Garden Musings

Gardening Pet Peeves

Every once in a while and for no apparent reason, I am crabby. My husband has learned this mood will pass quickly and heads to his office in the basement until the coast is clear.

Today is one of those days. If there is a bright side to this dark side, it seems the perfect time to rant about my gardening pet peeves that make my green thumbs red with anger.

Garden Pet Peeve #1: Trees with volcano mulching drive me crazy. There have been so many articles written about it, there is no reason it is still being done. The poor tree is trying its best to grow, to spread its roots into the soil and broaden its branches. That mulch piled up against its trunk will likely cause the tree’s death. That mulch invites pests and causes decay. That mulch prevents the tree from developing a normal root flare.

Garden Pet Peeve #2: Signs for plant sales dot the roadside in spring and can be a great place to pick up perennials at bargain prices. Beginning gardeners fall prey to my next gardening pet peeve – gardeners who know better selling aggressive plants without warnings. Why, for a few dollars, would they let loose monsters in other gardens? Plants with oppressive propensities have their place in the landscape as ground covers, erosion control and weed suppression but planted in the wrong spot may turn beginning gardeners into non-gardeners.

Garden Pet Peeve #3: A sprinkler running in the rain is another thing that gets my blood boiling. Water is essential for our survival and there is a finite supply. Why waste one of our most precious resources?

Garden Pet Peeve #4: My next gardening pet peeve happens on garbage day in fall – bags filled with leaves out on the curb. Fall leaves are Mother Nature’s gift to gardeners. You don’t need fancy compost bins or any special equipment to turn them into an awesome soil amendment. Just an out of the way space where you can pile them, a few shovelfuls of garden soil, and water from a garden hose are all that’s needed.

Garden Pet Peeve #5: Plant tags hanging like tawdry jewels from the branches of trees and shrubs are my next gardening pet peeve. Please, people, plant the tree or shrub and cut the tags off. Besides being unattractive, the string can cut into the bark as it tightens around growing branches. The sound of tags flapping in the wind is not a soothing garden song.

Wow, that was therapeutic! I think I will call down to the basement and tell Don it’s safe to come back upstairs. What are some of your garden pet peeves? Share them – you’ll feel better. Garden with me!

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6 thoughts on “Gardening Pet Peeves

  1. Back in my garden-designing days, my pet peeves were the homeowners who would tell me one of three things:
    “I want color all of the times, but no bees” and/or
    “I want a zero-maintenance landscape with a pond” and/or
    (after I had made a plant suggestion) “No, I already have one of those”
    Drove me absolutely bonkers!

    1. That is so funny, Amy. I guess you were an educator as well as an artist! I am sure even though you may have been feeling ‘bonkers’ on the inside, you had a lovely smile on the outside. Thanks for reading!

  2. Like your #4, bags of grass clippings- get a mulching mower or better yet Compost!

    People who wonder where are the butterflies, yet kill all the caterpillars they see in the garden!

  3. I’m guilty of leaving the plant tags hanging or shoved into the ground (which I don’t like the looks of, either), though I make sure to remove them before they get tight around a trunk. Guilty or not, I completely agree with your list! The bags of leaves drive me nuts the most, because I usually find out someone trashed their leaves after the fact, and I’m like “I would’ve taken them! I need leaves!”

    1. Yeah, I know what you mean. I try to take a drive around my subdivision before the trash is picked up to snatch up those bags of leaves, but sometimes I hear the garbage truck go by before I’ve had a chance. I feel so guilty those leaves are going to a landfill when they could be living the good life as leaf mold in my gardens.

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