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!
Each 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.”