Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

In a perfect world, I'd have a little place in the country, with views of the ocean in the front yard, and views of the mountains in the backyard. I wouldn't need much land, maybe just a half acre to an acre, so long as the view was unspoiled.

But I don't live in a perfect world, so I'm planting hedges.

Our lot is 100 feet by 265 feet, which means that if I surround the entire place in a hedge, I'd need 730 feet of hedges. Due to driveways, garages, sidewalks and pre-existing vegetation, I think we only need about 450 feet of hedge. Putting in this hedge is a multi-year project of the ten-year plan, and short of one small area, it's all intended to be yew.

Last night I was planting six more of the 150 or so yews along the front of the lot when the southern neighbor pulled up in their truck to chat. A little back story is necessary to appreciate the rest of the post. Ironically, I was planting the yews just a few feet from the scene of last spring's tree cutting crime, perpetrated by yours truly.

We exchanged pleasantries for a short amount of time (she is a very direct sort of woman), before she began telling me that she had found a great landscaping guy. She was looking to contract with him for several years to slowly replace the buckthorn in the "woods" between our place and theirs with native shrubs. In addition, she would maybe expand the woods making it larger. That's fantastic I said.

But then she said she was hoping that she, the landscaping guy and I could meet sometime so that we could come up with a plan for the woods, one that we could all be happy with. Then she asked if I was still set on putting up a yew hedge? (As I'm planting yews along the front).

Clearly what she wanted to hear was that I wanted a naturalized woods on my lot. Instead, I tried to assuage her fear of change by saying that a yew hedge with several large trees and understory trees on her side would blend in and be completely unnoticeable from her side in the summer.

The entire time this conversation was going on, what I wanted to tell her was that it was my damn land I'd damn well do what I liked. As a matter of fact, to avoid these sorts of arguments, I've placed the hedge three feet off of the property line, so that it remains my hedge.

I may need a higher hedge.


Kashka said...

She should have the Race Car People as back yard neighbors for a while. If you park a junked dirt track car along the property line for a while, I'm sure the yew hedge will seem much less offensive.

Mr. Kluges said...

I like it. A few more years and one of our two cars should officially be into "beater" status.

And maybe providing the mice a new home would keep them out of ours.

Pusher said...

Well, at least she's getting rid of the buckthorn. But yeah. If she wants a say in what her neighbors grow, she needs to move into one of those crappy, homogenous communities with associations and rules about "that sort of thing." Ugh.

I think your yew border is going to look perfect with the formal lines of your front yard.