Garden FAIL: Cypress Invasion

by Jenny Peterson on April 9, 2010

in Garden FAIL

I love Mediterranean landscaping: the romantic greenery, the intoxicating scents of rosemary and lavender, the crunch of gravel underfoot. But I do not like this:What’s up with this? This is not a Tuscan villa. This is a home in suburban Austin, Texas, on a normal-sized lot. So let’s line our property with not 3, but 10 Italian Cypress. And by the looks of it, there were more on the right hand side, but they got the message from the Garden Gods and died. But, you say, “I like Italian Cypress!” That’s great, so do I, but the reason it doesn’t work here is one word: proportion. There’s waaaay too many for a yard of this size, for Pete’s sake!

More is not merrier in this case, and I wouldn’t be a good friend if I didn’t tell you that. It’s my job, and I take it very seriously. I want you to have a pretty garden and to be the envy of the neighborhood, not the doofus that everyone talks about: “Yes, Mabel? Pearl here. We’re so looking forward to seeing you tomorrow night! Yes, well, we’re three houses down from the Italian Cypress House. Yes, I know, it’s so embarrassing, somebody should have told them, but what’re you gonna do?”

I rest my case.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire, Plantpassion April 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm

great photo, – I love cypress as well, but they need, well, an Italian landscape for 10 together like this, – with views into the distance, – you going to tell them?

Jenny Peterson April 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm

The house is in the neighborhood where my son’s girlfriend lives. Maybe we can leave a nicely worded note? Or drive by really fast with a chainsaw? Heh heh.

Diana April 11, 2010 at 9:52 pm

So, does this mean it’s wrong to have fantasies about going into someone’s yard under cover of darkness with some evil chemical hidden under my coat?!

jenny April 12, 2010 at 8:23 pm

I wonder if the homeowners like them and I bet they cost a pretty penny. We had a similar planting in a neighborhood near us. First they lined the drive with magnolias. The deer ate them and they died. Then they tried the cypress. Those are out now. I wonder who took responsibility. This was a very big house with a long driveway but none of it fitted in the hill country setting. Be careful whom you use as a designer, I say.

Jenny Peterson April 14, 2010 at 11:53 am

Exactly! Geez, I HOPE a designer didn’t do that! Landscaping needs to fit the setting.

And Diana, your fantasy is safe with me. I’m zipping my lips right now.

Linda Lehmusvirta April 14, 2010 at 1:25 pm

This is great! You tell ‘em! Or we’ll send the garden ugly police after them.

Marc Opperman April 20, 2010 at 11:03 am

I feel the same way about palm trees. My neighbor has three 40+ foot ones right on our property line. If he likes South Florida so much, based on his speedboat, pool, tropical plants and oft-bikini-clad wife, he ought to just move there and stop shading my yard with those ugly things.

Jenny Peterson April 20, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Linda, we should bring the official Garden Police, Shirley Bovshow, to that house! She’d whip ‘em into shape.

Marc, I feel your pain. I like palm trees, but every landscape needs to fit its setting. Do you know what kind of palms they are?

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