Horridculture – Parking Lot Islands

P80120kWhat a waste of space! What a waste of water! What a waste of time for the mow-blow-and-go ‘gardener’ who charges money to mow and edge it, but are too inept to suggest planting something that might actually be pretty, or shade the parking lot. There are a few of these between parking spaces marked for ‘compact’ cars, because it is cool to discriminate against full size cars that can not pull far enough forward to get out of the way.

Even between a Buick and a Chrysler, it is nothing to look at. It looks like something went seriously wrong with a grave site that was supposed to get a slab ‘over’ it (not ‘around’ it). It could be a Chia Pet litter box. There are much better spots to picnic at the park down the road. Whatever it is, it is not much better than the swales that are required in modern parking lots. It has potential to be a tripping hazard, but is not quite as dangerous.

I would make one of only two suggestions.

1 Pave over it. If there is not some building code that limits the area that can be paved, this might be thee most practical long term solution.

2. Landscape it responsibly. Yes; ‘responsibly’. Turf grass is just lame. Those trendy carpet roses that mow-blow-and-go ‘gardeners’ typically plant snag the clothing of those coming and going from the cars they park there. Since parking lots get warm, I would recommend shade trees with complaisant roots that are compatible with pavement. Such shade trees also should get tall enough to not obscure the signs on the buildings.

Parking lot islands contain some of the most deplorable landscapes. Trees commonly get hacked down below signs rather than pruned up and over them. Even if they get properly pruned with up-dos, their canopies must be carve around security lighting. Most problems result from negligent maintenance. Some problems result from design glitches. Realistically though, parking lot islands are very difficult to landscape well.

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Horridculture – Weed Eaters

P90410The most destructive tools that so-called ‘gardeners’ have access to are hedge shears. They use them on just about anything within their reach. If a tree is not beyond their reach, they are likely to shear it into a nondescript glob of a shrub, complete with lodgepole stakes and straps that never get removed. Yet, in all their enthusiasm, they will not properly shear hedges that are actually intended to be shorn. Well, I have ranted on that enough.
The second most destructive tools that so-called ‘gardeners’ have access to are weed eaters, which are also known as weed whackers or edgers. Although not actually related to real edgers, they are known as such just because they are so commonly used for the same purpose. Weed eaters are designed to cut weeds indiscriminately, and are quite efficient at doing so. The problem is that they cut or try to cut anything else they encounter.
So-called ‘gardeners’ often gouge the paint off of the bottoms of walls and fences, just because it is easier to cut the weeds there with a weed eater than it is to pull them. What is worse is that they also often cut off the tops of perennials that are trying to regenerate in spring after winter dormancy. Spring or summer bulbs might never get a chance to bloom. Perennials, groundcover plants and shrubbery are not safe from the blatant indiscretion.
The sad little Memorial Tree in Felton Covered Bridge Park gets gouged more than annually by a weed eater. Every time it happens, I am assured that it will not happen again; but if the weeds get cut before I pull them from around the trunk, it does . . . very regularly. I was also assured that the tree would be outfitted with a tree-guard, but as you can see, it has not yet happened. I am told that I can not put my own guard on the trunk.
Those causing this damage are non-horticulturally oriented people who are assigned community service for some sort of infraction, so should not really be expected to know how to use weed eaters properly; not that this is any consolation for the damage. What is worse is that such damage is so commonly caused by so-called ‘gardeners’ who really should know better, and charge good money to take care of the trees they damage and kill
The most recent article about the Memorial Tree, with a link to a previous article that links to previous articles . . . and so on, can be found at: https://tonytomeo.com/2018/10/14/memorial-memorial/

Horridculture – Good Design / Bad ‘Maintenance’

P90227From a distance, this landscape does not look so bad. It seems to have been only recently installed, and features the sort of material that was likely intended to not necessarily obscure the sleek architecture of the building behind it, but to eventually soften the starkness of it.

Let’s analyze the landscape. A glossy privet hedge in back should grow up into an informal screen to provide some substantial green against the wall, but with a bit of proper pruning, should not become too obtrusive. A lower hedge of variegated tobira (Pittosporum tobira ‘Variegata’) in front can be pruned into a semi-formal hedge to obscure the bases of the trunks of the glossy privets, which will undoubtedly shed lower growth as they mature. The lightly colored variegated foliage of the tobira contrasts nicely against that of the dark green privets. The blue festuca in front of the variegated tobira hedge provides even more contrast of color, as well as contrast of form, and also ties in with the same blue festuca elsewhere in the landscape. The only two ‘intentional’ interruptions of the simple sleekness of this landscape is where a pair of grapevines flanking a doorway await the installation of an arbor, and a single ‘Icee Blue’ yellowwood is expected to provide additional contrast of form and color in front of the glossy privets. Both features are well situated, and balanced within the symmetry of the landscape. Yes, it is all quite well designed.

And yes, this is Wednesday; the day for my ‘Horridculture’ rant. So, let’s look closer.

Firstly, this is not a new landscape. It has been here long enough to mature better than it has so far. The so-called ‘gardeners’ know that allowing the material to grow means that they will need to put more effort into maintaining it. They would prefer to just keep the glossy privet hedge down low where it does not produce much debris, rather than allow it to grow most of the way up the wall, where it should be by now. A row of cinder block painted green would work just as well, and not need to be shorn at all. The ‘Icee Blue’ yellowwood should likewise be larger than it is now, and looking like a small and neat but informal tree. It actually seems to be growing slowly, which is no fault of the so-called ‘gardeners’.

The pair of grapevines have the opposite problem of the privet hedge. They are not being contained enough. Without the arbor that has yet to be built, they have no place to go, so are just being pruned as rampant and fat shrubs that will fall over as soon as their old stakes rot at the ground. If an arbor is ever built, all that congested and disfigured growth should be cut to the ground in winter, and started over from the ground up. However, it is unlikely that the so-called ‘gardeners’ would maintain them any better on an arbor than they do with them within reach; so it is probably just as well that they are in the ridiculous situation they are in.

That low spherical shrub in the front and center of the landscape, which is just to the left of the lower center of the picture, and is the unintentional interruption to the simplicity of the otherwise well designed variegated tobira hedge that I alluded to earlier, is a variegated Pittosporum tenuifolium. It is so ridiculously shorn and abused that I can not identify the cultivar. I can only guess that it is the common and overly popular ‘Marjorie Channon’. Apparently, one of the variegated tobiras died and needed to be replaced. Hey, it happens. A so-called ‘gardener’ knew that the necessary replacement plant needed to be variegated. He also knew that it needed to be a pittosporum, which is probably more than most so-called ‘gardeners’ could ascertain. The problem was that he went to a nursery and grabbed the first variegated pittosporum that he found, which, as you can plainly see, does not match the tobiras. It assumed a different form, flopped forward as they often do when shorn in such an inappropriate manner, and continues to be shorn into the ‘shape’ seen here now . . . as if it is somehow an asset to this otherwise well designed landscape. The blue festuca that it landed on gets shorn right along with it.

The only feature in this well designed landscape that does not have a serious problem, except for its one member that was clobbered by the single disfigured pittosporum, is the blue festuca, and that is only because the so-called ‘gardeners’ do nothing to it.P90227+

Horridculture – Disdain For Bloom

P81212From the same landscape that, last autumn, was so dutifully deprived of its elegantly cascading rosemary and soon to be fiery autumn color of Boston ivy, https://tonytomeo.com/2017/11/05/serously/ , I procured these disturbing images of what results from of a serious disdain for flowering crabapple bloom. These trees were mentioned earlier in that article, but without such images. Similar victims were discussed last spring, https://tonytomeo.com/2018/03/07/the-good-the-bad-and-theyre-both-ugly/ and about a year ago https://tonytomeo.com/2017/12/06/sculpture/ .

The landscape where these trees live was actually rather well designed, and for a few years, had been well maintained. Seriously! The flowering crabapples were likely selected because they would not get tall enough to encroach into the utility easement above. There were pruned as much as necessary to prevent them from developing into a nasty thicket like young flowering crabapples typically do, but without significantly compromising the spectacular bloom. They really were spectacular!P81212+

About six years ago, a different crew of ‘gardeners’ was hired. It was obvious when it happened because the brutality to other features of the formerly well maintained landscape was so immediate. These flowering crabapples were somehow spared, but only temporarily. They were at their prime when they displayed exemplary bloom for the last time three springs ago. As these pictures indicate, they were hacked back two springs ago, just as the fat floral buds were showing bright pink color, and were about to pop open. All the buds and blooming stems that the trees had put so much work into were cut off and taken away, just days or maybe hours before the big show. The process was repeated in the same manner just prior to bloom last year. A scarce few twigs were somehow missed, and managed to bloom with a few blossoms that developed into the few fruits that can be seen in the second picture. I can not explain why the hacking was done earlier this year. Nor can I explain why a bit more of the twiggy growth remains. Did the ‘gardeners’ leave it for a tiny bit of bloom, or were they just lazy with their mutilation. It does not matter. As long as these trees get hacked like this, they are ruined. The client pays the ‘gardeners’ to do this.

Now, these trees could only be salvaged by renovation. This would involve pollarding, which would remove the tangles of gnarled stubs, but would leave horridly stubbed limbs to start the regeneration process. The trees would be just as deprived of bloom for the first year, but would at least be able to compartmentalize (heal) the wounds on the cleanly stubbed limbs. The secondary growth would need to be very meticulously and systematically groomed and pruned for many years to replace the canopy. It is possible, but would involve more work than even a good horticulturist or arborist would want to devote to the project.P81212++

Horridculture – Lessons From Motivational Posters

P81010I work for the best. I do not intend to be too terribly pompous about it. I am just being honest.
This is not first time I have worked for the best. I have worked for at least three of the best arborists in the Santa Clara Valley, and two legendary horticulturists. I intend to eventually return to work for one of those legendary horticulturists back on the farm.
The main work I do now is part time and temporary. That means that I work less than four days each week, and will not be working there forever. I try to not think about leaving because it is saddening. I enjoy those whom I work for so much.
I work for only one other horticulturist, and one who is studying to be an arborist. Neither of them grow any significant quantity of nursery stock like I intend to spend the rest of my career doing. They maintain landscapes and facilities. The others of our elite group are very specialized professionals who work with everything else that is not relevant to horticulture. One is a carpenter. One is an electrician. One is a plumber; and so on. Although impeccably specialized, any one of us would do what he must to accomplish whatever needs to be done, even if it is beyond his respective specialty. Collectively, we are the ‘maintenance staff’.
How is this relevant to horticulture? I suppose it is not very relevant. However, everyone else on the maintenance staff respects what the other horticulturist, the other arborist, and I do. Anyone who needs vegetation pruned for clearance from a project contacts us to get it done properly. Anyone who sees obvious problems in the landscape informs us about them. Everyone on the maintenance staff respects everyone else and their respective professions.
To describe what makes the maintenance staff the best, I could use any combination of those inspirational words that are so ungraciously followed by an overly simplified dictionary definition on those insultingly inane motivational posters that so many other employers display prominently in the workplace. They are all relevant. However, we have nothing to prove.
Besides, this is not about the best. It is Wednesday, when I write within the context of my ‘Horridculture’ theme.
I have also worked for the worst. One of these worst was portrayed to be a very professional landscape maintenance company. We had a much larger staff, spread out over nine counties. We had a good variety of those motivational posters in our main office. Unfortunately, I did not realize when I went to work there, that those posters merely defined what we lacked.
Integrity – Dedication – Perseverance – Discipline – Teamwork – Excellence – Strength – Endurance – Accountability – We had none of that. I was the only horticulturist in the big staff of a big landscape maintenance company that simply did not care. I do not know how to describe it more accurately. We simply did not care. We were there to make a buck any way we could. We swindled, cheated and lied. I was only there as their token horticulturist and arborist, to help them get away with more of their illicit activity, and to make a good impression for their victims.
It is so backward. The big and seemingly reputable landscape maintenance company has less regard for horticulture than a maintenance staff who has other completely different priorities.

Horridculture – Ethics

P80324++Before I continue, I should mention that I have worked for some of the BEST horticultural professionals in the entire Universe! Seriously! I have worked for the single most excellent nurseryman EVER, and not one, but a FEW of the most excellent arborists EVER! YES, I am bragging! I can write about some of them another time.
I have also worked for some of the worst, including those who were involved with the maintenance of landscapes associated with various residential sites that were in the process of being renovated or demolished and redeveloped at the old Fort Ord. They engaged in more unethical activity at Fort Ord than I can write about in just a few articles. For now, I will just rant about one such incident.
Back in about 2007 or 2008, I was asked to go out to investigated a distressed ‘Marina’ madrone on Abrams Drive. The subject was easy to find because is was the only nearly dead tree within a remarkably uniform row of very healthy ‘Marina’ madrones. It had been too severely ravaged by a severe infestation of aphid to be salvaged. I prescribed removal and replacement with a new specimen of the same cultivar.
I was annoyed that the removal of this single tree would ruin the otherwise perfect uniformity and spacing of the row of trees that had been so well maintained for many years. I was even more annoyed that the people whom I worked with had not noticed that the tree was distressed before it succumbed to the aphid infestation. Aphid is not normally much of a problem for ‘Marina’ madron. It was obvious that the subject had been deteriorating for a few years before it finally succumbed, and would have exhibited very obvious symptoms of distress for at least the previous few months. Someone should have noticed a problem during that time. That is part of what the clients had been paying us significant amounts of money to do.
All that I could do was write my report to recommend removal of the subject so that the client could justify the expense.
The following week, on my way down Abrams Drive to investigate another problem, I noticed that the subject had not yet been removed. However, one of the trees next to it was missing. I stopped to investigate and found a stump with fresh sawdust. I called the project manager, but before I could ask about the missing tree, was informed that the subject had been removed. Well, one can guess what happened. The ‘tree crew’ removed the wrong specimen!
My report was very specific about the location of the subject, and cited the subject’s identification number. Now, even without that information, it should have been EXTREMELY obvious which tree needed to be removed. As I said earlier, I had no problem identifying it as the only nearly dead tree within a very uniform group of very healthy trees. Someone on the crew who removed it, or the project manager who was supposed to ‘manage’ the project, or ANYONE involved with this removal should have noticed that the wrong tree was getting cut down. Even if no one bothered to notice the dead tree that really needed to be cut down, someone . . . ANYONE of the so called ‘horticultural professionals’ should have wondered why such a remarkably healthy tree was being cut down.
So, the ‘tree crew’ returned and cut down the original subject, and actually did so with their second attempt.
Then the two trees needed to be replaced. It sounds simple enough. The problem was that these particular ‘professionals’ knew of only a few trees, and ‘Marina’ madrone was not one of them. They replaced the removed trees with the ubiquitous crape myrtle, which completely ruined the conformity of the otherwise uniform row of ‘Marina’ madrone.
The client was billed for it all.
They payed for the removal and replacement of a tree that they had already payed a significant amount of money for, to be maintained properly so that this sort of thing would not happen.
They payed for the removal and replacement of a tree for no justifiable reason . . . just because NO ONE involved could identify the difference between a healthy tree and a nearly dead tree.
In the end, the client payed a lot of money to get their formerly exemplary trees replaced with the wrong trees.

Horridculture – Stub

P80620.JPGHow can a professional ‘gardener’ leave such a stub on the little California black oak in Felton Covered Bridge Park. It is not as if it is high in the canopy of a large tree, and out of reach to an arborist. This one is right at eye level, exactly where someone getting out of a car parked in the adjacent parking space would run into it. The entire tree needs some major corrective pruning, which would include the removal of significant limbs and portions of the canopy, but that is only because of years of neglect, and is another story. Right now, we are focusing on the eye-level stub.

It is not easy to see in these pictures because the lower branches are so congested. The stub extends from the lower left to the upper right in the first picture. It is right in the center of the second picture, protruding upward and to the left of the trunk, and then kinking back to the right. The last picture shows how easy it would be to reach from the ground. This particular tree is located right across from the Memorial Tree. https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/memorial-tree-update-to-the-updated-update-etc-the-sequel-to-all-those-other-sequels/

We are always taught to not leave stubs. They interfere with compartmentalization of the pruning wound, or in this case, grow back into a disfigured wad of useless growth that will just need to be removed later. This poor tree already has plenty structural problems. Even if it were not unhealthy for the tree, it is just plain unsightly. Seriously, this looks ridiculous.

‘Gardeners’ do it all the time, as if they all take the same class on ‘how to leave stubs’. What was the advantage to cutting the limb right there instead of two feet closer to the trunk to eliminate the entire stub?P80620+P80620++

Real Deal

P80203Stereotypes can be such a bother. For the past almost twenty years that I have been writing my gardening column, many of those who read the column have been making assumptions about who I am and how I behave. I actually find much of the behavior that I should conform to be rather objectionable. Even the lingo would be awkward for me. I am a horticulturist, and if you must know, an arborist as well. It is my profession. I did not take an interest in horticulture because I retired or got bored with my primary career. Nor did I flunk out at everything else. I am not a garden guru, flower floozy or hortisexual. I do not crowd my garden with garden fairies, repurposed junk or rare and unusual plants. There is nothing eclectic or quaint. There is no whimsy or magic, and most certainly NO riot of color! Brent does not even flinch at my offensive racial comments.

Does anyone remember the yellow clivia fad? Everyone wanted yellow clivias in their own gardens because they were so rare, and so different from the typical orange. Does anyone even know what ‘rare’ means? When we all get them growing in our own garden, they are NOT rare! Has anyone tried to find an orange clivia lately? Yellow clivias had been rare back when orange was the more popular color, but only because orange clivias were the previous fad, and nurseries did not bother to grow the undesirable yellow clivias. Both yellow and orange are nice, but only if they happen to be the right perennial for a particular situation. They work nicely in spots that are too shady for other plants, and the bright colors are striking against the richly dark green foliage. However, they are not better than lily-of- the-Nile for sunny spots. I have grown more lily-of-the-Nile than I can write about, but have grown only one orange clivia.

The same goes for dawn redwood, or like landscapers with something to prove say, ‘Metasequoia glyptroboides’. They are nice trees in the right situation, particularly where redwoods would be nice, but a bit of sunlight is preferred through winter. However, that certainly does not make the right tree for every situation. I have worked with a few, but have never grown one in my own garden.

I loath Japanese maples! I do not mind growing them in the nursery, but I do not want to waste garden space on something so trendy. There are plenty of other more useful or prettier trees and shrubs. When I say that maples are some of my favorite trees, I mean ‘real’ maples, such as sugar maples and red maples. I know that silver and bigleaf maples are not very desirable trees, but they happen to be two of my favorites.

Being a good horticulturist is about knowing the many plant specie that we work with. Although silver maple happens to be one of my favorites, I have only been able to recommend it for just one application in my entire career. Just because it would be nice in my home garden, and I am willing to deal with the problems, does not mean that I can recommend it for other landscapes where others would need to contend with the problems. As much as I dislike Japanese maples, I have recommended them a few times for small spaces like atriums, particularly for clients who happen to like them. Unfortunately, they are more useful than silver maple. It is all a matter of knowing what specie are most appropriate for every application.

Shady

P80310+++++Shady applies to more than trees. It applies to many of those who are hired to maintain trees and landscapes. In my career, I have worked for some of the best arborists, nurserymen and other horticulturists. In fact, some of my colleagues, particularly a landscape designer, two nurserymen and at least three arborists, happen to be legendary. I would say that I don’t mean to brag, but that would be inaccurate. I will write about some of them sometime. This here is not about them.

Sadly, I have had the misfortune to work with some really shady characters and businesses. They may seem to be more professional than the real professionals who take their professions very seriously, but it is all for show. I can tell you all about the brochures, and use all the buzz words, but it is all a lie. From sustainability and planting natives to save water, to diagnosing problems before they become serious, they are all lies. Their objective is to take money; as much money as possible, for as little effort as possible.

Even their contracts were not considered to be sustainable. I once informed an operations manager that the oleanders that were planted below a sign were not the dwarf oleanders that they were supposed to be, and that in order to prevent them from obscuring the sign, they would need to be pruned and deprived of bloom. He was not concerned, and told me that we have no idea who will be taking care of the landscape by the time that happens.

Sure, they would plant garden varieties of native ceanothus, supposedly to save water, but then water them so much that they would rot and die. In fact, they would put so much water on lawns that many established trees would rot and die. They would then charge a lot of money to remove the dead trees, and then charge more money to plant new ones, even though they were responsible for killing the originals.

I was once instructed to go look at a ‘Marina’ madrone that was a street tree in what had been the old Fort Ord, where some of the old homes, buildings and landscapes were in the process of being salvaged or renovated. I was only informed that the tree was in bad condition. Upon arrival, I found the single madrone in a well matched row of others, on a curving street. I was quite annoyed that the tree was so distressed from severe aphid infestation that it could not be salvaged. The subject looked as if it had been healthy for many years, but only recently became infested with aphid within the previous two years. The other ‘horticultural professionals’ at the site should have noticed the problem before the tree had deteriorated as much as it had. Now, removing the tree was going to compromise the conformity of the evenly spaced and well matched row of street trees. I wrote the report prescribing removal.

I needed to visit the site for another problem a few weeks later, and when I drove by where the tree should have been removed, I noticed that it was still there, and very dead. Interestingly, a tree next to it was missing. That made me wonder. I radioed in, and was informed that the tree had been cut down. You can guess where this is going. They had cut down the wrong tree; a perfectly healthy ‘Marina’ madrone. Why didn’t the crew removing the healthy tree question the removal of such a healthy tree next to a dead tree? Who knows. I wrote another report prescribing the removal of the dead tree, which was removed the second time around.

The client was charged for the removal and replacement of BOTH trees, the dead tree, and the healthy tree that was removed by ‘mistake’! The replacement trees were large boxed trees that better matched those that were removed!

For those who do not know, madrones should be planted while young, and will rather efficiently grow to match the others. Boxed trees get too distressed from the transition to recover right away, and wait around for years before they resume growth. By the time a big boxed tree starts to grow, a smaller tree would have already gotten established and grown larger. Boxed madrones are really for those who want to charge more money than they could get for smaller trees that cost much less.

So, the landscape company charged a lot of money to maintain the landscape, so that trees would not die from negligence. Then, they charged not only for the removal and replacement of a tree that died as a result of their negligence, but also a tree that was killed by their stupidity. As if that were not enough, they charged for the the most expensive replacement trees available. They were shadier than the trees that they killed.

Someone Got Payed For This?!

P71216See what happens when the plants in the garden are happy? They do pretty things. It is now halfway through December and this honeysuckle is still blooming nicely. The cool weather has inhibited bloom somewhat, but has not totally prevented it yet. By the end of winter, this honeysuckle will get pruned back so that it can regenerate new growth to bloom through next year.

This honeysuckle happens to be growing on a chain link fence behind a small group of apartments. Someone who lives in one of the apartments enjoys tending a few vegetables and flowers, but really does not put too much effort into the surrounding vines and shrubbery that obscure the view of the parking lot next door. That region of the garden gets only the maintenance that is required to keep it under control. The person who does it is no horticultural professional; merely someone who enjoys a bit of home gardening.

Horticultural professionals should know more about horticulture than someone who just enjoys growing a few vegetables and flowers after coming home from working at another profession. That is what they get payed for. That is why they are professionals. . . because it is their profession.

Right across Highway 9 from the homes with the honeysuckled fence is a pharmacy with a parking lot that is ‘maintained’ by ‘gardeners’. It looks like a parking lot. There are some nice young but shady elms that were recently pruned up for clearance by professional arborists who did a rather impressive job. Below the elms is a mixture of typical ‘low maintenance’ plants that are often found in parking lots, including lily-of-the-Nile, African iris, Oregon grape and Indian hawthorn, with a few dwarf Heavenly bamboo to add a slight bit of Japanese ethnic diversity into an otherwise African-American landscape.

Except for the elms and other young trees, none of the plants are exemplary. They are all tough plants that are resilient to the climate and abuse that they get in a pharmacy parking lot. Their main problem is the ‘maintenance’ performed by the ‘professional gardeners’. I could go on about this, but for now, I just want to describe what was done to the Heavenly bamboo.

It never really looks that good. It does not get a chance to. At least this time of year, this particular cultivar of Heavenly bamboo gets some rather nice color on it. Even if the foliage is mutilated and crowed from a lack of ‘proper’ pruning and an excess of ‘improper’ pruning, the reddish or burgundy color is pretty from a distance. At least, it would have been.

The ‘gardeners’ cut all the foliage off, just as it was beginning to color. Yep. It is all gone. The canes were cut into these tightly shorn but somehow awkwardly asymmetrical cylinders with angular edges around the circular and flat tops. How does one put that much effort into shearing something so tightly, and perfecting the flat top, without getting it symmetrical? Why put that much effort into ruining something just before the performance that it waited all year for, and just prior to the longest time of year before the weather warms enough for it to recover?

Shear abuse – with shears.

Perhaps those are questions that Rhody is pondering in the picture. Perhaps he just wants to leave a ‘message’ for the ‘gardeners’.P71216+