Some people would call me a perfectionist, although I prefer the term ‘precisionist’ because I don’t really believe in perfection. I’ve searched long and hard for it in my time, and what I’ve learned is that there doesn’t appear to be any such thing. The best we can hope for to come as close as possible to the goal we have in mind, whatever that may be.
The aspect of my personality is epitomised in my prized hedge maze. I know it’s a bit outlandish to have hedge maze on one’s property, but surely it’s healthier for me to channel my precisionism into pruning Buxus plants than, say, ruining my relationships or creating undue stress at my inability to control the world’s many foibles. Besides, who doesn’t love getting ‘lost’ in an angular labyrinth of Korea box, rising only to waist height yet dense enough to prohibit cheating by climbing over or under the barrier?
One of my favourite things to do to unwind is to walk the maze with my backpack sprayer, secure in the fact that no stray plant life will impinge on my decorative gravel path. It’s not that I’ve got a vendetta against weeds, mind you – in fact, I respect them greatly. Many of them have mind-blowingly precise, goal-oriented mechanisms for asserting themselves in any given space, and I take my hat off to that. But that doesn’t mean I’m willing to let them interfere with my vision.
A hedge maze is really all about things being ‘just so’, in my opinion. It needs to be clearly defined, which is not the easiest thing in the world to achieve when you’re working with plants. It therefore offers endless opportunities for me to shake out all my precisionist inclinations in a socially acceptable way. At the end of the day, though, the ‘ideal’ hedge maze simply doesn’t exist, so it’s also an avenue in which I can practice accepting the sub-par nature of the world.