If you love your landscape and find joy in all the fine details of it, you deserve a “personal touch” from the landscaping company you hire to take care of it. You want a firm that understands your lawn and garden plants down to the smallest detail, and who can provide you with exquisite care on every visit in every season.
This personal touch includes taking special interest not only in your garden but in fulfilling your wishes for its aesthetic appeal. This type of landscape firm makes it a priority to learn precisely what kind of garden experience you want to have when you step outside. They serve as your advocate advising you and making recommendations about how to improve your garden as it matures and transforms over time.
So, what should you look for in one of these best landscape firms that go beyond the typical to deliver that personalized touch?
Ask for a Garden Advocate
Work with a company that assigns one person to be your garden advocate. This certified horticulturist will be your primary point of contact and will be essential to your landscape’s success. They will oversee all tasks and crew assigned to your property, communicate your preferences, and be in charge of fulfilling your expectations.
Look for “Plant People”
While there’s no doubt your garden advocate will be a “plant person,” you want an entire crew of “plant people.” These are individuals who are passionate about gardens and understand that a true garden is never finished but in a state a continual change. They are detail-oriented and always ready to try something new or different to take your landscape to the next level.
Plant people also don’t shy away from learning about new things whether it’s atypical plant species or pesky diseases or trying out new tools and techniques. And they love sharing this knowledge with others. You’ll appreciate how often and well they communicate about what’s going on in your landscape due to seasonal cycles or weather patterns.
Best yet, plant people aren’t “yes” people. They’ll take time to study and solve all of your landscape problems to the extent that treatment solutions are possible. They act as a partner who takes full responsibility for guiding you to the right choices and telling you the truth about what is and is not possible. Their experience with horticulture has made them humble in that sense. Honesty is what comes from that experience. They want you to be an educated customer because that helps them serve you better. If they can explain their tasks and benefits effectively, then you can rest easy knowing that you’ve made the best choice possible for your landscape.
However, it is important to note that there are situations that are beyond the control of even the very best garden care professionals because nature and natural systems have a life of their own. Predictable conditions can become suddenly unpredictable. A proactive, holistic approach to landscape maintenance and plant care helps to mitigate many issues–but not all.
Discuss Your Preferences
Another aspect of firms that deliver a personal touch is the understanding that communication is a two-way street–which is why they’ll talk to you about your landscape preferences. In fact, one of the first discussions they will have with you is about your style. Do you lean towards a formal garden or one that’s more natural-looking? Do you like a lot of color and variations in texture?
Depending on your answer, your garden advocate will treat your landscape accordingly. Their goal will be to enrich your experience with your landscape, and that requires knowing what you want.
Ask About Training and Expertise
When interviewing the best landscape firms, make sure to ask about the expertise and training of their employees. Garden managers/advocates should be certified horticulturists, and crew leaders should be certified landscape technicians, at the minimum. The rest of the personnel should offer a balance of educational backgrounds and industry experience for a well-rounded team.
Years on the job also matters. Look for three to five years of field experience for a manager who doesn’t hold a degree in horticulture or landscape management. For landscape technicians, ask about the company’s internal training program: how long is it, what does it cover, what does it take to become certified?
Finally, bring up employee retention. The landscape industry has a lot of turnover. Firms that have consistent training and leadership in place, in spite of employees coming and going, will provide a more consistent experience.
The best landscape firms are dedicated to delivering a better customer experience and better garden care. They’ll take the time needed to educate you while caring for your garden and their employees. Look for a firm that treats you like a partner and a gardening enthusiast. That’s exactly what you want.
If you’ve been thinking about investing in a landscape design project, our eBook: Expert Guide to Planning the Landscape Design of Your Dreams, is full of valuable information to help you get started.