News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, April 9, 2010

Reston Man Does Us All Proud With 'Ugliest Landscaping' Distinction

IMG_3514.jpgPssst! Don't tell the DRB, but a Reston resident was one of the winners in Meadows Farms Nurseries' Ugliest Landscaping in DC contest. But he doesn't deserve all the credit -- VDOT did a lot of the dirty work for him! Here's the heart-rending account submitted by a Mr. Stephen Murphy of South Reston:

Twenty-plus years of gardening were demolished in the February storms. Over a dozen trees cracked and crashed to the ground or had trunks snapped off 20 to 30 feet up in the air. During the height of the blizzard we chain-sawed a small gap through the fallen trunks and boughs so that a plow or an emergency vehicle could at least make its way down Glade Drive in Reston. As the storm ended, VDOT came through at night with front-end loaders and threw the huge mass of debris back up onto the landscaped berm separating my backyard from Glade Drive. Under that crushing logjam were rhododendrons, boxwoods, hydrangeas, oak, hickory, and maple saplings, etc. That mountainous mess is gone now, and with it everything around it and under it. I've got a garden of wounded stumps, ripped-up root systems, cracked trunks and raw earth. I spread whole and mulched leaves just to hide the gashes and gouges-it hurt to look at it.
The judges were so moved by this tragic tale of betrayal by our state transportation department that they named Murphy's treepocalypse-strewn yard a "runner-up," earning him a $500 gift certificate in the process. That's almost enough to pay his Reston Association dues for one year!

Shout out to our favorite correspondent, The Peasant from Less Sought-After South Reston, for this find--and for this "professional journalist"-caliber observation:
Apparently, unlike most of the other entrants whose neglected landscaping approximated the countryside surrounding Chernobyl circa 1986, Mr. Murphy actually had a nice garden, but first this winter and then VDOT took care of that in short order.
Speaking of the other entrants, this entry is notable for the world's most annoying use of canned music in a fancy "slide show" presentation since man climbed down from the trees and plugged their clubs into a router, the end.


  1. Would it be funny, from a "my life can't get any worse than this" perspective, if Reston were to fine him for the mess in his yard, and issue daily fines until he cleans it up.

  2. I've seen a number of leaning arborvitaes and have rescued two in my cul de sac. A little bailing wire (and old hose to protect the bark) and stakes will right them until they remember to grow that way.

  3. That is heartbreaking to see so many years of hard work be demolished in such a short time. Perhaps instead of dwelling on the loss, it will be more productive to look at this as a new canvas on which to dream and design from scratch!

    Stan Horst


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