One of the aspects of our remodeling project that we’re most excited about is the expansion and reconfiguration of our parking lot. Not only do we gain 40 additional parking spaces and create new sidewalks leading to the front entry, but it allows us to refresh all of our worn out landscaping.
Almost all of the existing plantings will be coming out. While nobody likes to see mature trees cut down, we’ve got about 25 that really need to go. The oaks out along California Blvd. are deciduous, but are a variety that hold onto their dead leaves all winter. Every year we’ll have quite a few people try to tell us that they’re dead, but they’re not…they just look that way! The Liquid Ambers are beautiful for a few weeks every fall, but they also come with a host of problems. The pods that they drop are dangerous underfoot, and their roots are destroying the parking lot. The flowering pears have a few good weeks when they bloom in the spring, but are notorious for having large branches snap off (usually on a parked car) the rest of the year. The only trees that we’ll miss are the Crepe Myrtles and their flower show in the fall. But we’ll be planting quite a few more than we have to take out, so that is a nice trade-off.
Our new planting plan has us adding over 60 trees and eventually there will be quite a few more parking spaces under their shade. They will all have root barriers to keep the asphalt and curbs safe, and this will also give the plants underneath them a chance to survive. The planters will contain a striking mix of perennials, colorful flaxes, and ornamental grasses. While it will look a little barren this summer, by next Spring it should be beautiful!