Flowers aren’t just for Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day weekend, we pause to appreciate the maternal people in our lives for all the things they’ve taught us, and do for us. What better time to appreciate the many things that SDOT’s flower-filled roadside landscapes do for us throughout the year?

We all enjoy the beauty of the spring daffodils and other flowers as we cruise along our streets. But flowers are more than just a pretty face – they serve crucial functions in an urban environment.

Flowers and well maintained streets help make a city more walkable and bikable, which in turn make it more attractive. More people on our streets make Seattle safer and reduce crime.

Also, flowers are a critical piece of the urban ecosystem because they support pollinators, the creatures such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds which pollinate plants so they can reproduce. The decline of pollinators is a worldwide crisis, and SDOT is paying attention to what steps it can take to help address this problem.

Two years ago, Seattle became one of the first cities to join the Bee City USA network by increasing habitat for pollinators on City property and encouraging residents to plant more flowers on their property.

Now, when we plant flowers in our street medians, curb bulbs, traffic circles and other locations, SDOT considers which flowers will better support pollinators. A diverse mix of species which blooms from spring through fall provides more variety for different types of pollinators.

Not only are wildflowers beautiful, but they need less maintenance than formal flower beds.

I bet your mother could have taught you that.

To learn more about how SDOT gardeners and irrigation specialists take care of all types of plants at over 200 locations along our 4,000 miles of roadways, check out this previous post.