I just don’t get it.

With the interest that we have in meadows, I had to stop the car and photograph what appeared to be a natural road verge meadow in a new Canberra suburb. The simple combination of a soft brown  grass and gazanias was eye-catching. The South African gazanias were gently spreading along the verge in a manner which Canberra daughter observed was bordering on weedy. Harmlessly weedy, though, in these fairly harsh, exposed conditions, as opposed to rampantly invasive.

The union of Australia and South Africa?

What really shocked me as I looked more closely was the sheer volume of litter on this road verge. I was hard pushed to get photographs without too much in them because there were cans, plastic bottles and bags, tinfoil wrapping, cardboard, cellophane and all the accoutrements of modern packaging at about 20cm spacings all through it. Many months’ worth. Apparently, no locals feel inclined to keep it clean and those who walk by either don’t see it, don’t care or think it is somebody else’s problem. Were it kept reasonably free of litter, it would be a charming naturalistic planting which contributes more than mown grass while being genuinely easy-care.

People can be so CARELESS about the environment. While in Melbourne, I went to the botanic gardens and clearly people feel it is appropriate to graffiti plants. Why would anybody think it is okay to carve names and messages into this beautiful silver agave? And in the stand of giant bamboo, I could not see any stems that had not been claimed by autographs and marks. It is a form of territory marking, like dogs, but this is not their territory to mark. I just don’t get it. I really don’t.

10 thoughts on “I just don’t get it.

  1. gardeningwithfatsteve

    Sadly enough, not everybody is so into nature as we are. I understand your thoughts but there’s nothing much that can be done about it unless we do it ourselves. I have started cleaning the park in our city because of all the clutter but as soon as you clean it, Other people just carelessly throw stuff around again. it’s an uphill job, really. Still, you got some nice pictures.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      I guess what made me sad was that the rubbish had been there so long that much of it had faded beyond recognition but not one local – and there were plenty of locals living alongside – had taken a role in cleaning it up.

  2. tonytomeo

    Members of the Beautification Committee in our town take care of planter boxes on the main streets of downtown. We find all sorts of litter in our boxes. Some of it is from the business that are closest to it. For example, I find discarded bicycle parts in mine because it is in front of a bicycle shop that sells parts for bicycles. Because there are bars and restaurants, I also find discarded glasses; all sorts of glasses, goblets, wine glasses, beer glasses, all sorts. Sometimes I find dishes and flatwear as well. It can be useful at times.

  3. Carol Hickey

    Seeing that gazania and grass combination reminded me of the dunes at Mount Maunganui when we lived there a few years back. To my mind they looked charming, flourishing in a harsh situation and binding the sand. There were brown skinks living there. Then someone decided they weren’t native vegetation and should go.While present plantings might be ecologically correct, the area is certainly less colourful. Mercifully rubbish wasn’t a feature of the landscape then.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      The whole native/non native debate needs lots of wide discussion. We can not wind back history and isolate all imports. I hope we will continue to try and keep our national parks and nature reserves as purely native but the sand dunes of Mount Maunganui are hardly pristine, natural NZ!

  4. gaynor64

    To me this distribution of rubbish stems from a total disrespect for other people’s property, which must in turn stem from lack of education by parents and schools.
    I even feel guilty if I toss an apple core from the car into an untidy roadside wasteland, knowing it will disintegrate naturally.

  5. Philippa Foes-Lamb

    I seriously don’t get the littering thing but especially the graffiti thing. That’s so horrible and it disfigures the plants. How would the people doing it like it if we stopped them in the street and started writing our names on them or worse, carving them!! Bah is all I can say, philistines!

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