Landscaping New Developments: Doesn't Anyone Think?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOturkey, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,780

    I'm just curious about something. Perhaps some of you guys who are into landscaping can answer my question. Why is it that the architects of the landscaping on newly developed property do so with apparently no consideration for ease of maintenance?

    I'm sure this isn't universal, but the town I mow in had a tornado 2 years ago, which devastated the downtown area. Because of that, many businesses have been relocated and are completely new from the ground up. What caught my attention is the new post office. Beautiful structure, beautiful landscaping, just completed so next year will be the first for mowing. I'm thinking of bidding, but don't know if it is worth the trouble.

    The site itself is in a dug out area, with a substantial slope to the adjoining property ground level on three sides. A retaining wall has been built along some of the steepest areas. Individual trees and signs seem to have been placed at the worst possible places, making a goodly portion of the turf impossible to mow with anything larger than a 21, and although I haven't walked the site, I am pretty sure there are several areas where one will be forced to use a trimmer, as even a 21 won't go between plantings and signs and the retaining wall or curbing. A ZTR is out of the question on probably 90% of the area. A walk-behind would likely mow most of it, except for those close quarter areas. A new medical building just down the street is the same way. The parking lot has lots of indentations and curves, and on each one of the peninsulas formed from this, they planted a tree! Looks nice, but makes it impossible to mow with a Z.

    I'm just wondering if the folks that design these projects (architects?) ever take into consideration the additional expense required for maintenance of commercial properties, or just do whatever they think looks the nicest with no thought of the future?
  2. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    Yes, I've seen it and swore about it before. One of my assumptions is that some of the designers have never laid a hand on a mower before. What works great on paper doesn't always make sense in the enviroment. Go another step further and throw a heavy winters snow on everything, at least in this area, and you've got a real mess, very time consuming to plow and detrimental to the landscape due to deicers and heavy ammounts of snow in highly landscaped areas, and I'll give you one guess as to who gets blamed.
  3. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    NO, I don't think it even occurs to them.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I think they do it on purpose just to screw with us.:p

    At least in some jurisdictions around here, developers HAVE to include so much grass, so many trees, etc. on new projects. I agree, they tend to pick the most f-upped layouts and designs. Some places I swear they just send a guy up in a helicopter who throws out trees and bushes, and wherever they land is where they get planted...
  5. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    furthermore the contractors hire the cheapest landscapers, so not much attention to detail is considered. they just stick stuff in the ground where ever. ive seen flowerbeds with no mulch or rock and long rows of shrubs a foot from curb with sod in between and no border.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Nope they could care less,all that concerns them is that they sell their plan to the client.Most have never even been on a job to see how difficult their plans make it to maintain.
    Installers who work from the plans do not care either,they are hired to do what is called for by the plan and that's it.If they complain or point out major flaws in the plan they are fired or told to just do what it says.
    Good Landscape architects will be there when their plan is being installed so can make any changes necessary to carry it out,but they do not like to change anything most of the time unless it's really impossible to do their way.And they do not change anything to make it more convienent to maintain that is not even in thier minds at all.
    Most good Landscape contractors design thier own jobs.
  7. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    back when i ran hvy eqpmnt we ran into the same thing . " why is it this way ,it wont work ". and what we finally came up with is that most architects have never even seen the site that they are trying to help develop. they get a topigraphical pic of the area and some measurements and go to work designing crap that they want to see built regardless of what it takes and what the reprocussions are in the long run . they are 20 something rich kids that if made to use any tool other than a pencil would just collapse . dadgum whipper snappers .
  8. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    i didnt mean to say the same thing you did sheshovel i was posting at the same time you were i guess.
  9. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    exactly sheshovel. ive been handed plans and the measurements of the proberty werent even close, like the designer never even stepped foot on property.
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    No problem befnme ,I thought mabey you had me on ignore!
    You and me both Brianslawn,it makes for a challenge does it not?Fun Fun Fun

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