Freddy Hacks Again

I’m nearly as afraid of him as I am the character Freddy in the movie Friday the 13th.  He doesn’t have the hockey mask, but he does have the chainsaw.

Let me explain that my “fear” is not horror-movie-like. I fear more for my plants.

Every spring, and occasionally in the fall, my husband and I will inevitably come to blows over his so-called hedge “trimming”. The trimming has to be done, no question. But it is the manner in which he approaches his task that I find frightening. There is no preparation, there is no forethought. He plugs the offending instrument in, grinning as he fires it up, and then starts hacking wherever it suits him, flailing the thing around mercilessly. No bush is spared.

Most of the time I know well enough to stay away and work somewhere else, like moving to the back yard when he’s in the front. He will often do his deed when I’m not even at home, likely to avoid my dirty stares and bitter comments. But a couple of weeks ago, he decided to start his hacking right in the area I was working in. Right after I had cleaned things up.

It started out amicably enough. He began on one side of the yard, I was working on the other. There were two very new astilbe plants that had been doing quite well in their new plots just on the other side of the hedge that he was working on. So I decided I would just ask him to be careful and avoid them when he got to that part. He agreed, gleeful sweat already pouring down his face.

I didn’t trust him, so I hung around. And it was a good thing I did. He’d kept to his word and hadn’t trampled on the astilbe. Instead, he let all of the branches he’d cut away fall right on top of them. I was seething as I carefully pulled away the piles of refuse to allow the fledgling plants to breathe. Which brings me to the second most annoying aspect of his hackery. The clean up.

His idea of cleaning up the mess left behind is to take a very large rake and scrape the ground (mostly) clear of dead branches. I say mostly, because the rake doesn’t pick up the little bits. No it doesn’t. I do. Again and again. And again.

I realize that I clearly have a problem. I must remember that it is a very physical task and I appreciate that he does it instead of me. And although he doesn’t plan it out, the hacking usually turns out well once the hedges have recovered from the shock. And I’m just fussier about clean up than he is.

Two weeks have passed and you wouldn’t know the violence and mayhem that had occurred around those bushes. My seething has stopped and life has moved on. Until Freddy hacks again.

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