Actual definition of [i]landscaping[/i]?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fiveoboy01, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Something I saw yesterday got me to thinking...

    I saw a guy cutting a property, dodge dakota hauling a 10 foot trailer, one 36 inch walk behind, one 21" push mower, one trimmer and a handheld blower.

    Now I really don't care about the equipment, but he had a very large sign that said XXXX Lawn and landscaping.... I just know this guy isn't doing landscaping jobs, at least per what I think the definition is...

    Do you think the term landscaping is over-used? What do you think landscaping entails?

    I don't even consider things like a mulch install, or even planting flowers in existing beds, to be landscaping. I do mulch installs, and as far as I'm concerned that's in no way shape or form landscaping.

    I think that a lot of people get landscaping mixed up with rennovation.

    When I think of landscaping, I think of grading, actual creation of the lawn, cutting new beds and installing the shrubs, etc. Actually changing the contours or drastically changing the look of a property through "re-arranging" the ground, changing contours, etc...

    What say you guys?
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    Websters defines landscaping as:
    to improve the appearance of (an area of land, a highway, etc.), as by planting trees, shrubs, or grass, or altering the contours of the ground.

    So Mulching would be considered as "improving the appearance."

    However, I am in agreeance with you. Throwing down 5 yards of mulch to already defined beds in NOT landscaping. It is MAINTAINING.

    I guess it's really just splitting hairs though on this subject.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    I don't care what Webster's says....

    But the term "Landscaping" has really come to mean many things to many people. I think you're right that there is a difference between lawn care work or "landscape maintenance" and real landscaping. And companies who do only lawn care or maintenance need to be careful because if they don't do landscape installs (design / build) then they're going to get a lot of people calling them for stuff that's outside of what they can handle. So they should watch how they name their company.

    But what does landscaping mean to most people? Well, it used to be confined to mean working with the land in a decorative manner (as opposed to using land for farming). For instance, installing new lawns, new trees, design, grading, etc.

    However, in a lot of consumers minds these days, landscaping has come to mean quite a lot more. If you live in a metropolitan area and call yourself a landscaper most people are going to expect you to do more than just sod and plants and grading and design. Nowadays they expect you do do concrete work, pavers, stamped concrete, flagstone, mason walls, fences, decks, water features, lighting, pergolas, retaining walls, rock walls, fire pits and more! Even fire features! This year was the first year I was asked to give someone a bid with a "fire feature". Which isn't a fire pit. It's a water feature that encompasses fire inside of it. Here's a few sample photos...

    Anyway....point being that these days people expect landscapers to do basically anything that's not connected to the house. And the more you get into landscaping the more stuff you'll find yourself having to learn. Otherwise, you'll start losing big jobs because you don't do certain things.

    We've kind of brought it on ourselves. Years ago our distributors started offering lighting and we started telling our customers, "Hey! Did you know we could do outdoor lighting too?" Then our distributors started carrying water feature supplies and giving us training seminars on how to do them. Then we started bugging our customers, "Hey! Did you know we can do water features too??!!!" And so on. So now people expect us to do everything. I don't know of too many other contractors out there (except a general contractor) who are expected to be experts in so many different fields. It's a lot to keep up with, I'll tell ya. :weightlifter:

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