Old Vs. New Commercial Landscaping

The typical '60s-'00s office building plantings of squared-off ligustrum-and-lawn-plus-a-patch-of-annual-color:
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Right across the street from the above is a newish residential apartment complex:
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Not only are the plantings intended to be more environmentally friendly, but in addition, the use of the property is also moving towards a more efficient use of resouces. Office buildings all around--why not have apartments right nearby and walk to work, rather than driving for miles?  Mixed use:  what a concept!  (That, and the area is seriously over built with offices.)  The interior of this complex is an atrium filled by a pool and mostly concrete paving.  This street side strip is essentially all the landscaping for this complex.

Rather than the standard patch-of-color changed out twice a year, the focal point of the corner are these grand pots hosting equally grand agaves:
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Though reclaimed water is in use, cutting down on reclaimed water is even more economical.  The lavender color of the valve cover indicates reclaimed water is in use here, though that is true for the older lawns as well:
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The planting palette is Agave, blue Fescue clumps, Phormium, Rapheolepis, Strelitzia, Senecio.  There is Tracheospermum as a ground cover in the hell strip under Ceiba (Chorisia) trees. 

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The cat-friendly bark of Ceiba (Chorisia) speciosa:
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The Ceiba flower drop may become an issue in time.  A wet pink sidewalk staining goo is formed by walking on the fallen flowers.  Pehaps actual pedestrians are still expected to be rare.  Many parts of  this area still have no sidewalks--why would anyone want to walk?--though that is changing.  

The trees are Washingtonia palms, Ceiba, and Lophostemon confertus.  The trees in immediately surrounding older landscapes are pavement-popping Erythrina and Ficus retusa nitida.  A wise move towards less invasive root systems, perhaps, now that sidewalks are going in. 

The alley way to the parking structure has a raised bed with Anigozanthos.  It is somewhat rare to see the plants appropriately sized for the planting space, which in this case is narrow:
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I'm seeing quite a few of this same planting scheme going in.  Here's a question.  Agave/blue fescue/senecio:  how fast will this become the landscape cliche that people want to avoid?  What then? Though it has to be better than weekly mowing and daily watering of lawns no one sits upon or plays on, fashion will change; it always does.  What's next?  No plants at all, just concrete?  Change is affecting even staid suburbs as energy becomes increasingly  expensive.  Change:  we all need to get ready for more. 

Lonely lawn with pavement-popper:
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Comments

  1. Agave with senecio (without the blue fescue) is something I'm definitely seeing a lot of down here in San Diego. Some of the plantings have been around long enough for the blue senecio to overtake the slower-growing agaves--a couple years is all it takes. At least they're greener alternatives to corporate lawnscapes, even if not particularly exciting. And who thought up the color of the recycled water valve covers? If I needed a valve cover for the floor of Auntie Eunice's parlor this color might coordinate okay. But with our subtle modern planting schemes that are featuring more foliage than flowers?

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  2. That Senecio when happy absolutely needs regular trimming. A garden-buddy trims out piles of the stuff to keep things neat.

    The lavender must have some meaning--some non-potable alert meaning. I think though I would enjoy Auntie Eunice's lavender parlor!

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  3. I'm (reluctantly) knee-deep in lavender piping, landscaping boxes, etc. because Austin now requires anything connected to -- or even with the potential to someday be connected to -- rainwater to be purple. Apparently there are also purple sprinkler heads, although since my irrigation system was installed before the rainwater harvesting went in, I "only" need to put purple covers on the original ones -- even if we don't tie the rainwater into the irrigation system. What a pain. No good deed goes unpunished....

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    1. I like the purple though, don't you? Pretty color. But since I'm not doing that huge amount work, maybe I should be quiet? :)

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