Dyed Mulch & Other Gardening Pet Peeves

A Way To Garden

Master gardener and author Margaret Roach recently confessed, "I loathe dyed mulch", and invited her loyal readers to vent their own gardening pet peeves. Join in, and get that white gravel resentment off your chest!

Margaret Roach's A Way To Garden post My pet peeve: dyed mulch. What's yours? goes hand-in-hand with Tanya Lacourse's Why, Oh, Why The Orange Mulch? for Apartment Therapy from back in June. Obviously, dyed mulch evokes very strong emotions. What gardening trends, products, or ill-advised attempts drive you crazy? Some of my favorite pet peeves from the A Way To Garden commenters include:


  • Sprinklers on in the rain — think of all the wasted water!

  • White gravel — it always makes me think of mothballs

  • Artificial flowers in the garden — I've never seen this, but I'm going to go ahead & join right in on hating it

  • Little plastic fences "protecting" flower beds — it's like those are designed to cause rage

  • Ivy allowed to strangle trees — so tragic

My own biggest pet peeve would probably be plants planted together that have nothing to do with each other. Like, a huge, dramatic succulent with a couple of flimsy daisies, or a bunch of wild, woodland plants with a proper, prissy plant stuck in the middle. Some plantings seem even more haphazard, as if the gardener went, "I'll stick this old sweet potato, this half-dead rose bush, and this unlabeled pack of seeds in a planter and call it a day". And then all the plants avoid each other for the rest of their lives, and it's super-awkward. I also hate when plants are marooned in a sea of mulch: one little azalea here, 5 feet of mulch, then a lonely boxwood, then more endless mulch. I understand, of course, that gardens have to start somewhere, but this particular look always seems so rigid and controlling.

What are your gardening pet peeves? I know you've got some…

(Image: Westminster Lawn Landscaping)

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