If last week's crepe murders gave you garden variety nightmares, this week's will seem like a sleepover at Freddy Krueger's. Why do people do things like this? Some because of ignorance. Some because of hostility. And some because they believe that making it into the Grumpy Gardener gives their little lives meaning. They are correct.
Our first winner (above), sent in by Taylor Williams of Harahan, Louisiana, is so brilliant in a bizarre, cruel sort of way it almost leaves me speechless. These are no common stumps cut back to nubbins. Notice the care and artistry at work. The bottomless galvanized tub at the base adds texture and style, anchoring the murdered crepe to the landscape. The white rocks at the top of the tub match those below between sidewalk and curb. Reddish lava rocks nestled up against the tub echo the shutters of the house in the distance. Bravo, sir, whoever did this! Shall we expect your next work inside the Louvre?
Let me present winner #2, captured by Janice Rice outside of this store in Fairfax, Virginia. The owner of the shop is dyeing for attention and wool stop at nothing to get it. I yarn to condemn this outrageous act, but darn it, I just can't. Needleless to say, colorful trunks weave a tale of a troubled seamstress hanging onto sanity by the slimmest of threads. And sew it goes.
Gosh, everything I need to say about our next winning photo is already expressed in the sign! Dead end, indeed. Kudos, Taylor Williams, again for recording these lovely atrocities carefully pollarded in the European style that are said to have inspired painter Edvard Munch's "The Scream."
We don't know what the perps who butcher these trees are smoking, but they likely have the Munchies.
David Ellis of Lillian, Alabama, wants Europe to know that Bama beats all when it comes to crepe murder as high art. You can tell by looking at this winner that the artist is expressing the angst of high-paced life that hurls us off in every direction, often to cross purposes. Or else he needed a coat rack. Whatevs.
The best surgeons understand that learning doesn't stop when you leave medical school. It's a life-long process that hones your skills every day in every way. The photo above from Lynn Case proves the enlightened doctors at this medical center take continuing education to heart. When no patients show up for amputations, eager surgeons step outside and practice on the nearest crepe myrtles. A limb is a limb, right?
Despite Grumpy's repeated campaigns to halt crepe murder, this reprehensible practice continues unabated in the South. So should we wave the white flag? Give up? Surrender? Join with those whose brains function only on odd-numbered days and mutilate beautiful crepe myrtles on even ones?
NO, I SAY! Like Nashville's Barbara Wise, 2016's final winner, let us raise our fists in defiance! Offenders may grossly saw, lop, or prune, but we will never be silent. We stand together, forever, in righteousness and disgust.
To all the winners -- if you haven't already done so, please email your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that I may ship you your treasured award -- a signed copy of The New Southern Living Garden Book. Bless you, my children!