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Flower Hoarding

I don't normally get into online arguments, especially now that vegetrollians have gone away to start eating meat again or scolding people for--well, practically anything nowadays. But something set me off the other day and I finally realized why. 

A poster on a forum asked how he could cheaply obtain several hundred rose starts to make a giant rose garden out of an uncultivated piece of ground at his house. I love roses, I've grown a lot of them, and know what's required to grow them. I asked several questions about cost and maintenance of such a project and pointed out potential pitfalls, all of which he waved away, even though he mentioned he was on a budget. 

For anyone under the delusion that gardening is a dainty hobby, a garden this size typically has a crew and a professional horticulturist to plant and take care of it. Annual pruning alone would take one person two solid weeks of stoop labor. And since rose gardens went out of style with bridge games and Tupperware parties, such an artifact would make his house harder to sell. Worse, the idea for a bed of fussy hybrid teas tends to appeal to people who remember the 50s--in other words, someone who'll be unable to take care of a large, fussy garden either now or in the near future, the view from the neighbor's houses and the person who has to remove a weedy briar patch be damned. And that's assuming rose rosette virus, a devastating, easily spread rose disease, doesn't find its way in. 

I wasn't one of this person's neighbors, nor someone who'd have to clean up the ensuing hellscape. So why did this bother me so much? A mental checklist helped sort it out.

  • Older person: check.
  • Collection of random, cheap, easily available stuff: check.
  • Minimal maintenance planned: check.
  • Eyesore in the making: check. 
  • Lowered property value: check. 
  • A huge mess someone else will have to clean up: what I went through with my parents' hoarding.

I finally realized that this was just a plan for a plant hoard. 

I can see the future. From Dreamstime.

My parents' house was on a large lot and they eventually got to the point that they couldn't take care of it--or the house or eventually themselves. And yet they refused to move. With good intentions, I helped with the yard. I spent hours pruning some overgrown roses and bagging up dead canes, a project that will leave you hot, sweaty and looking like you tried to bathe a cat. I know well what rose gardens look like with minimal care. Helping them with everything they needed wore me out and took up most of my time. I wouldn't do it again. 

The whole attitude of hoarding is narcissistic. It's their stuff strewn everywhere, no matter how it looks or how much it burdens other people. And now the trend is crybullying. 

If I see an article about a man making a stink because the city is threatening to bulldoze his rose garden, I'll know the back story and I won't be surprised. 

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