Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: The latest topiary trends in nature's beauty salon

The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments...

Figure 16. Skyland: Poodle pines

Mother Nature, as we know her in Denver, is a wild beast with no self-control and a complete disregard for personal grooming. Four months will pass without the faintest thought of moisturizing, and then a quarter of her annual rainfall will fall in a single day. If the citizens of the city weren't constantly plucking her weeds and fluffing her flora, she would look like one hot mess. Luckily, most of the residents are homeowners who have a flair for keeping the plain old gal looking like royalty. And that is why Denver is called the Queen City of the Plain.

Most citizens just perform makeovers on outdoor trouble spots with abundant flowers and purposefully placed yard art. However, the more flamboyant technician uses the latest topiary trends to accentuate Denver's natural beauty. The bounty of neatly coiffed conifers and sheared shrubs in figure 16 clearly shows that this is the home of a true yard stylist. The oblong ovals, Pfitzer flattops and shaved limbs indicate a need for control and a love of abundant personal space punctuated with intermittent drama, just like a two-hour appointment at an exclusive salon. The double home-security warning signs planted in a grouping with a miniature American flag, also suggest that this yard stylist -- who is fearless in making improvements on the natural world -- also means business when it comes to trimming the wild hairs of humanity.

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