My husband and I are rather fond of watching BBCs Hercule Poirot series and one of the fascinations with the series is the way it captures English countryside and specially the lovely hedgerows. I even persuaded him to watch the six part Pride and Prejudice series, just so that he could sit and admire the hedges, never mind that he didnt care so much for the story.
The neat and trimmed English hedges are really something. I have never visited England, but if I do, I think I would give up all the typical tourist spots, just to go and stare at some hedges. Bill Bryson calls them Englands national heritage, and him being so well travelled in the country, he must know what he is talking about.
So back to my husband and me, we had this great desire to have some hedges in our own garden. We wanted the English hedges, never mind that we live in Ahmedabad, a place which is practically as removed from England climatically as it is possible to be. I mean, we are close to a desert spaces, we have camels roaming around in the city.
But we had garden space and so our efforts started. It began with trying to get our gardener to understand what we wanted. Not too difficult, because the institute already had invested in hedges, and we could point out quite a few examples to him.
BUt our gardener was the kind who expected us to spend a fortune on gardening, the kind of fortune, we unfortuantely did not have. His suggestion was to get an extremely expensive plant and make it the hedge. THe plant was such that we had to buy individual saplings and each cost about 50 rupees and I think as per his estimate, we should be needing almost a 1000 such plants. He was categorical that we could not buy a few samples and then sort of propogate it ourselves.
Like I said the cost was pretty daunting, so after a lot of negotiation, we settled for a cheaper plant which we could sort of breed ourselves. And so began the process of getting our hedges up. We lost interest in the garden for a bit after that, with the arrival of a baby and all that. But the hedges continued to grow, and last I saw, they have come up to this level. Looks like we can replicate the english countryside after all.