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Old 10-04-2000, 09:48 PM
steveair steveair is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: morristown, nj
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hello,

Wondering if any of you are doing what I am starting to do/notice when it comes to the selection of plant material for a job.

For all of my jobs, I do my own plans and have come to the conclusion that it is pointless just about to name/list any of the plants on the design.

What I mean is that the client seems to always want something diff't than what I list.

for example, I always take a client to the nursery so that they can see/choose the plants that they are going to get. During this process, they always seem to have a difference in opinion than myself, and after some talk, seem to always win. therefore, I no longer put in ink what a plant may be on a design.

I guess its a good thing though. Now, I just draw 'circles' in and say that it will be a "upright evergreen", "ornamental tree", "low growing hedge", "flowering shrub", etc. etc. and then let the homeowner take it from there. I just try to keep them in the same ballpark when at the nursery and try to give them a few diff't selections that will work for the area/site that the plant is going in to.

I find this to be a great benefit. For one, it puts an end to that always delightful time when you put a plant in and the homeowner says "I didn't quite envision that" and has you yank it and end up planting it next to your tool shed the next week because you no longer can return it. Second, I find sales are MUCH better. I take them to nurseries that have the big buck specimans, and always try to convince them How Nice it would look in front of their house. A lot of times, they see something and decide they have to have it. A great way to justify selling them more expensive plant material.

Anyways, just seeing how anyone else handles this matter. Now, I know for people that do bid work, larger commercial work, etc., this may not really be a issue, but I'm sure a lot of you mid-small size guys have had similiar situations.

steveair
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Old 10-05-2000, 01:54 AM
Lanelle Lanelle is offline
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Location: No.VA, zone 7
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If you don't mind spending all that time baby-sitting clients at the nursery, fine. I prefer to show them pictures of the plant varieties i've specified and, ideally, show them a landscaped photo of their house or site. Certainly there are clients who will want to make some changes and I work with them to create the look that will satisfy them. If you purchase directly from growers, you will be able to increase your profitability.
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Old 10-05-2000, 10:20 PM
EarthWorks EarthWorks is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 135
I draw up a plan and always label and specify sizes. Most customers don't have a clue what they are looking at but most trust me to make their decisions. I have had a few customers want changes but it is not that hard to re-pot and design it into the next job.
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Old 10-05-2000, 10:23 PM
FIREMAN FIREMAN is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: n.j.
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PURCHASING DIRECT IS DEFINITELY MORE PROFITABLE...HOWEVER HAVING RESEARCHED THIS OPTION..MANY GROWERS HAVE MINIMUMS AND UNFORTUNATELY FOR STEVE AND I ARE NOT LOCAL. BY THE WAY LANELLE, THOSE BOXWOODS FRON VIRGINIA ARE VERY NICE.
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Old 10-09-2000, 05:31 PM
Lawnmasters Lawnmasters is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Paris, Tn.
Posts: 180
We do CAD designs for all landscape projects and list the types of plants. However, I bet 99% of my jobs change, either by my request or the customers. Once we start setting up a job we will change plant types if it improves the look or if they just need to be thicker. Sometimes the customer will be outside while we are planting and say they don't like a particular plant. We usually carry extra plants and extra varieties to each job and bring back what we don't need. This way if they don't like something we have an alternative, something always gets planted. Second, if you have extra plants on hand you can sell an extra bed around those two trees in the front yard, etc. My customers don't pick out all of their plants, if they want to that's fine, but I'm plugging in an extra 25% because they are going to be a problem.

Greg Pierce, CTP
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Old 10-09-2000, 09:44 PM
steveair steveair is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: morristown, nj
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lawnmasters,

that sounds just about the same as I see it. I do the designs on CAD also, but am always performing 'on the job' changes on every job I do. Maybe some day I will be able to draw/see a job 100% before I go to do it, but until that day comes, I know I will always be changing things around.

As for the extra plants on hand, I wish I could, but just don't have the resources yet to be stocking plants. At this point, I still have to purchase at local nurseries/garden centers and basically only buy what is needed per job.

I would love to start getting into buying bulk wholesale plant material, but the time just hasn't come yet.

By the way, that is so true about bringing plants to a job and having the people say they wouldn't mind that 'extra' little planting here or there. I sometimes have extra's and find that people seem to really not want to see the material leave their property once they see how good everything else looks.

steveair
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