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Our Garden Haircut

Our Garden Haircut
Our Garden Haircut

Our Garden Haircut

My wife normally deals with the day to day running of the garden, and takes it in her stride. I think it’s one of her favourite pastimes, but three or four times a year she has to call in help. When this happens it’s usually after a period of exceptional growth like after a rainy season or if we’ve been away for a few weeks. The gardeners she hires then perform what we call a garden haircut.

This garden haircut is severe by European standards. Bushes end up looking like a collection of cuttings stuck in the ground and almost all greenery is removed with small scythes. Three palms and papaya trees were cut in half today during the garden haircut. It always amazes me how the plants recover from such brutal treatment in a week or so.

Anyway, yesterday, Angun, our dog was barking at the undergrowth outside my office and that usually means a snake. I saw something move very quickly, but my wife said it was our clouded monitor, now dubbed Lizzie. I didn’t tell the two lady gardeners today, because it is too difficult, but when they got to that patch and Angun started barking and pointing again I did try to explain.

They listened politely, but I thought that they either didn’t understand my accent, or were not scared being pro garden stylists, so to speak. I sat outside, watched the garden haircut and didn’t say another word. One woman was cleaning up under a large shrub, when the dog pushed past her barking and pointing again. I had to smile when she visibly started at Angun’s surprise intervention, but it was nothing compared to her reaction when a two-foot Clouded Monitor ran out between her legs with the dog following.

“Don’t kill it!” I shouted over the pandemonium, because the gardeners had their scythes at the ready. Angun chased the lizard first one way, then back to where they had routed it, then away and back again, until it finally ran up a tree stump and jumped over the wall into next door’s garden.

It was like a farce, but I bet they won’t ignore my advice the next time they come to perform a garden haircut.

It wasn’t Lizzie though, this clouded monitor was only half her size, so that’s two I’ve seen in eleven years in lass than a week.

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All the best,


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