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The Next Great Natural Space

We are making great strides when it comes to winning over homeowners to the idea of planting for pollinators. Be it a container garden with asclepias or an entire yard that was handed over to nature, progress is being made.  In our little sliver of the great gardening world, we are receiving more requests to skip the chemicals in the lawn and garden. We are having more clients ask to have invasive plants removed and new, more nature-friendly options introduced to the gardens.  We hope that the same is being experienced by landscapers across the country.

(Above: A client has a new entry garden to their office. Here clients and employees will be greeted with flowers and year-round visual interest.)

But there’s a landscape niche that if we could get to adopt the gardening for nature movement would be a huge win for nature: the commercial property. I was driving to one of our new clients today, a commercial office in an expansive light industry, commercial neighborhood. The lawns were massive, the useless shrubs abundant, and the lack of any blooming or once blooming plants glaringly absent. It’s a natural wasteland.

(Above: Our office’s landscape started as an expase of sod and old, sad shrubs. Now it’s a pollinator garden.)

But as you know, we are not ones to bully or chastise people into trying their hand at gardening for nature. You attract more bees with honey and all. I see this as a twofold opportunity, one to help nature and second to create an environment that supports the health and wellbeing of the workers in those neighborhoods. Imagine coming to work where there’s a walking path under a canopy of oak trees or a picnic area adjacent to pollinator garden. Instead of the sound of commercial lawn mowing machines and leaf blowers, there’s the sound of quiet interrupted only by birdsong.

Many of our commutes to work are noisy, busy, and unattractive. What a sense of calm and lightness one would feel when they pull into their place of work to be surrounded by nature.  We don’t say, hey, let’s spend the weekend at the mall parking lot! No, we go to the woods, the parks, or stroll tree-lined residential neighborhoods.  If we could turn, even part of all the commercial lawns into gardens of native trees and shrubs, or prairie gardens, imagine the positive impact it would have on us as well as nature.

(Above and below: Why? Exposed soil is simply ugly. And this expanse of lawn, if only part of it, could be given over to a more engaging, beneficial landscape.)

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