November 17, 2009
SMU’s tree-lined campus recently was one of two universities nationwide to receive the Professional Grounds Management Society’s highest award, the Grand Award. The 170-acre campus is characterized by stately live oaks and grass quads that stay green year-round.
SMU colors of red and blue pansies fill the beds in winter while dogwood, hydrangea and daffodils bloom in the spring. Yellow star zinnias filled the beds all summer at the Laura Bush Promenade outside Fondren Library Center.
Kevin Dilliard, SMU director of landscape management, faces the usual challenges of North Texas gardeners – scorching summers and hard clay soil – but he uses a computerized irrigation system and campus weather station to ensure the best use of water resources. He also selects plants best suited to the climate. Knockout roses, Calico ornamental peppers and Pride of Barbados perennials were among the most popular plants on campus this year, he says.
As winter approaches, Dilliard and his staff are looking to spring. They plan to plant 10,000 red tulip bulbs on campus after Thanksgiving.
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