Please Do Not Landscape With Sagebrush.

Seriously. I understand the xeriscaping impetus; the amount of water used to keep landscaping green is pretty scandalous. But sagebrush is not landscaping. It’s ugly.

You think it might make for a kewl hedge sometime in the future, so you scavenge the scrub in no-man’s-land for little sagees to line up:
DSC01064

Fast forward to a full-grown, um, hedge:
DSC01063
Nope. Ugly.

So maybe you should just line them up in formation like a platoon on your front lawn, surrounded by an acre of grass and kept at bay by chain link. That might be groovy:
DSC01065
Nope. Ugly.

Well, you could always go for the natural look, you know, sage brush thrown in on a berm with a dry “creek” bed around it, and roses, and trees, and hollyhocks, and perennials, and a birdhouse?
DSC01062
Nope. Ugly.

You just can’t force sagebrush to look good. It doesn’t even look interesting in its natural habitat, let alone regimented into shrubbery or tucked into a cottage-style bed. It doesn’t look clever, it doesn’t complement or contrast well with other plants, and it makes your yard look trashy. Don’t. Do. It.

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7 Comments

  1. Brooke said,

    June 29, 2007 at 9:41 am

    That’s hilarious! Come on. For reals? People are doing that?

  2. Armor Commander said,

    July 4, 2007 at 10:51 am

    Heathen are Heathen and always will be. Just because a person is such a Philistine as to not understand the inherent wonder and beauty of Sagebrush does not give license to criticize others who do. I will overlook their ignorance and will not let such lack of understanding or appreciation tarnish my opinion. Sagebrush is God’s chosen vegetation over all other and as such I will treat it with the equivalent respect.

  3. Shannon J said,

    July 12, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    Unfortunately we actually have a small sagebrush coming up in our front yard. I have no idea how it got there, but it’s tiny. Chris thinks it is awesome. I have referred him to your blog because I feel the same way–ugly!!

  4. idahospud said,

    July 13, 2007 at 12:48 am

    Brooke: it’s for reals. And those pics are just from one street in my town, like there was some neighborhood contest to see who could be the most bizarre. But there are other examples, also egregious, inside and out of the city limits.

    Armor Commander: I fart in your general direction.

    Shannon! Quick! You have got to get rid of that thing! Your neighbors, knowing your general good taste, will think that you are doing something innovative and perhaps try to outdo you with Sagebrush Topiary or something. It won’t be pleasant. You’ll have to move.

  5. Karen said,

    July 13, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    The second picture looks familiar. And the Armor Commander sounds familiar.

  6. January 18, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Your website is a good resource to the online audience. When you have time please do take a look at my website. Thanks. http://landscapingplans.blogspot.com

  7. Sue said,

    May 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Hee hee! I love this! I have been thinking about trying to landscape with sagebrush, but it’s been nagging me: will it seem like a good idea and then three years from now, I’d be going: WHAT were you THINKING? The pictures were very helpful. You have saved another front yard from embarrassing horribleness.


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