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The Big One: A moving memorial

July 13, 2020 -  By

Company: Landscape Workshop
Location: Montgomery, Ala.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala., is a poignant memorial reflecting on racial inequality in the U.S. The 6-acre site features paths and a memorial square. Landscape Workshop maintains the property.

Since its opening in 2018, the memorial has logged more than 750,000 visitors. “The expectations are that it’s always looking great, and there’s always something different,” says Matthew Capps, general manager of the Montgomery-Auburn location for Landscape Workshop.

The site has a large garden in the front of the property. Capps estimates crews plant about 20,000 bulbs in the winter. A challenge to the site’s maintenance is the memorial is closed just one day a week, so crews complete all work in the garden, including bed prep, change-outs and planting on the same day.

“If we’re pulling and prepping beds, we have to plant in one day,” says Capps. “We staff it appropriately.”

Landscape Workshop uses Exmark riding mowers, Honda push mowers and Stihl handheld equipment. The site also uses Rain Bird’s IQ central control system to remotely access irrigation.

Capps says his company is proud of the economic impact the memorial has had on the city of Montgomery. “We’re honored to be an extension of what they’re doing and to be part of the memorial,” he says.

This project earned Landscape Workshop a 2019 Silver Award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Award of Excellence program.

Maintenance project at National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Photo: Landscape Workshop)

Photo: Landscape Workshop

Landscape Workshop planted Sunshine ligustrum, loropetalum, boxwood, violas, snapdragons and 17,000 tulip and daffodil bulbs in this seasonal iteration of the front of the memorial.

Maintenance project at National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Photo: Landscape Workshop)

Photo: Landscape Workshop

Violas, snapdragons, kale, tulip and daffodil bulbs highlight the fall seasonal colors.

Maintenance project at National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Photo: Landscape Workshop)

Photo: Landscape Workshop

Fall plantings include Sunshine ligustrum, dwarf pittosporum, loropetalum, snapdragons, violas, kale and tulip and daffodil bulbs. The team at Landscape Workshop completes all work in the garden, from bed prep to planting the same day.

Maintenance project at National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Photo: Landscape Workshop)

Photo: Landscape Workshop

Landscape Workshop maintains the perennial ryegrass turf with Exmark riding mowers and Honda push mowers.

Maintenance project at National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Photo: Landscape Workshop)

Photo: Landscape Workshop

Details in the interior of the monument include ornamental blueberry plantings, mondograss and perennial ryegrass turf.

Maintenance project at National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Photo: Landscape Workshop)

Photo: Landscape Workshop

Crews use hand work for bed detailing, such as this one with sweetspire and viburnum and magnolia trees.

Maintenance project at National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Photo: Landscape Workshop)

Photo: Landscape Workshop

More than 750,000 people have toured the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala. Near the entrance, hollies, Sunshine ligustrum, dwarf pittosporum, loropetalum, boxwoods, violas, snapdragons, kale and tulip and daffodil bulbs welcome visitors.

Maintenance project at National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Photo: Landscape Workshop)

Photo: Landscape Workshop

Snapdragons and petunias highlight this seasonal planting.

Maintenance project at National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Photo: Landscape Workshop)

Photo: Landscape Workshop

The front garden’s bright color palette for spring includes plantings of phlox, geraniums, Sunshine ligustrum and dwarf pittosporum.

Maintenance project at National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Photo: Landscape Workshop)

Photo: Landscape Workshop

In early spring, Landscape Workshop planted Sunshine ligustrum, dwarf pittosporum, loropetalum, geraniums, phlox, dianthus and snapdragons in the garden.

Maintenance project at National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Photo: Landscape Workshop)

Photo: Landscape Workshop

In spring, the deciduous magnolias that line the grounds are coming out of dormancy.

Christina Herrick

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