Watch this short video that was on a local news program, then read my comments. I just can't believe this is the kind of crap people pay good money for, and then honestly believe it increases their home's value.
Here's the link to the video. Watch it, laugh, sigh, grone, and then come back here.
Ok, these are the issues in order as they came up in the video:
1) The landscaper says that before the job it was just a basic lawn. FYI--it still is! If the owners wanted something more elaborate, one kidney-shaped planting berm out front is bupkis, especially one as sparsely planted as that.
2) Roses, spiraea, salvia, and barberry (hello 1990!). These are the best, low maintenance choices the landscaper could find? What a lazy landscaper! I bet they buy barberry in bulk and call it a spring order in like 5 minutes.
3) Don’t be afraid to go big? See #1. When is he going to go big? Anytime soon?
4) You want to diversify, says the reporter—where is the diversification? See #2. It looks pretty darn monotone to me! The plants are all at one level (and will be when they mature), and evenly spaced (just like in nature!). And it looks like pretty much every other landscaping job I've ever seen--that's not adding value at all!
5) Customer wanted pink rocks. They originally had more mulch but wanted rock since it's more low maintenance, and it has a weed barrier underneath.
Three things: 1) If you ever plant anything else there, it will be sheer torture moving that rock and cutting the weed fabric and 2) Rock dries out the soil as it absorbs the sun's heat, thus killing plant roots, thus killing the plants. Some investment! 3) Two inches of soil-enriching mulch and I don't see any weeds in my beds. Just saying.
6) More character at front door by adding gazing balls? “Don’t be afraid to overdo that” the landscaper says. What? You should be very very very afraid to overdo that. A person looking at a home will see more as less, and less as more. And wasn't the second coming of gazing balls back in like, what, 1995? I only see them at Home Depot anymore.
7) Have your home professionaly landscaped? Why? So it can look basic and blah like this? Look, for 1/2 the money I will give you just as low maintenance a design AND it will look far better. Plus, if you have kids, they might appreciate interacting with birds, butterflies, and such outside. You can improve the local environment AND have a more unique, money-bringing landscape with hardly any work at all for much less than this guy charged you. Just think how much you spent on the Bobcat, truck, and trailer that offloaded all that heavy rock which does nothing to improve the soil and ensures your plants will need more water and may not live to see next year.
Holy cow, amen!