Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 Santa Barbara Not So Beautiful Awards

Well, plant lovers, it's time to take a slug from your pretty, pink, Pepto-Bismol pitcher and turn your attention to this year's installment of all things awful in the local garden world.

Last weekend the generous, good-doing folks at Santa Barbara Beautiful bestowed their annual honors on designers, property owners, and big-hearted community members. The recipients are locals who lend their talent, time, and support to making our area a place of horticultural and artistic beauty.

But now it's time to turn our attention to The Dark Side, and share the goofy, "What were they thinking?" examples that have earned their own 15 minutes of shame. It's not my intent to just point a finger and say, "Ewwwwwwwwwwww". My hope is that by tossing these perpetrators into my Cuisineart of criticism, I can prevent readers from committing their own crimes against horticulture, and quite possibly become proud honorees at future award events.

This time around I'm sharing tales of bondage, cartoon character simulations, math-challenged manglers, and will explain why I think the City of Santa Barbara has some ‘splainin' to do.

Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down (with apologies to Pedro Almodovar)

One of my favorite go-to plants is Myer's Asparagus (Asparagus densiflora ‘Myers'). I love its soft texture, cheery chartreuse color, and eerie resemblance to Sideshow Bob's hair. It grows in partial shade or full sun, and en masse, creates a softly sculptural effect. Place it near dark, broadleaf foliage, like this pairing with bear's breech (Acanthus mollis), below, at Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden, and you've got a study in subtle contrasting foliage.

So what were they thinking over at Ahi Restaurant on upper State Street? Who came up with the clever idea of using the nylon string the delivery guy uses to keep the LA Times from scattering to put these plants in kinky S&M restraints? Kudos to Ahi for trying to enhance a boring white wall, but do they think we wouldn't notice the passive restraints? I'm sad to announce that the horsetail reed (Equisetum hyemale) that played a central role in this threesome has since passed on (probably forgot the safe word). Dudes, if some of the frilly fronds are in your way, it's a simple snip to cut them at soil level and let the rest of this delightful plant dance its graceful dance.

Brace yourself. There's plenty more at my blog...

1 comment:

scottweberpdx said...

As great as celebrating the good side of gardening is...jeering at the bad side is oh so much fun ;-)