The investment you make in hiring a good landscaping company can go a long way in raising the monetary and enjoyment value of your residential or commercial property. A landscape project is a living, growing thing. Not only should it be designed and installed properly – you are ultimately responsible for the care of your new landscape – whether you maintain it or hire someone else to.
There are five main categories of specialization in landscape contracting:
Design/Build - They do it all – Design the landscape, choose and install the proper plants for the location. They also can build outdoor structures integrated in the landscape like retaining walls, patios, pools, water features, walkways, etc.
Installation – Landscape contractors in this area install a wide range of features from plants to hardscapes. They may have designers or architects in-house or work with independents. Proper installation is imperative to the long life of your plants. Professionals use appropriate construction materials and are craftsmen. Proper horticultural techniques combined with proper soil and bed preparation are what you’re paying for.
Maintenance – Few people have the time or energy to properly care for their landscape. There are companies that specialize in maintenance and educated in horticulture that will do this for your residential or commercial properties. Pruning, fertilization, lawn care, integrated pest management, cleanups, seasonal flower planting are all services they can provide.
Residential/Commercial – Not only do these landscape professionals create landscapes for homeowners but they can maintain commercial properties – inside and out. Office buildings, hotels, apartment complexes, condominiums – or entire communities – for commercial, retail or municipal sites contract their services.
Exterior/Interior - Some landscaping companies specialize in interior gardens. They will enhance the beauty of your interior buildings and add to its enjoyment just like exterior landscape contractors with plants that do well in an indoor environment.
What are you looking to do in the landscape?
It is always a good idea to first map out what it is you require. Design? Installation? Maintenance? Move or prune a few plants? A complete landscape makeover? If you are redoing your landscape, get a very specific design plan in writing and you should also have a drawing that you can compare to the written proposal. Usually you will give a 30-50% deposit for the work to proceed.
Some of the landscape services you may need in your job:
- Erosion Control
- Soil amendment
- Planting trees and shrubs
- Lawn sodding or seeding
- Hardscape – walks, walls, patios, decks
- Seasonal/annual gardens
- Outdoor lighting
- Water gardens or fountain installation
- Pest control
- Tree evaluation, pruning, or management
- Tree removal
- Lawn care – mowing, edging, blowing, fertilizing
How do you find a good landscape company?
Talk to your neighbors with yards you admire for residential or business property managers whose landscapes are maintained well. A recommendation is always a good place to start. Check out some actual job sites of a contractor you’re interested in.
Browse the web. Most landscape companies have portfolios and testimonials they are happy to share with you.
Experience may matter to you so check how long the owners have been in business.
Make sure they are licensed and insured in Maryland. Look for associations and certification logos on their websites and collateral. Some important professional certifications and associations that Potomac Garden Center has are :
-Landscape Contractors Association(LCA)
-ICPI certified installer(paver installation)
-MHIC # In Maryland a MHIC license is required for home improvement which includes “an improvement to land adjacent” to the residence.
-Certified Landscape Technician (CLT)
-Maryland Certified Professional Horticulturalist (CPH)
-Maryland Dept of Agriculture – Certified Pest Control Applicator
Ask if their company employees will be doing all the work or they subcontract. Reputable companies will not use undocumented workers. If their price is too low this could be an indication that something is not quite right or you will not get a complete, professional job.
So if your property’s landscape needs beautification and/or care choose wisely to find your perfect match for your project and you’ll enjoy the amazing results for years to come. And, – make sure they get the perfect start by installing healthy, vigorous stock from Potomac Garden Centers in North Potomac and Urbana Maryland! Potomac Garden Center specializes in Community Landscape Maintenance – for the difference in your property that gets noticed.