Archive for the ‘WTF?’ Category

Surly tomato
Andrea Bellamy |

Surly tomato

Is it just me, or is this tomato giving me the finger?


How not to use a Japanese maple
Andrea Bellamy |


My husband works in a funky live/work loft building, which is full of artists, photographers, dancers and other creative types. Most of the gardens along the front of the building are eclectic, colourful and a bit boisterous. Then there’s this.

I think it’s the red lava rock that really makes it special.


European chafer beetle control
Andrea Bellamy |

Metro Vancouver has a European Chafer beetle problem. Actually, the beetles themselves aren’t too troublesome, but their grubs, which feed on the roots of turf grass, are wreaking havoc.

As an introduced pest, the beetle has few natural competitors to control it. That’s where the urban wildlife steps in. Raccoons, skunks and crows enjoy tearing apart lawns in search of larval appies.

Crows in particular can do some serious damage, especially if you live near their flight path.

Personally, I have a hard time caring about lawns, but I suppose it could be pretty disturbing if you spend a lot of time and energy on your lawn only to have it pecked to bits by some damn birds.

But not as disturbing as, say, stringing up one of those birds.

Yes, that’s a dead crow, hanging from someone’s front porch. Classy. As their front “lawn” has been covered with chicken wire, I’m jumping to the conclusion that crows were pecking at it. And the dead crow is what, a warning to other crows? Seriously, WTF? That is so not cool.

Here are some much more effective, neighbour (and wildlife) friendly options for dealing with the Chafer beetle fallout. Not surprisingly, preventing lawn damage from the European Chafer beetle goes back to sustainable lawn care practices like aerating the soil and raising the height of the blade on your mower. Or, like some creative gardeners, you can replace your lawn with clover or wildflowers.


Well, they did use odd numbers in their grouping
Andrea Bellamy |

This is so awesome, I wasn’t sure whether to put it in the Inspiration or WTF? category. What do you think the story is here? Impossible-to-resist price cuts at the Discount Landscaping Depot? Commemorative animal statuary for deceased family pets? Did they start with the fountain, then, labelled as statuary lovers, fall prey to tragically misguided gift giving? Or my favourite possible explanation: a donkey, a rabbit, a chicken and a lion were hanging out at the local watering hole, when suddenly, a magical mermaid appeared, turning them all into stone. Or at least white-washed cast concrete.


Don’t: mutilate your trees
Andrea Bellamy |

dont tree.jpg
Oh dear.


Nice (ahem) hedge
Andrea Bellamy |

Cedar hedges are so ubiquitous in Vancouver they rarely merit a second glance. But in the tony neighbourhood of Point Grey, there’s one particular hedge that makes me giggle every time I pass it. And I actually go out of my way to check on it; I keep thinking that sooner or later, it’s going to be removed in the interest of good taste or some such nonsense.

See, the hedge in question is made up of a series of three grouped cedars. One columnar cedar flanked by two smaller, round ones. See where this is going?


Holy hedges, Batman!


Together, these phallic sentinals present a vigorous demonstration of masculinity (said with tongue planted firmly in cheek).

Who lives here? Why have they planted thusly? Is it all a big joke? Do they sit behind their curtains and watch people fall off their bicycles? Is this a Do or a Don’t? I don’t know of any garden magazine that would suggest this arrangement, but you have to admit, it sure is a conversation piece!


Don’t. Just don’t.
Andrea Bellamy |


Don’t do this. Don’t nurture tomatillos, zucchini and fennel from seed only to abandon the adult plants when you realize that your balcony, which isn’t equipped with a water tap – oh, they’ll put in an electrical outlet, sure, so you can string fairy lights or, say, blow dry your hair, but nothing as advanced as RUNNING WATER, crazy girl, what do you think this is, a developed nation with the world’s largest freshwater supply? – gets super hot during the day even though it’s only east-facing, so that the pots need watering twice a day even though you put a moisture-retaining soil additive in when planting them up, and you have to carry the full watering can up two flights of stairs everytime because your Haws won’t fit under the tap in the upstairs bathroom and you can’t evacuate the pots from the balcony because soil-in they weigh a million pounds at least and you already hurt your back lugging that bloody watering can upstairs everyday and then you finally realize that you’re not going to get any tomatillos or zucchini and you’ve already harvested the two fennel bulbs that were worth eating, God bless ’em, because the heat and lack of water is stressing the plants to the point that they just aren’t going to fruit so you finally just give up and stop watering even though everytime you step out onto the balcony, which you now avoid doing, they scream (albeit weakly) at you, “How COULD you? There’s still time – save us!” and you’re wracked with the guilt and embarrassment of it all (since you’re supposed to be a gardener and gardeners just don’t do that to plants!), well, it’s enough to drive a girl mad. So take my word on this one. Just don’t.


New Category! WTF?
Andrea Bellamy |

I’ve read somewhere that in designing a Japanese garden a newbie should start with a field of gravel and slowly place rocks, plants and water; this is supposed to remind one that less is more, that everything hangs in an elegant balance that can be destroyed when one tries to fill space.

I’m really hoping these people are on their way to creating a fantastic Japanese garden. But not holding my breath.

Nevertheless, this yard has inspired the new WTF category. For the bitchy voyeur in all of us.