Saturday, July 21, 2012
Right Plant in the Right Place
OK. This drives me crazy. This picture was taken at the Edison Mall in Fort Myers, Florida but it could be anywhere USA. The plants in the median here are sea grape. Sea grapes are TREES that grow to a mature height and width of about 30 x 30 feet. The area these are planted in is 4 feet wide. The pants are being butchered in order to keep them in bounds and not too tall.
Does this make any sense?! No! If you want a plant hedge to remain at 4 feet, use a plant whose MATURE height is under 10 feet at most. Any time you prune a plant more than 20% of its mature height you are killing it. You are also creating unnecessary yard waste and extra work for yourself.
This kind of insanity happens all the time, and it is usually created by people who should know better, landscape architects, horticulturists and other landscape professionals working for DOT, cities, counties, and private firms. The idea is to fill in the space quickly, so everything is planted too close together using the wrong plant material. The planting looks good the first six months, and then it goes to hell and requires constant cutting in order to look halfway decent. They do it because people are impatient, and complain when landscaping is done properly because you have to wait for the plants to fill in.
So, let's become better educated on the subject, learn some patience, and expect better planning from landscapers in general!