A few weeks ago I was in Olympia (it misses you Bert!) reviewing grant applications. As I tend to do whenever I have time and my camera, I set out in search of gardening goofs that evening. Here’s the edge of a relatively new commercial site I discovered:
OK, not too bad so far. We’ve got a nice stone mulch next to the curb, then a lovely groundcover, in flower, that also functions as a living mulch. But what’s that we see in the upper half of the photo?
Yes, it’s Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), an aggressive perennial weed that spreads by stolons and can make dense monocultures of prickly nastiness. In fact, the front is already advancing on our little groundcover:
Had the landscapers continued with mulching the soil rather than leaving it bare, these thistle seeds might not have germinated. But for whatever reason, the bulk of the landscape was left bare:
I’m sorry, but this just looks ridiculous. There was some obvious care in laying the stone mulch and groundcover, but then the landscaper seems to have run out of time and/or money and just plopped in some bulbs and corms. It reminds me of a birthday cake.
I don’t understand the rationale behind this. Was this a real design? Did the client run out of money? Or (as the more cynical side of me wonders) was this done deliberately to create a high maintenance landscape requiring lots of weeding in the future?