Your home is your single largest investment and an awful lot of its value – both monetary and aesthetic – is dependent on its surroundings. If your home is beset by poorly considered landscape design its curb appeal and market value will take a hit. The popular image of the landscaper tends to involve a guy in a t-shirt with a pickup truck, a lawn mower and some hedge shears who spends the summer working on his tan while hopping from lawn to lawn. But the fact is landscaping is an art form, at least when it’s practiced by properly trained, experienced professionals. In this post we’re going to look at the role experience plays in the quality of the landscaping product you receive.
The Toronto Landscaping Contractor Dilemma: Are You Experienced?
Below are some common mistakes an inexperienced or poorly trained landscaper will make that a seasoned professional won’t. Let’s get right into it.
Choosing the Wrong Plants
It’s a common misconception that plants are plants and will grow as long as they have air, water and sunshine. Inexperienced landscapers often sell homeowners on plants that, in fact, have no ability to survive the often brutal Toronto climate. An experienced Toronto landscaping contractor will know exactly which plants will thrive outdoors and which are best left indoors at the garden center. Plant mistakes aren’t just confined to those that can’t abide the weather however. Inexperienced landscapers will just as often select plants whose mature dimensions are totally inappropriate for the setting. Either they’re so small they’re overwhelmed by the surrounding landscape elements or they grow to such a size that they block views and throw shade on other plants, causing them to struggle.
Poorly Thought out Symmetry
Introducing symmetry is a way to provide a landscape design with a more formal air. But achieving symmetry using plants isn’t as easy, or perhaps as wise, as it may seem. That’s because plants grow. If you’re using bushes, shrubs and small trees to achieve symmetrical effects you’re going to have to be sure to have them pruned on a regular basis or each will begin to go its own way and your symmetry will be shot. Inexperienced landscapers will sometimes sell homeowners on the idea of achieving symmetry in this way instead of investigating other methods that don’t have the same potential to get out of control, such as planters, opposing flower beds and hedgerows.
This one’s pretty obvious but bears mentioning anyway. Experienced landscapers are all for re purposing items and materials and are big fans of recycling. As such they know the importance of recycling old tires rather than dumping them in the woods behind the house or, worse yet, turning them into planters. Unfortunately, the tire planter has become something of a staple of the inexperienced and/or poorly trained landscaper and we’re all worse off for it. The tyre planter is a mistake an experienced Toronto landscaping contractor will simply never make. They understand the landscaper’s job is to enhance curb appeal, not destroy it.
Overdoing the Quirkiness
Dotting the landscape with a tchotchke or two is often a good way to give a landscape design a unique air that speaks to the homeowner’s tastes and sensibilities. However, too many ornamental touches can overwhelm the yard and transform it from a delightful and intriguing wonderland into a house of horrors. One word every good landscape artist takes to heart is “restraint”. Knowing when not to introduce an element is, in many ways, the characteristic that separates the pros from the amateurs in nearly every type of creative enterprise, landscape design included. Inexperienced landscapers are typically short on restraint and as a result their landscape designs are typically long on tacky.
Ignoring the Local Fauna
There are a lot of things to consider before introducing any type of flora into a landscape design and there is one that many an inexperienced landscaper will overlook time and time again: wild life. No property exists in a vacuum and keeping the local fauna from intruding onto a property is nearly impossible. As such your landscape design elements must take this into consideration. A particular plant species may seem like the perfect element to tie certain aspects of your landscape together. It may be beautiful and low maintenance and able to easily withstand the Ontario weather. But it may also be Bambi’s favourite snack. Consider this: in the past century the white tail deer population in North America has gone from near extinction to as many as 30,000,000 today. And every one of those deer needs to eat. If you don’t want them queuing up for dinner at your backyard buffet you’ll choose a Toronto landscaping contractor who knows how to design around them.
One common feature that separates experienced from inexperienced landscaping contractors is the ability to see the big picture. Inexperienced landscapers often wind up designing a series of aesthetically incompatible areas around a property rather than implementing a single, unified plan. Either that or they’re asked to landscape a portion of a property and do a poor job integrating it with existing landscape elements. In other cases homeowners, particularly those working on a budget, will need to have their landscape design installed in phases. An experienced landscaper will design the entire scheme up front and then simply introduce one area at a time as the client’s budget allows. An inexperienced landscaper will design one ‘piece’ at a time with the end result being a series of aesthetically disconnected regions in the yard.
When it comes to selecting the right Toronto landscaping contractor experience is even more important than price. Choose an inexperienced landscaper and you could wind up damaging not only your home’s curb appeal but its market value. You may also wind up having to pay for a redesign as well. If you’re looking for an experienced landscaping contractor in Toronto look no further than ME Contracting. We’re the company more discerning homeowners trust than any other.