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Portland Landscaping Articles
Landscaping reviews in Portland
Pros - started out great...
-Happy with the design – did fulfill her design contract by providing 3 varying designs, taking into account the different inputs
-Flexible on times & meeting places, and worked with me on preferences for lots of edibles and relatively easy-care plants.
-Provided links to ideas for sheds, and advice on how to
-Interested in being involved in talking with landscape contractors (presumably on an hourly basis, this was not clear). Did not take her up on this, though she took it upon herself to talk over my project with the people I planned to speak with, and stopped by to see the shed in construction on her own initiative.
-Lets you know about patio sales/swap meets to help you build your backyard furniture.
-She was happy to take care of the plant ordering, delivery, and placement for time + plant bid (this is not cheap). I did exercise this but primarily as path of least resistance to keep the project moving.
-Did respond to emails and at least one phone call on many clarifications needed on design & plant list (see cons).
Cons - finished not so well...
-Took multiple passes to get all the errors on design, planting plan & plant list worked out. The errors would have cost additional time/money had we operated from them as provided in 2013. But she did follow up & correct (but that shouldn't have been necessary - making more work for herself). Therefore - Quality for design = A, Quality for having a workable plan with correct plant lists & abbreviations = D. Giving her a B for quality overall.
-“warranty” for plants covers little as far as I can tell – you’d pay for the new plant as well as her time to obtain & deliver the plant. Do not depend on the warranty, other than plants should be alive when they are delivered (see pear tree discussion ).
Details provided below. Note, I work a corporate job in engineering (17 years), so I know how to manage email, work from the latest available file copy, and expect that plans are correct and consistent. When addressing corrections, she generally indicated the problems were because I was not working from the latest file. I’ll be
6/13 - Final design – had to be reworked because in our final approval, she had worked from the wrong design (not the one I’d actually signed off). She had to go back & check for the signature on the design to confirm, and she did do the corrections and re-laid out the planting beds. In our conversation about it, I recall that she indicated that she’d normally charge for reworking the plan, but in this case, she wouldn’t charge me (as a favor?). Given that it was her mistake, I felt that she needn’t have even mentioned charging for it – it came across as though she felt put upon by me, though it certainly wasn't my fault. Fortunately, I was not working on a deadline so the delay was not a problem.
Getting electronic copies – took a few rounds of back & forth to get full set of plans. She thought she’d sent a full set, but neither I nor landscape contractor got all 3 files (2/3 instead). She did “resend” (or send for the first time, depending on your perspective).
Additional clarification on final design needed because some abbreviations in planting plan did not match to planting list. I quote from my email to her: “I can't find what "LA" is (against south fence, right next to espalier pear). Or "BH" by the garage. And is "C" the same as "CA"? There are C's in the list, and CA in the plan?” She did correct & clarify with a new set of plans & list, excusing this as “inevitably there are errors on the planting plan”. OK, a couple I can handle, fine. She's an artist, right?
9/13 - Labled “
1/14 – I had decided I needed to review the plan & list matching because I bought a
2/14 – besides 1 more plant on the list but not on the design, finally get a match between plant list for ordering and design. We use this list for ordering.
4/14 – plants delivered and match the order list. Yay. Then, I was told she’d been expecting that I would have left a check under the mat for her, and she indicated she should have “reminded” me (implication was that I should have somehow known to put a check under the mat without her asking for it). No such request made in advance. Check mailed the next business day.
5-7/14 – Back & forth on a dying pear tree. It was flagged as having issues ~3 weeks after planting, being wilted. She asked questions on watering, back & forth with contractor. Emailed again 6/22, some more Q&A but not resolution. Finally in
We have used
I really wanted a flagstone patio and was a bit taken aback at the cost but decided to go for it anyway.
I had an existing irrigation system that needed to be redone to fit the new design. They converted much of it to drip to minimize water loss and changed the location of the sprinkler heads to the grassy areas only. They also converted the front beds next to the house to drip so they wouldn't be spraying water directly on the foundation.
Every step of the way I was impressed with the professionalism and quality of their work. The man that cut and laid out the stone is a real artist, very meticulous and thoughtful in the layout.
I knew going into it that this project would be rather costly but to have one company do it all from start to finish (and do it well) was worth the cost. Also I feel like I can call them if questions come up, I'm not just cut loose after the check cleared.
While I love the plan she did for me (she does plans, not installation, but does have suggested contractors that she works with for install) what I found the most helpful was the Garden Coaching. What a revelation to have someone come over and walk around your property with you and identify what you have- and what should be done with it. That shrub that looks horrible? Because it's planted in shade and it needs sun. What the heck kind of tree is that? Does it need to be pruned? What kind of thing would work well in this odd spot and so on. And if that was not enough,
I can't say enough great things about
(ps- for cost of service above, there are many options to choose from, and
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