Grumpy’s 2nd Annual Crepe Murder Contest!

February 17, 2012 | By | Comments (8)

Crepe Murder 005 copyCrepe murder — the ultimate copycat crime.

Now that football season is officially over until August, thousands of bored, frustrated men from sea to shining sea will unleash their pent-up testosterone on their poor crepe myrtles, chopping them down into ugly stumps. Grumpy calls this odious practice “crepe murder” and will never cease in his holy quest to eradicate it from the face of the Earth.

Murder Most Foul

Why do people savage their crepe myrtles? Here are the primary reasons.

1. There are more than 5 billion people living on the Earth. Therefore, it only stands to reason that quite a large number of them are stupid.

2. Creativity is a recessive trait demonstrated only by those who are fortunate enough to inherit a creativity gene from both parents. The rest of humanity inherits a dominant copycat gene from one parent and can only mimic the behavior of others. Creative people instinctively recognize the innate beauty of a crepe myrtle’s natural form. But since they are in the minority, copycats copy copycats and ugliness prevails.

3. Most crepe myrtles grow 20-25 feet tall — too tall for the front of the house. Rather than replacing them with something more appropriate, the unwashed masses reduce them to stumps every year.

Prevent Murder and Win!

Last year, Grumpy asked you to submit photos of the worst examples of crepe murder you could find. The response was overwhelming. The top three winners were awarded very high-quality Corona loppers, after promising never to use them on crepe myrtles.

This year, the awards are even more exciting. Here’s how the contest works.

1. Take a digital photo of the grossest example of crepe murder you can find. It has to be YOUR photo. No ripping off something you found on the internet!

2. Click the “Ask A Question” link at the top right corner of this page.

3. Attach the photo to the email and send it to me. Be sure to include your name, town, state, and email address.

4. All entries must be received by me by no later than Monday, March 5, 2012.

5. After examining all of the entries, Grumpy will pick 10 winners, whose photos best demonstrate the stupidity of mankind.


Prizes! Prizes! Prizes!

Early_bird_crapemyrtles_200x250Each winner will receive an ‘Early Bird’ crepe myrtle from our Southern Living Plant Collection. It’s called ‘Early Bird’ because it blooms early, often starting in May. And because it is semi-dwarf, growing only 8 feet tall, it’s perfect for the front of your house and seldom needs pruning of any kind. No more crepe murder!!!! Its small size allows you to remove the spent flowers before it sets seed, keeping new, lavender flowers coming all summer. It’s also a great choice for growing in a container.

The only fly in the ointment is that because these plants are growing in dirt, some of you may live in places where we can’t ship. If this happens, Grumpy promises you an award of equal value.

So get out there, humiliate your neighbors, and start taking pictures! Grumpy is counting on EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU. Make it happen!

The Right Way to Prune

To review the proper way to prune a crepe myrtle, as demonstrated by the world’s foremost expert (me), read “Crepe Myrtle Pruning Step-By-Step.”


  1. Give a Gal Some Pruners and Stand Back | The Blonde Gardener

    […] For more on Crepe Murder’s and exposing those that commit this heinous crime, check out The Grumpy Gardener’s article at […]

    February 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm
  2. Rachel Shoemaker

    I can’t wait for the next contest! I have some to enter. My neighbor just had his whacked with a chainsaw!

    October 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm
  3. Grumpy Gardener (His Benevolence)

    Thanks for your efforts, Sash. Unfortunately, I couldn’t open the attachments.

    March 9, 2012 at 6:44 am
  4. Sash

    I just read this but I want to submit the most beautiful … my parents driveway is lined with them on both sides and truly it’s one of my favorite times of the year when the bloom! ๐Ÿ˜‰ funny reading though…

    March 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm
  5. Robert Clifton

    Steve, you are soooo right! I have found many homeowners have the belief that pruning back crepe myrtles makes them bloom better and it has been proven that it does not. Thanks, Steve for continuing the quest to eradicate crepe murder!

    March 3, 2012 at 7:03 pm
  6. Helen Verte

    That’s pretty ugly. I live in South Florida, and I haven’t noticed a hack job like that on crape myrtles in the vicinity. I have one, and didn’t even think that I should prune it let alone remove all its tentacles. No contest for me! (I’m enjoying your posts. Just found your blog today.) I also got a kick out of Katie’s post with her neighbor reading her blog. Time to start a secretive second blog Katie! LOL. I’ve had to do the same thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    March 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm
  7. Jean

    I almost did a double take the other day. These people cut their crepe myrtles down every year but this year they are over zealous and have whacked em down to about a foot tall.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm
  8. Katie @ Team Skelley

    Yes! I was hoping that you were doing this again. I wanted to enter my next door neighbor last year, but alas, she reads my blog and if I won, I don’t think I would have been able to keep myself from shouting from the internet rooftop. I just saw another crepe murder up the street, and I don’t know them so they are fair game! The worst part of their crepe murder was that they left an identical crepe beside the victim alone. That is even worse, at least be uniform in your butchering. Those clippers will be mine!

    February 17, 2012 at 9:43 am

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s