Like you, many homeowners hire someone to take care of your yard and garden. Are they doing a good job? Is the result an intriguing aging-in-place landscape that you love?
Take a few minutes to walk outside and inventory your landscape. Spring is a wonderful time to evaluate.
First, consider the yard from the landscape guy’s viewpoint. He’s walking around in work boots and using powered machinery such as mowers and pruners. He will manage your landscape using the tools he’s comfortable with, making his job fast and easy so he can do more in one day. And he’s not worried about tripping or hauling heavy hoses as he stomps through the yard.
Those same tools and that fast-and-easy mindset can mean that the details of your garden are reduced, making it less intriguing to wander around, and less safe if you’re not using work boots to stroll your garden!
What can you do? Dust off those skills you developed from managing others in the workplace, coaching a kids’ baseball team, or leading a Girl Scout troop and talk to your landscape guy with those solid supervisory skills. It helps to know what you want, maybe even do a little internet research to find out more about the unique plants in your yard. The landscape crew often treat all yards, all lawns, all shrubs the same.
If you know precisely what you want, you are better able to communicate clearly and get the landscape result you'll enjoy.
Here’s a simple three-method to get the right treatment for your yard.
1. Tell the workerwhat needs to be done differently, in specific detail
For example, maybe the landscape guy is heavy-handed with the electric pruners. You could say, “These shrubs develop long branches when they are left to grow more naturally. I like seeing an arching shape and the flowers on the tops of the branches. This time, please let the branches stop about 2 feet from the ground – about the distance from your elbow to your fingers.”
Or, if the worker has been pulling desirable plants instead of weeds, get one of the weeds and ask him to pull all of the plants like this from the flower beds. He can take the weed with him to compare as he starts.
2. Ask the worker to repeat this instruction back to you and demonstrate what you’ve described.
3. Give feedback. Confirm the direction was followed correctly or provide guidance on how to improve.
Let me know your success in guiding yard maintenance workers to give you a well-tended, lovely Elderyard®.