Thursday, December 3, 2009

Natural Topiary

When asked about his garden, a friend on mine shakes his head, and self-mockingly bemoans the "penis-shaped bushes" that greet his guests.

He may be exaggerating, but he isn't alone. Evergreen shrubs in these parts each winter lose needles on their lowest four feet. When I first encountered the phenomenon, I assumed the shrubs in question were diseased. (They weren't; they were trying and failing to regrow, and I regret to say that I killed two of them.)

It's the deer that do it. Overpopulated and hungry, they eat what they can reach.

Some examples from around the neighborhood:

They're a little pointy for proper phalluses, but they would make good companion plants for the standard suburban topiary "meatball".

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