Sorry this is so long. You folks know what the Texas Snowpocalypse/Arctic freeze in February has done to our yards, psyches and pocketbooks: lost flowers, lost shrubs, lost trees. You also know the battle to recover from such freeze devastation: cut out the dead and replace, assuming you can even run down replacement plants. You also know from your own gardening what work it is to dig up old root balls, cut down branches/trees/shrubs & plant out the new. Takes time and hard work. Add on top of that the added difficulty and pain doing all that with degenerative disc disease up and down your back, making bending and stooping not only painful, but only possible for very short periods of time. Gardening is back-breaking work, even when you're young (I'm not) and healthy (not so much anymore). I've spent the last 5 months killing myself trying to reestablish my yard to some semblance of it's former appearance. I felt I was almost finished with that task, and was starting to feel pleased with my accomplishments.
Now to the point of my post. Our yard service mowed our grass yesterday. They come every 2 weeks, rain or shine, home or not home. We've had issues with them accidentally weed whacking young plants in the defined flower beds before and told them on at least 3-4 occasions to STAY OUT OF THE DELINIATED FLOWER BEDS with the weed whacker! Well, yesterday, we were away from the house when they mowed. When I got home and went out to hang out my (now large enough seedlings) baskets of portulaca onto our 3-globe street lampost, I looked around and realized they had weed whacked INSIDE the flower beds! They had whacked off all the leaves from almost all (9 of 12) newly planted iris bulbs just planted last week, 2 baby nandina 'Firepowers' that were 5" tall, and an entire just-starting-to take-off bed of 15 or so lambs ear starts (which I cut off my back yard clump and planted out front in April). Those were JUST starting to fill out and look nice, too! They also ripped off the tops of 2 newly-planted 8" tall Meidiland white groundcover rose bushes (which were clearly still yellow-tagged & bordered with small white limestone rock circles, to draw our own attention as well as their attention to them). I wonder why they missed the remaining 3 rose bushes? Those were unscathed. They decimated a number of baby purple heart seedlings planted last season that froze to the ground and were JUST starting to peek out. They cut down some of my just regrowing 12" Cast Iron leaves that were all lost in the freeze. I was so angry when I made the discovery of such extensive damage I was literally shaking all over. I came inside, but struggled to fight back tears to tell my husband what they had done. Probably a good thing I didn't check my blook pressure at that moment.
Just that morning I was saying to him "I finally feel nearly finished with my yard projects and freeze replacement plantings. Now I just have to be patient for them to grow to maturity to fill out the bare spots in these 3 beds." Oh, the irony of this! Five months of hard work and all for naught!
I called the lawn service and as nicely as I could, but fighting back tears, berated them for the massive damages caused by the idiot they had on the weed whacker that day. I also mentioned the foreman/owner had been told numerous times, both last year and this year, to stay out of the beds with the whacker (since they had proven beyond the shadow of a doubt the can't tell bedding plants/flowers from weeds)! The receptionist that manages the phones was so young and inept at her job, she didn't even apologize on behalf of the business! When I finished my tale of woe I said to "Please take us off your service call list, as "we no longer wish your services", she said OK, Thank You, I've taken you off the list now.......... Still no apology and she said Goodbye. Hubs was so mad he said he'd call the next day (it was near 5pm by now) and demand to speak to the owner.
A couple hours later, a supervisor called to apologize profusely and to offer to replace my plants, which I guess is SOMETHING. But I told her I doubted the iris bulbs would be obtainable anywhere, considering I bought those from a mamber here at NGA. Most vendors are sold out of their more popular roses, and many common spring plant offerings are even sold out at this late date in the season. But she insisted they wanted to replace damaged plants and that they have a landscaper they work with who can get priority fulfulment from his wholesale nurseries. She said they would do their best to get replacements as soon, as plants become available. I wonder, if they ever get them, if they'll offer than to do the plalnting out for me? Doubt it! Timing for planting some of them now is too late, too, as we're about to enter August and the likely triple digit tems season.
So she proceeded to take down on paper the species/cultivar names of what I said was destroyed or likely destroyed (irises were only planted out 2 weeks, so having their leaves lopped off to the ground will likely kill the bulbs, since the leaves feed the bulbs after bloom season) and said she'd be following up with me in future regarding any replacements they have been able to obtain. She added that with current COVID non-availability/supply issues and shipping slow-downs, it might take awhile.
Maybe I should just give up on gardening. Seems like what Mother Nature doesn't kill, and the insects don't eat away, the yard man finishes off!