“Failing to plan is planning to fail”

I was recently called by a homeowner named Marilyn who was very distressed saying, “My landscape was beautiful when they installed it five years ago, but now it looks horrible.” I said, “How is it that after five years you are just now unhappy with your landscape?” Marilyn replied, “The beautiful little evergreen bushes that they planted in front of my picture window are now covering it entirely. The quaint little tree that they placed by the corner of the patio is now covering so much of my patio that I cannot even sit out there anymore, much less see the water feature that they installed on the other side of my patio.” I inspected the property the following week and found it to be just as Marilyn described and worse. I asked her who provided her with a landscape design, and she admitted that she did not get a design but instead relied on the knowledge of the contractor to provide her with the landscape that she envisioned. Marilyn said, “I knew exactly what I wanted and I told the contractor what I wanted, so I assumed that they would make it work.” The only solution to this landscape problem was to remove large portions of it and start over, costing thousands of dollars, not to mention the loss of perfectly healthy, mature trees and shrubs that were going to be thrown away because they were planted in the wrong places.

A landscape designer will:

• Measure your property and produce a scaled drawing
• Make a drainage plan and identify any retaining walls that must be built
• Assess the soil and identify necessary amendments
• Give you all of the options of possible plant material and show you where they should be placed based on the growth habits of the particular plant or tree
• Identify all mulch and sod areas and give you the quantities needed to cover adequately
• Specify an adequate irrigation system
• Produce conceptual pictures of what your landscape will look like after it is installed
• Help you obtain estimates and inspect the project during the different phases of construction
A good landscape designer would have saved Marilyn a great deal of headaches and even more money. Typically a landscape designer charges $60- $90 per hour which will equate to $1,500 to $3,000 to complete a residential landscape design. However, the returns on this investment in planning will be:
• Confidence in your plan
• Obtaining fair estimates from different contractors
• Your vision will truly become a reality
• Most of all, a landscape designer will make sure that you are doing it right the first time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *