For an audio version of this post, please click on the speaker icon (top left).
I have had my share of issues with landscapers in the past.
One of my earliest experiences with hiring a professional landscaper was when I first moved to my forever home back in the mid 2000s.
In the past I would basically handle the majority of landscaping duties (which in essence was just mowing the lawn and trimming shrubs/bushes).
But since this was my “forever home,” I thought I would hire a professional landscaper and have the plant beds in the front and side of the house completely redone.
I honestly don’t remember how I came across the landscaper I ended up hiring.
My best guess was that it was out of the phone book and I certainly did not do any due diligence on the company.
I figured because he was listed as a professional landscaper he would know what he was doing.
He came back with drawings of the planned project with various plants labeled in strategic places.
It was a vast improvement of what was already in place so I gave him the greenlight and bankrolled the project.
I believe the landscape project ended up being close to $5k when all was said and done.
And I have to admit, the place looked absolutely beautiful when he was finished.
In the very center of the front plant bed he placed a beautiful young magnolia tree and it soon started blossoming these incredible white flowers.
An expensive Japanese maple was placed near the front entrance as a focal point.
At the far right of the front plant bed, a large evergreen plant was placed that marked the boundary.
The remainder of the plant bed was filled with multiple types of flowering plants and small bushes.
I was pleased with the transformation and thought it was money well spent.
I knew I could not have achieved these results on my own given my lack of a green thumb or any true landscaping knowledge.
The landscaper planted for today. Not tomorrow.
I am not sure how knowledgeable the initial landscaper I hired actually was.
But soon I began to see the error of his ways.
That beautiful and expensive Japanese maple he placed?
Well it did not thrive in its location because of shading issues.
The leaves in the back half of the that Japanese maple turned brown and started withering away.
The gorgeous young Magnolia tree that was the focal centerpiece of the front softscape?
Well unlike the Japanese maple, this specimen did flourish.
It grew. And grew. And grew.
Soon the top of the Magnolia tree was at the level of my soffit/roofline and, in a few more years, it would threaten to damage these structures.
A similar phenomenon was happening with the, getting taller by the moment, evergreen plant that he placed to the far right.
Crestfallen that my first professional landscape project was self-destructing, I called for reinforcements.
It is cheaper to do it right the first time.
I found that out the hard way.
My softscape issues surrounding my home was one of the projects I had tasked to the landscaper I referenced to in my post, “The Importance Of The Follow Through.”
When the landscaper came by he just shook his head and pointed all the errors that the previous landscaper had done.
This was quite shocking as I paid good money for the former’s “professional” services but seemed like I ended up getting an amateurish job done.
Unlike a physician, where there is rigorous training and certifying exams, apparently anyone can slap the moniker of landscaper on their resume.
We were able to salvage the magnolia tree which got transplanted to another part of my property (featured in the center of my driveway roundabout) and now could grow as tall as it wanted without any physical constraints.
The evergreen was moved slightly forward and I was advised to keep trimming it to a more manageable height.
Unfortunately the once beautiful Japanese maple was deemed unsalvageable and had to be destroyed.
Because I loved how beautiful that maple looked prior to its final days, I ended up purchasing an equally expensive replacement, but this time it was placed appropriately with proper lighting in mind.
This landscaping problem is far more common than I thought.
I am reminded almost daily that the landscaping issues I encountered are not confined to just residential properties but extend into the commercial space.
Case in point:
Pampas grass can be a beautiful landscape feature.
However anyone with just an inkling of knowledge knows that this plant is a rapid grower and will quickly takeover the immediate vicinity.
So why on earth would a professional landscaper place it in a narrow flower bed immediately adjacent to a main walkway?
That’s exactly what happened at my work.
The pampas grass has gotten to the point where it often encroaches on over 1/2 the walking path.
This is especially annoying when it is raining as I end up getting parts of me, that were previously protected by the umbrella, wet because I brush up against this pampas grass.
The maintenance staff is tasked with keeping this plant in check but they often fall behind in those duties.
I am sure when the Pampas grass was first planted it looked like a good idea.
It was just no one cared about the natural progression of this plant over the next several years.
Another landscaping faux pas that shows the lack of proper planning was a line of shrubs that was placed too close to the boundary between the property and the main road.
This line of shrubs has grown and now essentially blocks the view of oncoming traffic for the exiting driver.
To counter this, I advance my car even further forward to get a true line of site, but this gives the impression that I am just pulling out in front of any oncoming traffic.
A lot of these landscapers apparently only care about how the project immediately looks and disregard potential issues that are bound to happen later down the road.
It makes no difference whether you hire a financial planner or take a DIY approach to personal finances, it is extremely important to anticipate events further down the road and adjust accordingly.
What may be suitable for your current situation may not be ideal, or may even be detrimental, for your future self.
Life-changing events such as a marriage, divorce, or death of a loved one, are sometimes hard to predict but a well-thought out plan has contingencies built in to help navigate these life transitions.
Becoming a parent opens up a whole new path of financial responsibilities and issues that again requires you to plan well into the future.
Like my Japanese maple tree example, it is far more costly to make corrections after the fact.
If you are in search of financial help, please consider enlisting the service of any of the sponsors of this blog who I feel are part of the “good guys and gals of finance.”
Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input.
NOTE: The website XRAYVSN contains affiliate links and thus receives compensation whenever a purchase through these links is made (at no further cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Although these proceeds help keep this site going they do not have any bearing on the reviews of any products I endorse which are from my own honest experiences. Thank you- XRAYVSN