I love taking my daughter Allie shopping at the Fashion Valley Mall. The stores, the displays, the crowds. I will even tolerate a line to find a parking spot so that we can wander the mall.
So imagine my joy when Greenscaped Buildings got a call to design, build and maintain a living wall just outside the new True Foods restaurant. Healthy food and a living wall, two of my favorite things! It was one of our largest living wall projects and we were so proud when it was completed. We took pictures and shook hands and for the next year, Good Earth Plant Company maintained it to keep it green and growing. Our Fashion Valley living wall project was something we bragged about and won awards for.
After our initial annual contract ended, we were informed that our client had signed on with a different vendor to take over the maintenance for half of our price. Reluctantly, we said goodbye.
This past week, I made a visit back to Fashion Valley mall to do a scheduled check on the living wall as part of our follow-up process. I was both shocked and disappointed to see the living wall had taken a turn for the worse. It was in very bad shape. The spider plants had been hacked up, the mondo grass was burned, and the moneywort was almost completely gone. What had been a lush, green welcome to the mall had turned into a sad example of neglect.
It’s so difficult to see a project that you built be treated so poorly. Let us offer some words of wisdom on these beautiful expressions of living architecture. These walls require the proper amount of attention and care and that means regular weekly visits, experienced handlers and time to inspect, prune, clean and irrigate the plants. This isn’t a “Can you water my plants while I am on vacation?” type of maintenance.
I understand that keeping costs down requires shopping for the lowest price. But in our industry, you truly get what you pay for. It doesn’t make sense to me to make an investment in a large project like this spectacular living wall, then lose your investment in an effort to save a few pennies. It never saves money in the long run. Good Earth Plant Company has experienced technicians and staff who know how to troubleshoot issues early if there is a problem. We never allow a situation to get beyond repair.
I hope the Fashion Valley living wall is restored someday to its original beauty. I hope Good Earth Plant Company can be a part of the process. We will keep our fingers crossed for a call so that we can jump in and make this living wall green again.
Because that’s what we are all about.
**Good Earth Plants is hiring! Please visit our website at www.goodearthplants.com to complete an application and for more information**