Deferred Maintenance

There has been a lot of “turnover” as they call it, in my neighborhood. Houses that were owned by older couples are being bought by younger families with children. And this is nice to see. Things like that always reinvigorate a neighborhood.

What’s always a wonder to me, however, is when a growing family buys a house with a meticulous landscape and then, clearly, lets that landscape deteriorate.

We have such a situation–or two–in my neighborhood. And mind you, this has nothing to do with the fact that these folks aren’t maintaining the homes.

In the first instance, they have a lawn service mowing, so that’s fine. What I object to–and perhaps it will be remedied eventually–is that they have ripped out every shrub around their foundation and sunk the home in a sea of black dyed mulch. They’ll discover the consequences of that shortly as the artillery fungus shoots spores all over their yellow home.

In the second instance, the couple bought a house that had shrubs that had been neatly manicured to within an inch of their lives. It wasn’t to my taste, but at least it was a “look.”


These folks are barely mowing the lawn–and this is one of their specimen rhododendrons. I am sure they haven’t got a clue but I hate to see ancient shrubs killed off under weeds like this. This just makes me sad.

This isn’t a question of money–there’s a huge hulking Lexus SUV in the driveway and the guy roars by me in his Jaguar sports car (an oxymoron?) every morning.

I suspect that they just don’t know plants–or don’t care. But what a shame.

I hope the folks are at least enjoying living in a lovely place.

But at least I know this is not just happening in my neighborhood.


You can barely see the gold thread cypress under all the Virginia creeper here. There’s even some poison ivy mixed into this mess which is probably why no one will deal with it.

Sadly, this shrub is at a commercial building near my vet. It’s a doggie day care place. I am not sure I would leave my dog at a place where the shrubs are over-run with poison ivy.

6 thoughts on “Deferred Maintenance

  1. tonytomeo September 8, 2018 / 12:46 am

    Horticulture is not much of a priority to as many in modern society, or at least in many regions. In our region, people pay millions of dollars for homes that used to be affordable tract homes, and then remove all the landscaping. They cut down all the trees and clear all the vegetation away. The homes were so much prettier and better maintained when they were inexpensive. They are now ridiculously expensive, but look like ghetto shacks. No one comes outside or used their yard space for anything.

  2. gardendaze September 8, 2018 / 7:05 am

    Yes, that’s exactly right. It’s the same here. I knew when I saw that landscaping go in that it was doomed to failure as soon as the house was sold. And there’s nothing wrong with change, per se–I just really hate to see true neglect. Oh well. Nothing I can do about it for sure except maybe a little sneak weeding under cover of darkness–except I think that one is beyond even sneakiness.


  3. Sharon Cianfarani September 11, 2018 / 9:31 pm

    Another practice I see more and more is no shrubs or plantings in front of a house – just bare. Are these people lazy or they just don’t care?

  4. gardendaze September 12, 2018 / 5:03 am

    Ack, I don’t see that one all that much–yet. The excuse I always hear when I mention things like the weedy shubs is shug, a laugh, and Oh we have no time. As I alluded to in my post, they may not have time, but they sure as heck have money, and there are folks you can pay rather than let your house look like a pit. So you may have exactly identified the real issue:they just don’t care! Thanks for commenting.


  5. The Chatsworth Lady September 13, 2018 / 5:33 pm

    I fear that people who drive past my house must think I’m the laziest, most uncaring homeowner ever, because what isn’t excavation or planting-bed-rip dirt is crabgrass and weeds. Sometimes I feel like putting up a sign saying “It’s not me: It’s the contractor’s overbooked schedule!” because all the dirt has to stay until the guy comes to re-grade but he won’t do that until the brickmason does HIS thing but he won’t until after the general contractor does HIS thing — for which I’m waiting weeks and have no start date in sight. So in the meanwhile I just cringe in embarassment. 😦

  6. gardendaze September 13, 2018 / 6:19 pm

    Oh, I think we’ve all been THERE! And while a casual passer-by might be thinking what you fear, I am sure that the folks who know you know that this temporary dishevelment will lead to much more beautiful things. So, no worries.


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