Feral plants from abandoned houses.


Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
1,445
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
I live near Flint, Mich (yes, Murderville USA, mini-Detroit, blight and ruin porn, yada yada) and there are literally thousands of abandoned houses as well as wide swathes of land where there used to be houses but the city comes up with a little money here and there and razes them.

So yesterday I was working on a block where there is precisely one occupied house, a glut of empty lots and six large, once-beautiful abandoned houses with windows shot out, filled with trash and weeds growing inside. And I noticed, among the overgrowth at one, a bunch of very healthy hosta plants! Along with lots of railroad ties once used as borders. Today when I returned I had a shovel and buckets and I dug up several hostas and a smattering of Bishop weed and also snagged a bunch of old RR ties with the metal centers and giant iron nails. Score. :)

It got me thinking though: with all the once-gorgeous old homes in cities like Flint and Detroit, I bet there are a ton of perennials and other goodies abandoned in some of those yards. What a waste! If we don't have too thunderstormy weather I'll get them in the ground tomorrow. I already started digging out and preparing space.

feral hostas.jpg
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
9,542
Reaction score
4,453
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
I live near Flint, Mich (yes, Murderville USA, mini-Detroit, blight and ruin porn, yada yada) and there are literally thousands of abandoned houses as well as wide swathes of land where there used to be houses but the city comes up with a little money here and there and razes them.

So yesterday I was working on a block where there is precisely one occupied house, a glut of empty lots and six large, once-beautiful abandoned houses with windows shot out, filled with trash and weeds growing inside. And I noticed, among the overgrowth at one, a bunch of very healthy hosta plants! Along with lots of railroad ties once used as borders. Today when I returned I had a shovel and buckets and I dug up several hostas and a smattering of Bishop weed and also snagged a bunch of old RR ties with the metal centers and giant iron nails. Score. :)

It got me thinking though: with all the once-gorgeous old homes in cities like Flint and Detroit, I bet there are a ton of perennials and other goodies abandoned in some of those yards. What a waste! If we don't have too thunderstormy weather I'll get them in the ground tomorrow. I already started digging out and preparing space.

View attachment 6583
Back during Reconstruction after the Civil War many of what is now beautiful heirloom roses and vegetables were lost, but a few survived due to what you are doing. There is no telling what you might find around those century old homes
 
Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
1,445
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
Indeed...if it were safe to do so, I'd enjoy wandering around all the county-owned abandoned houses looking for garden goodies. Unfortunately, it would not be at all safe in Flint. :ninja:
 

JHB

Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
53
Reaction score
18
Hardiness Zone
10a
Country
United States
I have heard of people dismantling old houses to sell the wood and other parts they are made of. Some of that wood is beautifully aged and is high quality. I wonder if the same could be done with plants? Of course you would have to have permission to take them for that type of endeavor.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
3,374
Reaction score
938
I read about the problem Ditroit is having, saw a lot pictures and couldn't help wonder why? So many abandoned houses! What a waste, I saw the pictures vof when those houses were still standing, then burnt to the ground and then turned into an empty lot. I'll never understand why.

As for the plants, have fun! If it was me I'd do the same ;)(y) Plant them and give them a nice home.
 
Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
1,445
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
JHB, sadly the Land Bank (which owns all the abandoned and foreclosed-on houses here in Flint) does not allow people to go scavenging for building materials, citing safety concerns. :rolleyes: So I am not sure of the legality of scavenging plants. Although with the daily shootings here, I'm pretty sure the city wouldn't really bat an eye over someone taking plants. But, as I said, it's not safe. Most of the areas with lots of abandoned and burned-out houses are extremely high crime. Also many of these houses are used for dog fighting and drug dealing and people squatting in them. Certainly not places I'd want to go wandering around by myself. Maybe with several other people. Armed people.

Trellum, Flint is just like Detroit only a whole lot smaller. I could write an essay about how and why these neighborhoods get abandoned! Plenty of articles online about it if you're interested. It is sad.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
147
Reaction score
52
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
Be careful! But do save the plants that you can safely. They were loved by someone once.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
2,794
Reaction score
3,943
Location
central Texas
Showcase(s):
1
Country
United States
I've been on several plant rescues, some authorized and some not:D. The city of Temple bought three farms to expand the airport. One wasowned by a lady who was an avid gardener. She told the local Native Plant Society members to come get what they wanted. After two days and several van/pick-up loads, there wasn't anything left but Bermuda grass in her yard! I still have two of the roses I rescued, as well as a Pavonia Peruviana. We even scooped up the mulch!
I've stopped by old abandoned houses out in the country (wearing sturdy boots and bug repellent) to see if there is anything of interest. I have found that going back two or three times during the season is profitable (spring bulbs, summer plants, and fall shrubs). If there is a house nearby, I go ask. If I don't see any other habitation, I just wade in and see what's growing. It's fun, and I sure hope I don't get shot!
 
Joined
May 1, 2014
Messages
1,103
Reaction score
277
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
You are very brave to live and wander around the Flint area. I have a friend that lived there for a few years and it sounds as though that place is a death trap.

I say that you should try to salvage any beautiful plant that you can find, and it is very disappointing that the state would allow for land to look like a dump in the first place. Crime happens when people do not care, and it seems to be the case in your city. You would think that the government would come up with incentives for people to bring the state of Michigan back to life. Maybe do the Alaska thing and pay people to take over the abandoned properties and renovate them. That would be the logical thing to do, but I know the government does not think like that.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
9,542
Reaction score
4,453
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
You are very brave to live and wander around the Flint area. I have a friend that lived there for a few years and it sounds as though that place is a death trap.

I say that you should try to salvage any beautiful plant that you can find, and it is very disappointing that the state would allow for land to look like a dump in the first place. Crime happens when people do not care, and it seems to be the case in your city. You would think that the government would come up with incentives for people to bring the state of Michigan back to life. Maybe do the Alaska thing and pay people to take over the abandoned properties and renovate them. That would be the logical thing to do, but I know the government does not think like that.
Especially when it is the governments fault it is in the shape that it is in.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
1,445
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
I've found this interesting to read. Could somebody explain to me please why the area has and is suffering like this?

@Sheal, it's a complex and multi-faceted issue. This wikipedia entry on Detroit's fall gives a good overview. You could switch "Flint" for "Detroit" and the article would be pretty much identical, except Flint never had huge race riots.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_of_Detroit

I have actually gone "urban spelunking" with a friend in Gary, Indiana, which is similar. Absolutely astonishing ruins of schools, grand ballrooms, train stations and huge hotels. What was left behind is staggering and heartbreaking.

@Rosyrain - the city could do more, but is broke. And truly, while Flint and Detroit have a lot of cool stuff to offer and some very nice, safe neighborhoods, large parts of the city are extremely unsafe, blighted beyond belief and while yes you can buy $500 houses all day long but why would you? Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of houses have been bought here, often online or on eBay, for a few hundred dollars because people figure it's too good of a deal to pass up. Pretty much without fail, they go back to the city, abandoned again. For one thing, you simply cannot work on a house or leave it unattended because it will get broken into and stripped. Alarm system? Forget it. Extremely expensive here, and the police usually won't bother showing up at all and many home security companies will not serve certain zip codes.

The schools are also awful and local government is an utter joke. Right now they have two convicted felons - one a murderer - running for mayor as well as Giggles the Pig. (City government is widely regarded as ineffectual and a complete joke; the mayor and city council have been under the control of city managers for much of the past decade because they are utterly inept.) Well! I could go on and on but this is neither the time nor the place.

And my feral hostas are in the ground!
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
9,542
Reaction score
4,453
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
I've found this interesting to read. Could somebody explain to me please why the area has and is suffering like this?
There are many such cities crumbling. On some it is the inner city, on others the whole thing. One thing that all of the failed cities have in common. They have all been ruled for the past 40 or 50 years by socialists and liberal democrats and their failed policies
 
Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
1,445
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
There are many such cities crumbling. On some it is the inner city, on others the whole thing. One thing that all of the failed cities have in common. They have all been ruled for the past 40 or 50 years by socialists and liberal democrats and their failed policies

This is mostly true.

However, correlation does not equal causation. Failed or failing cities are also largely blue-collar and/or poor with a high percentage of black and Latino residents, all who tend to vote Democrat - and poor, majority-minority populations don't generate much in the way of income, wealth or jobs. Which doesn't tend to grow a prosperous or

There are also very many Democrat-run major cities (and counties and states) which have been solidly successful for many decades. And Republican-governed ones that remain poor and welfare-sucking. In general red states tend to use up more federal welfare dollars. So, correlation does not equal causation.

In Flint's case I think it's a symptom of low-information, uneducated voters who tend to vote (well, if they vote at all) along racial lines and consider little else. Or not just racial, actually - a former failed and inept mayor who was white and also a convicted felon served I think two terms as mayor, until the early 2000s.

PS, I do not live in Flint. I did for six years, sold that house at a big loss in 2010 and bought a house just north of the city almost five years ago. I am much happier now that I do not live in Flint. :)
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
9,542
Reaction score
4,453
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
This is mostly true.

However, correlation does not equal causation. Failed or failing cities are also largely blue-collar and/or poor with a high percentage of black and Latino residents, all who tend to vote Democrat - and poor, majority-minority populations don't generate much in the way of income, wealth or jobs. Which doesn't tend to grow a prosperous or

There are also very many Democrat-run major cities (and counties and states) which have been solidly successful for many decades. And Republican-governed ones that remain poor and welfare-sucking. In general red states tend to use up more federal welfare dollars. So, correlation does not equal causation.

In Flint's case I think it's a symptom of low-information, uneducated voters who tend to vote (well, if they vote at all) along racial lines and consider little else. Or not just racial, actually - a former failed and inept mayor who was white and also a convicted felon served I think two terms as mayor, until the early 2000s.

PS, I do not live in Flint. I did for six years, sold that house at a big loss in 2010 and bought a house just north of the city almost five years ago. I am much happier now that I do not live in Flint. :)
And who do these uninformed voters vote for? For decades and decades? The socialist democrats and their welfare state that's who. This is the direct cause of why Detroit and Flint and other cities have failed and it really got started with the War Against Poverty started by LBJ in 1969 which has led to a generational welfare dependency and the destruction of the family unit. Not to mention the failed education system started and maintained by the democrats. Taxes are another reason for the failures and the democrats know only two words about taxes--raise them. They are and have always been oblivious to the unintended consequences of their actions and those same failed cities are all on the verge of bankruptcy because of it
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
1,445
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
And who do these uninformed voters vote for? For decades and decades? The socialist democrats and their welfare state that's who. This is the direct cause of why Detroit and Flint and other cities have failed and it really got started with the War Against Poverty started by LBJ in 1969 which has led to a generational welfare dependency and the destruction of the family unit. Not to mention the failed education system started and maintained by the democrats. Taxes are another reason for the failures and the democrats know only two words about taxes--raise them. They are and have always been oblivious to the unintended consequences of their actions and those same failed cities are all on the verge of bankruptcy because of it

I see you conveniently didn't address the main point of what I posted, because you had no answer for that. ;)

This is a gardening forum: there are many other forums for discussing politics and socio-economic issues. Going forward I'm sticking to the gardening stuff here. My feral hostas are happy :)
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
1,217
Reaction score
943
Location
India
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
13b
Country
India
Searching for abandoned plants truly brought out more news about these abandoned houses. It is sad that they are left unattended.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2014
Messages
323
Reaction score
212
Location
RJ, Brazil
Hardiness Zone
11b
Country
Brazil
So many abandoned houses! What a waste, I saw the pictures vof when those houses were still standing, then burnt to the ground and then turned into an empty lot. I'll never understand why.
The main reason it happens around here is because the owner has a better place to live (the current place is dangerous, full of unwanted crap, they want to move, etc...).

They are usually left in complete abandon, with all kinds of trees, plants, rats, humans and other animals destroying what's left in the house (which is usually left empty).

The bad thing is that it ends up attracting drug users, people that use those houses to commit fast crimes, "sleepers", depositing damaged goods, common garbage, dead animals, depositing dead bodies, getting rid of unwanted things (e.g.: stolen cars) and other things, all kind of things (usually not good).

:cry:
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
553
Reaction score
408
Location
Puget Sound, Washington
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
7b
Country
United States
I live near Flint, Mich (yes, Murderville USA, mini-Detroit, blight and ruin porn, yada yada) and there are literally thousands of abandoned houses as well as wide swathes of land where there used to be houses but the city comes up with a little money here and there and razes them.

So yesterday I was working on a block where there is precisely one occupied house, a glut of empty lots and six large, once-beautiful abandoned houses with windows shot out, filled with trash and weeds growing inside. And I noticed, among the overgrowth at one, a bunch of very healthy hosta plants! Along with lots of railroad ties once used as borders. Today when I returned I had a shovel and buckets and I dug up several hostas and a smattering of Bishop weed and also snagged a bunch of old RR ties with the metal centers and giant iron nails. Score. :)

It got me thinking though: with all the once-gorgeous old homes in cities like Flint and Detroit, I bet there are a ton of perennials and other goodies abandoned in some of those yards. What a waste! If we don't have too thunderstormy weather I'll get them in the ground tomorrow. I already started digging out and preparing space.

View attachment 6583

Good job Beth! My snow drops were rescues where they were about to level and later covered the property with a business building. Feels good every spring when they bloom knowing they weren't plowed under.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top