Every day, I encounter a new challenge to the idea that things can and should be open and real.

Be it social, political, or personal, serious or trivial -- every time, I ponder the implications.

I hope you'll join me in the conversation!

Friday, May 8, 2009

"We Demand a Shrubbery!"

“…….One that looks nice and is not too expensive.” If you don’t know this reference, I probably can’t do much to help! Monty Python’s Holy Grail features these enormous knights who confront King Arthur on his quest and demand a sacrifice of “shrubbery.” Makes total sense, right?

As funny as it was to me the first time I heard this sketch a million years ago, it somehow has just gotten funnier as I’ve gotten more involved with gardening over time. Ah, the shrubbery…..azaleas, boxwoods, junipers and the like; pretty much any round mound you can pick up for $9 at Lowe’s Home Improvement Center. There are some major crimes against landscaping happening in my neck of the woods, and misuse and abuse of shrubs is the number one offense.

It got out that you are supposed to plant “foundation shrubs” around your house. Occasionally this morphs into foundation trees, though I’m not sure why. Rarely is it taken into account what size these plants will become over time. It appears they are expected to stay the size they were when they were put in the ground. Too close to the house, too close to each other, lined up like soldiers with no variety behind another line of identical plants. Ack!

The whole look screams, “Whoever did this had no idea what they were really doing!” and the continued presence of these overgrown monotonous linear eyesores whispers, “And whoever lives here now has no idea what to do with it!”

Life can be this way. We do things out of ignorance, thinking we are doing something good, or at least expected. One day, the results just are……well……overgrown and out of place and kind of not what we were going for.

The beauty of the lessons of the garden for me is that, yes, it can be a ton of work to go back and undo some bad decisions. But it can be done. And better yet, undoing the wrong with a new plan in hand based on the lessons of the old effort can be incredibly satisfying.

For both you and your neighbors.

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