Crimes Against Horticulture: Interview with Billy Goodnick

Billy Goodnick is a great Landscape Architect and Educator based in Southern California.  He was a vendor and speaker at last year's Eco Expo and we love his ideas and enthusiasm!  Here is a nice interview with Billy by Joseph Clancy in the Landscape Architects Network. How did Crimes Against Horticulture come about?

“I was writing for EDHAT and was part of the Santa Barbara Beautiful Awards (a competition for the most beautiful gardens) and decided to take some photos that I had collected through my work and do the Santa Barbara Not So Beautiful Awards, and I had categories like the silliest place to put a Bougainvillia, and continued doing the “Not So Beautiful Awards” the following year.

About two years ago, I came across some of the Santa Barbara Not So Beautiful photos on my computer and set up a Facebook page called “Crimes Against Horticulture: When Bad Taste Meets Power Tools”.  I started uploading some photos and redirecting people from my own Facebook page, and now it’s grown to over 2,000 fans and I have people from all over the world posting and contributing to the page.

Crimes against HorticultureImage credit: Billy Goodnick |CAH FB

The only other thing I can also attribute to founding CAH was that as a teenager, I used to cut out what I thought were ugly brides from the LA Times in the newlyweds section and stick them up on my bedroom wall.  Then people would come over and disagree with which brides was ugly and which wasn’t, kinda eye of the beholder type of thing.  So, maybe some of that fascination spilled over into CAH … and why everyone hates me!


Well, Facebook is the primary way of connecting with people, and anyone who has a camera and Facebook connection can contribute.  I also have been doing a lot of talks at gardening clubs, shows, and botanic gardens across the U.S. and now I offer a CAH talk, among others.  I’ve had to innovate, because it gets really old real quick after five slides and five snarky comments, so as a takeaway, sustainability has become a focus of the talks.  So people won’t put a plant in too small a space, that they’ll choose the right plant and maintain it correctly, and at the end you’ll have an appreciation for the aesthetic, so if you do end up having to do something to the plant it won’t end up as fuel for my rapier wit.

ArticlesMarianne Taylor