Following the planting, by popular demand, of a privacy hedge along the entire Canada-US border, concerns have been raised that it is not – as originally reported – two metres high. And with winter having set in, both meteorologically and politically, it appears these concerns are the only thing experiencing much growth.
“At the moment, it wouldn’t stop a determined dachshund,” says Everett Simpson, Head of Shrubberies for Saskatchewan, gesturing to the knee-high, leafless twigs sticking out of the frozen ground at our feet. The branches run for a line as far as the eye can see to the east and west. (This is a very long distance indeed. As the prairie joke goes: out here you can watch your dog run away for three days).
“Trump’s been in office now for two weeks, and he’s moving fast. Our hedge has been in the ground for the same length of time, and frankly, it needs to get growing.” As Simpson says this he eyes an American border patrol truck in the distance, part of a freshly reassigned contingent from the Mexican border, tasked with keeping dissenting Americans in and women wearing pink hats out. They look tired.
As part of a national grassroots campaign dubbed “Growrillas In The Midst,” Canadians have taken to suddenly appearing along the suddenly frosty boundary to provide the hedge with encouraging words, and play music to sections of the reluctant flora. While Nickelback is expressly forbidden, one section near Kingston, Ontario, where Canadian legend Gord Downie himself sang to the plants, is reputed to have grown ahead by a century.
“Yep, we’re all doing our part,” confirmed one intrepid family, out on a sub-arctic evening in New Brunswick, armed with smudgers. The smoking pots, usually used by orange farmers in Florida to guard against harvest-killing frost, have been retooled to better suit the task of helping the hedges grow throughout the winter. They now involve Weber barbecues pulled by dogsled teams that use their keen sense of intolerance as a guide in the dark.
“We certainly don’t want to keep anyone out,” the mother of the family of five says through her black balaclava, tucked in beneath her knitted pink toque. “But we also want to make it clear that we want no part in what is happening to the south right now. That we as Canadians will be remaining entirely ourselves for the duration of this administration. If that’s ok with everyone. And you know, for a change, even if it isn’t. Because sometimes you just have to be the bush you want to see in the world.”
Photo Credit: nomadsoul1 / 123RF Stock Photo