Maintaining Projects When I Leave

After spending 4 years maintaining properties for a company in Vancouver, British Columbia, I was thrust into a landscaping position owing to the death of the owner. His wife was still involved and she trusted me and her other main landscaper hugely. He was this big Hungarian man who remains an all-time favorite person of mine and to whom I owe the greatest debts of gratitude in the way and depth in which he taught me the trade. This was the bigger money end of the firm and a revelation to me in its creative possibilities. Once there, I never returned to maintenance. But my respect for it as a real craft in its own right and as a vital component of a successful and gorgeous landscape has remained.

Maintenance has become far more than “mowing grass”. Of course, it includes lawn services as always, but it has also become an interesting combination of skills and needs. Nowadays, when I am asked to supply a lawn care specialist, I generally have a couple close at hand. I will often either opt for a new person I have met (and vetted) who might be struggling to form his own business and, while representing something of a risk, will be hungry and eager to make it work.

Or I will have opted for a recognized and responsible company, like Tru Green. In most cases, especially where any mistake could jeopardize my own credibility, Tru Green has been a great partner. They supply a fertilizer regimen which is predictable and reliable and they tend to have the professionals on staff who can diagnose diseases, pests and other problems, such as over-watering, in pretty quick order – in time to save it. I had a great relationship with these guys in Reno and they were perfectly reliable and competent. The real bottom line was that I could safely forget about maintenance concerns because it would be in good hands.

After all, it’s quite a feat to go from this:

To This:

And you want to stay with the new and improved version, don’t you?

Or, say, go from this:

To this:

A good maintenance program is every bit as vital to keeping a landscape looking gorgeous as the initial work. In fact, I have seen far too many landscapes deteriorate for the lack of adequate maintaining. Fertilizing, plant identification and fertilization, disease and pest control are all aspects of keeping a garden looking good and every single one of them is one more duty I cannot have time for. I am always on the the next big thing, bottom line. Thus my concern is that the owners arrange a good lawn care services firm to keep their place as fit as they can. Since so many of my clients are youngish with careers and kids going on,  demanding oodles of their time, it fits even snugger.

It is difficult to insist enough on taking care of a landscape in the proper way. What is equally unusual in these hurried days in which we come home to “yet another chore” is the fact that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get someone in. The height of wisdom for  someone who spends the dollars to install a killer landscape is for them to also do what it takes to maintain it.

A gorgeous lawn in the right place is a wonderful thing. Big or small, they make life wonderful.

2 thoughts on “Maintaining Projects When I Leave

  1. Hey, thanks, Nancy. It’s true, though, although I may seem to be promoting a business that worked for me and that I had good relations with. But I get called by everyone I ever worked for, lol. Any time someone has a question, I expect it. You don’t leave customers behind – ever. Having said that, some of the more basic problems require a long drive and some hours spent with more education and talking than I really can afford. Having at least some of the basics covered by someone else is a monstrous relief.

    It’s like I tell my guys – when we make this place, we’re marrying these people. 😉

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