October 15, 2007



What once was a well kept landscape has been a constant eyesore littered with garbage and pigeons. for many years in this shopping mall that Walgreens, Staples, Blockbuster and U.S. Cellular share around the corner from my house. Letters to all the businesses concerned were ignored.

I made several phone calls to Walgreen's headquarters in the Northern Chicago suburbs and received promises to " look into it " but for a year and a half no action was taken.

I then sent an email to Walgreens headquarters back in July and to my amazement I received a reply ! My email was then sent to the local Walgreens and the manager there said he was looking into the matter. He must of course be a very busy man because I didn't hear back until a few weeks ago and then only after prodding him again.

Today I walked past the mall and to my surprise I saw a landscape crew busy at work. YES ! I feel like the main character in Rainmaker who singlehandedly took on a corporate giant ! A lonely voice calling out in the wilderness. This is how the public areas look now :

I see no signs of an irrigation or watering system and hope that the new landscaping doesn't fall into the same state of disrepair that the previous one did.

Is it just me that is bothered that corporate giants like Walgreens, Staples, Blockbuster and U.S. Cellular can set up shop in our neighborhood and not care about their front yards ? That is just arrogant to me.

I must write a letter of thanks to the caring person at Walgreen's and express my concern on the maintenance of the new landscape.


  1. WOW, carolyn! way to bring about change! i'm impressed.

    regarding the watering system, what kind do you use for your garden? do you normally recommend that to homeowners who's landscapes you design?

  2. Thanks, Gina. I worked hard on that problem, and am happy that it was finally resolved.

    I installed my own irrigation system and if this technically-challenged gal can do it anyone can. It's an above ground system called Misterlandscaper that uses solid black tubing. You use a hole puncher to make a hole and insert a stake with a sprinkler head on it. It conserves about 90 percent water and is widely used in California and other places with water shortage.

    After doing my own , I now install this system for clients who have small urban gardens.

    Visit their website at : http://misterlandscaper.com for full details. Better garden centers carry it. You can do a small garden for around $300 or less. A timer can be attached to the system and that is indeed a great relief for those who travel frequently or are just short of time to water.

  3. Great job, Carolyn! It is unfortunate that big companies don't feel any obligation to the community. I'd say it was greed more than anything - they don't want to spend any money on something that won't bring in immediate dollars. The grass looks wonderful now, but keep an eye on them. They will probably need reminding.

  4. I guess you wrote this as a "Blog [writer]in Action Day, Carolyn ;-]

    Good for you!

  5. You go, girl! Keep the pressure on those big corporations to make sure they act responsibly.

  6. Thank, MM. I'm keeping my eyes on those slackers.

  7. That's a great result to the action you undertook Carolyn! Well done you!

    Lovely blooms for GBBD too. The Little Lemon Goldenrod looks great!

  8. Awesome!! That new grass looks great, but from past experience I can't see it surviving a hot summer surrounded on all sides with concrete. Oh well, now they know that you will be watching them.

  9. I agree with you Vonlafin. I will be monitoring them on a regular basis. The new grass also gets a lot of foot traffic in addition to being surrounded by concrete on all sides so I think a hot Chicago summer would do it in.

  10. YAY! Glad to see that you got some results--congratulations! I bet that even your neighbors who never really thought about the eyesore appreciate the change.


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