ASPCP – ‘American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Plants’



The young couple with their two adorable children stand outside the Pet Shop window, they’re watching a big ball of fur; tumble about. One small puppy emerges from the ball of puppies and runs up to the window looking at the family with its tail wagging almost saying ‘are you my new family?’ The Family can’t resist the cuteness of this puppy and decides to take it home. The puppy loves to play and the children are certainly up to the task. Dad can’t help but to endear himself to the cuteness of the puppy, as he is tickled by the licking of his toes. The puppy grows and so do the children, the puppy’s cuteness wanes as it becomes an adult dog and the children find new interests. In many cases the animals find a happy home and become part of the family. But often as with this family, the dog matures and becomes a burden and is tied up in the backyard virtually forgotten. They may someday realize that they don’t have the time, space or energy and the dog winds up in a shelter. The ASPCA and other animal shelters were created to care for all those animals that people for one reason or another couldn’t or wouldn’t properly care for their pets. It wasn’t that the family didn’t care for the dog, but rather didn’t give it much thought to responsible that would be necessary over time. There are even Animal Rescue Leagues such as for Greyhounds who take an active role in saving animals from gruel and inhuman situations.

 Hey look; there is that family again this time at the local nursery. Mom and dad are looking at the plants as the children who have no interest in plants are chasing after the butterflies among the flowers. Mom is looking at a Rhododendron maximum in a 3 gallon container telling her husband how cute the Rhododendron will look under the big picture window; with it’s dark green foliage and ‘wouldn’t those pink flowers look pretty against the color of the house’. Maybe if they were able to look into the future they would realize that someday that Rhododendron will cover the picture window, no matter how much pruning they might try. It is like the 4 foot Hemlock that was planted near the front door, because it’s soft and graceful, but sadly has to be chain sawed when it’s matured and is came into it’s own, because the house had to be painted and it was in the way. Many plants are in the same boat, The Yew that are sheared to within an inch of its’ life, the Arborvitae that wants to be 30 feet tall, but is always being kept at 10 feet regardless of the new growth it might want to put out. The spring flowering Spirea with its’ arching branches wasn’t meant to become a geometric share. Any plant from A – Z; evergreen or deciduous, no matter what its’ growth habit; it’s cut, it’s sheared, it’s balled, cubed, coned, egged into shape, making it fit a determined space. Someday scientists may discover that plants have sensory feelings and we’ll want to create an ASPCP ‘American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Plants’ to protect plants from the human idea of how plants should grow. Who knows, maybe there will be a Forsythia Rescue League who will save tortured Forsythias that have forever been pruned to 3 to 4 feet in the shaped of an ice cream cone and they will plant them in places where they can go wild and flower like crazy.

 For now all we can do, is to try to advise people about the use of plants and their natural beauty and what they will be when they grow up and help people make the correct choices. It would be a lot nicer to travel around and enjoy the landscapes that have the proper plants for the spaces they have allowed. Rather than bunch geometric shapes stuck up against the house and lets not forget that Lilac stuck on the corner or out in the middle of the lawn. Good landscaping isn’t that common, rarely are plants given their space or used affectivity given their own growth habits.  How many times have you seen a butchered shrub that you just wanted to save, for you knew how beautiful it really should look?

13 thoughts on “ASPCP – ‘American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Plants’

  1. Did you read the research published recently about plant communication via scent. I always looked at plants as living creature worthy of nurturing. Love your blog~

  2. I’m not as sympathetic to plants being enormous as I should be. Many shrubs do well, pruned naturally. I’m not a believer in shearing to a specific shape, though. Yews can go wild and take up your whole lawn. I prefer them to be 4 feet high. Does that make me a plant torturer? We all have our faults. 🙂

  3. Love this Jon. When we are out taking Harry for his walks and I see shrubs planted right against foundations or a row of full size trees planted 3 feet apart, I always think of you. We could all use an antilandscaper course before we start planting our yards & gardens. Thanks to you, I now have blueberry bushes as the accent shrubs in my perennial beds, pole beans on the trellis between the flower beds & strawberries instead of annual flowers – all influenced from back in the days when you gave those workshops for us for Explore for Grown-ups.

  4. Plants and trees are living energy just like us. We should be protecting and nurturing them. We are all made from Mother Earth. The Hollow Earth Network talks a lot about this. We have a link on our blog. love and light C.

  5. Missed this one. But, it’s very true. We have two lilacs that a previous homeowner plants too close to the house. I was just thinking today that we could get by if we removed just one of them — which would mean I wouldn’t need to prune them so severely. 😦

    1. Hi ,and thanks and welcome to my world, when we get a call from a possible client who’s landscape does what it suppose to do, which is grow. Now is eating the home, covering windows, but they want to get it back to how was when it was planted.
      I will say sometimes it better to get rid one of them and give room for the other if its’ position in not bad

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