Here’s a simple but an important piece of information about lawn care services that anyone interested in their landscape needs to remember: landscapes are living entities. They are complex, integrated ecosystems composed of plants that sprout, grow and eventually die; of creatures large and small that live on, in, and around those plants; of rocks, soil, and minerals that retain moisture, dry out, erode, and transform.
Instead of rushing to complete a project, slow down and consider the landscape – what it is now, what you’d like it to be, and how it will evolve naturally – in terms of a life. Give some serious thought to why you want to do something with the land. Ask, what is the resulting experience you hope to have once you’ve developed your landscape according to your desires. Embrace the unfolding of that experience and the ultimate impermanence of what you think is final…because nothing is final with life other than death.
There are a number of things you could think about to shift your mindset before you start any kind of work:
- Know your “why.”
Why do you want to invest the time, money, and effort into developing a particular landscape design? What do you want to get out of it? Who will use it and when? What will be different once you complete this bold transformation of the land? The answers to questions like these will shift the landscape from a “thing” to a more dynamic, interactive status that will provide new experiences for you and anyone else using it.
- Know your land.
It’s absolutely essential to accurately assess the landscape you have before doing anything to it, so get to know your land. Walk around and determine the water sources. Check the type of soil. What’s typography like? What vegetation already exists and why? Once you understand your land you’ll be able to accurately assess the viability of your new landscape concept. It’s easy to have your mind fixed on a particular feature or features without really understanding if the terrain and environment will support it. If your ideas are incompatible with the land, you’re likely to end up spending an enormous amount of money creating something that may be labor-intensive to care for or worse, unsustainable.
- Know your limiting factors
After performing the steps above, you’re now in a position to accurately determine the limiting factors that could affect your landscape plans. Does what you want to do align with the land and its natural resources? How difficult will it be to accomplish your goals?
- Know what ideas will work
All this homework will start to prepare you to generate realistic ideas about what concepts will fit your lifestyle, budget, and landscape. As you start to look through resources online and in books and magazines you’ll have a much better understanding of what makes sense to pursue now versus what may need more time to think through. Maybe, this foundational information will help you to accept some of the limitations you have and encourage you to consider a new approach that will ultimately be a better fit.
- Know your team
Virtually every landscape design involves some level of heavy lifting. Are you capable of doing the necessary construction yourself and if so, how long will it take and do you have that kind of time available? If the answers are “no” then you need to determine what outside skills and resources you have to tap to get the landscape of your dreams. Be realistic about what you can accomplish so you can be realistic about the team you’ll need to assemble..