Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Hedge

As mentioned before our house is an old one, as is the community we live in. When our house was first built the road in front was the main coach line along this stretch of the St Lawrence River and was only wide enough for one vehicle. Most of the homes in the neighbourhood were built close to the road though a few were sensibly built nearer the middle of their respective properties.

A few years ago the township widened and paved the road, effectively taking up what little green space there was in front of most homes along the road. Our house sits less than 15 feet from the road's edge and the majority of available space is taken up with The Hedge.

The Hedge is made up of nine foot high cedar bushes. It runs along the entire front of our property with the exception of a small opening for the front walk and another for the driveway. It acts as a privacy screen, sound barrier, and choir loft for the myriad birds that serenade us every morning and evening from March to October.

There is nothing more peaceful than to sit on the patio chairs and watch the flocks of Sparrows, Titmouses, and Chickadees fly in mass between the hedge and the feeders. Occasionally, the American Goldfinches will join in adding a splash of yellow to the mass of green foliage. With the exception of the Rock Doves and Morning Doves, most feathered visitors to Sparrow Haven spend at least a portion of the day moving amongst the branches of The Hedge.

The Hedge provides a great background for our Fall Harvest display. Halloween is made all the more fun by the overpowering size of the hedge, allowing for the hiding of all things scary and creepy to frighten and delight the neighbourhood trick-or-treaters.

The Hedge shades the area between the porch and itself so well in the summer that grass will only grow in weak scraggy strands. Flowers will not grow at all. The low sun in the winter is blocked by the height and density of the hedge, preventing the use of solar to help heat the house. It's age has made the inner branches so thick that cutting it down to a more reasonable height would leave nothing but empty, haunting branches.

With all that in mind, the fate of The Hedge is still undecided.

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