2016 / Solving problems



A tree on your property has died, and you have it taken down. Suddenly, there is a void where the tree was. Maybe this is a good thing- maybe you now have sunlight where you didn’t before, or maybe now you have a new, exciting view, or finally have enough room to build the patio that you have always wanted. Or, perhaps it’s a bad thing- now you can see your neighbor sunbathing on their porch (eek!) or that ugly fence that you have been avoiding painting is now in full view of the living room.


What to do?

Some people question the value of hiring a landscape designer. Why pay someone to basically decorate an area with plants when all you have to do is go to a garden center and choose some plants and dig a few holes. It’s the same thing, right?

Wrong. There is so much more to it than that!  Although you could certainly be forgiven for thinking that is the case, there are many reasons why you need a designer* to make sure your project reaches its fullest potential. First of all, plants are living things. Like humans, they each have their own likes or dislikes. Sun or shade? Wet conditions or dry? Warm winters or cool? How big will they be at maturity? A designer* takes these things into account.


This, then, translates to the aesthetic. Of course, you don’t want to plant something tall in front of something short, that’s obvious, but have you thought about the visual balance and harmony of the garden? These may seem like silly, intangible concepts, but they are still important. They have a great deal to do with how the garden will ultimately look, and affect how you feel about your garden, both consciously and subconsciously. A designer* has been trained to incorporate  these things.


A designer* sees nothing but potential in a place. That is their job. A designer* is able to see which plant choices will allow the garden to be interesting from season to season, and to place them in such a way that they won’t crowd each other out (or cover your windows) when they are mature. A designer* has had years of schooling and experience that allows them to know these things, and so when you hire one, you are getting all the benefits of their schooling and experience.  A designer* will take your hopes and dreams for your leisure time – not theirs or anyone else’s, YOURS – and fill your garden with plants that will not only look good in your garden, but that will thrive in your particular space. You will be investing in a garden that you will get years of pleasure from, rather than one that you might have to replace in a year or two because of uneducated choices.  Isn’t your home and precious free time worth that?

Unless you love plants and want to do all the research needed to make sure you plant the right plants in the right place,do  consider using a designer*. It can be more expensive that you think not to.

*Anyone can call themselves a designer, so make sure you do your research properly before hiring one. What is their educational background? How much experience have they had? Do they have examples of their work to show?  The Association of Professional Landscape Designers has a “find a designer” page that you can sort by geographic region on their website (https://www.apld.org) which is a great place to start. Good luck!

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