Tuesday, January 28, 2014

WWTT #15

It’s been so long, I was pretty sure the WWTT posts had been retired. However when I saw this, well I just had to ask “what were they thinking?”

I went back another day (when the sun was shining) to get an overall shot, figuring you needed to see the whole picture. There is plenty to wonder about. Like those white rocks...

But it's these that really have me confused. In case you can't tell they were Cordyline australis, well I guess they technically still are. Did they think cutting the leaves off would save them from melting after the big freeze? Well, they are still standing, when most of the cordys around town (including mine) have flopped over.

Now I'm remembering something Paul Bonine of Xera Plants told me, if you can cut off the rot before it gets to the whole plant they might live. Maybe these were taller and they cut below where they flopped, then decided a whole buzz-cut was in order?

There is buzz-cut precedent nearby...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

28 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reminder that not every house in Portland is a gardener's dream.

    White rock mulch is probably my number one most-hated landscape element*, but I have to admit that it looks better when used sparsely like this -- even though I'm not sure why it was.

    (*Crooked cheap-looking path light fixtures are pretty high up the list too.)

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    1. It wasn't always so sparse. There used to be a strong line where the gravel ended, sort of like a white collar around the plants. I'm not sure how it became so scattered. As for those lights...omg...it kills me! If I lived next door I would probably have to sneak over at night and straighten them.

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  2. That's pretty awful. I guess they deserve some credit for making an effort to save the plants...

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    1. If indeed that is what they were doing...

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  3. This is beyond logic. At first I thought it was a clump of grass, but when you said its a cordyline australis....

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  4. I think sometimes people have so much fun with the electric hedgers that they start looking for things to shear. They need to be outlawed.

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    1. Andrew gets like that with a pruning saw. Thank good we don't own in electric garden tools.

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  5. All plants must be trimmed to a tidy geometric shape. It makes for a clean look and a tidy neighborhood. It also helps keep little soccer players and boy scouts from getting hurt on spikey and spiney plants. The safety brigade will be in your neighborhood soon if you'd like a complimentary garden trim...

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    1. I will pass, but I thank you for the offer.

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  6. It doesn't mitigate the dreadful taste level, but maybe they're onto something re. saving those Cordylines? A repeat visit is in orde, don't you think?

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    1. Oh yes, I'll be keeping an eye on these!

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  7. I think I go with trying to head off frost damage (which it would), although the rest of the gardening effort looks less than well-informed.

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    1. "less than well-informed"...indeed.

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  8. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing a lot worse before it's all said and done. There is a yard here in Corvallis that had 5 Trachycarpus fortunei planted along the sidewalk. They look pretty awful now. I should stop to get a photo but it's along a busy street but probably no one wants to see them anyway. Very sad. ...

    Please stop by in a few months and see if these cordys make it.

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    1. Oh no! Five Trachycarpus? My little guy is the only one I'd heard of being damaged. Although I guess that makes sense knowing how much colder you guys got than we did.

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  9. I'm hoping there are no kids in the household, haircut day could be a horror show.

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    1. Oh god, Emma you're right! Oddly as many times as I drive by that place I've never seen anyone outside.

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  10. YIKES! its a massacre! the poor cordys. So many mixed results with them this year.

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    1. So true! I saw a small one (not much bigger than when you by them at the big box store as a "thriller" for the center of your planter) a couple of blocks away, in a parking strip, that looked perfectly untouched by the cold.

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  11. Botanical buzz cuts make me cringe! OK, for the cordylines this could feasibly be good practice for saving the plants by removing damaged, rotting material, but the rest? That's just meatball gardening, one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. I love outlaw's comment. Standard ignorant landscaping practice is to shear everything into geometric shapes, regardless of whether it looks good or is the right treatment for the plant. Ever seen those poor rhododendrons that people planted as "foundation shrubs" that are sheared into boxes to keep them from growing over the whole house? They usually end up removing the flower buds and are left with ugly bare patches and torn up leaves! Ugh!!!
    OK, Evan, cool it. Breathe. The bad meatball gardeners can't hurt you or your plants. Rant over.

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    1. I am always amazed when I see a lovely flowering shrub pruned beyond the point where it even resembles the natural version of itself. Ceanothus, Arbutus unedo, even Camellias get the treatment!

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  12. Seeing the crooked landscape lights had me dashing outside to make sure mine were straight as an arrow!! :)

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  13. I'd say it s not the first time they have done it. In my experience Cordyline australis doesn't branch low to the ground unless you cut off the main trunk. And your first picture looks like there are quite a few branches. Either they regularly trim it ruthlessly to keep it small (can't have plants getting out of control!), or they cut it back after frost every year. But looking at the whole garden, I think they are just people who don't like plants that grow.

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    1. Actually mine looked just like that (multiple trunks at ground level) before they keeled over. It's probably a sign these were around through our last cordyline killing winter, as mine died back to the ground and then regrew in a clump. Although you're right...some serious desire to control going on there.

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  14. It's a good thing you identified what those things were, because I wouldn't have had a clue.

    The white rocks are funny.

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    1. I should have done a "who can name what this hacked plant used to be" contest. That would have been fun...

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