[Tweeters] Hedgerow Culture

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign15 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 1 14:45:53 PDT 2018

In these modern times, most of us have a wide variety of cultural choices
we can make. High brow, low brow, this and that. As for me I like a culture
that includes hedgerows.

Lucky for me Port Townsend is the sort of laid back place that allows for
hedgerows. At least so far. Hedgerows are a bit funky.The city comes by
every other year or so with of them big tractor-sized hedge whackers and
hacks off the top, not too neatly. It all grows back.

Here at my Moms house, we are lucky to have a nice hedgerow just across the
little street we're on, which separates us from field below the hospital
here and continues around the bend and down the length of the next street

I've been watching this hedgerow for decades now and find it endlessly
interesting. To give you an idea of our hedgerow I made a quick plant
inventory yesterday. Heres what I found.:
Thimble berry, Bracken, Nootka Rose, Mahonia aq., Snowberry, Bitter Cherry,
Amelanchier ( saskatoon ), Holodiscus, Salal, at least 3 species of Willow,
Wild Blackberry, Douglas Hawthorn, Honeysuckle, Hazel, and Red-flowering
Currant. All of these plants melding into a wall of foliage.

The hedgerow is an excellent place to study plant recognition as every
plant has it's own unique features. You know you're part of the scene when
you can recognize plants without having to technically ID them.

As the seasons pass the hedgerow continually changes - all season interest.
Did you know that Douglas Hawthorne here turns a subtle orange color in
fall? It does, which I found out by watching the hedgerow. Now when I'm out
and about town I can pick them out from a distance.

Right now Thimble berry, Nooka Roses, Snowberry, Wild blackberry, and
Douglas Hawthorn are the blooming plants - the hawthorn past prime and the
Holodiscus coming on next.

Of course, with all these different plants there is quite a variety of
birds over there, and particularly bird nests. I haven't made a list of
those, but walking down the road in winter, bird nests are all over the
place, the density of the hedgerow providing more protection than neatnik
landscaping would for low nesters.

OK, so maybe your neighborhood is too "nice" for a hedgerow. Maybe the
local yard police would arrest your hedgerow for being "out of control".
That's one of my favorite yard sayings: " OMG my yard is out of control !"
Well, your'e a tool bearing hominid, why you could maybe do something about

Several years ago I planted a native garden in the front yard of my ex
wife's house (used to be part mine, but I never got around to creating my
big scheme) which will fit in nicely to the overly controlled neighborhood.
The whole front lawn is gone - now gonna be a grove of Vine Maple, a
Dougfir on the corner and a Big leaf Maple to shade the house. Lots of
other native shrubbery.It will take a little bit of control over time.

Jeff Gibson
Port Townsend Wa
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