Meeting Neighbors and Trimming Shrubs

by Bella Rum

H is trimming shrubs outside the office window in the front yard. I can hear the hedge trimmer buzzing away as I write this post. He started early because the front gets the southern exposure. It’s like toasting under a broiler until the sun sneaks around the side of the house later in the afternoon. He wanted to do it today because it’s supposed to be in the nineties tomorrow. I guess summer is upon us.

I met another neighbor yesterday. This neighborhood, unfortunately, is  not terribly conducive to meeting people. I decided to take it upon myself. I’ve become a little stalk-ish. There’s a house at the entrance of the neighborhood that has a beautiful yard. For months, I’ve been waiting to catch its occupant in the yard so I could stop, jump out of my car and tackle her to the ground.

Yesterday was my chance. I was on the way home from grocery shopping. She was sitting on her front porch. I parked and walked up her driveway and introduced myself. I told her that I’d been waiting to see her outside so I could tell her how pretty her yard was. Her name is Sandy and we talked for awhile. I think she’s a little younger than I am – not much. She recently fell and broke six ribs on her right side and three on the other (do you have that many) and punctured a lung. She is still recovering and has hired someone to take care of her yard until she recovers. She’s accustomed to doing all the yard work. Her doctor told her it would take a year to fully recover. Holy cow! She said she would come to visit us. I told her I hoped she would. We’ll see. On to my next victim. I will meet them… one by one. Bitesize pieces.

Two little girls rang our doorbell yesterday. They wanted to know if we’d found a Food Lion bag on our doorstep. Their grandmother had left a bag of groceries on someone’s steps, but she couldn’t remember which house. It sounds like she was confused, and they were going door to door trying to retrieve her groceries.

OMG! I just checked H’s job on the shrubs. He annihilated a Nellie Stevens. I do mean annihilated. They grow like crazy, but I was shocked at how much he trimmed it. 😮 He and I have a history of going round and round about that tree. I’m always telling him that he doesn’t trim it severely enough. Well, I guess he showed me. Nellie Stevens trees are monsters when it comes to regrowth. They’re nice looking, but I never can understand why builders plant them so close to houses. They’re a maintenance issue for homeowners. They grow two or three feet a year. You have to trim them frequently to keep them from getting out of control. I guess builders use them for instant curb appeal. He whacked about a third off the top and shaved the sides down so far you can seen the trunk. It’s good for it. I’ll take a pic in a few weeks and you’ll see the difference. Ha! It’s the one on the right… not that I needed to tell you.IMG_1441

H and I have more “discussions” about trimming shrubs and trees than anything else. A friend called once when H was limbing up a tree in our backyard in Maryland. She asked, “What are you doing?” I told her I was arguing with H about how much to limb up a tree. She said, “That’s what you argue about when you don’t have real things to argue about.” Ha. I guess she’s right. We’re pretty compatible.   We should be… after all this time.