But, as is often true with life, aesthetic perfection crashes on its first contact with reality.
In this case, it was not the first contact. It took at least 5 years. But the landscaping choice may not have been as perfect as it seemed when it was on paper.
The plants out front, do not require much maintenance. An occasional whack here and there keeps everything under control. Without much urging, the plants crank out red flowers all year long.
When I returned from Peru, I noticed that the planters no longer seemed symmetrical. Where the lipstick plant (as I call it) once was in the western planter, there was now a gap. Not a complete gap. But a large hole had been gnawed in the orderly line.
My neighbor, Mary, solved the mystery for me.
One of the joys of our bucolic existence here is the occasional goat herd that wanders through the neighborhood in search of greener pastures. They regularly stop at the vacant lots across the street from my house.
Apparently, one of the rams decided that the plants were greener on my side of the street. When Mary saw him chewing one of her plants down to a nub, she chased him away. Apparently, the young man who usually tends the goats was too busy on his telephone working out how he could work in a wolf story on his blog.
Before she could play her Marie Antoinette role as shepherdess role, the ram had his way through what must be a very tasty lipstick plant -- at least, to a goat.
But it really does not matter. One of the advantages of living in the tropics is that plants rejuvenate quickly. The vines I cut down in the patio late last year are a perfect example. They are once again shading the bedrooms they front.
If i still lived up north, this tale would have included calls to one governmental authority or another. Here, there is no authority to call. What I get, instead, is essay fodder.
Rather than fume, I came inside, sat down by the pool with a cold glass of water, and spent a little time chatting with you good folks.
What could be better than that?