How much does a landscape cost? This is one of the most frequently asked questions when I’m meeting with potential landscape clients throughout Fairfield and Litchfield County. Unfortunately, this is a difficult question to answer. The reason being, every house, property and homeowner is unique and there are so many factors that can affect the price of every landscape project, that there is no standard from one house to another. Not only that, your own house could have many different landscapes with many different investments involved in each. In this post, I hope to examine two similar sized houses and let you know what went into creating each landscape and what each project cost. To simplify things, the two landscape projects I have chosen did not involve any masonry installation. As with plants and landscapes, masonry projects have just as many options, styles, details and unique characteristics that it was easier to leave it out of the equation for now. In the future, maybe I’ll write another blog post where I examine two landscapes that have a larger scope of work that included masonry. For now, it’s just the landscape. Most landscape installations have two things in common, plants and mulch. That’s usually where the similarities end from project to project. Some landscapes, we receive as a blank canvas, some gardens will replace lawns while others are existing landscapes that are in some form of decline.
In this first project, we received a failing landscape. Weeds had taken over and dominated 90% of the garden so the first step in this garden renovation was weed control. Over a couple of months, a combination of weeding and spraying took place with the goal of eliminating all the existing weeds prior to planting. Once the weeds were eliminated, it was time to move forward with a new and updated landscape. Due to the proximity of the garden to the driveway and the fact that there weren’t any large plants that needed to be moved or removed, we could complete this job without any large equipment. Because large equipment wasn’t needed, money was saved on the total landscape. Due to budget constraints and the proximity of the vinyl siding to the existing grade, minimal soil amendments were used. Instead, plants were chosen for their ability to survive in the clay soils that existed throughout the garden.
Existing Boxwoods were transplanted into groupings while newly installed plants were small and spread out further than we typically would space them to keep costs down. Further, expensive plants were kept to a minimum and only used where they really made sense keeping this Sherman, CT landscape project under the owners $6,700 budget. In Bridgewater, CT, this second landscape was overgrown with a bunch of mature plantings. This was not a mature landscape but a relatively new landscape that quickly got out of control due to poor plant selection, insufficient plant spacing as well as a lack of maintenance.
Before picture of an overgrown landscape in Bridgewater, CT.
Our first job was to transplant a couple of the trees to other areas of the property. We also dug a couple of other plants that were stored for use in the garden renovation. Once that was complete, the rest of the plants were cut and chipped with a chipper. Stumps were then removed with a backhoe. As you can see, all the bed sizes were predetermined by the driveway and sitting walls that surrounded the front foundation. The beds were large and needed to be filled up to give the look and feel the homeowners desired. The next step in this garden renovation was to amend the beds. Truckloads of a manufactured compost was spread throughout the garden. The only two trees that were spared were limbed up, evergreen shrubs as well as a lot of flowering shrubs and perennials were planted and mulch was installed. Two custom iron obelisks we designed were placed on either side of the front entrance to finish off the landscape .
The cost of this landscape was $21,000.