As flowers begin to bloom in unsteadily warming weather, Auburn University’s landscaping services is hard at work, making sure Auburn’s campus looks better than it did the day before.
Justin Sutton, superintendent of landscaping services, said during late winter and springtime, there is a lesser need of general landscape maintenance, as leaves have stopped falling and grass has stopped growing. During this period, landscaping services enhances dozens of spots around campus by adding or replacing flora.
Sutton said landscaping services is working on 18 enhancement projects right now, and he estimated they will have completed around 25 projects during this period.
Enhancements to the landscape outside of buildings are made to be era-appropriate, Sutton said. When enhancing the landscape of a historical building, they tend to use old-fashioned, foundation plants.
According to Sutton, there are factors that influence the design of enhancements beyond a building’s age, including a building’s color palette, the presence — or lack thereof — of shade and irrigation.
Sutton said they are careful with including large plants in places where safety is a concern. He said they don’t want to make hiding places where people don’t feel safe on campus.
“We try not to be on the concourses during class times and stuff,” Sutton said. “We’re not trying to hide from anybody on campus, but at the same time, we want to respect everybody, not get in their way as they are traveling to and from each building or classes.“
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
Areas with heavy student use tend to be fairly inaccessible for landscaping services due to foot traffic. Sutton said they do a lot of their work in these areas early in the morning or over the weekend.
Sutton said spring break week is the best opportunity for landscaping to enhance busy areas of campus, where students can see how much of a difference these enhancements make.
“We could get a lot more work done if students weren’t here,” Sutton joked.
Students are, ultimately, our boss, Sutton said. Everything landscaping does is constantly on display, so they have to be at the top of their game.
“We do it for the campus, the students, the faculty, the staff and, really, the city,” Sutton said.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman