July 13, 2009

An ethical dilemma

We’re renting a house in Falmouth at Cape Cod this week, a lovely home that we also rented last year. We love its location a block from the beach and the yard, with beautiful roses, daylilies, hydrangeas and other flowering bushes.

This morning, as I often do when I’m on vacation, I found myself weeding the daylilies. Give me sun and a garden and before I know it I’m unconsciously at work in it. I must have inspired my fellow houseguest, for while I was at the beach, he decided to weed the front. He was doing this when the landscapers arrived to mow the grass, and they got into a conversation about how the bushes were really being overtaken by weeds.

The landscaper got on his phone, and it wasn’t long before another truck, with another crew, arrived. Apparently they realized they better do more than cut the grass. It was time for the annual clean-up.

When I arrived home from the beach they were already hard at work. One of the beautiful rose bushes, which had been covered with flowers, had been shaved. I followed the sound of the electric pruner and found a young man shaving a yew. It was clear he didn’t know the first thing about bushes, pruning or how to garden, but he sure did love the power of that pruner.
So, here's the dilemma. I’m not the owner of the house and don't really have the right to tell these gardeners what to do. But then again, I was pretty sure the owners would be upset to see what was happening.
Should i have done something to stop the massacre of the bushes? And if so, what? The photos here tell but a part of the story.

Your thoughts?

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