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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A RANT #&$^#%$&$%^@&! (It's a G rated blog!)

Many of us have experienced flower and plant thievery and vandalism.  Maybe that's the price one pays for gardening in parking strips in an urban area.  I usually get hit a few times a year - this is the third time this summer. The other evening I went out to give the parking strip a little drink and noticed that someone had broken all of the branches of my Grevillia victoriae reducing it to half its former size. 

 I actually yelled aloud, "Who did this?"  Just as I was picking up the couple of branches left behind a fellow who lives in the group home across the alley from me came to tell me that someone had lost his balance and fallen in another parking strip.  Residents of this home routinely drink alcohol and smoke pot on the steps leading from the sidewalk to my back gate because alcohol isn't allowed at their place of residence. When they stand up to walk home, they're frequently staggering and occasionally fall into my plantings.  Sometimes they get mad and rip the tarnation out of things yet I'm the one who gets code violation notices from the city!  Please note that the code enforcement officer with whom I've spoken is a reasonable, even kind person who is just doing his job.  The problem I have is with the people who don't have the intestinal fortitude to simply leave a note at my door or chat with me about issues that they may have which I would be more than happy to address but instead choose to waste the time of city employees to come and inspect plants! (Code enforcement inspections are entirely complaint-driven.)

Some folks aren't fond of my garden because it's not historically accurate.  Really?  Neither are supermarkets, automobiles,  and aeroplanes but one doesn't hear an uproar about those in the hood!

Here's the spot where the fellow lost his balance.  Looks like he did a little swimming to get back up.  There was a ninebark in there somewhere.  I'll just leave it alone and see what might be able to spring back up.

At times like this  I want to rip everything out of those parking strips and fill them with nice orangey-red lava rock!  This thought usually passes fairly quickly.  O.K. end of rant.  I feel much better now; thanks for the therapy session. 

14 comments:

  1. Oh no! If indeed you managed to just shout "who did this" (not "who the ___ did this") then you are a much better person than I. How horrible.

    I've tried to mentally prepare myself for this sort of thing, so far I've gotten off pretty easy, just a couple of incidents (knock on wood). And seriously? People have actually complained about the historical accuracy of your garden (or lack of)??? That's insane!

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    1. All of our gardens get hit by some setback or other. We're lucky we're not suffering the drought that much of the country is having!

      Much calmer since I wrote this.

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  2. Awful when that happens. Adding some spiky plants might just help modify their behavior and give the neighbors even more to complain about.

    It seems plants and gardens are a hot topic for complaints lately, odd that folks get so jazzed about gardens. My neighbor recently told me we needed lawn standards here in the neighborhood. I told her I'd rather see weeds and I wasn't kidding.


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    1. Lawn standards? I sort of get it if you buy a place in a gated community with covenants and such but then you're choosing that. I still like the idea that in ordinary neighborhoods in America, we can let the weeds grow, have a golf-course perfect lawn, plant a victory garden or whatever!

      I like your idea about the spiky plants. My niece has a sign with a graphic of the crosshairs of a scope that says, "You are now in range."

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  3. Outrageous!!!!! Not only the drunken vandals but complaints about your garden!?!?! People are nutsoids!!! I second the sharp plant idea!

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    1. Or maybe razor blades glued to everything...

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  4. I am so sorry for your loss! Plants are like children, and when something like this happens you want to have those responsible arrested! I hope that your Grevillia is able to make a recovery - usually we find ourselves amazed at the resilience of most of our plants. I had a stranger come up the drive the other night, shaking her head at me! Seems its okay for her to wash her car every week, but in the conservancy of H20, I am not supposed to water my garden...... 'when we don't have water to drink, I'll have all my friends come down and sit in your suspiciously lush and green gardens!' Garden jealousy takes on many different forms. I replied that she should consider using a spray bottle when washing the car, that way she would have lots of water left.

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    1. The Grevillia will be fine but I find myself longing for a nice little place on a couple of fully-fenced acres. Your stranger in the car sounds like a nut job! I'm sure that most of the people who pass your garden appreciate its beauty which will last a lot longer than many people keep their cars!

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  5. I'm assuming it's not the people from the group home who complain to the city about your garden. I've been lucky so far in terms of complaints from neighbors. I've thought of sending a bill to my city for all the advantages it gets from my landscaping: reduced water runoff, less yard waste to cart off, not to mention the beautification. Then if they don't pay, I'll take them to small claims court.

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    1. I like your idea! The folks who staff the group home say that they've not called the city about my parking strips.

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  6. Oh, that broken Grevillea just breaks my heart, and I'm sure it did yours too. I would have shouted and ranted too, right out there on the street. I agree with all the suggestions to put some spiky, thorny plants in there.

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    1. Thanks Alison! It's nice that we plant people can empathize with each other when things like this happen! (Like when you recently lost your trees.)

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.