A bushwhacker has become a thorn in the side of residents who love two sidewalk gardens on East 79th Street. The mystery woman has become the street's Public Enemy No. 1 by ripping down climbing hydrangea vines, which produce brilliant white flowers in summer.And, my spidey senses (aka gaydar) tell me this story fits the Gays in Gardening meme.
- Vandal's Vine Mess, East Side Anti-Plant Spree, New York Post, March 15, 2007
Fed up with the vine villain, Charles Dean and Skip Wachsberger, who tend the gardens, have posted signs politely ordering her to stop.Two guys cooperatively gardening. That could be innocent enough.
"MADAME, your attacks on our climbing hydrangeas are VANDALISM. Please stop it! The gardener," the sign reads.Okay, they adddress the vandal as "Madame". That's kinda gay.
The gardens are in front of 225 E. 79th St., a high-rise between Second and Third avenues. Each [gardener?] has a tree.Okay, that's really gay.
Joe Cinni, the building's super, has seen the uptown vandal and said she claims the vines are choking the trees.
"No! No! Absolutely not!" responded Dean, 58. "Hydrangeas are grown in gardens all over the world. They are not dangerous like that," he said. "She thinks she's doing something to protect the trees, but she's misguided."
Said Wachsberger, 62, "The vines co-exist with the trees. Climbing hydrangeas are very slow-growing."
Wachsberger is a landscape designer and he and Dean edited "Of Leaf and Flower," an award-winning book of poems and short stories about the emotions that plants inspire.
The dispute took root a year ago when Cinni saw the hydrangea snipper, a woman in her mid-50s, pulling down the vines. He stopped her. ... Six weeks ago - in what appeared to be a pre-emptive strike - the "vigilante" popped up and began ripping the vines down.Strong words.
"All of a sudden, I see this woman pulling down the vines with her hands. When I tell her, 'Stop,' she starts yelling at me that these are going to kill the trees," Cinni said.
"I told her to stop pulling them and call 311 if she had a problem. She walked away from me and I haven't seen her since." Dean said he tied the vines to the trees with string, but two weeks ago the woman cut the string. He tied the vines up again.
"She has good intentions, but she's misinformed," Wachsberger said.