Crepe Murder 2013 — Please, A Moment of Silence

March 8, 2013 | By | Comments (13)
Crepe murder

Silence of the limbs. Photo by Helen Yoest.

There are simply no words — no words to describe the sickening horror felt by Helen Yoest of Raleigh, North Carolina when she chanced upon this grisly crime scene. A family of innocent crepe myrtles, dismembered and mutilated, shrieked to the heavens in pain. Their severed limbs lay before them in a shallow grave, denied even the dignity of a proper burial.


For submitting this extremely disturbing photo that will deny us a good night’s sleep for the rest of our lives, Helen becomes the second winner in Crepe Murder 2013! Her reward is a dwarf ‘Early Bird’ crepe myrtle that never needs pruning from our Southern Living Plant Collection. Helen assures us she will take proper care of it, as she is such an accomplished gardener (check out her “Gardening With Confidence”  blog) that renowned English garden designer and writer, Noel Kingsbury, recently paid her a visit. After Helen curtsied, the whole day went smashingly well, as the two snacked on kidneys and biscuits slathered with Marmite. Bloody good!


Photo by Kate Middleton.

The Right Way to Prune
If you know someone about to commit crepe murder, please show them Grumpy’s brilliant article on proper crepe myrtle pruning first — “Crepe Myrtle Pruning Step-By-Step.” Remember — only you can prevent crepe murder.

Another Winner This Weekend!
Check The Grumpy Gardener this Sunday and toss your cookies as you gaze upon another unspeakable crime. Crepe Murder 2013 is on, baby!


  1. Thou Shalt Not Commit Crepe Murder

    […] Pic sources 1/2/3/4 […]

    April 23, 2013 at 9:49 am
  2. Steve Bender


    Good for you!

    April 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm
  3. Laurel

    I am so sad to have just found this. I kept my husband’s shears away from our GORGEOUS crepe myrtles for a year and a half. Caught him lopping the one at the end of the drive just in time to save the rest of the row.

    So he waited until I wasn’t home.

    You would think after the year he did this to our azaleas (flat-topped them in late winter even though I told him we would not get flowers) and the next year when he did it to the hydrangeas in MAY that we would have established a sort of understanding.

    But no. I now have a row of sticks lining my driveway. But I’m going to make him read each one of these posts. And leave his clippers out in the rain.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm
  4. Steve Bender

    Bad taste and ignorance know no state boundaries.

    March 29, 2013 at 10:19 am
  5. bhavya @ flower aura


    When Thomas Friedman stated that the world is flat, I could not have thought of a bigger parallel than this. I stay in Delhi, India and these visuals are as common here as they are in your part of the world, Steve. 😦

    March 21, 2013 at 6:17 am
  6. Steve Bender

    Unfortunately, Jim, it seems that you and I are in the minority. I have crepe myrtle carcasses all over my neighborhood.

    March 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm
  7. Jim

    I live in Monroe, LA and would bet there is no other city that comes close to the butchering that takes place here. It starts in December and continues through March. I do not understand how so many people can be so wrong! It seems like a no-brainer. I have seven Natchez Whites in my yard that have never been “topped” and are beautiful!

    March 12, 2013 at 10:33 pm
  8. Cindy S

    Looks like a scene from my neighborhood today! I would hazard to say that a full 2/3rds of the residents in my subdivision have committed the same crime. Have shears, will decapitate! Argh!

    March 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm
  9. Arthur in the Garden!

    It truly is a horror scene!

    March 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm
  10. Carmen

    Wow, that’s a lot of time the gardner could have spent reading through your articles, Grumpy!

    March 8, 2013 at 1:08 pm
  11. Kylee from Our Little Acre

    I’m sure there’s a northern version of this.

    March 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm
  12. Nita McGlawn

    Photo by Kate Middleton indeed!

    March 8, 2013 at 10:06 am
  13. Jenny Nybro Peterson

    That image is chilling indeed. I’ve been known to stop maintenance crews to tell them what they are doing is wrong, but they are simply following orders for mass genocide. Congratulations to Helen, a worthy winner!

    March 8, 2013 at 9:34 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