P90213This landscape is nothing fancy. It is out in front of a fast food establishment on Ocean Street in Santa Cruz. It is low maintenance, and starkly simple. It would be nice if the so-called ‘gardeners’ would cut back the African iris and English lavender a bit better, but they may have left them like this so that they are less likely to get trampled. The colored chips get replenished regularly, and the trash gets harvested quite efficiently. As I said, it is nothing fancy. The only remarkable feature had been this exemplary crape myrtle in the middle.
Only a few weeks ago, it was a perfect small specimen. Even though it is still quite dinky, the main stems were all at good angles, well spaced and aimed in the right directions. None of the stems were crossing over others, damaged or otherwise misshapen.
I can not explain what happened here since then. Are the so-called ‘gardeners’ trying to make more work for themselves by causing problems that will likely need their attention in the future? Do they just hate their work as much as this abuse implies? Is it possible that someone really believes that ‘this’ is somehow beneficial to the victim?
Each of the two fence stakes is sufficient to support a small tree, if such a tree needs it. If a tree, or in this case, a multi-trunked tree, does not need support, it should not be supported. Otherwise, it becomes reliant on the support. Besides that, these are fence stakes that are designed to be somewhat permanent. Now that they are there, they will probably be there forever. So-called ‘gardeners’ who do this sort of thing are not the sort to remove stakes.
The nylon straps are not flexible to accommodate the expansion of the stems they are tied around. If not removed, they will constrict, or ‘girdle’, the growing stems. What exactly are the straps doing anyway? The two closest to the bottom are tied to one stake, and pass the other to reach the respective stems that they are tied to, rather than tied between each of the two stems and the stake that it is closest to.
Someone certainly put a lot of effort into a whole lot of uselessness that will interfere with the healthy development of this formerly exemplary crape myrtle. Yet, with all this effort, no one bothered to prune it, or even so much as deadhead it. Yes, those are deteriorated floral stems from last summer.P90213+


23 thoughts on “Horridculture – Cruel and Unusual Punishment

  1. That crepe myrtle looks like the victim of a crime! I often wonder what people are thinking when they do something like this? Is it self-created, or did they get the ill advice from some other ill-informed person?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really do not know. I see it often. Almost all of the problems I encounter at work (while inspecting landscapes, not my other work), is caused by those who charge a lot of many to take care of the landscapes. I can not imagine that someone really thought that this was a good idea . . . but there it is.

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    1. I really do not expect the English lavender to survive. In such landscapes that are ‘maintained’ by maintenance ‘gardeners’ they almost always get watered so much that they rot. The African iris will liekly survive, but will develop into little thickets of shorn foliage and unbloomed flower stalks.


  2. Why would they leave the crape myrtle stakes anyway. There is a lot of landscaping here that needs attention. I have offered to help, even for free, at a local bank. Seems the fellow doing it is not doing it anymore so their cleaning lady decided she would do it. Well, I know the people who work at the bank and left them my number. The cleaning lady isn’t working on the beds probably because she doesn’t have time. Still, no one calls. There was a man who did a lot of landscape maintenance work here but he retired. The people who took his place… Well, nuff said. Maybe if I put an ad​d in the paper… I don’t necessarily want to be paid, I would just like the communities landscaping to look better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You would think that property managers would be pleased to be informed if their landscapes are not being maintained properly, but they really do not care. I briefly worked for a ‘landscape auditing’ service, and you would not believe how unpopular such services are. I know how expensive landscape ‘maintenance’ is, and I also know how expensive the dysfunction is.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Maybe they could only afford a one time landscaping job and couldn’t afford maintenance. Is this where you step in early one morning, cut off the ties and take away the stakes? I would be tempted to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was so deplorable that I was not interested in helping. I did that across the road in my former neighborhood, but the trees had not yet been disfigured. One of the Canary Island pines fell over earlier, and just because the mow blow and go ‘gardeners’ could reach it, they sheared it into a little ball of foliage at the end of the horizontal trunk. I staked it back up, and it grew into a tree that is still there now.


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