I have been neglecting my dear blogging friends, and for what? Well, I am getting to see nooks and crannies in, about and beyond my own immediate neighborhood. I am also meeting, first hand, the full spectrum of humanity. At one end are those who thank me for the work I am doing, at the other are those who plaster their chained, padlocked and electrified fences with signs saying “STAY OUT OR DIE!!!”. Today, I thought I would share some of the public spaces I have encountered on my rounds.


High atop the West Hills sits a huge Mausoleum with no grave markers, but clusters of statuary and cypresses clipped into pompoms.


Here is a close-up of the topiary art. The next time I was here, the shapes had been newly shorn and were looking slightly burned, but as you can see, they bounce back quickly. They remind me of a poodle my mom had. He looked silly to me when he came back from a grooming session all pouffy, with ribbons, no less…but he behaved as if he were proud of his appearance.


At the entry point of one of the fancier neighborhoods, this knot garden is painstakingly maintained.


One apartment complex had this charming clematis-draped arbor at the entrance.


Practically next door to us is a little golf course. When I first saw this roadside planting, I thought it would become increasingly attractive as the plants sprawled and filled in. My mistake…in the last six years just enough pruning has taken place to keep it looking exactly like this.


A closer look reveals…what?…a duck, maybe?


My advice would be for them to stick to designing the golf course itself. This, I think, they got right.


Then there are the places that intend for their shrubs to be made into little cubes. The shrubs have other plans, so if there is no budget for at least monthly haircuts, forget it.

I myself am partial to a tangle of natural elements competing for space, but it sure is interesting to see others’ visions striving to supplant, or at least tame, the plants in their lives.


And no matter what a person’s or a corporation’s gardening style, it sure beats this.

7 thoughts on “

  1. Yes, I feel a touch negelected 🙂
    Come and say hello to my latest ‘pet’: amaryllis.
    Still, the trips on offer make up for your absence.
    When you say ‘little’, do you mean 9 hole?
    Lovely to have a change to swing a club by stepping over the fence. Although I agree the design is a little sparse.
    And that logging looks heartbreaking.

  2. Well Ricki~~ You aren’t the only one, dear. I’m feeling a tad guilty myself. The weather and the garden, the nurseries and the drive-bys are all extremely seductive and kind of make my laptop feel comparatively small and insignificant. Tomorrow morning is the Nichols Garden Nursery’s plant sale–a can’t miss! Then there’s the farmers’ markets and the garage sales… and the garden itself. LIFE IS GOOD.

    That golf course entrance is pathetic and proves that not everyone is cut out for landscaping/gardening. Unbeknownst to some, it takes more than a run to Home Depot. The fire station near here has about a gazillion dwarf nandinas spaced a few feet apart over a wide area. Nice plants but, to borrow Loree’s sentiments, WWTT???

    That clear-cut makes me ill. GREEDY FREAKING DEVELOPERS!

    Have a fabulous weekend!

  3. Hi Ricki – Oh, those overly manicured landscapes always make me so sad. I mean, I do cut my lavender stems off in the fall but that’s just so that the next year’s growth will be okay. The idea of torturing plants into those ridiculous shapes – it’s insulting, really! Let them look more natural and they will look so much nicer. Duh! Maybe you could write the golf course a nice little polite note telling them to loosen up? Or at least plant some stuff in between, groundcovers or heaths/heathers or ?? Yeesh, clearcut = nightmare.

  4. That “duck” cracked me up. I saw it recently, and asked my traveling companion if they thought it was an intentional duck, or just random pruning. We were honestly stumped.

  5. I absolutely agree with everything you have explained. In fact, I browsed through your several other blogposts and I believe that you are totally right. Great job with this particular online site.

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