planter bed flowers

Keeping the campus in bloom

Landscape crews rotates flower plantings for color and variety

June 3, 2024
Author: Imran Ghori
June 3, 2024

Bright blooms can be spotted around the UC Riverside campus with new spring flower plantings.

In May, Facilities Services planted over 800 flowers in key areas of campus that are expected to bloom all summer long. It’s part of a regular rotation to provide variety and vibrant colors timed to different seasons by the Landscape Services team.

Yellow marigolds have been planted in front of the UCR sign, a popular spot for graduation photos. (UCR/Imran Ghori)

At the end of the spring quarter every year, the team chooses plantings themed around commencement and UCR’s blue and gold colors, said John Starling, Landscape Services supervisor.

Yellow marigolds and blue lobelias were planted at sites that are popular for graduation photos like the UCR sign at the HUB Plaza and a planter bed near University Avenue and West Campus Drive.

The planter bed in front of Hinderaker Hall. (UCR/Imran Ghori)

Another key location is the planter in front of Hinderaker Hall, which has three different rows of varieties with white snapdragons, orange calendula, and purple pansies.

As the plantings wilt and die over the summer, they will be replaced in the fall quarter and then again at the start of the winter quarter, Starling said. The spring usually has brighter colors while in the fall Landscape Services may plant red and white snapdragons and Iceland poppies. The winter will see dark purple hues.

The Landscape Services crew in front of the planter bed at University Avenue and West Campus Drive, where new flowers were planted. (Facilities Services.)

“We choose plantings for the time of year that will look well in those colors for the planters year-round,” he said.

The median near the campus entrance at University Avenue and West Campus Drive is another highly visible spot. It has about 300 red roses that were planted a few years ago. That project matched the look of the original plantings from the 1960s. 

Starling credits his staff of 18 for planting and maintaining the flower beds in addition to trimming trees and overseeing all the other campus landscape areas.