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Least Favorite Gardening Trends...What NOT to do in Your Garden

11 years ago

Here's advice on what NOT to do in your garden..opinions from all and sundry...

Least favorite gardening trend...What's yours?? My least favorite garden trend....Evergreens!!!!!!

Posted by daylilydreamer 6/7Mid-Atlantic (My Page) on Wed, Aug 13, 03 at 19:05

What's your most annoying, least favorite and/or overdone gardening trend? I like to be positive about gardening but mine is evergreens. I'm drowning in, and sick to death of evergreens. Aside from the possibly negative natural effects of constantly replaces deciduous trees with evergreens, (i.e. the entire world becomes the Pine Barrens)....... I'm sick of it from a gardening stand point as well. My new neighbors, (god bless their poor little souls), replaced everything that was previously in their yard, (lilacs some deciduous trees etc.) with evergreens last year. You know, those "Edward Scissor-hands" evergreens that come stunted and contorted in a variety of shapes and sizes. Twisted, awkward-looking things standing against a bare horizon of grass. Who said this was a nice idea? I love evergreens for year-round color.....As accent plants in winter or as the foundation to a garden. But only evergreens? Why not mix them up with deciduous trees, shrubs and perennials? Where did this ugly trend come from, and when will it end??!!!
P.S. I'm the one who has to look at my neighbors' ugly garden everyday out my window, not them, lucky me!!! :-)

* Posted by: Blueheron z6 PA (My Page) on Wed, Aug 13, 03 at 19:23

I live in a part of town that has a lot of enormous, old evergreen trees around the houses. A lot of them are planted on the north side of the houses and really make the places dark. They're old trees and I'm wondering what the people were thinking when they planted them years ago.

My house doesn't have evergreens, just walnut trees (which attract the @@%%$$$ squirrels) but I often think when driving around the neighborhood that I would definitely cut down some of those old, ugly evergreens if I were the homeowner.

* Posted by: Melissa_InTheWoods z7a MD (My Page) on Wed, Aug 13, 03 at 20:18

Butterfly Bushes (Buddlias). They are becoming so invasive, and they "junk food" for butterflies.
Give me my Joe Pye Weed anyday!

* Posted by: KurtG MD (My Page) on Thu, Aug 14, 03 at 8:41

I have several- daylilies, sedum, purple plants, and garden circles plopped in the middle of yards with what always seems like pansies and dwarf alberta spruce. Ugh!

* Posted by: Frizzle z6 PA (My Page) on Thu, Aug 14, 03 at 14:55

How about garden circles plopped down in the middle of the front yard with colored stones in it instead of plants - like aquarium colored stones/gravel blues, greens, and tans? Or worse - that same circle with 6 teeny tiny plants spaced about 3 feet apart that look like they are dying for a drink of water

* Posted by: Dicentra SE PA z6B (My Page) on Thu, Aug 14, 03 at 19:33

~Cannot stand to see garden circles in the middle of weedy grass, with cheapo fencing around it, twisted and bent at every angle...ugggggg! Talk about unsightly.
~lining a walkway/driveway with cheap plastic pots, only to forget about them and have dead stems remain most of the year.
~perfectly placed annuals, repeating, red begonia/white begonia/white impatiens. Geez, have some imagination...LOL.
~trashing a nice garden with too much plastic Americana stuff. I'm patriotic but do it some justice and make it look presentable, not throw together.

* Posted by: Cynthia z7 MD (My Page) on Thu, Aug 14, 03 at 23:26

1) Crepe Myrtles.
2) The ubiquitous Maryland combination of Echinacea, Rudbeckia Goldsturm and Grasses. Enough already.

(!Love evergreens and conifers!)

* Posted by: graywings 7MD (My Page) on Fri, Aug 15, 03 at 8:30

Most of these have already been mentioned, but:
1. Those plants that they get to grow in a spiral form, always seen in pairs on either side of the front door.
2. Planting circles plopped in the center of a yard.
3. Soldier planting - a long row of anything, but especially Leyland Cypress trees.

* Posted by: carol23 z6PA (My Page) on Fri, Aug 15, 03 at 9:36

The dyed mulch, brick color. It's ugly!
Plastic pots as previously mentioned, and the red and white Begonias.
I did see an interesting planting of Petunias, like a rainbow, as they planted it in drifts of colors including all colors available.
At least it was not the boring red and white.

* Posted by: Dicentra SE PA z6B (My Page) on Fri, Aug 15, 03 at 12:33

~forgot this one...those plastic in-ground walkway lights, put out and lining every which way of every walkway! It looks like a landing strip for an alien spacecraft....LOL

* Posted by: Philipw2 7 MD/DC (My Page) on Fri, Aug 15, 03 at 12:52

What really drives me wild is seeing a completely neglected front yard. People paid real money for those houses and the new SUVs sitting outside them. You'd think they could afford to replace the overgrown azaleas, sprawling ivy and thinning hemlock. The lawn may be mowed, but the yard is really neglected.

* Posted by: aka_Peggy Md6b (My Page) on Fri, Aug 15, 03 at 22:48

"forgot this one...those plastic in-ground walkway lights, put out and lining every which way of every walkway! It looks like a landing strip for an alien spacecraft....LOL"

I think I have some of those plastic lights. The solar lamps right? They're really handy tho for finding your way from the driveway to the house. It gets dark out here you know!! LOL!

I don't care for gazing balls or those silly silhouettes carved out of plywood. I don't like the red, white and blue flower scheme (I'll just hang my flag if I feel the need to be patriotic, thanks) and, I detest the "mall begonia's"!

Despise alberta spruce, leyland cypress and Colorado blue spruce (though I understand why people plant them sometimes) but love evergreens otherwise. Hollies, hemlocks, boxwood, cypress. There are so many beautiful evergreens and I think a nice mix is important for an interesting landscape.

And privacy~

* Posted by: daylilydreamer 6/7Mid-Atlantic (My Page) on Fri, Aug 15, 03 at 23:29

I looooooooove evergreens too. But real evergreens, holly, blue spruce etc. There's hardly anything prettier than a Holly in winter or in a Christmas centerpiece. But I'm talking about those new strains of dwarf, contorted, twisted and shaped evergreens, and gardens that have nothing but evergreens...."A man cannot live on Evergreens alone". I mean these contorted evergreens you see like the ones I mentioned, surrounded by white rocks and then grass, it looks about as barren as a park in Arizona. This is the Mid-Atlantic! Ease-of-care's no excuse either, most deciduous shrubs and trees require virtually no care at all, (and some perennials require almost none).

* Posted by: stephenNJ z6NJ ) on Sat, Aug 16, 03 at 8:25

Non native Azaleas and Forsythias drive me nuts! every one on the planet and their mother has them here.

* Posted by: lrobins z6b MD (My Page) on Sat, Aug 16, 03 at 13:05

"Topping" trees, not that common but even one is too much, both ugly and destructive to the tree. See tree forum for more comments on this practice.

Planting too much of any one variety, especially trees, with an exception for some native species. For example, one pink-flowering Kwanzan oriental cherry would be a beautiful, attention-getting novelty (for a few weeks in spring). Dozens on every block, and it becomes a boring cliche.

* Posted by: lettssee z7 maryland (My Page) on Sun, Aug 17, 03 at 17:42

I am very new to having a yard to plant in so it bothers me to see people not plant anything. all these years they could have taken my apartment and I could have planted their yard! Not many people here have gardens, a few have the bushes that "came with the house" but that?s all. At least I try to garden. Oh. and I don?t like those bushes that are all yellow in the spring with the spiky look. and I agree with most everyone that posted before me.

* Posted by: MDaughn zone 7 (My Page) on Mon, Aug 18, 03 at 14:58

Hi. This is my first post, forgive me if my manners are not quite right, I have been a lurker for a few weeks now and this subject really caught my eye.

My least favorite trend is the one red japanese maple that everyone just has to have stuck in somewhere. They are usually about 3 feet tall and look kind of lonesome.

My biggest pet peeve though is what I call "volcano mulching." You know, the big mounds of mulch piled up around a tree, it looks funny and is bad for the health of the tree. I have seen landscapers do this and it makes me crazy. (really crazy, my friends run the other way if I get started on mulch)

* Posted by: mtngirl z6VA (My Page) on Mon, Aug 18, 03 at 16:10

GGazing balls, most garden statuary, round circle beds, overgrown evergreens blocking windows, brown arborvitae, straggly roses, military formation-style plantings, a lot of the edging material I've seen, and black plants, which seem to look like victims of a horrible plant plague.

* Posted by: daylilydreamer 6/7Mid-Atlantic (My Page) on Mon, Aug 18, 03 at 17:13

Don't like Japanese Maples? Pish tosh!!!!! I know they're common around here, but they are so beautiful and easy to grow!!!!! I wouldn't want one in a lone front yard, but as part of a garden or an understory for other trees it's lovely!!!! But, then again I don't like any one lone object in a yard, (i.e. one twisted evergreen). That's pretty much a rule of thumb, otherwise japanese maples are lovely!!!!

* Posted by: Dicentra SE PA z6B (My Page) on Mon, Aug 18, 03 at 21:49

Hey Peggy...I have those walkway lights and they're great for safety! I have a few neighbors, though, who've put at least a half dozen sets or more around their shrubs, circling trees, and other places away from a just looks like an alien ship landing pad...LOL.

* Posted by: BlackEyedSusan z6/7 VA (My Page) on Tue, Aug 19, 03 at 0:37

You want to see a landing strip?! Our new neighbors ripped out beautiful, EXPENSIVE hemlocks that lined the driveway and planted leylands every three feet (they must have taken Lowe's entire stock because they went from three gallons to one gallons halfway through, we're talking about 200 feet of drive here) and two lamps for every leyland! Sheesh! They ripped out all the nice, naturalized landscaping out front and planted these out of place, tiny, ugly (and it pains me to call a plant ugly) shrubs which are now dying. Argh.

A peeve of mine is people who don't want to hear suggestions about plants. I work in a small nursery and have had a couple of customers who are dead set on putting that blue angel hosta in the full sun (I understand initial confusion but some people are in flat out denial) or refuses to believe that basil is not perennial here because their friend has had her/his basil for YEARS now. That and getting griped at for the prices...yes sir, I personally jack up the prices just to irritate you so you'll *#&@! at me in front of all these people. Thank you... =)

I don't mind people who attempt to do something with their yards (i.e. the red and white scheme). I appreciate the effort, I know a lot of people with black thumbs who are very happy if they can just make some grow the entire season. What I don't appreciate is the look-at-me-I'm-rich person who wants some that blooms all summer, comes back every year, and that they don't have to bother with ever again. *smack!*

Ok, I'm done now :)

* Posted by: aka_Peggy Md6b (My Page) on Tue, Aug 19, 03 at 7:50

I have 6 of them lining the walkway of my house. No street lights out here. My son gave them to me for Mother's day last year. At 1st I didn't think I'd like them but now I really likem-alot.

* Posted by: LaurieBee z7 MD (My Page) on Mon, Aug 25, 03 at 21:06

It started last August - three near neighbors cut down major trees. As soon as the crew showed up for the first house two others went running out there to get estimates. The first two had beautiful mature shade trees. (The third had cherries that were dying off.) Now a few weeks ago our next door neighbor removed a 150+ year old oak that was dying. What really kills me about that one is that we were out of town when the oak was taken down - I had been waiting for those chippings!
I am very, very sad that no one is re-planting! We liked this neighborhood because of all the mature trees.
Do these people realize that their houses are hotter and the airplanes are louder???!!!??

* Posted by: PeteT z7a VA (My Page) on Mon, Aug 25, 03 at 23:10

I would have to say anything non-natural in the landscape, especially plastic. That godawful "landscape fabric" that some people use for weed control is an absolute horror. It controls weeds for a year or two and then becomes a pain in the butt for centuries thereafter. (The previous owner put it under everything, even the lawn! I can't put a shovel in the ground without getting tangled up in it.) And, of course, no matter where it is or how deep it's buried, it always surfaces eventually...

* Posted by: Alfie_MD6 z6 MD (My Page) on Tue, Aug 26, 03 at 12:57

Topped crepe myrtles. And mondo grass. And hostas (says Alfie, ducking).

* Posted by: spec4lover z7 VA (My Page) on Tue, Aug 26, 03 at 15:35

OK, this is a different one...a large yard that has nothing in it but grass, grass, grass, grass........
That's why I spent the last 3 years putting in plants--shrubs, trees, perennials. I have 3 acres--one side yard had some large old oak trees, but the rest had only 3 maple trees 2 young tulip poplars, a grafted dogwood that had been allowed to grow so there was a native dogwood fighting with a kousa, a native dogwood, a few fruit trees, a large tulip poplar and a large pine tree (both of the latter were dying) AND lots and lots of grass. Talk about needed either a variety of plants or livestock. It was a virtual desert, with few birds and no other wildlife around.

* Posted by: lettssee z7 maryland (My Page) on Wed, Aug 27, 03 at 8:30

Lauriebee, you don't live in Pasadena do you? That is what happened on my street last year. We had an old tree out front that looked healthy from far away but was split down the center if you looked at it from the right angle so we chopped it down. then several others chopped trees down in front of thier house. I keep trying to replant there but everything dies shortly after planting. I loved that tree it shaded the whole front of my house. and the airplane thing got me because we live near bwi (several miles out) and the airplanes come right overhead on approach.

* Posted by: KidHorn 7a MD (My Page) on Wed, Aug 27, 03 at 13:12

I hate Eastern White Pine. Everyone plants them because they grow fast. They're ugly, drop branches easily and ooze pine sap. Don't people know there are other conifers?

* Posted by: perennialguy1 (My Page) on Thu, Aug 28, 03 at 1:21

People shearing every shrub in their yard, whether it is suppose to be sheared or not. My neighbor shears his forsythia in extremely early spring and then wonders why his plants don't bloom like mine!

Everyone in my previous neighborhood had to have tightly trimmed boxwoods and evergreens. I revolted and refused to plant evergreens for several years. I relented only because I wanted some color in the winter. I did look for conifers with variegated leaves that did not need shearing.

My new neighbors seem to be into not taking care of their landscaping, i.e., foundation plants so overgrown you cannot see the houses. Nor do they understand the least bit about growing grass. I had to dethatch my lawn and kill the overwhelming crab grasses. Every neighbor on the street has walked by to tell me that I shouldn't cut my lawn that short anymore. Hasn't anyone else ever dethatched their lawn around here? It might look dead, but, boy does it ever grow fast afterwards.

* Posted by: DotFerrero z7VA (My Page) on Thu, Aug 28, 03 at 6:28

Treeless landscapes. I love trees and hate total grass lawns...I think the people must be lazy or just love their riding mowers!

* Posted by: daylilydreamer 6/7Mid-Atlantic (My Page) on Thu, Aug 28, 03 at 15:41

I hate the whole grass thing as well, (grass, as far as the eye can see). Lots of Brooklynites move to New Jersey for the summer and rip out every tree and cover it with grass and stones and pavement. If they wanted no greenery, why didn't they stay in Brooklyn????????

* Posted by: shroom189 Z7 NY (My Page) on Fri, Aug 29, 03 at 9:08

most people have fake plants inside and outside....i.e someone has fake Tulips all over their yard all through the year from 100 degree weather in July/August and 2ft. of snow and 0 degrees in December to Feb......

* Posted by: jayirwin 7s DC (My Page) on Fri, Aug 29, 03 at 13:52

I really want to like Buddleja davidii (Butterfly bush), but man they all seem so leggy and thin, with only a few sad leaves hanging on to bare brown branches. I've never seen one full and healthy looking. Maybe there's some trick people don't know about. Can someone enlighten me?

* Posted by: Mummichog03 z7 MD (My Page) on Sat, Aug 30, 03 at 20:54

Ripping out healthy, not evil exotic invasive, trees and shrubs? AAAAAACCCCKKK! No-one in my neighborhood seems to be on that trend, thankfully. Many of the older shrubs we have and maybe even one or two trees aren't necessarily the ones I would have chosen if starting from scratch, but they're here now and way better than scraggly new saplings of other species would be for too many years, so they stay.

Is there any reason other than that so many people have them not to plant crape myrtles? I've been considering it (too much lawn, and no trees/shrubs blooming in late summer)

I kind of like the small path lights, especially solar or on timers so they're only on in the evening hours, and especially if there aren't too many. The trend I hate (though i don't suppose it's exactly a 'gardening' trend, is the very bright driveway, porch, parking lot, other security, etc. lights, especially when they stay on all night ...I'd even get rid of many street lights or at least set them so that only 1/4 or so remain on after midnight ... something like that. Darkness is not necessarily a bad and scary thing!

* Posted by: taurinus z7 a_NoVA (My Page) on Sun, Aug 31, 03 at 0:56

I didn't see any mention of pear trees...callery, bradford, whatever. Who else finds them a little too perfect?

* Posted by: Josie_Z6b z6b Philly (My Page) on Sun, Aug 31, 03 at 21:21

A huge, sweeping, potentially beautiful area, dedicated *entirely* to, wait for it... ivy. Just ivy. Perhaps a single dead-wood-showing yew, like a lonesome island in a sea of ivy.

Endless lawns, fertilized and herbicided all to hell, and then set up so that the sprinkler is hitting mostly the sidewalk.

And people who kill all caterpillars, spiders, and bees, then wonder why they have no butterflies, their plants look funny, and there are mosquitoes everywhere. Unless you're deathly allergic, leave the insects alone!

I like buddleia, but you do have to prune it to keep it from being leggy. When you do, it can be really pretty. And mine has sometimes as many as three tiger swallowtails and two admirals, all on it at once.

* Posted by: steve22802 7a VA (My Page) on Tue, Sep 16, 03 at 22:13

- Shearing forsythia into balls, squares, hedges etc. This looks especially bad during the bloom season. Please, please just let forsythia sprawl naturally. If you really need to control the size then just whack it off at 2 or 3 feet from the ground (after it blooms in the spring), every couple years and then let it grow out naturally again.
- Tacky lawn ornaments; that would be most lawn ornaments.
- Bright colored plastic children?s toys, castles, etc. cluttering a yard.
- Plastic lilies, tulips, etc.
- Security lights which shine at my house. I hate the glare. I wish these people would mount the lights on the ground and shine them at their own houses, it would look much better and still provide some security illumination.
- Gazebos sitting forlornly in an expanse of lawn.

* Posted by: Laurel7286 z 6/7 Maryland (My Page) on Wed, Sep 17, 03 at 18:30

So many already mentioned that I agree with, especially the comments on hardscape & "garden decor"--I'll try to add something new.
From my own yard when I first moved in: all green landscape, everything either 30-60' tall except for the grass, shrubs/trees planted too close to the house and waaaaay overgrown.
And to daylily dreamer, I also hate all those contorted varieties of plants that look like aliens. I think they are peddled as "something new" and unusual, not necessarily beautiful. Also contorted unnatural colors of things--green coneflowers, etc.
And last but not least, topiary an/or bonzai.

* Posted by: katz_WI z5 WI (My Page) on Sat, Apr 10, 04 at 3:19

There's this one house with those sad evergreen bushes trimmed in perfect balls spaced out every 5 feet, and the ground under the bushes are covered in those ugly white rocks. Nothing else grows there. The people who live there are absolute neat freaks, and not a single weed would dare pop up. Their yard is overly rigid and symmetrical. Heck, they probably go out at night and use nail clippers to trim their bushes! LOL!

I also really hate those figurines that focuses on the rear-end of a person bending over... like an old lady in a dress with a bonnet. Oh please! (Really, any figurine is tacky.)

Every time I see those lawn animals like those fake deer statues, I want to scream.

What else can be bad is the opposite of a barren yard--one that is overgrown, and has tooooo much stuff. Like there's this one house that has like 200 pots of flowers in front of their house! VISUAL OVERLOAD! EYESORE!

OK one more thing--my MIL's side garden is so sad--she's got those chunky white rocks (ok I really hate white rocks with a vengeance!)and she's got these wimpy, whispy plants interspersed in the lot. My gosh, the poor things look like they're in a parched desert, and if a rock were to roll over, they'd be crushed to death. And she's got these troll figurines all over. They have no place to hide! LOL!

Ok... time to get off the soapbox. :-)

* Posted by: ReeW z7 MD (My Page) on Sat, Apr 10, 04 at 6:38

katz_W, your reply made me laugh. Lollipop trees and ball shrubs drive me crazy too. White rocks? The previous owner must have had used them as mulch and then put top soil over them and planted grass. When I went to dig out the lawn to make a flower bed I hit little white rocks. Lots of them. I was not amused. LOL

* Posted by: medusa_ 7MD (My Page) on Sat, Apr 10, 04 at 11:44

What I really hate is the fact that there are many beautiful plants out there that have become undesirable simply because of their overuse. I love crepe myrtles! I love weeping cherries! I love yews!--Thank goodness they've fallen out of fashion. What I can't help but wonder is why so many people continue to put up with hideous plantings--evergreens naked on the bottom, nandinas that have been incorrectly pruned. Why don't they toss them or learn how to fix them. They actually work on them--you see them with the hedge trimmers every Saturday. Go figure.

* Posted by: lettssee z7 maryland (My Page) on Sun, Apr 11, 04 at 7:47

Christmas lights all year long. I don't understand Easter trees either. Does the bunny hang eggs on trees? Anybody know why people do that?

* Posted by: mymacca z6 SEPA (My Page) on Sun, Apr 11, 04 at 19:24

Gosh, I either HAVE or WANT most of the evil stuff everyone has mentioned!

I enjoy the diversity in landscaping. In my neighborhood, there are some houses with evergreens pruned into symmetrical shapes, one house with a gazebo and arches covered in pink silk flowers with cherubs all over the place, lot's with vast expanses of ivy or impatiens, and almost EVERYONE has a Norway maple or two, because they were included in the price of the house 50 years ago!

I like them all for one reason or another, especially if someone laboured over them!

My least favorite garden trend would be FRONT yards with clothes lines, tall grass, visible collections of trash cans and the trash that "missed" the cans, auto parts, discarded toys and bicycles, and an assortment of junk cars which are parked in the lawn and street so the kids can play in the driveway!

I also really dislike the low-pressure sodium streetlights that are replacing mercury vapor lights because they are "cheaper" to operate. I live in a large post-war housing development with a street lamp every 150 feet. They are mounted very high, and light up way too much area beyond the street with an ugly thick yellow brown halo that makes the entire street look like an industrial parking area. They even glare into the windows at night!!

* Posted by: kkay_MD (My Page) on Mon, Apr 12, 04 at 12:06

This thread is too amusing to ignore. My pet peeves include people going to the trouble and expense of removing trees, and not planting anything in their place. The houses are then exposed, graceless, and (I'll wager) way too hot in summer.

My other pet peeve is what I call "corporate lighting"--people who remodel their houses (in our neck of the woods that seems to be the trend) and get all kinds of spotlights to highlight their walkways and driveway and porches and facade. Light pollution! Sometimes it's nice to look at the stars.

* Posted by: DawnStorm 7/MD (My Page) on Tue, Apr 13, 04 at 12:08

I'm glad I live in a free neighborhood where people can decorate their yards as they see fit, but there is this house along Conn Ave (heading South) that had these box-shaped pink azaleas in the yard. Always reminded me of someone who'd just enlisted in the Marines and had already had a date with the barber. Poor 'zalies! Somebody got a little crazy with the hedge trimmer!
Several blocks down and around the corner from me is this homeowner with the world's largest collection of yard figures: deer; gnomes; geese, wishing well, mushrooms, you name it. I think it's tacky and I'm glad I don't have to see it, esp. in the fall when the geese sport Redskins helmets, but I'd rather have that than the monotony of a gulag (my name for a planned/gated community).
Proud hanger-out-of-clothes (but in the side yard NOT the fron!)

* Posted by: bunnymom z7 MD (My Page) on Tue, Apr 13, 04 at 16:26

This is a cool thread!

Dyed Mulch in Volcanoes around dying, generic "mall trees"
Plastic Flamingos, Fake flowers, "Buzz cut" forsythias & azalias, White rocks over landscaping fabric (compliments of former homeowner) HUGE trees two feet away from rowhomes...this one kind of amuses me though, I have a neighbor who just took out a huge Oak that was a few feet from the house and took up all of the front yard only to replace it with, yup, What I believe to be another Oak.
Please keep this post going so people can see the error of their ways. This should be required reading for anyone who buys a house, much less anyone who wants a boo - boo free garden.
The one thing I can say is at least these people are putting in some effort to Beautify their area. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

* Posted by: madsquopper 7a No. VA (My Page) on Tue, Apr 13, 04 at 21:45

And what's wrong with plastic flamingoes???? I have two pair, but make them stay in the back yard.

* Posted by: bunnymom z7 MD (My Page) on Wed, Apr 14, 04 at 15:43

As long as they are in the backyard for you to enjoy and not in the front for the rest of us posters to get a good giggle out of! :) Kitch & whimsy do have their place.
To each his own. Those are just my opinions. No offense meant. :)

* Posted by: NEYler 7 (My Page) on Thu, Apr 15, 04 at 16:44

I can't stand it when people have an overabundance of plastic wild life if the yard. A few realistic looking animals are okay ( I have a couple of small green toads peeking through my tulips ) But come on, have you ever seen a 2 foot tall deer?

I'm also going to go with everyone else on the circle bed in the front yard along with the wavy looking concrete edging.

I could probably go on and on, but it seems like so can everyone else.

* Posted by: GeeDavey MD 7b (My Page) on Fri, Apr 16, 04 at 16:18

Ivy front lawns. nuff said.

* Posted by: mymacca z6 SEPA (My Page) on Sun, Apr 25, 04 at 16:47

I have a few flamingoes and would love to have a gazing ball and a few Gnomes also, especially if I could find some of those nice large ones like George Harrison had.

I have seen a few threads like this one previously, and the one I liked the best was the lady who spray-painted dried flower heads metallic gold and SWORE to her neighbors that they grew that way!!! I STILL laugh to myself thinking about that one!

* Posted by: winged_mammal (My Page) on Sun, Apr 25, 04 at 17:12

bradford pears, forsythias, pampas grass, needleleaf dwarf & unusual evergreens, zoysia grass

* Posted by: ritadc z7 VA (My Page) on Mon, Apr 26, 04 at 11:17

Sheared azaleas and forsythia! Let them flow!

* Posted by: Sparky13 7b (My Page) on Wed, Apr 28, 04 at 8:52

Oh, you guys reminded me of something interesting I saw the other night. I volunteer as an EMT for my local fire department in the Rockville/Kensington vicinity. I was at an elderly man's house and, while he was speaking with another EMT, I happened to notice a couple of large, black-and-white photographs on the table. They were pictures of the house that we were standing in on the day he bought the place about a half-minute after it was built 50 years ago. This was a typical post-WWII property. There was no grass, no shrubbery, no sidewalks, no trees...just a brick house in the middle of a square of barren earth. Now the owner is 90 years old and the shrubs he planted many, many years ago are growing up over the house, taking over the yard, etc.

When I drive through my neighborhood and see overgrown shrubs like this, especially ones that make the houses look scary and dark, I wonder if the owners are likewise elderly people who have neither the funds nor the strength to eradicate their good-plantings-gone-bad.

Of course, this is not to say that anyone should feel guilty for loathing the appearance of such houses. They DO look imposing and unkempt. Those of you who take care of your yards know how frustrating it can be to live near a "creepy house," as my daughter calls them. I mean, they ARE creepy. But maybe the owners are old and sick and don't care and can't do anything about it. Time rolls around. The houses will eventually fall into other hands and with any luck the places will look spiffy, again.

PS: My actual pet peeve is azaleas. They bloom for a couple of weeks, poop all over themselves and then are boring the rest of the time. I have some. The only reason that they are still here is that the roots are too much for me to dig out. So I've pruned them back to almost nothing and am taking up all of the surrounding horrid ivy that threatens to compromise my siding and basement.

* Posted by: DawnStorm 7/MD (My Page) on Wed, Apr 28, 04 at 11:25

Sparky, you must live very close to me! You make a good point about yards being over-run simply because the homeowner is sick/elderly/on a tight budget. There are two houses in my mom's neighborhood: one right next to her and one right across the street. The one next to her was owned by an elderly man and his batchelor son for the longest time and the back yard was very woodsy. After the father died, the son lived out his days there, and one morning in 1982 went out in the back yard, put a gun to his head and you can guess the rest. To make a long story short, the house's new owners had that back yard totally redone and today it looks like any other yard. You can hardly see the house across from my mom's because of all the overgrowth in both front and back. Same story--batchelor son living alone in the house. Luckily, he's not so much of a hermit that the other person was--my mom says he likes to garden but he also doesn't do anything about all the overgrowth. Guess it doesn't bother him to the point where he'd hire someone to come and take it all out.

* Posted by: himsa z7a MD (My Page) on Wed, Apr 28, 04 at 12:56

English ivy and trees mulched up the trunk like an ant hill! Why oh why?

* Posted by: pcj42 NC (My Page) on Fri, Apr 30, 04 at 7:19

Painted cement figurines. Plastic yard ornaments. Cookie cutter landscapes that occur in housing developments. Flags hanging from porches (Ok so the very first one I saw was kind of neat, until EVERYONE had to put one up) I also do not understand Easter egg trees or even those big plastic eggs people are "hiding" under bushes. Too much "yard art". There is a fine line between just enough and overdoing it. Rusted "antique" farm implements lining the driveway. Pompas grass (my husband says "it takes a pompous #SS to have pampas grass), I like hostas, but they are getting old and you can never get rid of them. Pansies. I really hate Pansies.

I think that about covers it.

* Posted by: minibite 6b (My Page) on Fri, Apr 30, 04 at 11:42

"I also really hate those figurines that focuses on the rear-end of a person bending over... like an old lady in a dress with a bonnet. Oh please! (Really, any figurine is tacky.) Every time I see those lawn animals like those fake deer statues, I want to scream."

You really had me cracking up with that one! On my morning walk, I'd been seeing rabbits, and I swore that the neighbors fake bunny was real. I think they even move it so it faces a different direction every so often. Sorry, but I detest the pink flamingos too.

And oh the yard flags that change with every rhyme, reason, or season! What's the point!? Also, my hubby hates what he calls 'poodle' evergreens that you see in almost every new development with professional landscaping. O.K. I confess, I planted a row of evergreens in my back yard, but only as a screen for my neighbors unsightly junky one. I work tirelessly adding perennials and bulbs so that the conifers serve as a backdrop.

And why does every front door have to be flanked by 2 evergreens. Now I've got two on one side of my front door and the house looks unbalanced so I feel forced to plant one more on the other side!

My last comment is that some people just don't like gardening and don't have the time. My neighbors think I'm a little nuts probably because I'm always out digging and planting, and many of them work full-time, so I think they just want something that grows without a hassle.

* Posted by: LaurelLily 9a Houston, TX (My Page) on Mon, Jun 21, 04 at 17:11

"Ivy front lawns. nuff said."

Not enough said for me--I need to vent, because this is my pet peeve. It REALLY bugs me when people who have close neighbors and don't live out in the middle of nowhere do that! Don't they know how invasive ivy is?! And it looks ridiculous to have grass lawn after lawn, then suddenly ivy in the middle. It just looks like they're too lazy to mow!

I LOVE English Ivy, but it has its place (in a container, where it won't take over your neighborhood!). It really is best in doses, not overkill.

"My new neighbors, (god bless their poor little souls), replaced everything that was previously in their yard, (lilacs some deciduous trees etc.) with evergreens last year."

Maybe you should gift them with a new plant or two--how about a non-threatening pot of something colorful? ; ) Even if they just let it sit on their porch, it'll be refreshing. They'll probably feel obligated to keep it in the front of the house, where you can see it.

Ditto on the lawn ornaments. I have a friend who's collecting garden gnomes--precisely because he KNOWS they're ugly. It amuses him.

* Posted by: LaurelLily (My Page) on Mon, Jun 21, 04 at 17:19

Oh, and I can't resist expanding this--to work! Everybody at my office has a pot of pothos/Devil's Ivy on their desk, or some "lucky bamboo."

I wanted to have something extremely different, so I brought a small pot of mint up to work--now I have something near me that smells wonderful.

* Posted by: DawnStorm 7/MD (My Page) on Wed, Jun 23, 04 at 10:58

I have a snake plant on my work desk--it was part of a big snake plant that I got at the Fall '03 swap. It really likes its home, but then again, snake plants are tough.

* Posted by: Lynn_D Z5 PA (My Page) on Wed, Jun 23, 04 at 15:18

Colored mulch! Yards have been showing up with red for the past few years but now they have yellow and black as well. One house has them all, in waves, in one bed!

* Posted by: Cathy_S z6 MD (My Page) on Wed, Jun 30, 04 at 17:46

The newest trend around our area is layering up retaining walls where retaining walls aren't truly needed. They have these new "building blocks" everywhere you can possibly find room for them. Add to that the carefully spaced plants and acres of mulch and the neatness is enough to make you sick.

And, then everyone in the neighborhood has to have the same look. There's one place not far from our home where they have so many walls built up, there must be a serious shortage of building materials (either that or the manufacturers of the blocks have been able to retire to Europe).

* Posted by: RacerD z7 TX (FW) (My Page) on Thu, Jul 1, 04 at 0:06

We have a few "rock yards" around here....two are neighbors down the street. Completely removed the grass and dumped a bunch of rocks. Now the weeds are starting to grow through. I just don't get it. I'm also sick of all the Bradford Pear trees....seems house after house has the same round tree. At least with Crepe Myrtles there are different colors. ;-)

* Posted by: Adona z7 VA (My Page) on Thu, Jul 1, 04 at 9:50

I once lived near a couple who had an interesting idea of gardening. I hated it, but it also made me chuckle.

Picture all flowerbeds covered in white rock...we're talking only white rock, no shrubs, etc. Add those plastic spinning daisies about every three feet. Can you picture it so far? Okay, now for the crowning glory...wait for it....two gallon glass wine bottles filled with colored water and placed between each spinning daisy!!! What a sight!

Alright, I realize it isn't a "trend"....but I had to include it.

* Posted by: NCGreenThumb Zone 7 (My Page) on Wed, Jul 7, 04 at 20:24

I detest yard art of any kind; Gazing Balls, wooden ornaments, gnomes, fake animals. The comment about the "bending over woman with the bonnet" made me laugh. I've seen a few of those around here. Nature makes plenty of plants and trees that are far more beautiful than the yard art du jour from Home Depot or Lowes.

Cathy from Md made a comment about the building blocks and I have to agree. Bland, rigid and certainly not natural to the location.

I guess I'm a minimalist at heart. I prefer to use what is natural to the area.


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