I’ve posted before (like here) about taking lessons from public plantings, and this is a lesson in reverse. As in, don’t do this! I’m just going to list the things that are wrong with this so you can avoid the same pitfalls.
- The red mulch: Oh, ick. This one might be just a personal preference, but I’ve yet to see an example of a good looking landscape with red mulch.
- The white rock: I love rock, but not this kind. This white rock reminds me of the “rock gardens” from the 1970s that were all the rage. My dad created one between our yard and the neighbor’s. If you want to topdress with rock, go for a higher quality that has a warmer hue, and with softer, more tumbled edges. This rock looks like roadfill.
- The plant islands: What’s up with putting a little ring of ugly red mulch around each individual plant? This looks like a mine field. I understand wanting to use different materials for visual interest–that’s an awesome idea–but choose your materials carefully and create more of an island bed or “oasis.” That way, it has more impact.
- The white tree trunk: I understand that there are times when painting a trunk is necessary to deter bugs, but if you don’t have to do it, don’t do it. It looks like crew socks from when I was in 7th grade gym class.
- What you don’t see: I was going through the drive-through so I couldn’t take a number of picks, but elsewhere in the landscape there is a relatively large agave planted right by the sidewalk, with red mulch around it. Don’t plant a big spiky or thorny plant like an agave next to where people will be walking–that’s just inhospitable–and if you have to choose between putting mulch or rock around an agave, go for the rock. Heaping mulch around a xeric plant is a recipe for rot.