Hire a Charlotte landscaper to tame your yard
by Ellen Goff
The most common landscaping problems include drainage issues, diseased or overgrown trees and shrubbery, lawn diseases and pests, invasive weeds and lack of vigorous growth.
Find a local landscape expert
The first place to look is Angie's List, of course. Then cross-reference our list with professional organizations such as the American Society of Landscape Architects (asla.org) and the American Nursery and Landscape Association (anla.org) to find the best person or company for the job.
There are many good reasons to seek professional help — taming your home's landscaping is one of them. Often, the most difficult aspect is knowing where to start. This month, we're going to help parse out your needs in order to get you on the path to a more beautiful yard.
First, determine whether you have a problem that needs correcting or if you want to make an addition to your existing landscape. Consider adding a fountain, lighting or irrigation system. Or, you may want to design a space for outdoor entertaining. "Most people have some colors or textures of plants in mind, but otherwise they're open to ideas and suggestions," says Zachary Geraci, owner of Zachary's Neighborhood Lawn Care and Landscape in Charlotte. "Our customers put a lot of trust in us to create a landscape that'll look good for years to come."
Once you've identified the list of tasks, you'll need to find the right person for the job. Here's a brief list of what you might expect from each type of expert:
Landscaper — These professionals can plant new trees and shrubbery; remove, modify and replace existing plants and materials such as mulch; establish new planting beds; install sod or seed a new lawn; and provide routine maintenance. Some landscapers offer design services, but usually they work from plans the homeowner commissioned from a landscape architect or landscape designer.
Landscape architect — According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, these professionals can analyze, plan and design the management and stewardship of natural and built environments. They work on large custom home projects, providing overall site plans for drainage and landscaping. They can also work on smaller, yet complex, residential projects. They have advanced education, professional training and are licensed in every state except Vermont.
Landscape designer — Many have horticulture backgrounds or nursery experience and can design a landscape for a new home or renovate an existing area. They're very good at providing a blueprint for your yard, indicating where each plant and feature should be placed. Typically, designers are trained under the apprentice system and aren't licensed.
Before you make your first call, be sure to have a rough measurement of your lawn and the size of your lot. When you're ready to begin making calls, be methodical. Interview a number of professionals, ask a lot of questions and make sure you've got all the facts to make an informed decision. "And get started now," Geraci says. "We're going to be busy this spring due to widespread drought damage."
Ellen Goff is a master gardener and environmental advocate. Aside from writing about and photographing plants, Ellen tends to a 3-acre landscape she shares with her husband, cat and border collie on the shores of Lake Wylie, S.C.