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Easy commercial fix

I love landscape maintenance without prejudice which means covering 100% of a site and not discriminating between areas. So that’s why I enjoyed working on a forgotten piece of a commercial building this summer. Shockingly, this corner is visible from the entrance. This sort of view is hardly inspiring for the workers who populate the building.



Considering the close proximity of this landscape to the front entrance, it looked horribly neglected. What’s wrong here?

1. There are too many weeds.

2. There is tons of garbage in the shrubs and one large Styrofoam base.

3. The sprinklers are in various stages of disrepair.

4. The native ferns (Polystichum munitum) are dry and flattened.

5. Rhodendron branches are touching the ground and the bases are covered in debris.

The kinnikinnick groundcover (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) in top right is holding on but sadly, it was voted off the island despite my protests. It’s not a flashy plant and, I’m convinced, it should have stayed. If not to wow people than at least to keep the weeds down.



It’s amazing what can happen in a few hours with some tools. I needed a cultivator, tarps, rake and my Felco2 snips. (All of these can be purchased from Foreshore Equipment and Supply.)

I’m happy with the transformation but I do miss the kinnikinnick groundcover. The kinnikinnick should have stayed because groundcovers grow over bare ground and shade out weeds.



Final step


For the final step, we installed fluffy amender soil which is nice and thick and should keep weeds down for a while. But not forever. Birds and wind will bring in weed seeds eventually. This is why the groundcover removal was a mistake. I would have planted more of it. But, again, I just did the work. Others made the decisions.

This example shows how you can quickly upgrade an ugly landscape corner with some tools and new soil. Regular maintenance should be easy now that this corner is upgraded.

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