Have a neighbor you especially despise? How about taking a tip from the Victorians and showing your feelings with flowers?
Here are twelve great plants for a poetic-yet-passive-aggressive hedgerow between yourself and that particularly odious neighbor!
1. Peonies (You Make Me Angry)
In Victorian times, the peony was a representation of anger. What fun as you're gathering a big bouquet of blossoms to know that your flower garden is passively saying how you really feel about that neighbor on the other side.
2. Basil (I Hate You)
Here's a good one to add to a kitchen or medicinal garden that might share a border with the object of your disdain. The smell of basil may make our mouths water, but Victorians found its smell and taste to be revolting. Thankfully, our tastes have grown up and we can now appreciate this herb for its many culinary and healing purposes. Don't forget that while we think of basil as green, there are many gorgeous purple basil varieties to choose from as well!
3. Tansies (I Declare War on You)
On the subject of herbs, here is one that blossoms into yellow little button flowers that carried a violent message for the Victorians. If you are ready to declare an all out war over your neighbor's late-night garage band rehearsals, these flowers just might bring the power-punching sentiment you need.
4. Lavender (I Don't Trust You)
What's more soothing that the smell of lavender wafting in from your window on a late spring evening? While it may calm your nerves, this flower tells your toxic rival just how much of a snake you know them to be. Legend has it that Queen Cleopatra died by the poisonous bite of a snake that was lying in wait under a lavender bush. Lavender symbolized distrust to the Victorians because of this, and it can serve as a reminder on the warm spring breeze that you know who your neighbor really is.
5. Sunflowers (You're haughty)
Another deceitful flower in Victorian eyes was none other than the sunflower. It may be a symbol of cheerful optimism in today's world, but the Victorians begrudgingly thought back to when the Spaniards first saw the flower in the Americas and thought it was made of real gold. Sunflowers will look like a shiny piece of heaven on your hedge, but you know that the fake flower isn't all it seems...just like your neighbor's friendly smile as they put their trash in your recycling bin.
6. Candytuft (I feel indifferent)
Ok, maybe the plants we've showcased thus far are a little dramatic. Do you want to tell your neighbor that you aren't interested in an afternoon gabfest, but without all the histrionics? Look no further than the candytuft, a flower that means neither hate nor care, just blissful detachment.
7. Black Roses (You're dead to me)
It's time to channel your inner Wednesday Addams with the ever gothic black (actually, it's purple, but who's keeping track?) rose. If your feelings are a bit deeper than indifference and you really want to show that you won't be acknowledging that neighbor, black roses will express that you've buried this relationship six feet under.
8. Rhododendrons (Beware)
What's a flower that looks like Enid but carries the same message as Wednesday? Definitely the pink but toxic Rhododendron! These flowers may look pretty, but they carry a deadly poison, meaning that the Victorians associated them with danger. This flower lets your neighborhood know to tread lightly and take care, for your neighbor is not all they seem.
9. Hydrangeas (You're So Vain)
All talk, no show. That's the boastful hydrangea with their gorgeous clusters but few seeds. Does your neighbor think that the neighborhood revolves around them but really they treat everyone like second-class citizens? Well, this flower may be their mascot while also beautifying your hedge.
10. Geranium (I've Lost Hope in You)
When your neighbor moved in, did you have high hopes for your relationship, only to have your dreams of porch coffee and playmates for your kids dashed on the sidewalk? Then plant some geraniums on your shared hedge to express that you are so disappointed that you've simply lost hope in what could have been. Who knows, maybe those bright bunches will spark a conversation...one can only hope, right?
11. Monkshood (Watch Your Back)
This might be the most dramatic of them all. Monkshood was well known to be poisonous enough to end someone's life. What better way to warn your neighbor not to eat anything that comes from your garden or your kitchen...of course, I'm just kidding (or am I?).
12. Hazel (Let's Bury the Hatchet)
Are you weary of feuding with your suburbian sidekick? How about planting a hazel tree? It's a large bush that could provide some mutual shade for your yards and be a way to start reconciliation. Take your cue from the Victorians and end this quarrel! It's time for some good old-fashioned, neighborly friendliness!
Hope you enjoyed these creative ways to show how you really feel about that neighbor!
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