We often get clients who want a landscape transformation that looks complete, filled in and perfect, and appears to have been there forever. They want this look immediately after the construction is complete. And we can come really close to giving this to our clients. We use timeless natural stone products like limestone and sandstone, and plant large trees, and larger sized shrubs and perennials. We can plant items closer together than is optimum to allow for future growth, to give the site a mature look. The immediate results are amazing, but there is a bit of a downside to this. It comes in the form of future maintenance.
The reality is that all plant material grows. Generally, it doesn’t grow very much immediately after planting, due to some transplant shock. But strong, healthy plant material stock will really start to grow the following spring after planting. And when we have done our job properly; putting the right plant in the right growing conditions, making sure there is good soil, plenty of water and the correct sun or shade conditions, you can pretty well watch them grow!
Clients often mistakenly think that once the construction work is complete, they are done. But however much we try, there are no maintenance free landscapes. We can try to minimize the amount of maintenance required; but there are always going to be some things to be done in every garden. Pruning of shrubs, dividing perennials, perhaps moving a few plants around, weeding, sweeping or raking leaves, re-mulching…all these jobs need to be done on a regular basis.
As I was sitting in the hairdressers chair yesterday, I was thinking about ways to explain to clients that some work will always have to be done to maintain their landscape properly, to keep it looking fabulous. I had a sudden thought that most people understand the need for regular haircuts, trips to the dentist, and regular exercise. So pruning is like a haircut for your plant material…you can get a trim regularly, but if you wait longer it is a bigger job to put your head of hair back into proper order. You can do a trip to the dentist a couple of times a year and it isn’t too bad, but if you wait a few years there is going to be a greater amount of perhaps painful work to be done. Short, regularly scheduled workouts are a lot easier on the body than trying to go on an all-out marathon without being fit.
So those are my words of wisdom for the day. We are always happy to take care of the regular work required to keep your landscape looking lovely. Or, we are happy to offer advice to our clients on what is required for them to do the work themselves. This is one of the reasons we offer our EXCELLENCE package to homeowners at the end of the project. It gives them the information they need to ensure that their new landscape keeps looking great, year after year. We want our clients to always think that they have the perfect landscape.