, October 8, 2009

the mixed hedgerow

The hedgerow that separates our property from the beach was, to my knowledge, always there. All the hedge shrubs are indigenous to the area. It consists of snowberry (Symphocarpus Albus), ocean spray (Holodiscus discolor), Nootka rose ( Rosa Nutkana), Bigleaf maple (Acer Macrophyllum ), red alder (Alnus Rubra) and common hawthorn (Crateagus Douglasii). We only remove the new growth to avoid disturbing the nests in the hedge structure. When this hedge is pruned annually or twice annually at four feet on the property side and twelve feet on the beach side it still has a look that belongs, rather than cultivated. The diversity of plants , however, does provide a certain amount of chaos and informality that a diverse population of people also display. Varying growth rates both in time and season, varying production of flowers and fruits, early and late, deciduous dropping at different times gives a kaleidoscopic aspect to the hedge. The presence of a diverse indigenous mix provided by Mother Nature rather than the pianist and I, gives a greater sense of durability than we could achieve. I have resisted the temptation to monkey with it. "Don't just do something, stand there!" It, I think, represents the strength of a country like ours and a province like British Columbia, where strength,durability and color is present in its diversity. It just takes a little more work to manage than monoculture.

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