Wednesday Vignette – a little reductive gardening

Just as we were sitting down to eat, we heard a big SCCRRRRRAAAPE outside. I’m not sure how in the world our sweet seventeen managed to accomplish this, but as I jumped out of my seat to stare out the window, I saw the trunk of the Bloodgood maple silhouetted in the red lights beaming from the car that was – from our perspective – right behind it. As you probably guessed, our maple was not planted in the driveway. To get that close to it, he had to drive over a low retaining wall, about 12-14″ tall. How the hell he did that is something I still haven’t figured out. The little Corolla he’s driving is not built for offroading. That said, another perplexing thing about his accomplishment is that the car itself seems completely fine. I guess time will tell if the fuel pump, gas tank, or anything else was damaged in the process.


You can see the dark soil where he moved the rock. The poor barberry lost a few branches – not yet sure how many, but now it has effectively been pruned away from the driveway. Which is something that will no doubt please my dear husband, so there is that. (I should probably thank him for the stealth pruning job.)


He also smashed one of my cheap and easy planters , which desperately needed to be replanted anyway, so even there, this was somewhat of a good thing. It was a heavy beast, and now I don’t even have to worry about it being full of soil – it will be far easier to deal with in its knocked-over, half-empty state. 

Anyway, he was rightfully upset, and we had fun mocking him. This may sound cruel if you don’t know that we have endured months of backseat driver commentary from this punkish little prodigy. “Shouldn’t you turn on your turn signal?”…… “Why are you tailing him?”…… “Shouldn’t you have moved over by now?” And so on….. All that said, we hope he learned a valuable lesson – or two – today. (I really hope I don’t sound as inane as Susan Collins when I say that.) Godspeed to us and all other teen parents!




About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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21 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – a little reductive gardening

  1. tonytomeo says:

    As an arborist, I inspect damage caused by many fallen trees that landed on buildings or cars. Once in a while, I must inspect a tree that was damaged by a car, and they are not all as simple as they sound. One was hit by a Corvette that was not even being driven at the time, but was pushed off a hill by wind.

  2. Hopefully that will be useful lesson

  3. Tina says:

    Glad *almost* everyone is alright and yes, parents of teen drivers deserve many good thoughts! And the “stealth pruning” of the barberry and broken heavy pot–those are just bonuses for being good parents.

    When my son was a baby, I was up and nursing him in our living room in the middle of the night. I heard a screech of tires, of course not quite knowing where that occurred. The next day, I was in our front yard–which was a “yard” because it was well before I planted the garden–and there were tire marks in the grass from one edge of our front space, curved around a tree (that stands in the middle) coming out at our driveway. Our home sits on a curve and someone missed that curve, that night. It’s a wonder he/she/they didn’t hit the tree!

    Life is always interesting with teens around! Thanks for hosting, here’s my WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      Wow – that IS a wonder… Teens are wonderful, and I really have to give him credit. He has been VERY careful driver throughout. I credit this little mishap mostly to not being 100% used to driving a stick shift. He learned mostly in an automatic, but the car available for him to drive is a stick. It’ll get better, I’m sure!

  4. Been there. Airborne into pampas grass!

  5. I appreciate your positive outlook on the event. Glad he’s okay.

    Interestingly my WV involves plant damage too…

  6. Pingback: Wednesday Vignette: Winter in New Hampshire, Not Entirely Tiny & Far Away – A Moveable Garden

  7. mmwm says:

    Your last lines made me laugh (that kind of despairing laugh that’s become so familiar lately….)

  8. Kris Peterson says:

    I don’t imagine that experience helped anyone’s digestion when you finally sat down to dinner. I’m glad to hear that there wasn’t much in the way of casualties, especially in your son’s case. I hope the wall won’t be difficult to repair.

    • annamadeit says:

      You know, I was just out there, assessing the wall damage this afternoon. Luckily, it’s a dry-stacked wall, so it won’t be hard to fix. The barberry too, looks alright after I cleaned it up. It has some damage near the root. I’ll have to wait to see if what’s left leaves out as it should. If not, there is no lack of worthy replacement plants waiting around in the wings – LOL!

  9. hb says:

    Godspeed. Puppies are so much easier.

  10. Perhaps it is better not to ask how he managed to do this. My younger son also provides us with a critical narrative of my driving, but he has never been in an accident. Worst he ever did was get a speeding ticket, but that was in Wisconsin where the state cops lie in wait for auslander.

    • annamadeit says:

      I think we figured out how he managed to do what he did. It took him nearly two months from when he passed his tests, to when he got his license, and during that time he didn’t do a whole lot of driving. While he learned on an automatic, the car he now has at his disposal is a stick shift, and when it happened he hadn’t driven for a while. I think he was having a bit of trouble finding the sweet spot, revved it too high, and when he let the clutch up, the car pretty much jumped. I think the main damage was to his self esteem, the poor dear…

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