The panax hedge

10 06 2010

I must tell you. I must document it here. The panax hedge I mentioned in my last post. Not that I will ever forget it.

If you live on Oahu and you need your hedge trimmed, chances are it is either of mock orange or panax. Previous owners Linda and Gary planted ours. Once, when the studio had a budget for landscape maintenance and I mentioned a hedge, the tree trimmer really did ask over the phone, mock orange or panax?

Company’s coming in fewer than a couple of weeks. That’s incentive to take care of  some things long overdue. Sort of like expecting a visit from one’s mother. The punch list included trimming the mature hedge on two sides of the lot. To be considerate of our two neighbors’ and our own health, it was time.

Memorial Day weekend seemed a good block of time for this chore. I got out the ladder and the loppers and started the job. DH wanted to know exactly how high the cut hedge would be. So I trimmed a sample. Then it worked out that whoever was atop the ladder (the two of us took turns) could sight a line and cut away.

We like the hedge because it is so “island.” We prefer it to a fence or a wall. It grows—boy, does it grow. All one has to do is stick a cutting into the ground. It offers wonderful privacy and, if you let it grow as big as ours, condos for birds. When it’s hot and humid, you can give it a squirt with the garden hose, and the evaporation from the thick mass of green leaves cools the air.

What happens when the panax gets too tall? In high winds, the whipping branches/logs could be damaging. They block the flow of the trade winds, sunlight for the rest of the garden, and in our case, the views of the mountains, ocean, and sky. Yep, pretty tall.

Trimming back the panax remedied all of that. Plus, Alice Brown gets to sunbathe on the deck longer. That dog: she just knows how to recharge.

We’re happy to finish the project! It was hard work, not without incident. I am recovering from a mean bump on the head from one of the logs. Gave me a goose egg, I think they call it, and a black eye, my first. No pictures, please.

My neighbor Kim was very kind and told me about arnica and Dermablend, about which my naturopath and equestrian friends concurred would help. Just in case, I went to the ER for a CT scan, and the docs say my brain’s good. Reiki helps too.

After loading, hauling, and unloading a few truckloads of green waste to the dump today, we are promising to keep the hedge maintained. Oh, yes, we made that promise before to no avail, but I’m sure we will be more conscientious in the future.

Copyright 2010 Rebekah Luke
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