Edging is edging Susanna!! Just get me the least expensive one!
Its an old and tired cliche, you get what you pay for, and its 100% true. Not all edging is created equally. Not all landscape fabric is good fabric, I know it looks the same, but it really isnt.
I was driving through a neighbourhood this past weekend, looking at the new and beautiful houses in a new subdivision in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Its a fun way to start the season, I look for new products and inspiration for my drawings and clients. I saw a few new and creative landscape designs, and I also saw a number of cost savings that unfortunately did not look good.
In this picture, the edging is very inexpensive, which is why it doesnt curve well, and does not hold its shape, the shrubs are too small for the bed, and the rocks are not large enough. The designer started with a good idea, but either due to lack of knowledge or budget, was not able to give a good look for this front yard.
Its a hard question to ask and answer, what is your budget? What is the overall feel for your project? What look are you trying to convey? I ask those three questions, and I get a various answers, and its my job to sort though it all and come up with a drawing and plan that fits all those needs and wants. For a few clients, its all about the bottom line, they have a very limited budget, and they are rushing to fulfill their builder requirements so they can get their deposits back. They do not know what products are available, and they do not know where to being to sort through all the pamphlets that they received at the last Spring Shows. I get that, Im busy too! 🙂
Time is precious, and the whole building, moving and planning is a lot of work, stressful and expensive.
When I first meet any new client, one of the most important things I do, is educate. Why is it important to have commercial grade edging, why does it cost a bit more, and why does it matter? Its that kind of attention to detail that takes your yard to another more usable level. Form and function need to work together and be in every single aspect of your landscape design.
And yes size does matter 🙂
Having a well balanced bed, with various heights, shapes, colours and textures is as important as which edging to use.
So how do we create that balance between budget and a great looking yard? Here are some of the options I give to all my clients.
- Break the project up into a couple years. If you have a limited budget we can help by planning a two – three year time frame. Just make sure you are not un-doing something to build new next year.
- Have a plan for adding shrubs and trees in the future. We can make the beds smaller, and enlarge them the following year. It is the least expensive way to add to any existing project.
- Create staggered beds. Start with one bed to fulfill your builder requirements, and then add a rock bed the following year. Rock are one of the more expensive products, you can also take that time to find the perfect boulder!
- Build what you use the most first. If you want both a wood deck and a paver patio, build the wood deck first. We can build the paver patio next year.
At the end of the day, the cheapest guy may not be the best guy. The landscape that was completed will now need to be redone. There will be more cost, and it will probably cost the same as the person who was a bit more expensive. So there is no actual cost savings.
Find someone that brings all these suggestions, and dont just decide based on the dollar. You can always grow into your landscape, you cant get back the money you wasted to get there.
I would love to hear from you! If you have questions or ideas, or topics you would like me to share with you please let me know!
Have a great Spring!