Friday, June 20, 2008

The Gardener

My friend Ken is quite the gardener. He must be feeding his entire neighborhood with what he grows: nectarines, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, lemons, squash, beans, tomatoes, eggplant, basil, oregano, more basil...

But the hedge. I've never seen a hedge like it on private property. And Ken trims it himself, about three times a year. He's created an efficient contraption with painters' ladders, chains, boards and a frame. His trimming shears are sharp. He's fast.

The hedge plant, in case you're wondering, is Eugenia. It can grow as high as 20 feet. Ken's about 6 feet tall. Yesterday we figured the hedge is more than twice as tall as Ken, maybe 14 feet (14 and a half when it's not trimmed). Los Angeles County has laws about fence height at street-side, but as long as your neighbors like it, (and his do), hedges between neighbors can be high.

I'd talk to my neighbors about sharing a Eugenia hedge, but right now I'm having trouble keeping my grass alive so I'm taking things a step at a time.


Pascal Jim said...

Amazing..Hope this gardener has suitable accident insurance! As founder of "The Hedge Society" we offer the "Golden Shears", a highly coveted award for superior garden techniques.
As an aside, we gardeners must beautify the drab, dreary entrance to Pasadena at th 134 Freeway Exit to Orange Grove & Colorado Blvd.

W.W. Wickwire

Pont Girl said...

Please save Ken!! He is precariously perched!! It is truly awesome to be able to have your own functioning vegetable garden, though. Then you don't have to worry about all these diseases! Vive la tomate!

Lydia said...

Well now. I am impressed. That is definitely the tallest hedge I've ever seen (or imagined!).
You changed your picture: is the drawing interim until a new photo appears?

USelaine said...

I thought there were laws about such tiny children being put to work! ;^) That's what you call hedge fun!

freefalling said...

Too cool for school!
Yay Ken.
When I first moved to Melbourne I lived in a posh suburb where the houses had the most magnificent hedges. At the time the neighbourhood was terrorized by a hedge-burning firebug. Some of those hedges were planted 100 years - it was so distressing to see the hearts burnt out of them.
The firebugs turned out to be boys from a very posh and expensive private school.
They should have been horse-whipped (although I don't condone whipping of actual horses).

Chuck Pefley said...

Hmm ... never seen scaffolding used to trim a hedge, but it sure makes sense in this instance! Glad it's not me doing that manicure!!

Christie said...

My parents have a 400 foot hedge like this around their backyard, but not that tall!! He does a wonderful job trimming. Is he interested in a trimming job in Northern Michigan?

We used to grow all sorts of veggies when I was growing up, but have gotten out of the habit. Now, I think my kids would actually enjoy it!

Petrea said...

Pascal Jim, I'm laughing. I don't think it's so terribly dreary there, but I guess it could be more colorful. However, the little park at the southwest corner is lovely.

Pont Girl, in Ken's garden I was so thunderstruck all I could articulate were such mumblings as "wow," and "gee," and "I love basil." It was, as you say, awesome.

I don't know, Lydia, I'm just so sick of that picture. I had to come up with something. I'm on the look-out for a new profile pic.

Har har, Elaine. Ken is hedging his best!

Right, freefalling, don't whip the horses (though I'm sure the posh boys never got whipped, either). Jail, however, might be a good idea.

Me either, Chuck. Yesterday was hot, too. But as healthy as that hedge is, Ken has it beat.

Hee, Christie, I think Ken's got enough to do with his own plot of land. But if he reads the comments here today he'll know there's an opening...

Dina said...

This is rather bizarre, no?
I've worked atop some pretty tall ladders but you wouldn't find me on that contraption.
Have you heard about "making a hedge around the Torah"?

Petrea said...

I hadn't heard of making a hedge around the Torah, Dina. At first I thought "bushes? isn't it kept in a special cabinet at the temple?" So I looked it up. More like protecting the people from themselves than the literal meaning I was thinking of. From the examples I read, I would guess it stems from the days when education was the realm of the clergy, and people had less access to information than we do now. (This is from my five minutes of accessing that information, as opposed to years of study...)

Dick said...

Oh my....that is some hedge.
Thanks for your visit and kind comment.