“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end…” -Semisonic, Closing Time

I love closing the books, cleaning out my office and house and starting fresh with a new year. It always feels like a warm sunrise after a stormy night. While most people make new year’s resolutions, few keep them for very long. My New Year’s resolutions are usually just a reiteration of my ongoing goals. Setting goals once a year usually doesn’t work for me. I don’t wait for a new year to establish new goals, but I do embrace a new year as a renewal of those goals. I also find it to be a good time to take my big goals and break them down again into bite sized pieces.

So for 2017, as your friendly landscape designer, I would like to suggest a few landscaping resolutions.

  • Instead of killing the budget by trying to do a whole-yard renovation, break it down to smaller projects that fit your time frame and budget more efficiently. Make general plan then start with high impact items. If you aren’t ready to jump into high impact, focus on main spaces.
  • Instead of walking into a garden center and buying everything on a whim, make a plan beforehand and stick to it. Avoid the temptation to impulse buy without knowing if the plants are right for your space or useful for getting the results you want from your project. Either hire a designer or map it out yourself, but have an idea of what you are aiming at before you walk into the nursery. You should never walk into a grocery store on an empty stomach and should avoid a well-stocked garden center in the spring for the same reason!
  • Think long term. Landscaping can be expensive and should be thought through. Sometimes poor placement of a small plant can result in hefty removal costs 5 years down the road.
  • Be fearless and dig in. Just because you aren’t a “professional” doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy taking care of your own property. Always ask, “what’s the worst that can happen if I do this?” If you can live with the possible consequences, then go for it! You might find a hidden hobby or delight in the process. The internet and the library offer such a wealth of information that you can tap in to. But don’t read too much. Gardening/Landscaping requires dirty hands, well-loved tools and a desire to learn much more than it requires some great depth of knowledge.

One thing i have learned being in this industry for almost 20 years is that you are never done learning.

One last resolution for 2017: If you love your landscaper/designer, don’t forget to share them with your friends! The kindest thing you can do for a small business is refer them.