conflicts between the landscaper and the gardener
Although I provide design and landscape services, I am one of the only gardeners in my area. So, situations arise where I am hired to maintain properties that are designed by an LA and installed by a large out of state landscape co, and the issue is both poor design choices and worse yet, poor quality plants that are under guarantee.
It's such a fine line to walk. Most of the cases I feel compeled to explain that the replacements will be the same poor quality and the guarentees are worthless. Several times these clients ask for proposals from me which are always high dollars because I buy individual specimens (instead of truck loads) and they are high quality material. They use my proposal to push the LA to force the landscaper to replace for free (same crap, different day.
For instance, all the sizable trees are park grade at best with small root balls, either grown too deep or planted too deep. Clearly under stress when they plant them.
In one case, I arrived to find several shrubs had been replaced but were drying up because they were planted too high. My dilemma, fix it or be the bearer of bad news. What's my responsibility to the client? So I decided to replant them and find out that shrubes that look like 3gal material actually have a qrt size root system??? They died anyway, despite my efforts.
This poor man has paid through the nose for this landscape and I'm looking bad too.
Now the result is the LA is compelled to oversee the landscapers work, he communicates to the client through emails and I'm sent copies. In the last one, the LA reports that the 2 replacement trees are in and he had the company pull the dirt away from the trunk and expose the flares - I think "good!" But I get there yesterday and realize that the trees had actually been grown in the field too deep, they have a line on the trunk where the soil had been 4-6" inches higher and the exposed flares have dead fiberous roots. The lovely park grade trees look stressed and I look closer to find the presence of ants all over the bottem of the trunks and pin hole entries on the flares (borers, of course) Great! what is my response to the client? I want to scream, "you should have paid for my trees and my work! but forget it because the awesome trees I sourced were in limited quantity and are surely sold now!" ARGH! to add insult to injury, the LA has also marked two more places for trees and I can't help but think, if he doesn't have me plant them then the client has a learning disability! MY GAWD!
Quit? no, it's my biggest estate and a cash cow for maint. But I'll likely be fired one day because Everything going on looks like I am failing. WWYD?