||[Aug. 23rd, 2009|07:48 pm]
So, the week before last, J and I got a charming missive from the city about our hedges, which were not up to code. Now, while we were on the road, in the middle of July, my MIL had opened and read to us a notice from the codes office that our hedges needed to be trimmed, the debris from said trimming removed, and we needed to put up house numbers. My MIL kindly went and bought house numbers and installed them, and she told us that the guy who handles our yard work had just been by to do the hedges and they looked fine. I called him and asked him to be sure the twigs were picked up and thought no more about it; the notice must have been in the mail when the hedges were done.
Alas, no. Two weeks after we get home, here comes the nastygram. The hedges must be clear of the sidewalk, and everything trimmed back severely. I go into the codes office to talk to the officer about our misunderstanding, and he’s on vacation. We leave a message, borrow a hedge trimmer from the yard guy (he’s a peach) and set to work. The codes office doesn’t care about what the hedges look like or how tall they are, they just have to be off the walk. Unfortunately, to clear the sidewalk, we really have to scalp the poor things. Bare gray branches now face the street on all sides. And the ivy beneath the hedges also has to be cleared out. J handled the hedge trimmer, and both of us gathered up the cut branches. We put the stake sides on our truck and completely filled the bed with what turned out to be over 300 lbs of hedge.
I worked in short bursts Monday through Friday (it was too hot to be out there very long on any one day) and used shears and a snow shovel to clear away the ivy and general debris, seven giant trash bags worth. Unfortunately for both of us, some of that ivy was the “leaves of three, let it be” variety. We both bathed in Tecnu. J started breaking out last weekend. I thought I’d dodged a bullet until I cleared the worst pockets of the ground clutter. Now here I sit, liberally daubed with calamine lotion, working hard not to scratch. Ahh well, this too shall pass. And I was able to call the codes officer on Friday and let him know the job was all done to spec. He’d just left for the day – I left a message.