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Finding Inspiration for Change

This past weekend my husband and I were in a different part of town, knocking items off the never-ending to-do list. With our chores accomplished, we rewarded ourselves with a bar-b-que lunch. The lunch was great, I’m not sure I ever had bad bar-b-que, but the view from the restaurant’s windows was so disheartening.

The entire street, block after block, offered nothing more than stressed crabapple trees, spotty areas of sod, and a few shrubs. A mix of light industrial, places to eat, retail, hotels, and apartments and townhomes offered just about anything you could want, with one glaring exception: beauty. As we sat there, I couldn’t help but wonder how nice it would be to see a garden outside the window. The hotel across the road would be far more inviting if benches rested under large oak trees, and a meandering path led guests through a garden. The hotel would offer guests a wonderful way to decompress after a long journey. It’s not just the hotel landscapes that could be transformed. The vast amount of lawn and invasive shrubs that appear to be mandatory in light industrial areas and office complexes is, frankly, depressing.

If you spent much of your day in such an area, where would you find inspiration to plant a little garden, or add some containers filled with pollinator friendly plants on your balcony? Wouldn’t it be exciting to see office complexes turn some of their vast lawn space over to a pollinator friendly garden? They would cut back on mowing, which is desirable on so many levels, and they would create habitat for native bees and insects. We often hear how companies are giving back to the community. Wouldn’t creating a space of beauty, reducing the use of mowers, offering pollinators and birds habitat, all while inspiring others to do the same in their commercial or private landscape be a fantastic way to give back to the community?

This client asked us to create a beautiful garden: a design to be appreciated by employees and clients alike. It’s an oasis in an area dominated by lawn and pear trees.

The tide is turning. It’s exciting to see more gardens planted with nature appearing in the home landscape. We say it often, the more you see such plantings, the more apt you will be to add such a garden to your own landscape. If we can also inspire such a change in commercial sites, just imagine the acreage that holds little to no value that could be transformed into gardens planted with nature. Not only would we create more suitable habitats for native insects, pollinators, and birds, we would be creating more opportunities to inspire the next home gardener or commercial property owner to also plant with nature.

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