by Cynthia Cash, Cynthia Cash Landscape Architect
As a traditional "quick-serve," drive-thru type restaurant, Raising Cane's is hardly a place one would think of as promoting pollinators, such as butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Yet, by using a few fairly simple principles of planting design, as well as careful selection of species, a more healthy and sustainable landscape is being achieved.
As a rule, the sites are small, usually no more than an acre to an acre and a half. Given the need for both parking and a drive-thru, admittedly a majority of the site is paving. However, while green space is limited, it is thoroughly maximized. Signature landscaping consists of both shade and ornamental trees with caliper larger than the minimums required, ample sweeps of blooming shrubs and grasses, all accented with large splashes of annual color. These landscapes offer, among many things, a year-round bouquet of blooming color. And it is this color that attracts the pollinators.
The concept is simple. One of the boldest ways to achieve visual enhancement in the landscape is through color...color 'pops.' Just as color draws the eye of potential customers, it also draws the eye of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. To achieve this, the following principles can be applied:
1) Determine key places on the site with the highest visual impact. Plant these places with masses of annual color, or bedding plants. Using masses of blooms attracts more pollinators than individual plantings. As a Cane's standard, color is designed in two places, under the main sign along the streetscape and in front of the menu board along the drive-thru lane at the rear of the site. The annual bed at the main sign may hold 300-400 bedding plants, while the menu board planting area is about half, or 150-300 plants.
As seen in LASN magazine, January 2020.