I had a pretty big “Huh?!” moment the other day while walking down a little side street near my daughter’s school. I saw this tree from a distance and almost thought I was having trouble with my vision or something. I mean, where are the branches??
OK, yeah, I can see a few, a little fan of mini twigs at the top. But what about the rest of them, where did they go? There are no troublesome power lines to blame. Were they hacked off to avoid having to rake so many leaves? Then I started to look at the other elements of the parking strip garden.
Heavily pruned New Zealand flax, at least it survived the bad snows:
OK, so heavy pruning seems to be a theme. Are they afraid their plants will grow some kind of normal shape and look, I dunno, natural? Isn’t that a plant’s job?
I was ready to call the Plant Amnesty hotline and report a pruning horror, when I saw the funky, arty front gate:
Then it occurred to me that the plants might have fallen under the category of art or sculpture for this gardener, kind of like bonsai only with different species. The tree, although uniquely shaped, didn’t look sickly and I’ll be curious to go back in summer to see what it looks like with its tiny fan of leaves. I guess there must be enough to keep the tree alive, limited chlorophyll and all.
Garden art takes many forms – maybe this is just one I hadn’t seen before. I’m trying to keep an open mind, lately, and figure that any creativity in a street garden is welcome, even if it’s not exactly what I might do. I hope others feel the same when they walk by my currently-awful-looking moonscape of a garden. Or at least that they don’t say it out loud within my hearing, if not!