What Happened Next (a Bit of a Rant)

Snapdragons thrown away at the peak of flower

If you saw yesterday’s post, you might react to today’s snapdragons with some of the bewilderment I felt.

Snapdragons torn up mid flowering

The snapdragons are in full flower, remarkably unscathed by their journey in plastic bin bags to the compost heap.

Snapdragons on a compost heap

We have to assume that they were pulled up to a fixed human schedule that did not allow for nature’s variations year to year.

Tulip bulbs discarded

And yesterday’s tulips? Bulbs that replenish themselves from sunlight, go dormant and re-flower year after year, grown in a hospitable climate?

Tulips on a compost heap

The same.

I suppose if it is a plant, it doesn’t matter?

I’ll not pretend I have not discarded plants (including hundreds of seedlings) or killed plants through inattention or optimism about their success in my climate. While not able to feel holier than thou, and not having all the answers, I took these pictures to symbolise the wider harms we do to nature, which has no rights.

No right to live out a normal life-cycle, no right to live where they have lived for thousands of years, nor to be varied (thinking of apples, bananas, potatoes, etc), nor to grow on their own roots (roses), nor to be spindly, nor to seed around – not, in many cases, to exist as a species at all.

I dare say it seems a bit spacey to think this way about plants, which are generally (though not accurately) regarded as insensible. And I confess to be smarting from watching a local flower meadow being turned into housing.

But even if this doesn’t bother anyone other than a crank, I can rephrase in a language that is widely understood: money. This looks awfully expensive.

26 Replies to “What Happened Next (a Bit of a Rant)”

    1. Good point, Joanna. We found them heaped in a cart being taken to landfill (I assume) wrapped up in big white plastic bags. My sweetheart asked the workers if we could have them. These kind of tulips do not survive in Mississippi even if left in place to fatten. We took them home, unwrapped them and put them on the compost heap. Nature will recycle them.

  1. Oh this would upset me, too. Such a waste. Surely someone could have benefited from the last of their lives, and of course the tulips will bloom again (or would have). Short sightedness.

  2. It is true that tulips do not come back the next year in the hot south, so they are grown as an annual. Therefore, I do not bother growing them as I would have to refrigerate them in zone 9. I hate to throw out any plant, no matter how bad they look, but luckily I have lots of space and they get transplanted to the bed of second chances. I have just started following you. You don’t need to give me your exact location, but are you in England or the States?

  3. It’s not spacey at all. It’s a very valid viewpoint, and it’s time for us to consider plants’ inherent rights.

  4. I really understand your distress! Having said that, I’ve been pulling out Alliums and small grape hyacinth bulbs by the hundreds. I wasn’t vigilant enough when they were seeding so they have taken over some of my flower beds. I’m dealing with the current drought conditions by thinning the number of plants to relieve competition for moisture.

  5. It is so sad indeed Susan. Places converted to housing, that is arable land, to me is a crime. Flowers just ripped out and dumped is even more so 😡

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