I’m not sure about the age of the ornamental bushes that line the west side of our house. I suppose I could cut one or two of them off at the base, get out a magnifying glass and count growth rings. Seems a bit extreme for finding the answer to what amounts to nothing more than curiosity. Kind of like drawing out a pint of blood for a DNA test. For a Chihuahua.
Whatever their age, it has allowed them to grow sufficient foliage that the whole line looked like a single rectangle of green. It basically stretched from one corner to the other. If long green rectangles are key to your sense of aesthetic balance in landscaping, then I guess this one was right on track.
Our big green rectangle had grown up well past the lower level of the windows. Last year, I trimmed them down about a foot or so. Thus, from the street view, the windows were visible. However the top of the bushes was still higher than the brick wainscoting that wraps around the house at about four feet above ground level.
While searching for some means of entertaining myself on Saturday afternoon, I decided to trim those boogers down a bit more. What I discovered, in process, was that if I cut the bushes down to where their tops are below brick level, there is hardly any foliage left. What to do, what to do?
Well, folks, I can tell you two things: 1) Randa was not home at the time, and 2) the brick on the west side of our house has a level of visibility it has probably not had in at least twenty years.
I am now the proud Zen master of an outdoor bonsai project, Randa’s aesthetic sense has taken a big hit, and I keep reassuring her—with some degree of optimistic conviction—that the bushes will still be able to grow leaves.
Some things in our lives get to the point where a subtle trim isn’t going to be sufficient to restore the proportion and attractiveness that we need. Until we return the basic structure to a proper sense of balance, we can never achieve genuine beauty. With some things, like hobbies, civic opportunities and such, it’s simply a matter of scaling back a bit. But if things are really out of whack, it takes something a bit more drastic.