This is how appreciated camellias bloom.

I seriously can not think of a title for this one. All that comes to mind is too objectionable. Writing about it will not be much easier.

It began with a few mature camellias that were in need of grooming a few months ago. They were sufficiently shabby that I did not mind pruning them at the wrong time. Ultimately, almost all of what was groomed out was necrotic anyway, so did not compromise bloom significantly. I was pleased that the eventual bloom would be better presented against a neater background.

Then, I was informed that several of the same camellias would need to be removed to facilitate the installation of a new sidewalk. That would have been useful information before I put such meticulous effort into grooming them. It was briefly annoying; but I did not fret long. I planned to recycle the camellias, and realized that I would have groomed them in the process anyway.

At the time, there was no rush. I thought that the camellias would get to bloom prior to relocation. In the meantime, someone else removed a rotting madrone stump nearby. I thinned and groomed a sloppy filbert into an impressively tailored specimen. Immediate relocation of the camellias was not yet a priority. We had not even identified the precise location of the sidewalk.

Then, there was another disappointment. The project was unexpectedly scheduled immediately after another nearby project that would be completed in only a few days. It would have been more expensive for the crew to leave after finishing the primary project, and then return for the secondary project. I might salvage the camellias, but I knew I could not salvage their bloom.

That is not the worst of it. After planning to relocate the five or so offending camellias on Wednesday or Thursday, I was informed on Tuesday morning that three had already been removed by the backhoe operator who had removed old concrete pavement from the other nearby project. By removed, I mean they got torn mercilessly from the ground and completely destroyed.

One of two relocated camellias demonstrates how mature the three that were needlessly destroyed were, although they were not so broad. That is a shovel handle in front.

No other excavation was done. Asphalt pavement and a curb that need to be removed remain intact. The unwanted ivy is just as unwanted and intact as it was before this weird incident, as if nothing happened. The craters where the camellias got gouged out are barely visible. The only other damage was the mutilation of my well groomed filbert, which was not even in the way.

It was as if the camellias were targeted. Two survived only because someone arrived on site to stop the backhoe operator from destroying them also. There was no regard for any associated subterranean infrastructure, such as an irrigation system and electrical landscape lighting. I suspect that the filbert was mangled just because it was too close to one of the targeted camellias.

I tried to conceal my anger as I frantically relocated the two surviving camellias, while the backhoe operator who so needlessly and blatantly destroyed the other three worked with the crew at the other project just a few yards away. I tried to convince myself that the incident was merely an honest mistake. I doubt that the backhoe operator intentionally targeted the camellias.

As I finished, and was calmly leaving the site, something happened that made me realize that perhaps some of my anger was not completely unfounded. I still do not believe that the backhoe operator was intentionally malicious. I realized instead that the backhoe operator, regardless of his intentions, should most certainly not be operating such potentially dangerous machinery.

From where the crew was taking a break, and the backhoe operator seemed to be enjoying a cigarette, a voluminous and aromatic cloud of marijuana smoke drifted to where I could smell it.

What these guys do prior to or after work is none of my business, as long as it does not compromise their safety or rationality. If someone wants to go off and use their so-called medication in private during the day, he should do so discretely and moderately. Someone who can generate such a voluminous cloud of smoke with no regard to what others think about it has a problem.

Someone took the initiative to destroy my formerly well tailored filbert, but not to remove the carcass. I could have left it to regenerate, but I do not want to look at it anymore.

18 thoughts on “Horridculture – ?!

  1. I can see why you lack for a title with this one. This post leaves me almost speechless as well. It reminds me of similar things that happen here–although far less destructive. I won’t even sadden anyone by sharing. No point in making this worse. Just suffice it to say that yes, there ARE deliberately mean spirited folks around. Some of them even grow up to drive backhoes. The fact that they do it while smoking marijuana is a little scary though.


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    1. I get so grossed out by marijuana anyway. Two of my colleagues use it, but do not make an issue of it. They respect my disdain for it. I really do no mind, and would not know that they use it if they did not respectfully tell me about it. What bothers me is the attitude that we all should be stoned out of our minds all the time. People can get cited for smoking tobacco in public nowadays, but not for smoking marijuana, just because it is medication. Again, I don’t mind people using it medicinally. But, you know, I have used cold medication in the past, but did so without sharing it with everyone in my surroundings. I used it at night while I slept, and while I did not need to drive anywhere. I certainly would not have used a backhoe while groggy from medication. I wrote an article about it a while ago.


    1. I try not to think about it. While getting gasoline some time back, I had to run after a van that was rolling toward cars that were fueling up. It was out of gear without a parking brake, but the engine was running. I yelled for others to help, and someone blocked a tire with a bit of firewood. We looked around for whomever left the van there with the engine running, but found no one. After a few minutes, the back door opened up, and two young men emerged in a daze an a foul cloud of marijuana smoke. Getting stoned was all that was important to them, while the rest of us contended with their self induced stupidity.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Maddening. I run into this sort of thing a lot in public gardening and I just don’t get why the powers that be can’t tell me in advance. Plus they set a community service person loose on the parking lot berms who did some really shocking shrub pruning. Why not just have him weed? It is beyond me.

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are very fortunate that those who actually work in the landscapes here do what they are proficient at. There is a young man who does all the tedious weeding that makes me cringe to look at. He also mows the acres of lawn, which I would loathe!


    1. We may bill them for the cost of replacements. When I protested the use of marijuana on the job, I was told that “It’s legal.”, as if that makes all that goes with it acceptable.


      1. So much of this weirdness makes no sense. I believe that people really should be able to make their own decisions, even in regard to using marijuana medicinally. The problem is that a few people make really stupid decisions that make their decisions everyone’s problems. Some of the laws that people want to enact, as well as some of what people what to legalize are just crazy. Legalize psychedelic mushrooms, but outlaw tobacco?

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