Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Regular friends of the decanter (and former camelidophiles) are familiar with ol’ Robbo’s perennial spring griping about the fact that the short hedge of forsythia that anchors the northwestern side of his garden never produces more than a paltry, token flowering each spring.  (As for the rest of you, take my word for it – this is one of my evergreen grumbles.)

Anyhoo, this year is no exception.  The golden yellow buds which ought to cover the bushes in their thousands are, once again, scarce as, oh….. similes fail me;  scarce as elite law school students who genuinely can’t afford condoms.

However, what separates this year from previous anni floribus horribile is my radical response.  You see, last year I noticed a sturdy young sapling starting to shoot up in the midst of the hedge, a sapling that I believe to be an offspring of a nearby pear tree.   It was already so thick about the trunk when I spotted it and so firmly rooted that I couldn’t bother myself to try and dig it out.  Not wanting it to interfere with the forsythia, however, I cut it way back along with all the bushes around it.

Not this year.  Oh, no.  The young tree is already shooting forth again in a blaze of fresh, young green.  So be it!  This year, I’m going to let the tree alone and hog the forsythia round it back all the way to their very foundations.  Whether said forsythia then choose to simply turn up their roots and die, or whether they decide to come to the aid of the party, well, that’s their lookout.  I wash my hands of them.  (Or will, once I finish cutting them back.)