Plants are such a basic integral part of our lives that at times we take for granted what they are actually doing here and even more so what is their purpose? Many times, and I use that phrase loosely, we as a design firm are challenged with meeting client expectation which often may contradict our goals of creating beautiful sustainable landscapes. Clients, you and I have always found images either on the internet or some other source that looks absolutely amazing and it excites our creative imagination to implement that into our own personal space. We as a design firm must step back and look at the bigger picture when going over expectations and in doing so may have to step on our own mentality of creating sustainable landscapes. There are so many Options for plants that the design process can become overwhelming if you don’t have the proper team by your side listening to your ideas and making sure they are implemented in a sustainable way. Educating and consulting our clients during the design phase is crucial for a successful implementation of your outdoor living space. If I had a nickel for every time I heard “I didn’t realize it was going to get so big” I wouldn’t be writing this from my office in Middlefield Ohio but maybe my 3rd summer house in Italy. As a client you have a goal, as a designer I have a plan, and you cant reach your goals without a practical plan. I have a saying with some of the guys here and even in networking with fellow mates in the industry “there is nothing sexier than a 70-year-old sycamore.” However how often do you see a 70-Year-old sycamore in someone’s private outdoor living space? You’re going to have to take a hike down a trail somewhere in Chagrin to truly experience this wonder. That’s where I come into the mix, everyone wants this and that and has that goal but very few actually have a plan and it’s a lot more involved than just “following through.” You don’t even know what steps to take to get there, you’re doing your due diligence or maybe not and reading blogs unlike this one that share someone’s personal experience with their current landscape and how wonderful it looks and how it all started. Its easy to get caught up in the spring rush and buy all the blooming plants that look amazing in the green houses, But a lot of the times We end up victim to marketing and overlook someone else’s personal microclimate and location that usually is different than your micro climate and location. Planting ahead not planning ahead is a algorithm I use that considers your expectations now, tomorrow and when you pull your IRA. I personally love trees, im not sure I would call myself a tree hugger but I absolutely appreciate large healthy plants even if they are not as showy as some of the ones that we find in better homes and gardens. That being said I want to give our clients a outdoor space that grows with them and not outgrows them so one day they can experience what equity and beauty a healthy full size well organized landscape can provide to them.
About the Author
Jimmy has been building and landscaping for the better part of 20 years and is dedicated to the sustainability of our current landscape and advocates for the conservation of our waterways and natural areas. Jimmy is certified in bio retention cells, among one of many, that are designed to mitigate polluted storm water. When Jimmy is not dedicating his time to the sustainability of our natural environment you may find him fishing in one of the many beautiful fisheries Ohio has to offer.