Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Adventures in Landscaping

For the past few years, as I've hired someone to cut our lawn, I've wondered aloud to Shira what it would take to have some "real" landscaping done to our property. What if we brought in a pro, instead of just hiring someone to cut the grass. This year, I finally got off my butt and decided I'd try to get this answer. My first stop: I searched for landscapers on Yelp and sent out a few contact-us requests.

And this is where I learned my first lesson: there's a difference between someone who does landscaping and a landscape designer. Despite what I thought was a clear request ("hey, can you draw me up a design / recommendation for our property?") every person I contacted showed up ready to give me a price to cut my grass. Yeah, that's not really what I wanted.

Just as I was beginning to think that my request only made sense if you owned a 7 acre estate, I got a lead to an individual over at Merrifield Garden Center. I poured out my story about our tiny lawn, and how I'd been curious about what a professional would do to improve the property. Turns out, I was talking to the right gal. She explained to me that she'd be glad to assess our property, sketch up a plan, and of course, put together a proposal to get work done. There was a nominal fee to have her come out and write up the plans, which I was actually glad to hear about: I wanted to pay someone to think this through, versus showing up to my property and recommending their first impression.

A few weeks later, I had the plan in my hand I was so curious about. It called for quite a bit of hardscaping in the back yard, due to the amount of shade we get back there. It also had a clever selection of plants that would look good throughout the year, be low maintenance and be sized to our property. Heck, she even included an especially fragrant plant to cover an additional sense. In other words, she did things all the things a classic landscaper designer is supposed to do.

I now had my plan and a proposal to implement it. As I considered what to do with it, Shira stepped in and took control. Turns out, we could save a few bucks doing the work in the winter time. And before I knew it, we had a crew of folks demo'ing our front walkway. In the span of 2 weeks, I watched as our entire property was overhauled from blah to looking great.

I have to say, Merrifield did a top notch job. The designer who worked on the plans was at the site every day, tuning things as need be. Any concerns Shira or I had were quickly addressed. Overall, I couldn't be more impressed.

Want the name of our landscape designer? I'd love to provide it. Just hit me up at: contact.ben.simon@gmail.com and ask.

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