Every landscape needs a tweak or two each season as it evolves, but when do you know when your landscape or garden needs to be completely overhauled? It’s not always easy to know where you fall on the continuum between a small investment and some time in the dirt or a serious investment and big equipment.
The best thing to do at this point is talk to a landscape designer who can clarify your goals and outline the steps and timeline for what you have in mind.
But what about the less obvious signs that you might need a landscape designer? (Or that your neighbour might?) Here are four clues that it's time to get help:
1. Your Garden is downright UGLY
You know it, your spouse knows it, your kids know it. It is just not good. It doesn’t matter how you try to improve it, you just seem to be throwing good plants after bad. Do you find yourself apologizing or explaining the state of your yard to every single visitor who stops by? Then it’s time to call a landscape designer. Sometimes the best thing you can do is rip everything out and start over!
If the caretaker of this garden was my client I would suggest pulling everything out. The little maple tree might get a pass depending on the variety, as it could easily get too big for the space. I would also make sure that the view from inside the house through this pretty window is just as appealing as the outside view!
2. You can’t stand the idea of a plant without a home.
Every time your friends divide their hostas or other favourites, you’re right there to make sure they don’t throw out “perfectly good plants!”
(You might laugh if this isn’t your particular bent, but we once had clients who moved into a new home where the previous owners were horticultural society members and would actually take all the unclaimed plants at their plant swap because they couldn't bear to see them composted. It was a nightmare for our clients and took days of cataloguing as we sorted out what to keep and what to toss.)
Often gardeners have one of all of their favourite plants in their gardens and the result is usually chaotic and messy. This discord creates unrest when our eye doesn’t know where to focus. A landscape designer knows how to combine the plants and colours you love into something harmonious and beautiful and can curate your collection in a way that shows the plants to their best advantage.
3. Your Pinterest Garden board is out of control.
It’s got container pics, cute veggie boxes, fairy houses, estate gardens, vintage wheelbarrows, gardening outfits, and all the upcycled garden accessories you can shake a stick at! You may not have your perfect garden yet, but one day your garden dreams will come true!
Let a designer help you narrow down your vision, not in a reign you in kind of way, but to distill your vision so that your garden is the best reflection of you and your personality that it can be.
4. Your deck/patio/steps are cluttered with containers of petunias and/or geraniums.
Just no. There are a million other solutions for “little pops of colour” and these outdated plants have had their moment. It’s time to let other plants shine. Granted I am a plant snob, but can we please call time on these ‘beauties’? A landscape designer can freshen up your containers with new combinations or suggest other annuals that will complement your garden and house nicely, perhaps even suggest some perennials that will bloom all summer long and eliminate the need for annuals.
If you or someone you know is showing any of these signs, it's not too late to get help!