my pet peeve: dyed mulch. what’s yours?

I LOATHE DYED MULCH, among other pet peeves I see here and there in gardens (and every gas-station curbside bed). The above doodle by Andre Jordan clearly states my point of view (as does my all-about-mulch FAQ page), but what’s your Number 1 source of horticultural or landscape irritation, the no-no’s on your personal list? What would you outlaw if you were HRH The King/Queen of Garden Good Taste?

  1. Jackie says:

    Plant labels that GROSSLY underestimate a plant’s size is one of my pet peeves. But I suppose it’s also my bread and butter—when a new client calls me and asks for help removing the trees and shrubs that have devoured their property—and planning a new garden for them. Still the plant and the client suffer, and it can be a huge expense to remove a Blue Colorado Spruce that was planted six feet off the front porch some thirty years ago.

  2. LYnn says:

    I would never ever use red mulch .. Hate the color and hate the smell

    We used to mulch our leaves and compost with that

    I have Ireland-Gannon prune and lay organic mulch which is tree mulch from the pines upstate New York

    How did you ever get involved with the red stuff?

  3. LYnn says:

    BTW I have more than one pet peeve .. That red stuff being one of them…

    Don’t know much good gardening we will be getting done as the weather is forecast is not good – rain through next Thursday

  4. Marci says:

    I’m with you on the dyed mulch and when that mulch (or any mulch) is piled in a perfect half sphere of suffocation around a tree it more than grates on my nerves.

  5. Laura W says:

    Shrubs that would be lovely, if left to take on their natural form, that get pruned into misshapen, awkward, tortured forms drives me NUTS. Commercial plantings tended by paid maintenance crews are the worst victims of this sad crime.

    I do, however, love topiary. ;)

  6. Alison says:

    I too loathe red mulch. And black-dyed mulch. And brown dyed-mulch. I have a little garden design/garden mentoring company in the Chicago suburbs and I actually have had to reject one client based on his love for red-dyed mulch. Our aesthetics were not sympatico.
    This year my pet peeve is volcanos of mulch around tree trunks. I think the landscaping companies do not train the workers about the proper way to apply mulch around a tree. We all know the flare must be exposed. I am sorry to say I have even been preaching to neighbors about this evil. Forgive me!

  7. Angela says:

    I’m still not over the Weed N Feed ban, it seems homeowners have interpreted the ban to mean it’s ok to grow weeds so many do not bother to weed. This means a lot more weed seeds spreading around and allergies seem to be at an all time high especially this year with the drought in part to blame.
    I also take issue when I see homeowners over plant shrubs and trees. It’s such a waste.

  8. Sue says:

    Landscape fabric that has has been porrly secured and/or covered and peeks out everywhere. And plastic lawn edging-usually it’s been installed in combo with the landscape fabric. Yuck.

  9. Deirdre says:

    HA! Yes, Yes and Yes! I have to say I don’t like gardens that are planted like soldiers …with flowers all in a row. It feels unnatural.

  10. Nadia says:

    Mulch volcanoes around trees, flats of annual flowers, and trees planted too close too power lines with their crowns horribly mutilated

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Nadia — all of the above. :)

      Hi, Dierdre. No planting on a grid, except in the vegetable garden! I second that, too.

      I use a few faux pots for trees that I wheel out of the barn each spring, Gwennie, where they spend the wintyer (clay would be too heavy because they are so big) but generally I hate it.

      Alison: a woman after my own heart! (Tee hee.)

      Hi, Jackie. I might like that if it were intentional like a hedge, but not an afterthought — that turned into a blob. Now I will be on the lookout for this kind of thing!

      You’re right, Marci — bad mulch is BAD. Not sure why it drives me so crazy, but boy it does.

      Hi, Jackie (not the same Jackie as above!). I find imprecise plant labels (and “reference” books) SO frustrating when it comes to eventual width and height of plants, too. Grrrr….

      Hope to see all of you again soon.

  11. Trixie says:

    My biggest pet peeve is people who cut their grass really short in this heat and then immediately turn on the sprinklers!

  12. deb says:

    Is it bad to have a list – ha?! The red mulch is right up near the top, along with marigolds marched out in a row – 6 inches apart, shorn shrubs, any kind of twirly lawn ornament – Ok, I’ll stop. Oh, wait – dead day lily and hosta stalks ….

  13. Vicky says:

    How about azaleas and forsythias pruned into a cube? So unnatural. And I hate, hate, hate it when people top their crepe myrtles. *sigh* Such graceful trunks butchered….. Unfortunately, both are pretty common where I Iive.

  14. ellen says:

    Banks and beds of black mulch in vast amounts with a few sparsely planted azaelea or mutilated juniper balls….mulch as the main idea in lieu of anything growing!

  15. Camille Farias says:

    Volcanic rock in any size, shape or capacity is a huge no for me. Gardens overtaken by weeds. Grass that comes right up to the foundation of a building. Sigh…

  16. jan says:

    I see things in yards that I think are silly or unattractive, but if it makes the gardener happy – isn’t that what gardens are supposed to do? On the other hand, when I hear people say they “killed” their grass with chemicals to create a more eco-friendly lawn, I just shake my head.

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