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Designers vs Mowers aka cool looking vs reality

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Grn Mtn, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    What is it with designers? Have they ever tried to mow one of their designs? So many times I come across professionally done landscapes and the guys mowing just blast grass all over the beds, or have to bag/mulch because the landscape looks like a pretzel.

    Now I'm a designer, but I was mowing before I was designing, so everything I do I first look at the maintenance end of it to see if it is realistic. Is this concept foreign to most designers?

    On the other end, as the maintenance crew, are you that lazy that blowing grass into the street and all over the beds is acceptable:nono: at the very least try to blow the grass back out of the beds.
  2. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    A very common dilemma.

    And yes some of us maintenance guys are just that lazy.

    And so are some of the designers.

    But in all fairness to the designers, sometimes the geniuses at planning and zoning make it impossible to do the right thing. Silly requirements like minimum 5 pine trees, or the only acceptable hedge is a podocarpus.
    I am planning on converting a house into a commercial property to use as my shop and I have to landscape a 10ft setback from my property line on all 4 sides. So out of the 12000 sq feet of the propery I lose 3500 to "beautification" and despite the fact that 2 sides butt against other properties. But the killer is I HAVE to plant certain shrubs from an approved list. Ok no problem, except the list is 4 plants long. All 4 are green leaf only and grow like the dickens and are huge water hogs.

    However there is no provision in the code to demand that I put in any type of irrigation system. So the code enforcement guy tells me to buy the cheapest, smallest sized plants on the list, install them. Get my CO, then wait for them to die, pull them out and plant whatever I want.

    Genius I tell you, genius.
  3. JFizzle

    JFizzle LawnSite Member
    Posts: 95

    Grn Mtn- are you really a designer? I have been wondering how the design process works in this industry. Who comes up with the stuff? Whats their background? How do you get into designing this type of equipment?
    I will be applying this winter for the U of U mechanical engineering program and have wondered what I might do after I'm done with school.

    I lived in Vermont for a year.
  4. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    Landscape designers, not mower designers.
  5. JFizzle

    JFizzle LawnSite Member
    Posts: 95

    Ah Yes. I must have inhaled too much exhaust today.
  6. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    Well we are full service design/install, but also do maintenance. Since I know both aspects of the business I must honestly say that if someone is blowing grass in flower beds, it is out of 100% pure laziness... period. I must ask... if it were a car or the side of a house in place of the bed, would you continue to blow grass right on it? Hmmmm.... :nono:
  7. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    would I, no. Are there people who would. yes and unfortunately I have hired and fired a few of them.
  8. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    i am also a designer now after MANY YEARS of maintenance....

    i try and desigh SUSTAINABLE landscapes that are easy to maintain....

    as for grass being blown in the beds.... that is unacceptable...

    when pricing a property the maintenance person should take into consideration areas that need to be bagged/mulched, and price the job accordingly... if they don't they contribute to the lawn boy idea.

    personally i cannot undertand why a company that mow's decent lawns doen not use mulching deck mowers. they cut down on clippings on driveways, roads and beds... they cut blowing time in 1/2.... and help fertilize the lawn
  9. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    when pricing a property the maintenance person should take into consideration areas that need to be bagged/mulched, and price the job accordingly... if they don't they contribute to the lawn boy idea
    Bingo! A design should compliment the landscape. A maintenance crew should compliment the design. As always, obstacles or difficult landscapes should be affecting your mowing rates accordingly. :)
  10. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    Thats the reason I like doing residential installs- less oversite, but I love plowing commercial- less nitpickin'

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