Plant a hedge - US-Canada Border

To the Rt Honourable Justin Trudeau,
Prime Minister of Canada (and New Leader of the Free World)

Dear Justin.

Greetings and G'Day from your Kiwi and Aussie brethren. Although the concept may have started as a joke by those lovely folks at the "Out and Abouter", we think its time that you seriously consider planting that hedge along your southern border. That neighbour of yours has become a bit worrisome and, to tell the truth, they're sometimes kind of rowdy and mean. We know its not in your nature to complain or offend anyone - and we think the hedge might be a good compromise solution.

  • Anyone with irksome neighbours knows that you want something between you and them.
  • It helps reduce noise, and cuts the risk of getting glimpses of something that you didn't really want to see (e.g. seeing all that unsightly orange fake tan, that's the rage there, is a little nauseating). Plus,
  • It looks really nice in the summer. 

It's not complaining, it's not offensive, but it still marks off your territory in a "live and let live" Canadian sort of way. We also point out that, if done right, it could be nice for the local wildlife - giving them somewhere to live, shelter, snack or perch. And, it might help offset carbon emissions even though we realise that your neighbour no longer believes in such things.

Some might cynically suggest that its real purpose might be to discourage immigration from your southern neighbour, but that's really not true. It's expected that you will see an influx of journalists, scientists, and conscientious people all seeking sanctuary and refuge during these dark times. We know you'll accept them, treat them lovingly, and with respect, because that's something that you Canadians do. It's one of the most charming things about you. In that context, the hedge may become a symbol of hope to those dispossessed. It's pretty, provides shade, a sense of security, and anyone in real trouble can sneak in underneath it if they really need to.

Admittedly, construction of the hedge might represent a challenge for the residents of Stanstead, Quebec, where the border goes through the town and through the centre of the Public Library - but we're sure they'll find a practical and frankly awesome way to make it work, maybe with some very creative and leafy green walls. We're also a little uncertain on how to handle your northern border ... but with the occasional polar bear and angry moose already out there, planting a barrier might be redundant.

The next question is what you plant to make that hedge. Although Cherry Laurel has been suggested, you don't really need to make it uniform. Mixing it up a little might be a great illustration of how diversity colours our world and makes it more interesting. Jasmine and Orange Blossom are also great choices - along with many other wonderful (and sometimes surprising) options if local communities are allowed to contribute towards this project.

The hedge is hopefully low cost, but if an issue (as a Kiwi living in Aussie) I can assure you of at least two nations whose citizens would be willing to help with costs - or simply by mucking in to help with the planting and landscaping. I've also heard that there may be special funds available for this sort of thing. I realise that it will need some maintenance ongoing, and will be happy to pop out once a year, at my own expense, so long as I can get my hedge trimmers through customs. However, if you wish to reserve this honour for Canadian citizens then that's okay too. Alternatively, you could soon find yourself swamped with lots of unemployed Mexican and Central American gardeners for whom this provides opportunity to maintain their dignity and a liveable wage ongoing.

We hope you take on this friendly suggestion, but no real pressure since its your country, your people, your space, your hedge - and we really just want you to be happy.

Signed, very respectfully,
A concerned world citizen

 Photo credit: Flickr\She_who_must

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