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David Beaulieu

Front-Yard Landscaping

By June 16, 2013

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The front yard is often a strange amalgam between the public and private spheres.picture of front yard Many homeowners keep their front yards largely open to public view, out of fear that a more private setting would tempt burglars. But this approach to front-yard landscaping is riddled with its own drawbacks.

Myself, I'm the retiring sort. I treasure my privacy. And many others feel the same way. I'm also very goal-oriented. If I want to socialize, then I'll put my socializing hat on and have at it. But if I'm going out into the front yard for the purpose of trimming a hedge, then that's precisely what I wish to do. I'm not especially keen on having such work interrupted every 5 minutes by passersby who wish to shoot the breeze.

There's sometimes a misconception about those of us who cherish our privacy. It's not that we wish to hide anything behind our privacy screens. It's just that we don't want to live under a microscope.

Even good neighbors don't enjoy feeling obligated to wave "Hello" every time they step outside, as if needing permission before continuing on their business. "Good fences make good neighbors" is an old adage made famous by Robert Frost's poem, Mending Wall. Even though Frost's intended message in the poem probably differs from the wisdom in the adage, I think the latter is just as valid today as ever.

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Comments

June 16, 2013 at 9:36 am
(1) allan becker says:

You have touched upon a topic that is rarely discussed among gardeners and garden writers. So many homeowners enjoy the adulation for and validation of their garden efforts that few understand the value of gardening in private. On the other hand, so many of us derive so much enjoyment from the plants that we grow that not being able to share our joy with others is depressing.

June 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm
(2) Superyards says:

I enjoy small talk with my neighbours, however it can get overwhelming when they constantly want to chat.

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