You planted what?

Neighbors make good fences and fences make good neighbors, the old adage goes. So what does that make for neighbors who destroy a hedge?

I have the most wonderful neighbors, they are quiet and respectful, their three children are adorable and when we bake, samples get passed over the hedge.

Or they used to until one day they decided to pull six feet of the hedge separating our terraces down. “Do you mind?” They asked, with hacksaw in hand. “No…no” I replied weakly.

If we had sprawling estates, that would be one thing.. but we shared a common wall and if we stand on our terraces, we can shake hands. Or wave, or have no privacy.

Once I had a gentleman caller over and we were sitting in the garden. The wife sent her 8 year old son out with some cakes. We thanked him and as my guest bit into the first cake, a little voice over his shoulder asked if he liked it. His mother waved him into the house but the feeling that we were not alone soured the taste of those cakes.

They did put up a retractable screen but since it can get quite windy in Toulouse, it is not permentally up. I used to like going outside in my bathrobe and enjoy my first cup of coffee in my garden…now I drink it standing up looking out my French doors.

I decided I needed something that could grow up the now exposed chain link fence…and fast. I went to the garden store, made an impulse purchase, and voilĂ .

The next day at work I stopped by to see two of my favorite people, who just happen to share an office and are both British. Now, If I go to my French girlfriends for fashion advice, the Britanic duo are my gardening experts.

I explained to them my brilliant solution to my problem. C. Sipping her tea asked what I planted. She almost spit it out when I replied, “ivy.”

They both said incredulously, “you planted IVY?” I weakly answer that I want to grow something fast. Calming down and assessing the situation, they asked what kind did I plant. I started to reply that I bought… They looked at each other and started laughing…”she bought!” “What, what? Com’on, what?

They went on to explain that ivy is considered to be a pest and that most people try to get rid of it, much less pay money for it.

“Next she will say she watered it…” “…or fertilized it!”

It? Not it. 5 plants worth. This set them off rolling in their chairs…

When I went home that night I checked on my gremlins. Right now they are little and cute. And I did water them. And fertilizing might not be such a bad idea…

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