Parking Lot Landscaping That’s A Bit Unusual

I am sure that I am not the only one that is fascinated with parking lot and strip mall landscaping. For the most part, there is a lot of sameness to it–Knockout roses and Stella D’Oro daylilies. There’s a reason for that–it works because those are very tough plants.


I’ve had this photo on my blog before, a few years ago, in the middle of a drought after a very cold winter. At that point, these river birches (betula nigra) looked dead. I am delighted to see that they have recovered but I still find them an odd choice for an island bed in the middle of asphalt because, as a general rule, they are a somewhat thirsty plant.
Nevertheless, they do seem to be thriving.


This planting is in the same general area. Yes, there are daylilies, but no Stella D’Oros in sight. And the coneflowers are a delight. I walked over for a closer look, expecting them to be devoid of life, but I found several types of bees on them.


It may be a little hard to see but this flower in the foreground actually has two big bumblebees on it! What I hope that means is that these beds aren’t pesticided to within an inch of their lives. It’s quite refreshing.

So every so often even commercial planting can surprise me–in a good way.

4 thoughts on “Parking Lot Landscaping That’s A Bit Unusual

  1. tonytomeo July 14, 2018 / 10:11 pm

    Those actually do not look so bad. I was just talking to a colleague about such landscapes on Thursday evening, while observing the components of a well designed parking lot landscape shorn into useless cylindrical shrubbery. The carpet roses that should be in full bloom were shaped like pill box caps, and deprived of any hope of blooming. The daylilies and agapanthus were shorn in there with them. The design was good, but the ‘maintenance’ was deplorable.

  2. gardendaze July 15, 2018 / 6:38 am

    For the most part, we don’t badly mutilate things in parking lots. I’ve never seen anything even remotely close to what you describe in a commercial landscape here.

    Homeowners are another matter, however. If you could see what people routine do to Japanese maples and weeping cherries in particular. Ugh!

    Azaleas also tend to suffer a lot. They get shorn into that sort of thing you are describing. I generally have no idea what they are until suddenly the tops are pink. Ghastly!

    Sadly my own husband is no exception. That’s how he got the moniker ” the Spoiler.” He loves his electric hedge trimmer–& if I am not home to supervise, crimes against horticulture occur.


  3. roberta4949 July 18, 2018 / 1:51 pm

    nice to see variety in landscaping from the city. around here they have gradually been getting the hint on what plants look nice and do well with minimal care.

  4. gardendaze July 18, 2018 / 2:02 pm

    Yes, it IS nice to see something other than the same old plants, isn’t it?

    Today I have a honey locust photo up. Rather annoying street trees, but I understand why everyone plants them. And I have to say, from my photo, it certainly looks good. I guess it’s all about perspective–literally.


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