Do you know what zone you live in and what that means as far as your potential success with your latest plantings? Are the landscape professionals you are considering aware of the plant zone? Putting the correct plant in the correct location is step one in helping you to be as successful as possible barring Mother Nature’s attempts to challenge your ‘stick-to-itiveness’.
There are plants that require protected sites in order to be successful and could be good choices for focal points. Is your professional aware of the particular needs of these types of plants?
Does your Landscape professional seem to be aware of your environmental conditions? Do they speak to you about wind conditions?
Do they discuss the appropriate plants for sun or shade? These are critical issues for the success of your plantings. Each homeowner needs to be aware of the associated maintenance requirements with any plant. How much extra work are you willing to do? Do you enjoy tinkering in the garden? Certain plant selections will be better choices for you based on these criteria.
Is the landscape team you are evaluating aware of how to manage your drainage issues so as not to negatively implicate your neighbor or the neighborhood with your overflow?
A landscape architect is going to have the education and knowledge to make sure these issues are addressed correctly.
Does your landscape design include the installation of a wall, and if so, how is the team managing your grade changes? Have you been informed about drainage that needs to occur behind the wall to keep it from blowing out over the winter or during the next flooding rainstorm?
Does your landscaper know how to cope with the hard yellow clay in your front yard? Are they aware of the organic soil amendments now available that literally change your clay into healthy top soil? The correct amendments will blow open clay on a microscopic scale to allow for penetration of roots, nutrients and oxygen, creating an overall improvement in the growing conditions. Or have they just proposed adding compost to guarantee that the plant will maintain its current size and never push roots out or allow it to size up and truly thrive?
In short, it is critical to the success of your project to build a relationship with a professional that can answer your questions. Do they take the time to get to know your family and your entertainment and maintenance needs? Do they have solutions for the issues and needs you never knew that you had? Adding to and improving your outdoor space is an extension of your home. Protect this investment by working with a professional team that will save you time, energy and money in the long run.