This morning I bought some hedge clippers and set to cleaning up the rather sad plants that constitute my “hedge”. They are privets in large concrete troughs and they are far too sparse to be called a hedge. But “line of privets” doesn’t sound quite right. The clipping itself went well, with three bags of rubbish to cart away. The big surprise was how much dross had accumulated between the troughs and the wall. Plastic bags, cigarette ends, cellophane, tennis balls, and lots and lots of leaves and dust. Another bag and a half that was, but it has been three years, at the least, since it was last done.

Then I came in to shower off the dust and trimmed my moustache, and I have to say that was a lot easier.

The whole question of plants in pots is reminiscent of arguments about how big does a cage need to be before an animal fails to realise it is caged. In both cases I reckon it is a question of vague ecosystem services. If the pot is big enough that I don’t have to worry about either feeding or watering, then I guess the plant is free. But I’ve never known one.

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