Did anyone else receive the "Neighbor Blocker" e-mail from Park advertising a collection of trees that would quickly provide a barrier between you and those awful neighbors of yours? If you did, send it on. It got tossed before we had a proper chance to dissect it. The message, as we recall, was disturbingly survivalist in tone, and it was reinforced by the catalog copy on Park’s website, where Thuja ‘Green Giant’ is billed as a tree that will shield you from those deadly threats to your homestead: "noise, neighbors, or rough wind."
Fortunately, another missive arrived from Park’s with almost the same message, and we managed to hang on to this one. It came from their subsidiary Wayside Gardens, which means, of course, that it had a more friendly, "indie" tone.
No Tan Lines! read the Subject line. Privacy in Your Own Backyard!
That’s right, we’re Wayside Gardens, not Park Seed, and we understand that it’s not so much that you hate the neighbors, you just don’t want them to see you get naked, as you so often do. (After all, you’ve gone to all that work to create those "outdoor rooms" in the garden–shouldn’t one of them be the bedroom?)
Or what if you’re not naked? What if you’re just "playing catch with the kids or lying by the pool"? Wouldn’t this be a pleasant time to wave to the neighbors, make a little friendly chitchat, or even invite them over, thus strengthening your community bonds, forming friendships with the people who live around you, and taking a stand against our increasingly fragmented, isolated, Bowling Alone lifestyle?
Hell, no! Or as Wayside puts it, "You don’t want the neighbors to factor into your enjoyable afternoon!"
Of course you don’t. So how do you "eliminate" the neighbors as a "factor" in that enjoyable afternoon of yours?
Plant some Thuja–the tree that says, "Get the hell off my property and stay away from my family."
Coming soon: The Moving Van Collection, consisting of quick-growing poison oak, the highly allergenic male cottonwood tree, and castor beans, whose toxic seeds are attractive to children and pets alike. Your money back if they don’t leave in a moving van or a hearse.
UPDATE: Thanks to the alert readers who sent in the "Neighbor Blocker" e-mail. Nice to know we weren’t imagining things.