P80627This is the opposite of the ‘right plant in the right place’. It is something that horticultural professionals should neither promote nor tolerate when feral plants appear in landscapes that they are getting payed to maintain. This example looks like it is more relevant to the topic of ‘Fat Hedges’ from https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/horridculture-fat-hedges/ , but there is more to this feral pyracantha than that. Yes, it is shorn too frequently to bloom or produce colorful berries. Yes, it looks like an upside-down and halfway buried Christmas tree. Yes, it contributes nothing to the landscape. What is worst of all is that it does not even belong there. It was certainly not planted there on the edge of the curb. There are others nearby, but they happened to appear in spots where they could have actually been assets to the landscape if they had not also been shorn into this weird upside-down and halfway buried Christmas tree shape.

Pulling or at least cutting weeds is generally one of the responsibilities of maintenance ‘gardeners’. It might be acceptable or even preferred to leave a few feral plants if they happen to appear where they might be useful. Those that appear where they would be a problem must be removed. It really would not have been much work to pull this particular pyracantha if it had been done when it first appeared. Even if it had not been pulled right away, and gotten cut down by a weed whacker long enough to develop strongly attached roots, it could have been dug out while young with only a bit of effort.

Okay, so that is in the past now, just like all the other days, weeks, months and years that this feral pyracantha was not removed. Okay, so if for some reason known only the maintenance ‘gardener’ who likely charges significant fees for the maintenance of this landscape, this specimen is to be salvaged, should it not have been pruned back away from the curb? Of course! Although it is right on the curb, much of the growth could have been directed back away from the curb and over the bare embankment. That area is not used for anything anyway. The emptiness of the embankment is certainly no asset to the landscape. Empty pavement is an asset here.

A chain is only as strong as the weakest link. A driveway is only as wide as the narrowest part. All this asphalt pavement and concrete curb is expensive. It was probably worth it to get a nice wide driveway. However, the usable area is not as wide now as it was originally. The feral pyracantha that looks like an upside-down and halfway buried Christmas tree extends nearly four feet into it. That means that the usable space of the expensive driveway is nearly four feet narrower in that spot than it should be. Just think of all the expense that could have been saved if the driveway had been constructed four feet narrower than it had been!


19 thoughts on “Horridculture – The Wrong Plant In The Wrong Place

  1. I literally laughed out loud when I saw this picture! There is a reason my husband and I don’t have a “maintenance landscaper”, as you so nicely put it. There is also a reason we call them “mow and blow” landscapers, all they really are trained to do is mow the lawn and blow debris into someone else’s yard (and believe me, if they think they can get away with it, they will!). In their defense, shame on the property owner for not bothering to check on things and let the gardeners know this shouldn’t be there. That shrub had to have been growing for a while!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, that says a lot. I do not mind mow and blow gardeners if that is all they do, because I hate to mow lawns and blow! I just do not want them to touch anything else. Like you say though, the property manager really should notice this! It is just as much his or here responsibility.


    1. It is a driveway for an automotive repair business. Old classic cars commonly use that driveway, although we all use the middle of the driveway. I sometimes want to hit the pyracantha and just make it go away.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Although I have worked (and not longer do so) with landscape ‘professionals’ who use such tactics, I think that this particular gardener is just an idiot.


  2. Reblogged this on Tony Tomeo and commented:

    The pyracantha in the illustration stayed for a while after this article posted three years ago, but was finally dragged out by a freighter truck that turned right a bit too sharply. It was actually rather gratifying to see its mangled carcass on the edge of the road a bit farther up. However, even then, the so-called ‘gardeners’ still did not bother to remove it, and might have even continued to shear it after death. Heck, it might even be there right now!


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