Thursday, July 23, 2009

Meditation on Vegetation

One thing I love about my apartment is the huge front window, and what I like MOST about that window is the huge amount of vegetation that grows in front of it. Seriously, look:

The Ruins: The Last of the Supplies

All that greenery has given me no end of pleasure. It's kept my living room cool on scorching hot days. It's a home to thousands of interesting little bugs. It adds something soft and natural to my view each day.

So imagine my surprise when I came home today and saw the carnage; yes, my landlords have chopped it all down to the roots and left it by the curb. No more vegetation. No more pretty view.

Why did they do this? I think their first concern was for the concrete steps out front, which they're in the process of repairing. Some of that vegetation was in the way of their repairs, and I understand why they'd want to TRIM it.

But REMOVE it? ALL of it?

When my parents bought their first (and current) house, they planted a sapling in the front yard and we named it "Slim." Over twenty years it has grown into a huge, beautiful tree that beautifies the front yard and shades the porch. Birds live in it from time to time. It was an investment that paid off through patience and a small amount of tending, and it remains a living, growing, vibrant thing.

And yet here, in Waterloo, all I see are people CUTTING DOWN trees. Whenever a new development is being built, the old and not-so-old trees get turned into sawdust. One by one, trees are being removed from front yards all along my daily walking route. Sometimes a few new trees are planted, but always in sparse little rows intended to be "decorative" instead of "functional" or -- dare I say -- "wild."

Just have a look at our Waterloo Town Square for an example of a disregard for the benefit of vegetable growth.

I am not a person who believes in woodsy spirits and I am not going to cry for all the lost trees, but I DO think that people are remarkably short-sighted and ANAL about vegetation. My landlords certainly had some reasons for removing my beloved greenery, and they probably gave a passing thought to the good reasons for RETAINING that greenery, but from what I see most people put vegetation at the very BOTTOM of the list. If it gets in the way of the lawnmower or kills the grass underneath it, get rid of it. If it must be trimmed, cut it down. If you need to build something there, chop it up and chip it.

The only plant we care about is grass, it seems.

So I am by no means slagging any one person for chopping down healthy trees and bushes. I'm slagging a general idea that such growth adds less to health and aesthetics than -- say -- personal convenience or financial concerns.

So sad.


Kimber said...

Hear hear. I've noticed the same thing over the past several months on my infrequent trips to the 'loo. I get a mild shock when driving down a familiar street and notice certain trees missing. Particularly the huge smoke bush I always coveted on the corner of regina and marshall - they tore down a very nice older home and put up student housing, destroying all the carefully tended trees, shrubs and flowers that the previous elderly owners had tended. Bummer.

ps: looooove the weeping hippies!

genxmike said...

Trees are evil and will kill you if they can. You have been warned.