Sunday, August 9, 2009

Garden Rant about "Landscapers"


Planting a sun-loving flower, shrub or tree NOT in the shade - and a plant that thrives only in shade, NOT in the sun - should be a non-brainer. One would think. But in a lot of gardens, especially new ones, too often I find these critical errors.

When I ask the owners who created the flower beds - after hearing their complaints about the dire state of some plants - they tell me: "You know we had the lawn installed (well, rolled out the ready-to-go-grass) by a "landscaper", and he offered us to have flower beds and a sprinkler system installed.

Aha, a "landscaper"...
First of all, it is NOT a profession. Everyone can call him or herself a landscaper, it is not a protected word for a professionally trained person. A truck with some rakes and brooms, maybe a lawn mower, and you have a "landscaper" - armed and ready to screw up your garden.

They won't know a thing about plants or soil, don't even read the labels of plants or ignore them, won't pull weeds, rather use their "weed eater" gas-guzzling device that just hits the top of the weeds, not the roots. But they are good in selling sprinkler systems for shady and wet gardens, that are often completely useless. Well, selling a sprinkler system is easier than pulling weeds and choosing the right plants for the right spot!

Yesterday I walked along a former monastery, now turned into a seniors home, with an extensive space that was just transformed in a garden. I watched the workers that had planted Dahlias and Roses underneath!!! huge Maple trees and were just planting Hostas next to the fence and wall, along the southern part of the garden were these poor Hostas will suffer under the full sun that hits this area all day long. I asked the foreman why they would plant the shade-loving Hostas in full sun. His answer: " I am a landscaper, I know what I am doing".
There you have it:
Lots of self-esteem makes up for lack of gardening knowledge.