Landscaping Tips - Good Bad & Ugly

In nearly every arboriculture class, at some point the professor tells the students to go take pictures of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Literally hundreds of photos come in of The Bad and/or The Ugly but The Good are considerably fewer and there ensues lots of discussion as to what is The Good. We tend to focus so much on what is wrong with our plants that we often forget to look for the good plants in our landscape. The plants that are thriving, that are healthy and functioning well-living a long life as they were intended. We all need to look for and become more aware of The Good plants in our landscape. How do we do that?

  • Learn the plants. We cannot know what a good plant looks like if we do not know the plant. Once the plant has been identified…
  • Look up, read about, ask about the plant. How does it look at maturity? What problems might the plant have? How should the problems be treated?
  • Share knowledge about how to maintain Good plants. What is the appropriate watering regimen, pruning practices, exposure and location in the landscape? Everything it takes to make and keep a plant Good.
  • Share photos of Good plants so that all may know how a Good plant should look.

Is a plant Bad or Ugly or can it be both? Usually, Bad is the plant that has not been maintained appropriately and may be diseased, insect infested, or nutrient deficient. Ugly is the plant that is being maintained but in such a way that does not enhance the landscape. Can we tell the difference or does it really matter? Either plant needs our help and expertise.

ALCA promotes excellence in landscape maintenance and management through our educational programs and awards competitions. By doing so, we enhance the public‘s perception of our association and the Green Industry.