Why do they grow it?

March 30, 2004

Is there any plant, or flower, that you see many people planting but cant understand why? Is there any plant you consider ugly, unattractive or useless for the garden, but still see many people around using it in their landscape plans?

I cant stand conifers...why people here in one of the most humid and hottest climates on the globe persist with plants that belong in a snowy field is beyond me.

Come on, lets us know what it is that YOU hate...

Comments (150)

  • marcia_m

    I didn't realize this Favorites forum existed :-)

    I don't hate too many plants. I do hate seeing trees that have their limbs topped--they remind me of amputations and I feel really bad for them. Anything that tries to take over in my garden gets moved to another, wilder spot. I guess I do hate one thing for encroaching everywhere--sedum acre. One little leaf makes a new plant.

    I love a lot of the plants that were listed as hated--different strokes for different folks! And I like seeing bugs in my garden!

  • Kymie17

    I didn't intend to post, but I got such a kick out of reading this. I was surprised by how many people hate ornamental grasses and junipers, both of which I enjoy in the right situation.

    I was suprised that nobody mentioned hating black-eyed susans! Maybe it's because I was born in the mid-70s and so was way overexposed to ugly yellow-and-brown color schemes in my youth, but I really find them completely unappealing.

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  • phytomaniac

    I deplore all variegated leaved plants. Hybridizers take note-why do you insist on breeding plants that look sick. You kind of expect it on hostas, which I like, but not on an entire shrub. I dislike those hideous yellow evergreens(everyellows?) and most contorted forms, but I'm getting the urge to plant some Hollywood junipers. They remind me of San Francisco or Tuscany.

  • flash14756

    I didn't have time to read all of the posts on this thread.I hate topped trees wit a vengence. Why people do it I'll never know, are people really that stupid?

  • gweirdo

    Palm trees in northern climates. Some people must just be realizing these are hardy here and are going nuts with them.Anyone ever hear of regionally appropriate planting?

  • flash14756

    I told you I didn't read all of this thread. Marcia, I just now saw your post, sorry.

  • sequim_lady

    For some of us, the only reason we plant a lot of things on your list like junipers is because they are the only living things the darn deer won't eat. So enjoy your roses, etc.; we can't grow them because the deer love them!

  • slvbeard

    I really can't stand Rose of Sharon's, too old fashioned. Maybe they were nice once upon a time, but bleh, not anymore. Also Arborvitae's, too many of them, and every time we get a heavy snow, you see them split down the middle all around the neighborhood. Same for Pine Trees, love them, but they have a weak root system, and every time a thunderstorm comes through you see them toppled over all around the neighborhood.

    Oh, and sorry, but I gotta say I like the Junipers, low maintenance and drought tolerant.

  • trillian2006

    This thread has been very helpful!! Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but some of your "rants" have included some facts that I don't think I would have learned at my local nursery. I'm new to gardening and am overwhelmed with choices and hearing the cold hard truth about the condition of certain plants year round is very helpful!!

    What got me started in gardening was my dislike of a peony bush in the flowerbed infront of my front door (front porch stairs are to the side). I've always wondered why people would plant them right next to the house when it's well known that ants love them. And they are so messy after they bloom. I like them out back in yards, just not right up on a house. After I yanked out mine, I realized I'd have to put something else in...somehow that led to buying the materials for a raised veggie garden and a whole lot of seed packets and compost. I'm being sucked in...

  • tspencer60

    This post is perpetual; cool. Uh, I have to say that BRADFORD PEAR trees are the worst. They have the lollipop form (great for architectual drawings in the 60's), Weak branch structure and the flowers stink to high heaven. They are way overused. I believe a bare lawn would be better; maybe the new homeowner would plant something else.

  • gardeniarose

    OK, I don't know why, but I've always hated azaleas. They come in lovely colors, seem to be pretty easy to care for and people grow them all over...yet I find them irritating, lol!

  • jenal

    I inherited a lot of ugly bushes when I moved into an older house last year.

    The huge and really unattractive shrubs by my doorstep turned out to be azaleas. Beautiful for exactly one week.

    The 10 foot tall monster weed in my backyard is Mahonia apparently. People buy this. Little seedling are popping up all over my yard and they're very difficult to get rid of.

    Normally, Nandina would have been on my list of dislikes, but it's one of the most attractive bushes in my yard.

    It's all okay, though. Just gives me more time in the garden.

  • rldillard121

    Here in Tampa what I really really hate are the scraggily famined looking hibiscus that have dropped all of their leaves. ("not a good thing.") I take that back, there maybe one or two leaves that are a hanging on at 5 foot shrub looking skeleton of a bush. Some of the hibiscus here are terrible leggy tropical skeletons. I propose a campaign to SAVE THE HIBISCUS! People need to cut them back, (try to minimize the eye sore.) They'll be rewarded with a lush flowering bush.
    I have to face them every time I go to my local grocery store. EWWW!!!

  • gardenjen_ca

    What I really, really dislike are "low maintenance" yards that consist of only red lava rocks and/or multiple cacti..eeeew.

    I also hate junipers. At my old house we had them all around the border of our lawn, so we promptly yanked them out - what a project!

    I don't care for ornamental grasses either - they look like tall weeds to me. Jade plants are boring in my opinion!

    Great thread!

  • blue_velvet_elvis

    We have a yucca at our cottage that I loathe. It was moderately nice this year in bloom but doesn't go well with the house. I hate ornamental grasses, they look like weeds to me. I hate red flowers and orange flowers. They look garish to me. I always have one red rose bush wherever I live in memory of my mom who adored them though. I hate those stupid lillies that whoever had this house before us planted. They're strange and gangly (and orange)I've been pulling and pulling and pulling and I *think* they're almost gone! Now though, since our entire yard has been plowed up and under to make way for our new basement, they'll probably poke their ugly heads out from all corners of the yard. Perhaps they're in the 10 loads of dirt that got hauled away. I couldn't be that lucky though. I also hate yews. I can't trim them as I'm allergic.

  • ladybarber101

    I have had the best time reading this thread and have to add a few comments if I may..

    1. Dare I say it crepe myrtle trees,one or the other over pruned or underprunned, the blooms drive me mad and I cant breath but they are everywhere here in north florida

    2. Wandering jew you defintely need a large space and it doesnt have a strinking flower to make it better

    3. Century plant or thing of pain why or why grow something that gets so big, plain and then only dies after blooming sending off hunreds of babies Ever try to move one and been bitten?? OUCH

    4. Pampass GrassOk Please someone explain ths stff to me I ave to know.. It cuts you when you touch it, turns to straw but stays in ahuge clump just for spiders, ants, snakes and ect to live in.. Am I missing something

    5. Pristine yards,, Rocks for mulch, colored plastic mulch(red, purple, black )

    6. People with beautiful plants that are so unkept they look like weeds.. I know its alot of work but the payoff is so worth it..

    Whew sorry but had to join in.. I think every neighborhood should have a gardening commitee along with the civic association..LOL

  • irishbean

    Bamboo, without a barrier

  • anne711

    Stella D'Oro daylilies. Ugly color that doesn't go with anything; ugly, stunted form; the darn things never stop blooming and that's supposed to be a plus?!?!?

  • elissanc

    1. Crepe Myrtle, especially near walkways or doors... or in the case of the former owners of my house...pools!!

    2. Yuccas or other plants that look like they belong in the desert.

    3. The 1 sad and lonely looking specimen tree or plant.

    I know there are others, but those are the main ones that come to mind at the moment.

  • annabeth

    Here's my top ten in order of most annoying to least:

    1)People who cut down perfectly good trees because they don't like to rake leaves.
    2)Topped trees!
    3) Fruitless Mulberry trees: everyone just cuts them to the nubs in winter around here and all you see are these brown trunks with balls of cuts where limbs use to be. Then they grow back so well in summer that people's yards have so much shade that it is usually just bare dirt underneath.
    4)Anything that doesn't have green (or greenish) leaves: Ornamental Plums, Dusty Miller and the like.
    5)Ornamental grasses. I've seen them escaped into the local National Forest and are taking over an area. So sad...and so flammable.
    6)Oleander-poisonous monsters that line all the freeways and take over back yards.
    7)Ice plant
    8)Overdone or too many pieces of yard art.
    10)Cannas when they are not taken care of. When well-cared for they are OK.
    Ok here's an Eleventh: 11)Impatiens, waxy begonias, Petunias and too many pansies in too many colors.

  • coffeebeanie

    Ok, I just joined this site and it's my very first post here so I hope I don't come off as a complainer but here goes - not a plant , but why here in the midwest area do people put those standing stone deer in their front yards? even in the heart of the city for crying out loud! I think they've died down a bit over the last 10 years but really......It seems like they are always stuck in a circle dead in the middle of a lawn surrounded by a perfect round army of single file soldier flowers and then the whole yard is enclosed with ugly chainlink fence. I always see them and think the owners are holding them for ransom.( don't they know deer can jump?If anyone knows of that secret society that kidnaps people's scary little gnomes ask them to incorporate the whole stone deer movement.( my friend's gnome was taken
    and it upset her terribly while everyone else actually breathed a sigh of relief not having to pass this scary little evil thing making their way to the door. I felt so bad I almost replaced the horrid little thing for her - and NO, Ellen, it WAS NOT ME - THOUGHT ABOUT IT A FEW TIMES BUT I AM TRULY INNOCENT!)I was guilty once of hiding my mother in law's small version of a resin doe and her cuddling baby fawn - I put them inside of her wooden wishing well- that was flanked on either side with a couple of stone geese in clothes! ( she has an entire wardrobe for them). Even the squirrels detest these creatures because they always chew the clothes off and drag them away!

  • runswithscissors

    Thought I would revive an old thread. I just have to share my all time un-favorite thing in a yard is:

    (drum roll, please)

    those stupid plastic pink flamigos. Do people ever actually drive by and exclaim..."Oh My Word, George! Did you see those big pink birds?! Turn around, quick, and get the camera before they fly away!"

  • frogged

    Hmm...Well maybe Im just still too new at the garden thing but I really like some of the stuff a lot of you seem to hate. Perhaps after a few more years when Im a litle more (experienced)I will hate these things too. But for now I will say live and let live, but I had better not see any of you in my garden hating my flowers! LOL But back to the issue at hand, even as a novice gardener I dislike ok hate trees planted right next to buildings, trees that are topped and or chopped, unkept ceadar bushes, ok any unkept bush. People who let their perenial bed fill in with weed so you can't tell what is weed and what isin't. Basicly unkept yards. Oh yeah plastic/silk fake flowers. Periwinkle, oh yeah and front and back yards in town that have been naturalized- wild flower gardens. Just looks like an unkept weed fest a lot of times. Looks much better in the country meadow, or near a bush lot but not in a subdivision! Wow the more I think about it I guess there's a lot of things that bug me too! Happy gardening all!

  • entling

    Tropical plants in Chicagoland. I'm sorry, but a banana or a palm tree just does not look right around here. I know it's all the rage (even my mom wants a banana tree), but come on, consider the genius loci!!

  • cpm725

    This is a list of the plants I dis-like:

    - Juniper

    - Aspen Tree

    - Milkweed

    - Buffalo Grass

    - Ivy

    - Linden trees

    - Cottonwood (because of allergies)

    - Ponderosa Pine (I hate how they release the yellow pollen, but I like the appearance of the plant)

    - All the annuals hardware stores sell

    - Sumac

    - Elm Trees

    - etc...

  • pookiejean

    Arizona Ash tree. Only lives about 25 years and is very susceptible to disease. It is planted by homebuilders because it is a fast grower--but that is the only good thing about it. Why plant a tree that will only live a very short life?

    Chinese Tallow tree. It is considered an invasive tree here in south Texas. It produces lots of trash--berries, seeds, pollen. And seedlings pop up everywhere--it is a continual task to pull them out of flowerbeds. There is always something falling off of it. Unfortunately I became acquainted with these trees in my first house--there were three encircling our swimming pool. Just awful.

  • beth7happy

    What a neat thread!!! I guess that's why there are so many different forums - what you hate, I love...and what I love might depend upon the day! On the 1st of May, for instance, I love the little mayflowers and violets found in the northern woods just as the snow melts...never to be found here in the southlands of Florida, but they remind me of my grandmother and how we'd ALWAYS bring her a fistful of 'woods' flowers on May Day! or maybe canna, because when I could grow nothing at all....(this is the girl who very carefully separated and sprigged sandspurs in Florida all across the back yard because it looked just like grass!!!)..but canna will grow for the black thumb like I was. (am?) But..this is a 'hate' thread! ...only thing I really REALLY hate is when someone makes a plant into a box perfectly chopped HEDGES. arrrrggghhhhhh. ...just let things...GROW ! Ain't it great?? We ALL love/hate different things!!! While I appreciate a wonderfully manicured 'formal' garden, I still love the wild and flamboyant cottage garden, too! What a spicey life!!!!! :)

  • finchelover

    I hate to see people planting all greenery aound their pretty homes,nothing for color but the main insults are trees right next to the house,don't they know in time the roots will destroy the foundation.

  • shunt

    QUOTE: Thought I would revive an old thread. I just have to share my all time un-favorite thing in a yard is:
    (drum roll, please)

    those stupid plastic pink flamigos. Do people ever actually drive by and exclaim..."Oh My Word, George! Did you see those big pink birds?! Turn around, quick, and get the camera before they fly away!"


    Other than that I love to see all kinds of flowers and can't say I HATE anything. But I do have a pet peeve...being in Louisiana...well...Azeleas in Louisiana are like bread and butter, they just belong together...but what gets me is people who shear them to these tiny dwarf boxes and line them all along the front and sidewalks of their house and if that isn't bad's the only thing in the yard! Oh my gosh what are they thinking??

    I also agree with the point that most plants that look bad are probably the victims of their owners.

  • terrene

    What is up with that ugly orange mulch? Whoever thought that pallets chipped up and dyed a bizarre orange color would look good?

    And I agree about Privet, Burning bush, Hostas, Barberry, forsythia - these are way overplanted (not to mention some are invasive).

    This is probably heresy, but I don't get the love affair with Heucheras. I have a couple of the old fashioned ones a neighbor gave me, and they're okay - but apparently people collect lots of cultivars because they want different foliage colors? To me they look like little clumps of leaf lettuce and the flowers don't exactly make a statement.

    Green meatball shrubs - doesn't matter what kind of plant it is - yews, arborvitae, hydrangea - people shear them into a box or circle or gumball and they start to look indistintguishable. Every year they're out there with the electric hedgeclippers or maybe even the chainsaw trying to keep a plant the same size when all it wants to do is grow larger. The property owner vs. the shrubbery.

    On the upside - I've seen hummers at Heucheras and Hostas, and meatball shrubs eventually get so dense from all that shearing that the birds take advantage of the cover and nest in them. I am a wildlife gardener, so I like messy wild areas, and bugs, and Junipers - which are excellent cover for wildlife. :)

  • aezarien

    I have at least one of every despised plant on this list except juniper. I don't hate any one species of plant but I do have some love/hate relationships going on with some. Some only have to do with location. More specifically, where they are located in my yard.

    Petunia - In small doses where they do not receive overhead moisture they require very little maintenance. I have million bells in my window boxes and a few hanging baskets with some white and hybrid purple petunia. I browse by them every day, as a matter of habit, and pick off a few faded flowers and water them regularly. It literally only takes about ten minutes a week to care for them and keep them looking nice. It only took once in a flower bed to realize that was a bad idea. I was even ignorant enough to put them along a walkway that first year, too close together at that. So, we ended up walking on them for the first part of the summer and despite literally hours of maintenance, every morning brought slimy flowers littering the walkway eventually turning the walkway green.

    Hosta - Some varieties are a little more sun tolerant than others. I have found it is the varieties that have to have absolute shade that generally look like flop all season. I have one that absolutely melts in the sun and will only live in the dark moist places that slugs like to hang out. The other varieties I have that can take quite a bit of sun (and have a space large enough to grow without touching other plants) generally look healthy until the first frost. If they come up before the last frost, however, and are not covered they don't do so well that year.

    Variegated Plants - I like the extra depth they provide when planted among other plants that they contrast with. In my herb garden I have a few different varieties of variegated thyme against chunks of oregano, basil, and other mainly green foliage plants which otherwise provide no real interest outside of smell and leaf texture when they are not in bloom. I don't care for overly used variegated plants though like in borders or in huge clumps with different variegated species inhabiting one spot. I have a few purple basil, some bright green stone-crop, and a few different silvery plants like sage and curry to break it up a little.

    Dusty Miller - I had one when I moved here and I really liked it so I went out and bought a few more. I have a few in the herb garden to balance out some of the other silvery foliaged plants but have found that outside of that one plant that I don't enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would. I think the plant is pretty but it gets dirty way too easy and if you have it anywhere near red clay it will get stained. They seem to be quite brittle as well. I bump up against one and parts of them break off.

    Wandering Jew - Love it as a house/container plant. Do not care for it in the yard at all.

    Privet - I have a variegated privet that I purchased and a bunch of common privet along the back of my yard. The one I purchased was an impulse buy from maybe four years ago based on smell alone. The wild ones, although not entirely unpleasantly smelling, I would have to compare to that one woman or man at the movie theater who has bathed in perfume. When you get the first slight whiff, it is mildly pleasant. Once the smell has infiltrated every fiber in the room however it stimulates your gag reflex. The one I purchased has a milder, sweeter scent that is a little less obnoxious. It doesn't grow quite as fast either. I cut yards off limbs off the privets along the back every spring and fall. I think it is pretty and it can be trained to behave but it is a lot of work.

    Morning Glory - (or any other vining annual for all that matters) - Morning glory is a dream to grow. The germination rate is wonderful, they quickly vine on anything you put them near and they require so little. What I do NOT like is the clean-up, especially from the plants that come from fallen seed the previous year because they tend to be thicker and stronger. I have an arbor and a chain link fence I plant climbing plants on each year and it takes hours to clean up once they die back, even longer if you remove them before they go to seed. Every fall I say I am not going to plant them again but every spring I do.

    Heucheras- I just bought some for the first time this season with very dark, purplish leaves. So far it is growing fantastically with little to no interference from me. Right now I love it. There is no telling how I will feel about it over the next few seasons.

    The only thing I can think of off the top of my head that I do not like is what I think is called a Jersey or Scrub Pine. They look like extra large bonsais on extra long trunks and barely look contextual in groups of many of the same. They are the first thing that a storm is ready to take half of if they don't come completely out of the ground. I have no idea why anyone would intentionally plant one of these in a landscape situation.

    As far as design elements such as pink flamingos, plastic deer, muffin shrubbery (sounds like a euphemism for BS), and elements otherwise used obnoxiously out of context.. I have to agree. I don't care for them.

  • hosenemesis

    What a wonderful thread!
    This is my first visit to Favorites, and I struck gold. I grow almost everything mentioned, and have even inadvertently planted the McDonald's color scheme.

    My least favorite flower? Gazania. Parking-lot flowers that never fill in properly. The foliage looks crunchy. Runner-up is Marigold: those little gold balls look fake.

    Tree? Rows of Italian cypress, especially in suburban tract-home side yards. One always dies, making the skyline look as though it is missing a tooth. Second, fast-growing pines that look like pipe-cleaners with arms until they die after ten to fifteen years.

    Shrubs: Until recently, I thought I hated roses, junipers and geraniums. As it turns out, it is only when they are used as a trellis for bermuda grass that I find them truly ugly.
    Thanks for the entertainment!

  • pambourgeois

    It is hard for me to believe that folks would actually spend money on a plant thay I have tried to eliminate for two decades: SPIDERWORT!

  • suseart

    I love this thread!! I have only been a member of this site for a few days, and have many of the same pet peeves as others have listed, especially topped off trees like Italian Cypress, boxy hedges, rows of ANYTHING, and- LOL- I died laughing about the pink flamingos. Yeah, those and the deer are awful and need to be outlawed. One of my all time dreaded combos is barrels filled with geraniums. Ew.

  • greenjulia

    I absolutely HATE ferns. Especially Boston ferns. The staghorn ferns really irk me, too.

    Junipers. They smell like cat pee and the ones around here always look scrawny and half-dead.

    I also hate ugly planters, like when people have plastic pots and planters (or stacks of tires!!) in their front yards!

  • Debby Kuennen

    Oh no! I just planted an Althea this afternoon!! Now I'm worried there will be little ones everywhere we'll have to pull. Should I go dig it up?

    My absolutely most hated plant in the universe is Bermuda grass. It has roots that go to China. You absolutely cannot put in any kind of flowerbed edging that is deep enough to keep it out. It is immune to all herbicides. When you pull it up, it breaks into 4,972 pieces and each one roots. If you use the trimmer on it, you can shoot new plants through all the flower beds. It makes a great home for chiggers. (If you don't know what those are, consider yourself lucky.) It grows everywhere you don't want it to--always has its roots entwined with some plant I'm trying to baby along and if I pull the Bermuda I will kill the plant I'm trying to grow.

  • dwf1

    Big green no weed yards = chemicals in our drinking water.
    Non-native plants = more chemicals.
    I dislike man-made non-natural chemicals, invasive and most non-native species and improper use of native species.

  • dannybanany

    Wow what a great read this thread makes!
    I dislike hacked up trees ("topped"), and plastic ornaments, if you can call them that ;p Fake hoohaw in the yard.
    Dislike pampas grass -ouch!
    I was thinking of planting Yucca though, are they really so bad? Are they maybe less invasive in some areas than others?
    I agree with the above post about the chemicals, seriously bad Juju there!
    What I don't get is why so much focus on purely ornamental (especially when it is NOT attractive) when there are so many useful, edible, AND ornamental plants to be had?
    Yes I am from the edible landscaping forum ;p
    I like wild looking yards if they are pretty (lots of color and signs of maintenance), cottage, and formal gardening styles, so I guess it is a matter of how the plants are used that matters more than the individual plants for me :)

  • oklahomanovice

    Succulents. They freak me out. I want to squish them because they seem so squeezable. Although I have to say I do have a little respect for Aloe Vera. I know a lot of people like them-but I personally don't care for them.

  • domehomedee

    I love succulents . . . in fact I like that they freak you out. I got a laugh out of that. After reading most of this thread I realize how tolerant I am. Just about the only thing mentioned I agree with is white plastic pots. On the whole, I find plastic in the garden tacky. I have all the plants mentioned in this thread, I love them all. It's all in how a plant is used, cannas can be ugly if unkept, I plant lobelias under mine and they always look good, even after I cut them back. I hope nobody hates lobelia, it's one of my favorites.

  • juliaw

    Ugh! Lobelia! (Kidding!) ;-)

    I share the apparently common dislike of juniper, but I think (as has already been stated) that inappropriateness lies at the base of my deep-seated dislike. Where I live the junipers were used in the late 70's to line the front of every house at the curb, and now the sidewalks are hovered-over by monstrosities that've been hacked back to the center to clear the sidewalks, so that everything on the curb side is an ugly open nest of brown branches that were never meant to be exposed to the light of day. I'd probably like junipers just fine if I had ever, in my entire life, seen one used in a way that actually enhances its surroundings.

    I also dislike rows, lines, boxes, or any unnaturally perfect geometric form. It's a landscape. Seriously. The days of castle lawns with formal gardens are gone. I'm not saying that someone couldn't come up with a strongly-designed landscape with geometric forms that I wouldn't like, but it would need to be an obvious, very deliberate theme, well carried out. What I see day-to-day are circles, squares, and lines because the owner couldn't be bothered to think outside (drumroll, please) the box.

    Last one: anything pruned in a way that completely alters or disguises its natural form. If its form didn't appeal to the owner, why did they buy it? Someone purchases a plant only to hack it into a shape never found in nature? That always struck me as the sign of someone who subconsciously dislikes or fears nature and who needs to be rigidly in control of their environment. Of course, I'm not a board-certified psychoanalyst, so take what I say with a grain of salt. ;-)

  • maximavswife

    Hoping to keep this thread alive :) We are surrounded by Cottonwood trees. What a mess they create each year. Once they are done setting out the cotton, they shed dead leaves which are blown all over the lawn and into garden beds. I spend at least an hour each weekend all summer long trying to keep beds clean so that plants can get water.

  • woodside

    Coleus flowers. Ewww... it freaks me out to pinch them back. And they look so obscene if left to fully develop. A few homes in our neighborhood do this every year.

    Boring daisy like flowers- echinacea, black eyed susans, sunflowers, ice plant- unimaginative.

    Wax begonias and marigolds. I don't get it.

    Boring rows of evergreen trees.

    Any yard that looks like it was planted after a Home Depot special. Same stuff...

    Garden/lawn/yard art- if you can even call it that. Gazing balls, fake people, frogs, birds- ugh!!!

    White plastic hanging baskets- although I have some up right now!

    Red and yellow color schemes- although I just did that too!
    (cardinal lobelia and ligularia- but it looks great!)

    Ah the irony...

  • thatannagirl

    I know this is an old thread, but I really must scream about how much I HATE sweetgum trees. I know that they are like a host plant for some moth or butterfly or something, but even from my neighbor's yard those awful spikey balls cover my yard and dig into the grass (or dirt, or, well just everywhere) and hide, waiting for you (me) to walk outside barefoot.
    Also, Elm trees, I think that's what they are, with their millions and millions of little seeds that coat my yard, and garden, and pots, and sprout for months, especially when I'm still trying to decide which seedlings are intentional and which are weedlings. (My sometimes frustrating MIL was thrilled by all the little seedlings and actually potted them by the hundreds, and has spent so much time bragging to me about her little scraggly treelings,.. after I initiated a conversation about how frustrating I thought they were.)

    finally, CHERRY LAURELS! Blasted, poisonous, sprouting everywhere, refusing to die, growing through the middle of every bush and tree and bed of anything, flowering like mad in the early spring to produce gallons of pollen, when the flowers don't even look like much. Their red/orange isn't as pronounced as Red Tip, they spread through root systems and seeds and by magic. They're chock full of cyanide. Really, just plant Bay Laurel.

  • pinksand

    Yay, I am so thrilled to hear that I'm not the only one who hates the McDonald's color scheme!!! I just HATE IT! We have red and yellow tulips in front of our office every spring that my coworkers all admire as I want to hurl. Poor tulips, it isn't their fault they were planted together :(

    Unfortunately I feel like I am surrounded by my pet peeves. Across the street they had a mass of overgrown junipers and lawn. When they told me they were removing the bushes I was thrilled and offered to help with plant suggestions. One day I looked across the street to see 4 uniform green blobs lining their foundation and red and yellow annuals in a row :( Why bother removing the old hedge to repeat the same look?

    On either side of me I have neglected yards. One has a stagnant pond with crumbling walls... they also have a mattress resting against the house. I desperately need to plant something large and evergreen to block that view! The neighbors on the other side just don't have the time or interest in gardening so they've planted vinca, oriental bittersweet, and both english and algerian ivy. Unfortunately our gardens are not divided in anyway so I am constantly battling these quick growing vines. The ivy is literally taking down their trees :( I hack it back where it's still manageable to help them out but now there's poison ivy in there too that's keeping me out.

    I'm really not a holly fan either, ouch!

  • mirendajean (Ireland)

    Ohhhhh, such a great thread. I can't wait to pile on! I'm American, born in IL and grew up in VA. I have complaints about both countries.

    1. Growing up I hated Azelias and Rhododendrons. Even as a child I though they were daft. Every house had them. There was a garden centre specializing in them. One year I planted a row of corn behind my parents Azelias (popcorn mind you) just to break up the look.

    2 Monkey Puzzles are the Palm Trees of Ireland. I dont understand why people grow them. They don't suit Ireland at all. I'd understand them in a Large garden as an interesting feature but why in a small suburban garden?

    3 Garden nick nacks. Why? Flamingos (sigh), gnomes (yawn) and anthropomorphized animals (gag). There are gardens that are completely overwhelmed with little statutes intermixed with American Flags. (When I read the flamingos flying away comment I laughed and paused and then Laughed some more. )

    4 I am "eyerollingly" tired of boring, green, geometrically perfect lawns with the same annuals plants in tidy rows. Sure, maybe you're a person not into gardening and just want an easy splash of colour when you come home but why the exact same splash of color as every other house on the street?

    5 Fuchsias & Crocosmias. At home I loved them and worked hard to keep the alive. In Ireland they grow wild. They are everywhere. On the side of the road, in the forestry, even waving at me in front of the grocery store. Why plant them all over your garden?

    5 Marigolds? I HATE them lined up a long walkway with nothing to provide contrast. Just boring. There is a house up the road that has at least a 1/3 acre walk up to the front door with a 1 ft wide border filled with nothing but Ronald McDonald head marigolds. It's such a beautiful old family house. I want to sneak in at night and gorilla plant some easy roses, maybe a lush Lemon Balm or two, lavender...oooh, I could plant a row of popcorn, that'd teach them :-)

    6 Hydrangeas . I am convinced that people here must believe that you're no true gardener unless you grow big, blue hydrangeas. They must be blue and they must be right out in the front yard as close to the sidewalk as possible so people will know that you grow them.

    7 Wax Begonias.

    8 Huge Conifer and/or Laurel hedges in a small suburban garden. Why? Especially here where they like to mix them together. Is there anything uglier than a giant mixed conifer/laurel border?

    9 Out of control cotton lavender. There are three houses nearby with cotton lavender packed into a space way too small for it. There are sad reaching branches poking through nearby plants. The branches are browning with yellow tops that create the effect of a giant alien fungus attacking the gardenbed.

    10 large plants that clash planted too close together. They encroach on one another, are starved for light and just look sad. Especially when there is a conifer in the mix. They get all light starved and brown at the bottom.

    That felt good. Soooooo good :-)

  • 123marai

    Plant list that I hate:

    1. thorny plant...they hurt, they piercing you and tore your clothes

    2. non flowering plant..who would spent money just to see the leaves all years around, while you can it around for free

    3. fake garden creature. I've seen a lot false things, please..not in the yard too.

    4. Messy garden, it's creepy you know !

    5. Elephant ear, hostas, fern, guys..they belong in swamp swamp swamp..not in your yard !

    and no egg trowing. thankyou.

  • edlincoln

    1.) Grass. It doesn't have flowers, it doesn't produce fruit, it's boring...there are so many more interesting plants in the world. Why would you make your yard one huge even expanse of featureless lawn? It's great if you have a small yard kids play sports in, but honestly most people DON'T play in their yard...and an 8th of an acre is all you need for a sports field anyway. It bugs me when I see a large rural yard that is nothing but grass.
    2.) Arbor Vitae. It doesn't flower, doesn't produce fruit, a very boring plant. Looks kind of fake to me.
    3.) Those fake looking tropical looking evergreens with big leaves you see in malls.
    4.) Geraniums. They always look straggly to me,
    5.) Impatients.

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