Hedge Your Bets

I recently got into an argument with my mother about hedges, of all things. The crux of the matter comes down to ‘creative differences’ rather than facts, and I’m realising that I’m much more of a stickler for formality than my mother. She claims it’s my natal moon in Capricorn square her Mars in Libra, or some nonsense of that nature. If you ask me, it’s simply the result of being raised by a hippie. Adherence to formal convention has always been the only form of rebellion available to me. 

Anyway, here’s the story. I’m keen to plant a hedge to fence off my front garden from prying eyes. What I have in mind is tall, dense and neatly clipped into a smooth-faced, impenetrable wall of plant matter. Conversely, mum thinks I should keep it more open and approachable. She says I should ‘whack in’ some Mediterranean shrubs – ‘a rosemary plant or three’ – that double as culinary herbs, which would then be available for use by my ‘local community’. 

Honestly, I can’t imagine anything worse than local stragglers stopping by to snip off pieces of my hedge to use as pre-seasoned, biodegradable skewers for their tofu shish kebabs. Not to mention that most of the rosemary hedges I’ve seen are straggly as all get out. I understand that it’s possible to clip them into tidier shapes, but I’ll believe it when I see it. 

I don’t know; maybe I could stand to loosen up a bit, and take a bit of my mother’s laid back aesthetic on board. Something like Photinia Red Robin or Robusta might be a decent compromise – not that I’m under any obligation to compromise on this; it’s my house, after all. Mum can have her community herb garden on the nature strip at her place for all I care. I’ve always found the red shoots Photinia hedges a bit scrappy looking for my liking, although I’ll admit that, by most people’s standards, it’s very much on the formal side.