Friday, December 7, 2007

A Few Things My Neighbors Do Wrong

I know I'm not an authority, but I'm not in a good mood having spent 3 hours at the mall this afternoon looking for sandals while listening to 17 renditions of Jingle Bells. "Gee guy, it's not the best time of year to be looking for sandals." Thank you cap'n obvious.

I'd have pics of my landscaping critiques but it's winter, and I don't want people seeing me taking pics and being openly snooty. Not yet anyway.

1) Rocks as mulch. COME ON. When you enter our development several houses--as if a trend caught fire--have white rocks all around their foundation plantings. That's not all. The poor 10' street trees have a 2' diameter circle of death spread right up to their trunks.

2) I hate barberry. Anyone who uses it automatically gets me muttering under my breath. Especially when it is used as the ONLY foundation plant in a STRAIGHT line across the house. Ten hut!

3) Sod as landscaping. For santa's sake, at least go buy one crappy 4' sapling at Home depot and spend 30 minutes plunking it into the yard.

4) People who buy 4' saplings at Home Depot and plunk them in the yard all by their lonesome, then use white rock mulch.

5) Flagpoles. My lord. Gives a home that nice industrial campus feel. Or, that nice moon landing feel.

6) Orange mums en masse. Orange mums not en masse. Anything orange, including the mustang in the garage. If I want to see orange I'll vomit or dissect my gall bladder.

7) Rusting trucks out front on the street. I'm all for garden sculpture, but....

8) Speaking of which: gazing balls, statues of "fair" maidens holding water jugs with REAL flowers in them, plastic mailboxes, those mini metal flag holders where the flag is the size of a dish towel but has printed flowers on it (OR you COULD actually PLANT some flowers--you ain't foolin' no one no how).

9) River birch planted 3' from the corner of the house. You might as well have invited it inside for dinner.

10) Tis the holiday season, so those damned inflatable snow globe things the size of a mini cooper. There's one down the street that has a sign inside which reads "North Pole." I thought about making my own sign to plant in their yard at 3am that reads "Where Polar Bears Go To Die." Perhaps that's not the best sign, but instead of producing more oil-based crap and polluting the environment in the process, we could do something more constructive. Maybe.

I reserve the right to expand this list if I don't get enough sleep tonight. Cheers.

12 comments:

Layanee at 'Ledge and Gardens' said...

Benjamin:

I had a nice laugh over this post. Don't we all feel this way (over different things, sometimes) during the holiday season! Rock mulch, totally agree! Mini cooper ornaments, totally agree! I think I can talk you into some orange though! Hope you got some sleep this past weekend!

Benjamin Vogt said...

I don't think you can talk me into some orange. You can try, but I'm already set in my ways.

Layanee at 'Ledge and Gardens' said...

BV: LOL...I love a challenge!

RENEGADE GARDENER said...

Benjamin, my only disagreement is concerning barberries. Overall I am not a fan, but, I must admit that I use 'Helmond Pillar' in my home landscape and in my designs.

Clients love them, and I think they should. This crimson rocket is too useful to be ignored. They are just so easy to tuck in tight places. They look fab beside boulder outcroppings and close to broad, billowy shrubs.

But overall more standard varieties are so terribly overused. And people forget, there is a definite barb to barberry! I did a consultation once, and the landscaper prior to me had used them extensively RINGING A SWIMMING POOL.

They overgrew, of course, and billowed out over the edge of the concrete pad surrounding the pool. But only until the couple had their grandchildren over for a swim. Picture it, these little children, racing in glee around the pool, at least up to the point when their naked shins brushed against the barberries ...

Benjamin Vogt said...

Don--Well, I did some research on Helomnd, and it's sort of interesting. Does it really turn a nice scarlet in fall? How tall does it really get? Maybe I could use barberry along the street to keep kids off my property... I can't imagine a decent landscaper using it to ring a pool!

Colleen said...

I can't even tell you how many of these same things bug me! Actually, I'm with you on every single thing but the orange. I'm not inlove with it by any means, but I can handle a little bit of it. I hate, hate, hate those giant inflatable snow globes! Do you know what's even worse? Looking out your front door to see a gigantic inflatable Santa in a gigantic inflatable NASCAR-type car, right next door. Nothing says "Christmas" like a NASCAR Santa...

Benjamin Vogt said...

Colleen,
I wish I could respect people's individuality and passions, but I'm not that good of a person. NASCAR Santa seems to be an ultimate insult to taste, and an unfortunate validation of stereotypes. Of course, I've been thinking of purchasing a bb gun to help deflate such situations.

Colleen said...

LOL A bb gun is very, very tempting right about now. Every time I look out my front window or step out the front door, it's right there, waving at me....

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I could totally tick off a few of these on my own list--especially the inflatable ornaments. And, frankly, anything plastic.

But really, Benjamin... you may need to go back and edit #6. There are some wonderful native varieties of milkweed (you know, the plant you just said you'll be planting this year?) that flower in a lovely, unabashed shade of orange! *GRIN*

Benjamin Vogt said...

CRAP. You know, I was hoping no one would catch on to that orange / milkweed thing. I still don't like orange, but I've reconciled myself to this one plant JUST BECAUSE of the monarch. This does not mean I renounce my distaste for orange. It does mean I will try to cover up the milkweed with something else, though. Argh.

Kathy said...

There are plenty of milkweeds that don't bloom orange. The one most common around here is a dusty pink and wonderfully fragrant. But not sure if it's the one the monarchs like.

Finding winter gloves in February after the Presidents Day sales is just as difficult as finding sandals in December. Guess who lost her gloves in late February one year?

Great rant. Thanks to Gardening Gone Wild for bringing me here. I'll be back.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Those GGW folks are pretty cool (and not just because they link here). Thanks for dropping by Kathy! I think I'll be researching milkweeds for monarchs and NE soon. Maybe today, since I don't have the energy to grade student work. I did find a pair of sandals though after about 10 stores and countless websites! A miracle.