Holly Hedge Revenge: A Tale of Revenge and Hedges

There is only one victim in this story, our tragic heroine, Holly Aquifolium, who was so bitterly slain at the hands of warring humans.

Worse still, upon poor Holly’s grave, these people, some may say savages (allegedly), built a wooden fence: that’s just gross under the circumstances, even though the builders did do a nice job.

OK, so everyone has heard the national news headline about the neighbours falling out over a holly hedge being replaced with a fence, and it going to court.

Because the fence was a few inches in the wrong place, the neighbour who lost garden (Peter Walker-Smith) gets tens of thousands in damages.

That seems odd, because the other neighbours (Tersia and Stiaan Van Zyl) are already bearing the full cost of all this fence work.
Even if the money is for replacing the hedge itself, replacement holly hedge plants are not that expensive.

Luckily, this is not a legal blog (it’s very much illegal), so I can get back to talking about hedges, which is technically my job, if you want to call it that.

It’s a shame that Peter Walker-Smith and The Van Zyls couldn’t get along.
Whenever I have lived right above a neighbour like they do, I keep everything sweet between us by playing loud Highlands bagpipe music from 5am until lunch, then I have some Salmon en Croute, and then it’s the pipes again until after midnight.

Like this, but longer, with Salmon in the middle

Whatever their true reasons for demolishing the hedge, Mrs Van Zyls stated reason in court can be examined with the seriousness that it deserves.

Behold: The Van Zyls’ lawn is on the left, Mr Walker-Smith’s patio on the right, the new fence is already half-hidden by a large shrub or climber, it’s hard to tell.

Copyright: Bradley Page

Notice how much lawn The Van Zyls have, and how it goes right up to their back fence at the bottom of the picture.

According to the world-famous newspaper, the Daily Mail, Mrs Van Zyl said in court:

“I love gardening … The hedge was consuming more or less a third of my flower bed that I wanted to use in a different way.”

She said that in court so it must be true; let’s take it at face value.

Simply put, why destroy a beautiful, garden framing, value adding hedge to expand your border when there is plenty of lawn to use, both in front of the existing flower bed, and along the back fence?

Turning lawns into flower beds is definitely gardening, but turning healthy holly hedges into dead wooden fences? I’m not sold.

A shade-tolerant hedge plant like Holly is perfect for growing a delicate, wispy clematis into, and voilĂ : you have a lush evergreen wall that flowers magnificently as long as you trim the hedge when it’s time to prune the clematis. Cost: two or three clematis plants.

Cue bagpipes on full volume, I’m off to the shops.

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