In these modern times, most of us have a wide variety of cultural choices we can make. High brow, low brow, this and that. As for me I like a culture that includes hedgerows.
Lucky for me Port Townsend is the sort of laid back place that allows for hedgerows. At least so far. Hedgerows are a bit funky.The city comes by every other year or so with of them big tractor-sized hedge whackers and hacks off the top, not too neatly. It all grows back.
Here at my Moms house, we are lucky to have a nice hedgerow just across the little street we're on, which separates us from field below the hospital here and continues around the bend and down the length of the next street down.
I've been watching this hedgerow for decades now and find it endlessly interesting. To give you an idea of our hedgerow I made a quick plant inventory yesterday. Heres what I found.: Thimble berry, Bracken, Nootka Rose, Mahonia aq., Snowberry, Bitter Cherry, Amelanchier ( saskatoon ), Holodiscus, Salal, at least 3 species of Willow, Wild Blackberry, Douglas Hawthorn, Honeysuckle, Hazel, and Red-flowering Currant. All of these plants melding into a wall of foliage.
The hedgerow is an excellent place to study plant recognition as every plant has it's own unique features. You know you're part of the scene when you can recognize plants without having to technically ID them.
As the seasons pass the hedgerow continually changes - all season interest. Did you know that Douglas Hawthorne here turns a subtle orange color in fall? It does, which I found out by watching the hedgerow. Now when I'm out and about town I can pick them out from a distance.
Right now Thimble berry, Nooka Roses, Snowberry, Wild blackberry, and Douglas Hawthorn are the blooming plants - the hawthorn past prime and the Holodiscus coming on next.
Of course, with all these different plants there is quite a variety of birds over there, and particularly bird nests. I haven't made a list of those, but walking down the road in winter, bird nests are all over the place, the density of the hedgerow providing more protection than neatnik landscaping would for low nesters.
OK, so maybe your neighborhood is too "nice" for a hedgerow. Maybe the local yard police would arrest your hedgerow for being "out of control". That's one of my favorite yard sayings: " OMG my yard is out of control !" Well, your'e a tool bearing hominid, why you could maybe do something about it.
Several years ago I planted a native garden in the front yard of my ex wife's house (used to be part mine, but I never got around to creating my big scheme) which will fit in nicely to the overly controlled neighborhood. The whole front lawn is gone - now gonna be a grove of Vine Maple, a Dougfir on the corner and a Big leaf Maple to shade the house. Lots of other native shrubbery.It will take a little bit of control over time.