Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Parkway Plant Vandals

New parkway plants are vulnerable to being “vandalized” by urban wildlife

You may have heard about it — a beautifully planted parkway is “vandalized,” usually within a few days of installation of the new baby plants. Homeowners are shocked:  who could have done this? Some are even wondering if perhaps they are being sent a message by other neighbors who don’t like the new drought-tolerant approach to parkways and would prefer grass. But it turns out the real culprits are our fur and feathered friends.  Several kinds of them.


“It’s the crows,” said Helen Hartung, a local garden designer who lives on Lucerne and is currently replanting her own front yard. “They will attack the newly planted baby plants that are not yet rooted.”

“It’s squirrels,” said Sue Ellen Waters, a Fremont Place resident who recently replanted her entire front yard and parkway.

“It’s raccoons,” said Cheryl Lerner, a local garden designer who alerted the Buzz this weekend when her clients came home to find their entire parkway uprooted. Scratch marks and paw prints were the telltale signs that the destruction was likely caused by the masked critters.

What can be done?

One homeowner has created an elaborate network of strings and foil to discourage parkway plant predators at least until plants get established.

“I’ve planted Dymondia for a project and overnight the raccoons came,” said Libby Simon, landscape designer. ” They’re looking for grubs (beetle larvae) and the soil is loose and damp, so it’s easier for them. We had to barricade the area with trash cans, but it worked.”

The Buzz has more calls into local wildlife experts for additional suggestions and will keep you posted.

Elaborate structure of string and foil to discourage crows from attacking newly planted dymondia in this parkway on Lucerne Blvd
Elaborate structure of string and foil to discourage crows from attacking newly planted dymondia in this parkway on Lucerne Blvd


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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  1. I prefer the beautiful green lawn in the background vs the ugly grey-brown-greenish plants, with or without the ropes covering them.


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