Friday, August 07, 2009

A for Effort! but the execution... well...

Today, I was confronted with a couple of landscaping situations... I have to give the people an A for effort. They definitely got the right idea... it's the execution that's indifferent.

First, this is outside a fast-food chain restaraunt. I had pulled in to get coffee... Now, there's nothing really wrong with this planting. You got agaves, you got red yuccas (hesperaloe) and you got maiden grass. And rocks.

And as nice as it is to see a chain restaraunt going for a more water-wise, enviormentally friendly planting, I have to say that it looks almost exactly like every other water-wise, enviormentally friendly planting that you see in the area. With one important exception. The little silvery shrubs. All have been allowed to grow into a natural shape, except one. One has been trimmed into a round pom-pom thing. Now, you can have them all natural, or you can have them all trimmed, but you cannot have both. That don't work. You could, I suppose, have trimmed, natural, trimmed, natural, and so on and so forth... although I have no idea why you would do such a thing... but this just looks lame. That, plus there's nothing special about the planting to begin with...

Then I went inside to buy a cup of coffee and was treated very rudely by the employees, so any points they'd gained are long gone. (I never claimed to be fair in my judgements.)

This next plant is in a suburban neighborhood... every house in this area has a brick pillar mailbox, with a decorative lighting fixture on top of it. The house in question obviously had their lighting fixture damaged in some way... and they very cleverly put a potted cactus, a Mammillaria of some sort if I'm not mistaken, in the remains of the fixture.

Well, Kudos to them! I'm proud of them. It's an absolutely excellent idea. It's not wasting electricity on unnecesary outdoor lighting, and it's a plant that's perfectly suited to this kind of growing. Really, there's not any other options for this kind of location exposed as it is to heat and sun...
My only criticism is that little white flower pot... Personally, I don't think that the gleaming white porcelain looks quite right on that patinaed metal remains of the light fixture, or with the red brick. And, if it was me, I would have been a little bolder... maybe mixed some sedums or such up there to wander over the edge and make a real show of it. Of course, a big ole urn shaped agave would look best, but it would no doubt attack the mailman so that's not really an option... But, judging from the rest of the yard, this is probably the most daring garden design choice that this person has ever made and I absolutely think they deserve a round of applause.

And now, I'm through being all high and mighty.

For the moment.


  1. YOu are so funny!!! As in humorous! :) Love that mammillaria in the old light fixture spot! You crack me up with your notes on the fast food garden diplay! Have a great weekend!!!

  2. Now I know I'm new to gardening and all, but I assume that that cactus will need some water at some point and, again assuming that pot has holes in it. Water dripping into electric light fixture. Umm...someone may want to warn the mailman.

  3. You just crack me up! This was a great post! Got me smiling first thing in the morning!

  4. Be gentle, now! Some of us are not familiar or comfortable yet with these mysterious plants referred to as succulents. We still have a lot to learn. Rudeness, though, seems common to every state in the Union and beyond. It's a pity that it's so natural but doesn't get trimmed at maturity or, better yet, nipped in the bud.