“Bless their hearts!” That’s the only thing a Southerner can say when you come upon a scene like this one.
Why else would they duct-tape plastic flowers to the ends of the crepe myrtle stumps? Why else would they surround them with wire and miniature picket fences crammed with even more plastic flowers of every color? They were turning a negative into a positive. And I think that’s a lesson that benefits us all.
Grumpy thanks Kathy Dikeman of Littleton, North Carolina for this excellent submission. She turned my frown upside-down.
What’s Crepe Murder?
For the uninitiated, crepe murder refers to the odious practice of using chainsaws and loppers to reduce beautiful crepe myrtles to hideous stumps every spring. Not only does this ruin their sculptural form, but it also prevents them from developing that wonderfully mottled, smooth, flaky bark so welcome in the winter landscape. Moreover, the long, whiplike branches that grow from the stumps are too weak to hold up the flowers.
Like every winner, Kathy will receive a lavender ‘Early Bird’ crepe myrtle from our Southern Living Plant Collection. This crepe myrtle grows only 8 feet tall and never needs pruning. Come back Monday to see our next winner. It will chill you to the bone.