I grabbed this photo from this post on a local blog, Buffalo Rising. I have to agree with the author, STEEL, a Chicago architect who grew up in Buffalo, that the potentillas in front of this neat little building are ridiculous, though I never thought about it before. Clearly, they were put in by whatever landscaping firm the contractor who restored the building hired. (It is part of a five-building apartment project; each is a distinctive 19th century structure.) I see stuff like this—and worse—all over the city. Whoever these landscapers are, they seem to love red mulch and white stones to surround their puny shrub-and-impatiens plantings.
But I don’t have a clue about what I would do instead. I see this building every day on my way to work and never give the plantings a thought. I guess I just expect bad or simply dull plants around buildings that are not planted by owner/gardeners. Now that I consider it, I can see that the shrubs look silly, though the bright yellow in itself seems a nice contrast for the gray building.
What should they have planted here? Nothing?