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Shrubberies! What do I know?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by SiteSolutions, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,114

    I've been doing loader work for a couple years now, and have gotten some work from a local builder doing the landscaping at three of his new homes to see how we both like the arrangement. There could be a steady stream of work in it if things go well.

    I'm farming out the sod to a buddy of mine who gets me loader work. I don't know much about shrubs. I've found a good wholesale nursery but they are so huge that I have to know what to get when I get there... the place is way too big to "shop" for plants.

    Any ideas for sites or other sources of good info on shrubs?
  2. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    Especially if you're doing homebuilder jobs, easiest way to go is to drive around and see what everyone else is putting in the new subdivisions. These plants will meet the builder requirements of relatively cheap and reasonably hardy. Start by learning about these, especially their eventual size! Nothing like a five year-old home where the front door is hidden by what looked like an innocent little holly.

    Then, if you really want to expand your plant palette- it's a safe bet that your wholesale nursery stocks stuff that's pretty reliable and proven in your area (contractors don't tend to want the froofroo plants that may or may not make it from retail garden centers). Get a printed copy of their list and focus on learning five plants a night. This is how this New Englander wound up as a landscape designer in Arizona!

    Horticopia is a great program and I think it's well worth the investment. If you don't want to spend that much, Michael Dirr's books have been mentioned on this site, and Cool Springs Press has some pretty basic but good books.

  3. wooley99

    wooley99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    I don't know enough to use the wholesale nurseries and do know enough to stay out of the big box ones. I use a locally-owned, retail nursery. Take pictures printed on plain bond paper and the lady owner does the planting plans and plant/price lists for me to bid. Then I'm nice enough to actually buy the stuff from her. It cost more than wholesale but less than an education and they don't get a holly in the window or sago next to the door.
  4. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,114

    Thanks for the replies.

    For our first three homes, which we are doing this week, we went with what the builder was already using - holly & crepe myrtles. The nursery gave us a couple catalogs (no pics) with lists of everything they have. My wife is interested in looking up some of the stuff they have and hopefully next time we can add a little variety.

    There are a couple local retail nurseries which might be good to stop at, too.

    Thanks again for the replies.

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