There are several basic concepts to landscape design that I will share with you during this month's column. First of all, you must understand that a good landscape design is actually a piece of art. This concept was first taught to me by one of my early mentors.
To further explain what I mean, I'll give you this example: Both Picasso and your local corner artist have the same materials to work with. They both have a canvas, brushes, oil paints, etc. Now what makes a difference between a Picasso and the local street corner artist if they both have the same materials to work with? Well obviously this is a loaded question because Picasso had a unique eye for art that stood apart from most of his colleagues.
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Choosing the Right Landscape Designer
This same concept can also be seen in landscape designers. When you, the client, begin to select a landscape designer try not to place a lot of attention on the materials that he is using and if possible, try to be open minded about the pricing because you are really buying a piece of artwork and not just plants and objects.
Landscape Design is an Art
Like Picasso and the corner street artist, both had similar material cost, but the return on the investment of hiring a Picasso to do your artwork has a considerably higher return. In my opinion, truly nice works of art in landscaping are few and far between.
Maybe one for every 1,500 or more homes would qualify as a true piece of artwork. We pretty much have all seen homes of this nature. All you have to do is drive down the road and look. You will come across one home and yard that stands out as just the perfect mix of colors, hardscapes, textures, grasses and combination of plants. This home owner either is an artist or has acquired the services of an artist in its design and implementation.
Our company has flourished due to the fact that we will often present customers with over the top designs, which sometimes have a price tag of 2-3x what they had planned to invest in their yard. Even though our cost may run 2-3 x what someone else has proposed, the actual cost per plant or per unit is similar. After seeing the true nature of the artwork available it is often hard for the client to lower their expectations later on.
We often see our competitors following the customers' basic plan for landscaping and not expressing their own creativity into the design, thus, rendering a mediocre project. While this is not necessarily the fault of the homeowner or the landscaper it does happen. Often times the landscape designer is just following the homeowner's lead.
Creative Landscape Design Ideas
In actuality, it is our job as industry professionals to actually lead the homeowner into creating beautiful places and unusual spaces in order to create a true piece of art to be enjoyed by many. So the next time you decide to have a designer come out and give you his or her ideas for your yard, you should start by looking at their past projects. Don't be afraid to ask for a portfolio, references or design examples. Any true landscape designer will have these materials on hand or readily available.
Also, don't be afraid to knock on someone's front door and ask them, "who designed your yard?" This will help you to identify the true artist(s) that are located in your area. Remember that landscaping is a work of art and not just plants and things that get put into your yard. And as always, if you have any gardening or landscaping questions please feel free to call or email us.
Call us now. 843-886-9314.