Creating a beautiful landscape is not easy. It requires a high degree of aesthetic sensibility, artistic talent, detailed knowledge of horticulture, local climatic and soil conditions and the ability to translate a concept into reality. It is the right combination of all these that make a great landscape designer and creator. What is often overlooked in the excitement of creating the perfect landscape is the matter of maintaining it. In the long run, the quality of maintenance is as important as the quality of the initial creation.
Landscapes Need Care
When a landscape is designed and created, the amount and type of maintenance that it will require to continue to look its best is part of the planning process. A landscaping professional will consult with the client about future maintenance needs and incorporate this into the finished landscape.
A typical maintenance program will include:
- A general clean-up at regular intervals. The frequency and type of cleaning will depend on the type of landscape and environmental factors.
- Lawn mowing at fixed intervals
- Flower bed weeding
- Tidying up the edges of flower beds
- Seasonal garden bed planting
- Tree and shrub trimming
- New plantings as may be required
- Maintenance of the irrigation system
- Snow removal
- Cleaning and maintenance of pavers, lighting fixtures and so on
Some activities may not be required, and others may be added, depending on the specific requirement of each case. Contingencies such as what to do during drought conditions are not generally part of a maintenance agreement, but if such a situation should arise, a landscape expert will be able to do what is required to protect the garden.
Professional Care Is Essential
Investing in a beautiful garden is always a good idea. It adds to the beauty of the house and the enjoyment that the occupants derive from living in the home. It is also an expression of the personality of the family that lives in the home. The addition to the curb appeal and value of the home should not be forgotten. However, if maintenance is not up to the mark, the overall image of the home will suffer, as will the happiness of the occupants and the curb appeal.
Spending money to create a great garden but not planning on its maintenance is a recipe for disaster. It is easy to think that the care and upkeep is something the homeowner can do himself, but it requires far more expert knowledge, experience and equipment than people realize. What often happens is that homeowners try to do their own landscape maintenance and it is only after they find that the work is beyond them, that they call in a professional. By that time, more damage would have occurred and the cost of repairs before starting regular maintenance will push up costs.
A good professional landscape specialist will discuss maintenance needs as part of the client briefing so that a plan and budget for maintenance can be created. The professional will work with the client to tailor the maintenance according to the client’s needs so that the client is happy, and the landscape continues to look its best.