Friday, April 10, 2009

A Work In Progress

Who am I kidding? I'd like to be a Really Great Something but instead am a humble servant of the land.
Being called a landscaper, well, irks me. In my narrow view, landscapers come in, plant plants, and move on to the next job. So often homeowners buy a house where the landscaping was 'installed' the day before closing. Like newborns, these newly transplanted plants need attention, but who has time to think about that when you've just moved in to a new house, which often means a new mortgage/job/location/babysitter/ get the picture. When a builder's funds are tied to having 'something' in the ground in time for closing, no one's needs are really met but the bank's.
Or Homeowner wants to change the look of his landscape, hires the experts, and doesn't ever call them back because they charged enough to make more than one trip out there.
Or, Homeowner hires one of the landscaper's employees (who runs a side business doing tree work/lawn mowing/pressure washing) 'on the side', only they don't really know what they are doing and Homeowner ends up with more problems than he started with.
Call me a gardener, 'cause I come back. I deeply believe gardening to be an ongoing experience, developed, replaced, and maintained over the ages, and one thing I can say for myself is that I have at least started or added to many, many gardens. Even though I left some of them behind I remember them all, and hope someone like me has followed up to weed, water, and add compost.

Some people think plants are disposable, to be ripped out within a space of time and replaced with something currently faddish. I believe a plant, carefully selected and properly placed, should be allowed to live out in its entirety, like a puppy brought home from the pound. I design a space with eventual grandchildren in mind, a garden of continuity, one that improves with age. That doesn't mean everything has to stay where I plant it. Move things until they're happy, but please do be mindful about it.

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