Do it once, do it right!  It seems logical, doesn’t it?  We have a landscape client who bought a beautiful house in Middlebury after years of living in Southbury.  Originally, we designed and installed a landscape that included a back yard retreat behind their Southbury home that they really loved.  We maintained the landscape for quite a few years after installation before eventually losing the annual garden maintenance to the lawn company.  The reason for the change was price.  The homeowners could get the annual maintenance of the garden for less money than we were willing to do it for.  Over the years, it was evident to me that the gardens quickly fell apart under this other landscape company’s care.  Many times, the homeowners even mentioned to me that the gardens never looked as good while they cared for them.  Why?  It’s what we do.  We don’t offer lawn care services.  We design, install and maintain landscapes.  We’ve remained friends over the years, talked occasionally about landscape related questions they had and exchanged Christmas cards with each other.  As their kids grew, they decided to downsize into their dream house in Middlebury.  Shortly after moving in, they asked the lawn company to plant trees along the edge of their driveway.   Below is the final product.

shade trees along driveway

This is when Designing Eden received a call from the homeowners and asked if we could come to discuss the landscape at their new house.  As you can imagine, the homeowners were disappointed to have trees like these lining their dream house.  Bradford Pears were chosen by the landscaper.  It’s not a tree I’m too fond of .  One of the things this tree typically has going for it is a full, dense canopy.  When the owners questioned the landscaper about the quality of the trees they received, his response was “they will look more full in a couple of weeks”.  When I was asked if the trees would look more full in a couple of weeks, my response was “maybe if the landscaper is David Copperfield”.

Further complicating things, two of the trees were so damaged by heavy snow a couple of months later they had to be replaced.  To make an awkward landscape even more awkward, the replacement trees had full canopies but were much shorter, making the existing, thin canopy trees stand out even more.  We were brought in to replace all of the trees a third time with another, more appropriate species with a more consistent shape and look.  Although husband and wife were more than ready to rip everything out and start again, we eventually talked them out of it, for now.  We are hoping that with some care and time, the trees will amount to a better looking plant over time.  In the mean time, we are back for a second year, working on other parts of their property to give them a landscape they can be proud of.  They’ve learned their expensive lesson, do it once, do it right.

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