I mentioned last week that a recent guest categorized Southampton as the Hedge Capital of the US. Yes, locals make jokes about our estate district being called Hedgeville. In fact, a few years back, Foster’s Farm, one of the last farms in the village of Southampton gave up planting crops like corn and potatoes and instead planted privet. Like a hedge fund, they’re a hedge farm.
It’s true that the majority of the estate district is surrounded by tall, immaculately manicured rows of privet bushes, and some of those hedges are cut so exactingly that you’d swear they were really fuzzy green walls. I often tell guests that if you flew over the village in a plane, it would look like a rat maze. Now, in July, the privet is in bloom…pretty, slightly fragrant small cream-colored flower clusters called panicles. It has such a distinctive odor that I believe there is a men’s line of cologne called Privet.
However, while out and about yesterday, I saw a different form of privet hedge trimming. Laughing, I had to pull off the road to photograph it. This would be a privet caterpillar?? Someone sure has a sense of humor…and a nice sharp chain saw!
(By the way: If like me you like seeing the houses behind the hedges, the time to visit is anywhere from November to late April. The homeowners, who for the most part are not in residence then, probably aren’t aware that most privet varieties drop all their leaves in winter. Call it reverse leaf-peeping!)
Quote of the Day: A hedge between keeps friendships green. —Old French Proverb