Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

March 12, 2013

Epic of the Hedgefence

Canberra just had a three-day weekend. Instead of celebrating our fair national capital’s graduation from nappies to undies (which is about where I would put the first centenary in the life-cycle of a city), the family hit the front yard for some landscaping. Although come to think of it, I guess contributing to the beautification of the city is more than I’ve put back into Canberra’s cultural character in a while. So let’s call it three days of intense, exhausting participation in the social fabric where I swung a pick, dug a lot of stuff and barely spoke to anyone.

We’ve already done several weekends worth of prep work but there was still a lot to get through, digging about eight meters of trenches, flattening out some grassy mounds, planting and digging in two dozen pot plants, burying a soaker hose for irrigation and mulching it in. On Saturday night I was so sore around the shoulders and chest that I couldn’t breathe deeply. Still awake at two in the morning with spasms radiating from the centre of my chest outwards, I confess to harbouring the slight suspicion that I might have overdone it and given myself some sort of heart condition. (Why it is that my brain will always go straight to health crises and existential doom scenarios when it is overtired and sick of pain but it never thinks to pop some bloody paracetamol is a question for the ages…)

But it was worth it, right? We now have a hedge of Viburnum something-or-other forming an aesthetically pleasing barrier between us and the passing world. Which, you know, seeing as we are largely housebound introverts, it will suit us fine. At least, it will in about three to five years, when the hedge has grown sufficiently to form a proper screen and has achieved sufficient density to prevent, say, a ball from bouncing into the street.

It currently looks like a sparse square of shrubs surrounding a mildly uneven mound of bare dirt which might one day become lawn. It’s a vast improvement over the random jumble of rocks, lattice walls overgrown with savage roses, thick masses of ivy, ground flowers and unmowable grass clumps and inexplicable pottery shard that were there before the scourge of the bobcat.

There’s more to do: another row of planting along the front wall; cleaning up and levelling the parts that will eventually be grassed; groundcover and secondary planting in various patches. And then after all that, we’ll be going through the whole thing again with the (much larger) back yard. There’s trees to be removed, terraced steps to install, garden beds to raise, sheds to demolish… Ugh. I have a suspicion that it may, in fact, never end.

This gardening lark is starting to look like a bit of a trap.

Send help. BYO sturdy gloves.


  1. My garden has reached the halfway stage to its conversion to Krynoid. I’m always planning to fix it up when the current book is done, but I keep starting new books.

    Comment by Andrea — March 17, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

  2. I have the opposite problem – I keep planning to finish my novel as soon as all the fixing-up is done 🙂

    Comment by Lexifab — March 18, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

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