I’ve heard many people discussing, when moving into a new house, whether they should hire a company – or two: a landscape design professional and then a lawn care service company – for their gardens or do all the work by themselves. I never heard people coming to a unanimous conclusion. In the real estate domain, there are many potential companies that can provide the perfect services, but, on the other hand, nothing compares to a garden designed by you, to a lawn that you care for, to a garden admired by your visitors. So, what to do? What’s the perfect solution? As over two years ago I moved in my own house, built under our eyes, with a garden to be set, I have found myself in the same dilemma. And, I do believe that there is not a solution that works for anyone, but that there are elements that can help you easily decide if you can do it all and well by yourself or if you need professional help.
Perhaps the most important “ingredient” if you decide to design and maintain the garden on your own is the time. You’ll need it to plan the whole garden, then to buy everything you need (and, along the way, you’ll realize that there are many tools required). You’ll need time for the research: plants, tools and so on. You’ll need it to start everything, but also along the way: a garden needs your attention, passion, needs to be taking care of. Sometimes, looking after your garden will involve giving up on some meetings with friends or family.
In order to plan a garden, you need to know something about plants. You also need to familiarize yourself with the law – find out at what distance from the fence a tree can be planted, for instance, and similar regulations. You need to know when the proper moment to plant something is and how you should care for the plants, trees, lawn. And if you don’t know it all, you need to learn a lot – and yes, you might have nice surprises: flowers that grow without any problem, but you might also be disappointed when things don’t go your way.
You admire some gardens, the colors used, the overall landscape design, the decorations, the trees, even the shades of green some bushes have, right? If you want such a breathtaking garden, then you should have, apart from the knowledge mentioned above, an imagination that will help you create the perfect garden combining all the elements that enchant you, without being excessive.
The effort of taking care of a garden is constant: cutting the lawn, taking care of the plants – fertilize them, cut them, replace them, plant them (if you’ll have a garden that has, at least partially, annual plants) and so on and so forth. Some plants might die. Maybe you’ll want something different after a while – preferences may change in time. You will need to be patient and, every now and then, start over. Are you sure you can do that, with the same enthusiasm?
This is a sensitive topic – as a gardener and/or a lawn care service company aren’t free either. But yes, if you do it by yourself, you will need many tools – and some will break in time. Plus, if you are not an expert, chances are you’ll make some not so inspired choices along the way and live to regret them (and have tools that are not so easy to use.) A professional help has the knowledge and the tools needed to keep a garden in a perfect shape. It is a paid service, but it takes away all the hassle of handling it all by yourself and it saves you a lot of time (and that’s a huge argument in their favor.) You’ll need storage space for all the tools – and, if you buy them, yes, after a while, your investment will be covered (comparing to the price paid on a regular basis to a company.)
Instead of a conclusion
The garden will be an expression of yourself, your soul and passion will be there, and that’s something special. All the hard work pays in the end. But don’t be deceived: a lovely garden takes all the ingredients mentioned above. Nothing compares with the feeling you have knowing you did it all, true. Whether you choose to keep it all with grass, flowers and trees or you choose to plant something with fruits you can eat (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, apple trees, etc.), the scent of a garden you created and the taste of the fruits you grew will enchant you! Working in the garden can be relaxing and definitely rewarding. However, if you are not willing to invest it all in the garden – time, knowledge etc. – then you should get professional help. Let the landscape professional know your preferences so that he or she will create the garden of your dreams. Let the gardener / lawn care company take care of the plants and lawn for you and provide them the attention and the treatment they need.
As you can see, there is no panaceas solution, but it is rather easy to choose. Compare prices, take in consideration all the necessary aspects and be honest with yourself and you’ll make the best decision for you! Good luck!