All very good points AGLA. Agreed.
I have seen one LA who was amazing with planting. Turned out to be one of our most beautiful jobs, in terms of planting. This is one photo from that job
. Here is another photo
. I really loved the layering, use of colors, mass plantings, and the shape of the lawn that LA chose. And those photos were just 4 months after install. It looks even more beautiful now, as plants have matured. Every spring and summer, this yard looks amazing. We still maintain this property, 5 years later. So apparently, there are some LAs who do have some great experience with planting. I just don't find that to be the norm.
An LA, as AGLA describes, who had a lot of experience in planting and residential design, that would be awesome! Just hasn't been the case with most of the ones I've run into over the years. I wish it was. Plus, there's always the matter of affordability too. Even if I did find one, they'd probably be too expensive for 90% of my clients.