Monday, June 13, 2011

Hard at it.

Dear Friends & Fellow Landscape Enthusiasts,

It's been a busy summer once it has finally gotten here.  So far it has been the busy kind of busy, and not the raging successful kind of busy. But there is a lot of hopefulness and optimism out there as we keep trying to transform the drab, tired old landscapes of the greater Twin Cities into new, peaceful, blissful places for people to connect with the outdoors and to see the new-found splendor of their home with a beautifully compatible landscape.  We are on a mission to make this happen and to help homeowners find a good value in it, with a crew that is the most compatible to their needs.  We are also here to help good landscape contractors take that next step forward as a company, as we can team up with them, when needed, to help them offer high-caliber design for their clients.

Being a Landscape Design Firm does have it's challenges this time of year, as so much of our week is spent traveling between job sites or on client appointments, leaving a mere spare afternoon, late evening, or weekend to get all caught up on our designs.  If there was only a way I could work and design in a mobile office that follows me wherever I go.  Oh, wait.  I might have found the solution!

Actually, I commend his ingenuity and strive to get as much done as possible for his clients, but I don't think that being in a fully equipped van and try to crank out quick, same-day or even same-hour plans for each client is the best solution to offer.  I don't think that offers your best design capability.  Landscape Design is the kind of art form that merits an ample amount of time investment on the design side of the equation, in a deliberate process, as a direct correlation to the monetary investment that the client is preparing to spend.  (i.e., as a homeowner, you would not necessarily want your new koi pond, patio, outdoor kitchen, pergola, and garden borders that will cost you $47,850, to be designed in 60 minutes in the back of a van parked in your driveway.  Would you?  Well, maybe. But is that going to get you the best, most thoughtful, most creative, most unique design?  Is that going to be the distinct design that captures a comprehensive vision of what your home and lifestyle distinctly demands?  Well, maybe.  Or, maybe not. Likewise, I don't think that you can charge $500, or $1,000, or $1,500, or $2,000 on a carefully crafted design, based on 15 years of expertise and experience, for a 60-90 minute session in the van.  Those types of designs take hours and hours, and we value or time based on the hours invested in the process.  Those types of designs merit that type of time investment, as a viable component of our business.)  

Another problem would be that if I owned that van, I would be *living* in it.  "Living in a van down by the river!" as the comedy sketch by Chris Farley on Saturday Night Live went.  Or, at least living in a van in my driveway!  At all days and hours of the night, I would be in there, trying to take on far more than I should try to handle, and demanding far too much in the design process with my self-critical tendencies.  I have way too much O.C.D. for that to be a good idea.  But again, I totally admire somebody who is willing reinvent themselves to the needs of their clients, and to adapt themselves in order to make the best of their business and thrive.  Kudos.

At any rate, this is the busiest time of the year and I should not pause too long for this blog entry and get back to work.  It has been a challenging year continuing to get Landscape Design Studios headed further through the clouds and headed toward the stars, as Jack and I try to keep on a good pace and keep our meaningful, best-foot-forward design approach in process.

There are also some graduation parties and plant replacement warranties to get in check as we get into the summer.  Sometimes those irrigation systems do more harm than good in getting a landscape off to a good start, or the little hungry bunnies or voles decided that they liked the little salad bar I left for them that winter.  But, it happens, and things need to get put back together just a little after the first or second year.

We are here because we love design, and we love to see thoughtful, inspired landscapes happen.

All the best,


Here's a couple of design samples that I have worked on, in getting a pool landscape up toward its potential:

No comments:

Post a Comment