Thursday, June 23, 2011

Seasonal greenery work loses patina

Bush-trimming brings out my inner sculptor.

Alexander Calder may have great pieces on the plaza in downtown Chicago and elsewhere around the planet, but my annual outdoor household greenery rite generates personal satisfaction and neighborhood panache.

There's nothing more powerful than pulling out an 18-inch electric trimmer to give an unwieldy burning bush or sprawling arborvitae an overdue summertime haircut. But, after the initial whacks, a sense of serenity evolves as hard cutting gives way to smooth brushing and precise trimming. Squares, orbs and flat-tops never looked so good on a late June afternoon...particularly since they're not on a human head.

Sure, the worst part of the job is the clean-up -- scraps of twigs, leaves, and needles so small that they make removing drops of thermometer mercury seem like a walk. I hate it.

Result: My inner landscaper will never overtake my inner sculptor.