Saturday, April 28, 2007
Hedge and 'symbol tree'
I wanted every last tree and shrub in the garden to be productive in some way, and I hoped for a hedge of fruit bushes, or olives. But the trouble is, if you want to have privacy from your hedge, you have to keep it trimmed to encourage growth, and trimming cuts off the parts that produce fruit. (Did you know that the shrub privet takes its name from French for 'private'? No, I didn't either, but I suppose I might have guessed.) Our first candidate for gardener, Senba-san, let us (me) run away with our ideas of what might be nice, saying yes, yes, let's do that. When we got a second opinion from another gardener, Chiba-san, he told us, no, you can't do that because, a,b, and c. We chose Chiba-san to advise us on our plants, and put them in, and he and his crew did a very good job.
The city very kindly pays half the cost of trees planted alongside a road, so we'll be taking advantage of this particular subsidy (there are lots of these kinds of subsidies available, but you need somebody to tell you about them.) We chose Quercus myrsinifolia, or 'shirakashi' in Japanese.
The greenery wouldn't be complete without what is known as a 'symbol tree' in front of the house. Quite what it symbolizes I'd be hard put to say, but there it is. It is a Benthamidia japonica, or 'yamaboushi' in Japanese. The other trees that we plan to plant around the side of the house to hide the laundry won't be symbolic of anything, apparently.
As a sop to me (and to keep out neighbourhood dogs), there's a Prunus tomentosa, or 'yusura-ume' planted under the letter box. It's some sort of edible berry bush.