March 5, 2014
Now’s the Time to Design Your Spring Landscape!
Published by Bucks Country Gardens in Landscape
I know it’s almost impossible to think about spring landscape projects when the temperature is 22 degrees and the ice on the pond looks like the Alaskan tundra but that’s exactly what it takes. If you want to be early on the list and get your project completed before the heat of summer has you wishing for cooler weather, better get going…now!
Simple planting projects and seasonal garden maintenance can be designed, presented, scheduled and installed in a very short period of time. Complex projects comprised of landscape construction and garden installation can be just the opposite, often requiring engineered drawings, building permits and sub-contract coordination taking months of planning and administration before the first shovel hits the ground. Ultimately, your project timing will be determined by your contractor, their production schedule and their flexibility.
Ultimately, your project timing will be determined by your contractor, their production schedule and their flexibility. Northern states will hit their busy season later in the year, but if you’re based in a southern state, it may already be time to begin preparations. For example, this Culpeper Landscaping company is able to kick off spring projects as early as January when the Virginia weather starts to warm up. States even farther south may book up through the entire winter season and a complex landscaping project could require booking in the fall.
So how do you know what’s involved with your project and how long it might take to complete? Very simply, contact your landscape designer and begin the discussion…today! Many contractors will book a time slot for your project before it is designed and finalized assuming you make a firm commitment. Others may require a finalized proposal and down payment before scheduling a project. In either case, time is of the essence and although landscape projects continue throughout the year, the spring rush of prospective clients is often overwhelming.
Regardless of the scope of the project, a competent designer follows a consistent process:
1. Site Visit, Project Definition & Property Evaluation
2. Design & Proposal Preparation
3. Project Presentation
4. Design & Proposal Modifications
5. Final Presentation & Project Scheduling
This process can be completed in a single visit or go on for months based on the size of the project and the willingness of the clients to be prepared: spending time defining priorities, budgets, likes and dislikes. With easy access to information, this preparation can not only be simple, but also expose the client and the designer to possibilities that were unimaginable only a short time ago. A quick Internet search for almost any item or feature of the project will yield countless images and information that can be quickly identified as “favorites” for the project.
So where does the designer come in if the client is making all the selections? With all that easy access to information, many clients fall victim to the “too much of a good thing syndrome” and have difficulty making choices. Today more than ever, a good designer needs to eliminate the overload, direct the decision making and coordinate the sections into workable solutions, while creating a project that reflects the client’s style and taste, not the designer’s.
If you’re hands on and want to get deeply involved in the design process, be prepared to spend some time. It’s always best to do your planning before or after the busiest season when a designer can focus more time and energy on you and your project. Unless you have a specific defined deadline, rushing into a project and squeezing the schedule is never recommended. If on the other hand, you can work with a designer you identify with and are comfortable allowing others to define the project, things can often move ahead quickly and your project may go from conception to completion in no time at all. The most successful projects are always the result of a good understanding of the client’s preferences, especially level of involvement.
So why not make that call and get your project started…today! I promise you’re not too early, no matter the weather.
Tom Hebel | Landscape Design Build Sales & President, Bucks Country Gardens