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. We see wholesale removal of bedding plants often. I live in an area where the landscaping is uniform and contracted, and just last weekend the crews were taking out what had been growing and replacing those plants with new ones. I will say that whoever’s in charge does seem a bit more in tune with the plants’ cycles; I’ve never seen such beautifully blooming plants pulled out. By the time the snapdragons are pulled, for example, they’re already well past their prime.

    Oddly, it’s the demand for uniformity that seems to hold sway. Every entrance to a gated portion of the community, every traffic median, every hotel planting, etc. is the same. The cost has to be astronomical.

  2. I must say that I agree with you. Your post made me very sad indeed. Poor flowers….poor people who could have gazed on and enjoyed their beauty.

  3. I should not have stopped to read this one. I see it often though. I can remember seeing a colonnade of massive wisteria that were just beginning to show the color of their bloom in the morning, but by the time I returned in the afternoon, they were completely shorn and deprived of their bloom. When I worked for a so-called ‘landscape’ company, the crews regularly sheared bloom off of azaleas, bougainvilleas, . . . and really anything that bloomed.

  4. I’d have been ranting with you if I’d been there too. And I think I might have taken an armful home to put in jugs and vases all round the house to extend their lives by just a few days. Grrrrr.

  5. How sad to watch. I did pull up some pansies today and replaced them with other things which needed to get into the same pot, but on the other hand dug up buckets of tulips to dry and store for next fall. I guess I can’t be too judgmental, but those snaps were still fantastic.

  6. I don’t think it “spacey”. For me, plants have value simply for themselves, separate from any human judgment or system, as evolved life fitting in the world. Killing them like this is disrespectful. It is not mindful of their beauty and value. It shows a diminished way of being.

  7. Since I’m in catch-up mode, I read this before I read its preface. All the more dramatic. It’s hard to believe such waste, and on so many levels! I don’t understand why people weren’t invited to dig up, or to cut for bouquets. Your eloquent photos and words spoke for a lot of us.

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