The process

Austin American-Statesman - - GARDENING -

Robert Frost might have won­dered if good fences make good neigh­bors. I don’t.

The fence came down quickly. The big­ger part of the job was hack­ing out the ivy and re­mov­ing a few spindly trees (hack­berry, red­bud and crape myr­tle) grow­ing up through the fence. What I took for saplings were ac­tu­ally suck­ers from the stump of what had once been a huge red­bud. Un­for­tu­nately, this stump was where an old post was and where a new post hole had to be dug — a lot of hard work for the crew. They dealt with it with­out shirk­ing.

Af­ter fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion, we agreed to leave the largest hack­berry. I’ve tried for years to re­move it from my side, and what’s left is a large tree over­hang­ing my neigh­bor’s yard. To cut it down now would re­quire pro­fes­sional tree peo­ple and con­sul­ta­tion with my neigh­bor, who wasn’t around. Be­sides, with all the lit­tle trees around it gone, it looks rather grace­ful.

The next day, the fence took shape. I am so im­pressed at how straight and true all the lines are. My yard slopes from the south­west corner to the north­east. A hor­i­zon­tal line is such a re­lief.

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