You Can’t Plant that here! Landscaping Challenges and Solutions

Southerners find it cold here…Midwesterners consider the winters mild…and Europeans are shocked by the humidity of a New York summer.

Not unlike the city itself, the weather of New York offers almost everything, which the residential landscaping perfectly reflects. Establishing and maintaining an attractive landscape in a climate this varied is a definite challenge, perhaps even more so for multifamily environments in urban or suburban areas.

When one factors in additional foot traffic, pets, litter, and pollution commonly associated with multifamily dwellings, it can be tough for plants, trees, and flowers to survive…let alone thrive. Especially after a winter of snow and way-below freezing temperatures, there's plenty to consider in making sure a community's landscape is in top shape for the upcoming season.

Down the Garden Path

In an effort to save money, some boards and grounds committees create do-it-yourself landscaping rather than hiring professionals. Weeding flowerbeds and raking leaves is one thing; but if a committee chooses the wrong type of plant, or puts a shrub, tree, or flowerbed in the wrong place, the results may be costly. In addition to being an eyesore, misguided plantings can result not just in replacement costs for dead or damaged plants, but even repair costs for structural damage to roofs, foundations, or pavement.

This is not to say that a volunteer landscaping or gardening committee is a bad idea…far from it. If a community includes folks who truly enjoy the physical labor associated with weeding and planting they can absolutely participate, but perhaps under the guidance of a landscaping professional hired on a consulting basis to develop a sound plan with site-appropriate plants. With the New York climate, plants that can adapt to extremes in the weather are an obvious choice, but investing in a consultant to get a proper plan in place can save a considerable sum in the long run, also.


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