The era of the “Knockout Rose”, ubiquitous and over used in both home and commercial landscaping, is over. Undone by the almost invisible.airborne mite that spreads Rose Rosette Disease, plantings are being ripped out all over this city. Every parking lot had these roses, used as what the writer and critic of Suburbia, James Howard Kunstler, called “Nature Band Aids”.
Now the commercial landscapers are looking for substitutes.
A month ago the conglomerate that owns the apartments I live in hired a contractor to tear out the overgrown junipers around these buildings. In came the chain saws and the bobcats and away went the greenery. I do not doubt that if this had been done three years ago these apartments would be surrounded by rose bushes.
But not now.
The contractor planted some boxwoods, hollies, and in a moment of intelligent inspiration, Oakleaf Hydrangeas. I had a trio of Dwarf spireas lined up in front of my front window.
But how did this happen?
A line of dessicated, sun-dried azaleas planted on the south west side of the apartments. Surrounded by impenetrable pine mark mulch that only a two inch rain could seep through.
It is clear that we are still in the Post Knockout Hangover Phase.