Post 495: yard vandalism

I used to call them “yard nazis”, a term that trivializes the victims of the worst war of the 20th Century by putting bad gardening practices on par with the murder and suffering of millions. It doesn’t equate…!

The process of weed whacking a tomato plant, rhubarb, a small herb garden, and a patch of mint is upsetting. I think “yard vandalism” may be less insensitive a term to describe that “process”, and will call it such from now on. Yard vandalism.

Yard vandalism is what you have when you rent. Though the name of the complex refers to garden apartments, there is some question about who the gardeners are. All my humble and minimal efforts apparently don’t read as “garden”, though I can’t imagine there being any doubt that a tomato plant is a keeper. Herbs give off a strong clue about their utility, too, for those too rude and crude to recognize an herb when they chop it: herbs smell like herbs!

garden north

Looking north. The stump by the white drainpipe is a lovely yellow climbing rose. “It’ll grow back,” Attila told me. It did, and it produces copious small yellow blossoms with a light floral scent.


In the meantime, it looks like hell on earth. Roses are tenacious growers, however. Attila is correct.

garden south

Looking south. This was mostly weeds and iris, that beautiful one week wonder that looks terrible most of the year, in my humble opinion. I didn’t plant them. The yard kitsch kitty with butterfly, though, suffered a severe weed whacking. I hope it ruined the weed whacker, or, at least, slowed the vandalism down till repairs could be made. Not that I harbor ill feelings toward people just following orders…. (Oops! That wasn’t alluding to “yard nazi”.)


The kitty survived at least 10 years in the garden up on Mississippi Avenue, and nearly 10 years here. I mean, I got my money’s worth out of it.

That said, run it through a weed whacking, and something happens. Something has to give. Something is altered.

cat tail1

The bent tail on kitty is new. Thanks, yard vandals! I believe I make a gift of it to your boss. I’m not wasting any more time or money trying do something in the dead space by the foundation. I have just so much stamina these days, thanks to the vicissitudes of illness, and if the result isn’t recognizable as a garden to you — what’s that trenchant expression I’m trying to call up? — oh, yes, %#$@ it!

12 thoughts on “Post 495: yard vandalism

  1. Absolute rotters. How frustrating, I think you’re right to leave them to it then keep on at them as it is their responsibility. How about a few big pots as well though? You can grow most plants within them and they should be safe. No building involved either 🙂

    – sonmicloud

    • Actually, I do have some potted plants out front. In the back, I have a couple of large terracotta pots made in Crete that can hold substantial plants. I may move those up front next year, and fill them with something dramatic. (I like the idea of it. The potted plants tend to blow over, and the USPS carrier placed a heavy delivery on top of one of them this year (God knows a geranium looks like a great place to put a crushing load! I can’t believe people some day.)

  2. I call them condo-commandos, and they like to pick on anyone NOT in their little group. Here, they picked on certain owner’s awnings – if they were not cleaned in a certain period of time – they would do it – and charge plenty!! Not air when we have so many older and frail people on SS budgets.

    • There are people in this complex who are physically able to maintain a garden, others who have some limitations (me), and others who absolutely can’t do any yardwork. Most are on SS. I’m probably in the best (or close to) best financial shape of those here, which is why I pay market rates for my apartment, not some subsidized amount. Whatever the management’s reason for handling things the way they do, I’ve decided they now have full responsibility. I won’t do a damn thing toward keeping the flower beds up. I will, however, be a pest about “what are you going to do about your ugly flower beds and when?” No water, not weeding, no extras I pay for except maybe a potted plant or two by my door (which are cemetery flowers from Memorial Day and given year). They can’t have it both ways.

        • As with any vandalism, there is no discernable point to why they approached their task like they were the Germans invading the Ukraine. No subtlety there. There were obvious flowers that were flourishing by the yellow rose bush, and there was exactly zero reason to weedwhack those. The rest of the bed was mixed weeds and some small, unsuccessful efforts to plant perennials in crap soil, so I could live with those whacked to hell. I wonder if their maintain their personal yards this way. I may just take a look.

  3. I like the term yard nazis also.
    We are blessed here by management that root tips a garden area every spring but leaves the rose beds alone and doe snot destroy the area of plants that come up again and again every year.
    They even put in sprinkler system out back that goes off automatically the same time every morning.
    No one dares touch our garden or planting pots in front go our pats., or they have to deal with a herd of pissed off old grannies on walkers with canes.
    Yep old broads rule here.

    • There’s another complex on the opposite side of town that has a similar arrangement. Economically, there isn’t any real benefit to me moving there, though the temptation comes up. The units are much newer and nicer, and even have garages. I have to park across the lane in a spot that would “belong” to the person living in the unit closer to it if she had a car. If someone moved in there with a car, there would be some parking to sort out. It’s not convenient, and people visiting sometimes take my spot, screw the fact that I have mobility issues, and it isn’t practical to park in the public parking (where they are supposed to park!) at either end of the lane. I park my car in the lane behind their vehicle sometimes to force them to come get me to move my car so they can get out when they want to leave. I can be an ass!

  4. 🙁 I know you love your garden. Maybe it would be better if you planted some herbs and small things in a window-box? Just a suggestion, I know you enjoy gardening. (And fresh tomatoes!)

    • I have thought about raised bed gardening. My big problem there is I’m not particularly handy building things. If I could find counter-height raised bed garden boxes at a price I could afford that required minimal skill for one person to assemble, I would go that way. I keep looking. I’ve given up on the flower beds. Probably contaminated with lead paint anyway since the units date back to WWII. It’s something to keep in mind.

  5. That reminds me of my home with a very large courtyard almost like a small park and there was a rive flowing through with beautiful tall flowers, and wild strawberries and ivy had grown over the walls and looked quite beautiful. Of course the contracted gardening company couldn’t have that and stripped it all down each August. It used to make me hopping mad. A gardener told me that is NOT gardening. I like the term ‘yard nazis’ as it says it all. I used to call them ‘assholes’.

    • That works for me, too. I see no point to this approach to things, and will pass this thought on to the manager of the units. The least they should do is ask the residents what they want to save and justify removal of those things the residents feel should still remain.

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