Imagine coming home at dusk in a car heavy with Costco shopping (paper towels, fireplace logs, cleaning supplies, flowers, “shaper” tights, a good bottle of Brunello di Montalcino, whole wheat bread, a wheel of Basque sheep’s milk cheese, panzanella, and flats of avocados and papaya) and discovering that your gardener has amputated all…ALL!… the bushes between the street and my sidewalk. These were Escallonia (white and pink), laurel, juniper and rhododendron that I had planted in 1994 in order to SCREEN my view of the street. Fifteen years of growth filled in the plants nicely so I had a nearly solid hedge nearly ten feet high.
André and I discussed what we should plant in place of the dying maple that the city forester is allowing me to cut down (at considerable expense). I am required to replace the tree with one of about a dozen species approved for sites such as mine. I studied the choices –American hornbeam, Ash, Tupelo, Linden, Spire Oak, Green Oak, Magnolia, Hawthorn, Maple, Sweet bay, hornbeam, and Beech –and thought a pyramidal European hornbeam would be swell, and two of them even sweller. He promptly called his nursery and informed me that these trees could be had at $120 a pop. Thanking him, I asked him to return later in the day to clean the grounds and give me time to reflect on the tree situation.
André took the bit between his teeth and while I was mindlessly pushing my oversize cart through every aisle of the Costco on “Dart Mouth” (as they pronounce Dartmouth) Street, snacking on rosemary bread, bouillon, brie, air-popped barbecued corn chips, and chicken sautéed in a soy marinade, André and his two assistants were sawing off the bodies of my shrubs. I had said NOTHING about eliminating the shrubs. What I had said was, “Please haul away the broken white doohickey between the lower deck and the garden.” The broken white doohickey is still where it has been standing for the last 15 years. My shrubs are GONE!
Do I sound hysterical? That’s because I am! But with André, you never know what will suddenly galvanize him into action, and what he’ll simply not hear. This time, he heard nothing.
I’m too upset to write about the other great things that happened today, so the “trauma” is cauterizing my neuron connections. Meaning: I can’t remember much about the rest of the day. Plus falling asleep. Good night!!!!!