14 Islands. What do I plant?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by RedWingsDet, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    I take care of a complex, there are several buildings with multiple units in each. Each building has islands on the side.

    I need help on this. There is nothing but weeds and mulch in there now with ornamental grass in the middle of the islands.

    They want the first two islands to be really colorful and look spectualar and the remaining 12 islands to be colorful also however not as extravagant as the first two.

    Also, there are no sprinklers so the plants will have to be able to survive with that.

    So please help me with ideas. Thanks
  2. Focal Point Landscapes

    Focal Point Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    Not an easy task - with no irrigation , you can rule out annuals . I would use either perennials or plants with colorful foliage , like loropetalum . At any rate , you should amend the soil with premium loam and some water-holding additive like vermiculite or polymer .
  3. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    It sounds like this was tried before, but not backed up with any maintenance.

    Ornamental grasses are a good choice, but with no maintenance it did not sustain. It sounds like these people are looking for something that can be "set it and forget it". Oh, and we want it beautiful, too.

    Junipers are good for this type of situation. Mahonia is a broadleaf evergreen that looks like holly that is very drought tolerant.

    You might want to talk them into something nicer by having you water these beds once a week. That would open a few more options, but they really don't sound committed.
  4. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    Yeah this is a PITA.

    Does anyone else have something they could add to this dilema? Thanks.
  5. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Messages: 1,818

    What about running a few of those hoses through the plants that people use for watering beds and such? I see alot of guys around here do installs like that and then just leave the hoses for a month or so and then come back and get them....I guess if they are islands then running a hose might not be an option but who knows. Got any pics of the areas?
  6. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    Ya a hose is no option. For one there is no hose bib on any of the buildings and for two the islands are about 200ft from any building and 10 ft from any grass area.
  7. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    All new plantings need regular consistent watering until they are established if planted in summer. I would pass on this planting if there is no way to assure the plants will be watered properly.
    They cannot have color and extravagance without water. If you decide to go ahead with this, I recommend NO plant guarantee or replacement be put in writing and agreed on and signed by the client before proceeding.

    Then if you know your planting zone, and the amount of sun and shade these areas will get, go to the nursery and look and read labels and ask them. Local nurseries are usually very knowledgeable about what grows well in your area and can give you the extravagant color your clients require. Or you can buy a Sunset Garden Garden Book and read up.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Put in trees this fall during a rainy week. There is a large assortment there and is more usefull in the long run.

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