How do you prune your property for long term value? This needs to be the question everyone investing in their property must address. Don’t stop reading now this is where it gets all juicy.
Have you planted your property yourself, have you hired someone to design and install the landscape for you or have you done a combination of things? No matter what the answer you have spent money to improve your property. Most people that I have spoken to over the years spent money to improve and beautify the world around them. Clothing, furniture, automobiles, jewelry, health care products, and yes, plants for your landscapes. When making all these purchasing choices I know that I consider both the short term and long term value of my purchase. Many of these buying decisions are based on the care that goes into maintaining the value of that which has been invested in. At this point you and everyone else reading this article has to be asking the question, what have I been missing in the process of spending money and managing my homes surrounding landscape? NO? That wasn’t what you where asking? Well lets imagine that was your inquiry.
I will tell you it isn’t your ignorance. It is the underlying lack of education and understanding in the green industry of how to property care for the diversity of landscapes installed the last 30 years. The majority of companies designing and installing landscapes around the Northeastern part of the united states do not mange and care for the landscapes they install. Another important issue arises from companies that don’t set proper care instructions for designed and installed gardens. The final nail in the coffin is the lack of training and understanding these companies have in the management and care of fine landscapes and gardens. So what should a homeowner do?
The first thing that needs to happen is to determine what you want to spend every year to take care of your properties plant material. Yes, even before plants are installed, annual budgetary decisions must be made. What are you willing to spend every year to care for your property. Lets take into account everything. Time management, fertilization of lawn and gardens, care and cutting of the lawn, pruning, weeding, mulching and possibly spraying for your trees and plants. Do not forget irrigation. You may be watering with a complex system installed professionally or doing it yourself with hoses and timers. Everything adds up and you must be prepared to care for and help develop your plant and garden investments.
All of this is wonderful if you are starting out with a blank slate. You have the beginning motivation and understanding of how not to waste money and time going forward. If you are like most people and have installed gardens and landscapes that were overly planted for immediate gratification tough choices have to be made. Pruning, transplanting (if you have room around your property) or removals are the only options you have. No matter what direction you go in spending money to fix an investment is a hard pill to swallow. The most common mistake at this point is to spend the least amount of money to get what you think MUST be done. This trap is dangerous because it can lead to additional cost to an investment that may not demonstrate continued value. Finding the right individual and company becomes paramount to the overall goal of regaining value.
Regaining value. This statement will cost you some money in the short term and will give you the opportunity to make more educated choices going forward. You will discover very quickly, if you haven’t learned already, who is skilled enough to do the work for you and who doesn’t have the knowledge and experience. Most landscape companies do not have the skilled technicians to care for the diversity of plant material in many landscapes. If the goal is to restore value through proper management and care people have to know where to go for help. The next paragraph will address many things I have previously discussed in the past: spend it don’t waste it; don’t tell me what you can do but show me; and ask the question, what is needed to manage and maintain MY gardens and landscape to grow value. Answers aren’t cheap but can be very eye opening. I say simplify to reduce long term costs. If this isn’t important then come up with a realistic budget to work with to do the job correctly.
Pictures tell the story so much better then words. Here is an old landscape being maintained by Plant With Me https://plantwithme.com/about/about-the-company the last few years and a homeowner that asked if his landscaper can do certain things instead of me to save money. I told the homeowner “whatever your choice I will do my best to work with you.” Unfortunately the landscaper pruned, as they can do, and demonstrated why so many property owners have called Plant With Me, contracting our services, the past 10 years. Let me show you.
The value on this property are the front windows. Maintaining the view from the outside while enjoying the light and view of the gardens from the inside. You can see that by not pruning hard enough, based on lack of plant knowledge, a landscape (mow & blow) company can continually degrade the value of the landscape. If the value of the landscape is compromised the value of the house is at risk. Now there is much to digest and consider as you move forward with your plans and landscape management. The overall goal is to spend the least amount of money for the greatest possible return. The simple translation, spend what is necessary with a plan and goals in mind constantly reassessing the process.
Good luck with all the choices you have to make and if ever you need Plant With Me I am a key stroke away. Peace in and around your gardens. Until next time, breathe in and out and don’t forget to spread the gardening happiness.