Chemical Warfare

The meadow - this week

You may remember my recent post about our neighbor who built a big expensive house and put in a wildflower meadow. The meadow is still there, and it’s still gorgeous, but I am livid.

You see, the owner of the meadow has also planted several apple trees there. (They are supposed to dwarf cultivars – and they had better be or they’ll block our view.) So now the wildflowers are attracting all kinds of pollinators including hummingbirds, and what does the guy do? He hires a company to come and spray chemicals on the apple trees!

I just happened to look out my back door this morning and there was a man from Bartlett Tree Experts  spraying with an onshore wind of about 14 knots, blowing the chemicals into my birdbath, onto my vegetable garden and right through the screens into my living room! I yelled at him to stop and told him it was much too windy to be spraying and that it was drifting onto my property. He had the sense to put down his hose, probably realizing that I was an incensed woman who meant business.

I have lodged a complaint with the state’s Department of Environmental Management and I’ll follow up with a phone call.

I  sick, sick, sick of all the chemicals being used so freely without regard for beneficial insects, wildlife, pets or people. How can you plant a wildflower meadow, attract all kinds of wonderful insects and birds, and then spray the whole thing with poison?

And while I am on the subject, is your lawn really more important to you than the environment?  (The neighbor sprays his lawn, too.) What’s up with the obsession with getting rid of something as innocent as clover?  I also love watching homeowners, in shorts and sandals, casually spraying glyphosate (Roundup) on every little weed they see. This is a toxic chemical, people. If you’re going to be using it, you should at least be protecting your skin. And if you have to protect your skin, how healthy do you think it is for the environment – or do you even care?

It just makes me crazy.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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16 Responses to Chemical Warfare

  1. cj wright says:

    Sounds like your neighbors are more interested in the skin-deep “beauty” of their meadow than the natural beauty which includes all of nature’s helpers. Maybe they should get an anonymous note in the mail about how apples are one of the fruits that are best kept organic. Maddening, isn’t it? Yes, picking those little weeds in our gardens is irritating, and Round Up is so easy, huh? Except for the dying.


    • dirtynailz says:

      Their carbon footprint is the size of Texas. It’s all about having “the best of everything,” whatever that may be. I have never seen anyone from that family even looking at the wildflower meadow. They’ re way too self absorbed. I think it is just so wrong to entice pollinators to an area and then kill them. UGH!!!!!


  2. Someone, who shall be nameless, was commenting on commercial compost. And how it damaged his plants, because it was herbicide soaked grass clipping originally. Get your compost when it is autumn leaves season.

    He knows the damage was from herbicide, because that is what he used to sell. Somewhere there is a missing link ;~((

    We grow organic figs, and just behind the wall our neighbour does the Agent Orange thing. Do I, can I, still eat the figs? Yes we do. But.


    • dirtynailz says:

      It’s so wrong, though, that we have to put up with someone else’s chemical residue. I will fight this whenever I can.


  3. HerbDoc says:

    You might ask the idiots why they’re spraying the apple trees now. It’s way too late for that even if you do ascribe to spraying to keep the little worms out of your apples. You’re right to contact DEM since these people have to be licensed (and suppposedly educated) to spray.

    I like the rest of you get so incensed by the mad sprayers who think every little bug and every tiny weed must be eradicated from the earth. So much for trying to be as organically based as you can when the Mow,Blow and Go guy is spraying death everywhere!

    BTW I love my clover and so do the bees!


  4. HerbDoc says:

    I’m sure they’re licensed; most are. The question is should they be if they can’t follow the basic rules of safety and meet the stipulations of being licensed. Obviously someone in this outfit is a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic. Not only should they have been concerned about possible spray drift on neighboring properties but also on the pond beyond your home. A responsible company would have notified neighbors of the date/time they intended to spray and then checked the weather conditions to ensure it was safe to do so.


  5. All these things are illegal here now, so no more toxic chemicals in the neighbourhood. I’m so happy about that.


    • dirtynailz says:

      I know. You are so lucky. My sister lives in Hudson, the first town to ban these chemical applications. That’ll never happen here, though. The chemical lobby is too strong and people resent being told what they can and cannot do on their properties.


  6. Donna B. says:

    I first read your ‘Aftermath of the Chemical Warfare’ post first, then moved onto this story – it just disgusts me the lengths people go through for their “perfect” lawns…
    I had a woman come into the place in which I work, where we talk about our gardens… she was complaining of how she had an allergic reaction on her arms to the fertilizer that was being sprayed onto her bushes… Something didn’t sound right about that, so my response was “Why is that company spraying the *foliage* with fertilizer?” She shrugged.
    Yes, WHY is the fertilizer being sprayed on the LEAVES? it made NO sense. And if you are now going to get an allergic reaction, wouldn’t you just cancel the procedure for your health’s sake? No. She just complained to the company and told them to apply when she isn’t home…

    On three sides around me, I see swathes of perfect lush deep green. It’s what I consider… boring. I am an avid collector of the imperfect lawn! White Clover, Plantains, Dandelions, and what I call “not-Rhubarb-maybe-Beet?” grow happily. Although I do deadhead the Dandelions to prevent any neighbourly complaints, I just smush the plant right back onto the soil… I want more cheerful yellow flowers!

    The world boggles me most of the time…


    • dirtynailz says:

      I’m with you, Donna. How can you actually think that your lawn is more important than the environment? And I hear you about people spraying stuff without even knowing what it is. People tell me all the time that they bought stuff and applied it “because the person at the nursery told me to use it.” Oh it MUST be OK , then. Not.
      Our lawn is greener and more lush than our neighbor’s, and she treats hers (don’t get me started).Ours is chock full of clover and dandelions and happy bees and I like it that way.As we know, it’s not about chemicals, it’s all about the SOIL.



  7. Joyce Torrice says:

    Just wondering where HerbDoc is?????? miss her entries….looking for info on herbs and other good stuff….

    poisen ivy is not a friend to me and would like to know how to “stay away” …i can recognize it but then it is masked into other bushes…..HELP.


    • dirtynailz says:

      Joyce, I do realize you love HerbDoc, but this is essentially my blog. HerbDoc is an occasional and most welcome contributor, but I write most of it and edit all of it.


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