This is the first post of a continuous series I’d like to call “Don’t Let This Happen To You.” Click the “Tag” below to see others in this series. I believe we can learn equally well from mistakes as we can from examples of good work.
In the photo above we see a landscape that has just been trimmed by a “professional” landscape maintenance co.
I really don’t know where to begin, but let me say this: “Proper shrub trimming is a skill that takes years to master both in terms of horticultural knowledge & actual practice.”
What’s common in this industry today are inexperienced, untrained laborers that are sent out each day with lists of properties to trim (butcher may be a better word). They are armed with gas powered trimming shears that can be likened to Darth Vader’s laser sword.
There are several other shrub trimming mistakes in the photo, but the one that really kills me is the ornamental grass in the center. One of the reasons this plant is used in design is because of its informal, wispy foliage and texture. (This grass had that at one time.)
Evidently the “landscape technician” wasn’t aware that all plants have specific pruning needs. So, with gas powered shears revved up, he moved from one plant to the next and the only thought that crossed his mind…”I wonder what shape I’ll make this one.”
Who knows if this homeowner freaked out when they saw Disneyland-like shapes throughout their garden. Many of these atrocities go unnoticed by homeowners simply because they don’t know any better.
Clients we prune for are aware of the correct methods and enjoy the natural shapes and textures of their gardens. It would be a crime to have this type of universal shrub trimming happen to their landscapes.
For the record let me just say that gas or electric powered trimming shears are a great invention when used for the right application.
In future posts I’ll have examples of proper pruning and you’ll be amazed at the considerations & complexities to this rarely practiced skill.