If you are a facilities manager, a block manager, a residents management company, you need to know this. Just because it looks neat, does not mean it is done right.

Bad cleaning or poor building maintenance are usually easily spotted and can be quickly corrected. However, bad gardening practices can take months, even years to correct

This is a list of the five most common bad practices we find being carried out in communal grounds, private gardens and commercial properties.

Incorrect Hedge Batters

This is probably the most common bad practice we come across.  A hedge should be narrower at the top than it is at the base. This is achieved by sloping the sides, and is called the batter.  Hedges need a batter to allow light to reach all the way down to the base and keep the base from becoming bare.

Weed Species of Tree

One does not think about trees being a weed, however, in a hedge or shrub bed, they can be as much of a weed as thistles and dandy-lions.  Ash and Elder can easily seed themselves and very quickly get established and dominate the landscaping.  
Through lack of skills, knowledge or will, the young saplings are just clipped along with the rest of the hedge only to grow back with even more vigour.  By the time the infiltrator is noticed and removed, it is already too late, there is a gapping hole in the planting scheme. It may take a couple of years for the original shrubs to recover and fill the gap.

Welcome to the Jumble

Different shrubs are planted together in a mixed shrub bed. On smaller, more domestic sites these may consist of only one or two shrubs of each variety. In larger settings such as residential communal areas, many shrubs of the same variety may be planted in blocks in a larger mixed shrub bed.

The untrained and the unconcerned tend to treat these mixed shrub beds as if they were just one big hedge. The whole thing is cut to the same height at the same time in the same manor. The more vigorous shrubs are allowed to smother the less vigorous, different varieties of shrubs mix and intertwine and the whole bed starts to look like a dogs breakfast. No attempt is made to bring the best out of the different varieties. Colours, textures and shapes are all lost in a bland, amorphous lump.

Leaf Reversion

To achieve year round colour to the grounds, landscapers rely on evergreen, variegated shrubs.  These shrubs have leaves that have yellow, white, red or pale green patches on the leaves. This is caused by a genetic defect that has given rise to a mutation that we find attractive. However, it is very common for the odd branch to revert back to its original green colour.
If this is not dealt with, the branch will grow more vigorously than the rest of the shrub.  Very quickly the colourful variegation is replaced by the dull green of its natural state.

No Flowers

Many varieties of shrubs have the added bonus of producing flowers. Different shrubs flower at different times of the year and the changing vista maintains interest through the season. Here again the untrained do not know when to prune and when not to prune to encourage flowering on a particular type of shrub, the unconcerned just do not care. 
In both cases the flower buds are cut off before they can bloom.

Noticed One or More of the Five Signs in Your Grounds?

Your grounds are likely to benefit from the services of a professional grounds maintenance contractor, such as Harradine Garden Services. Request your free grounds maintenance quote today.

By engaging the services of a specialist, professional gardening and grounds maintenance contractor, you are engaging some one who will consider what your gardens will look like; now, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now, even a decade from now.  You are ensuring your grounds look good now and in years to come.