Landscaping projects shouldn’t start after the snow melts. They should be starting right now. There are many advantages to thinking ahead – and there even more advantages to planning with a professional landscaper.
“The way I view landscaping for a home is like a painting-by-numbers picture that hasn’t been filled out,” says Sean Ducey, manager of Whispering Hills Garden and Landscape Center, in Crystal Lake. “You can see what it’s supposed to look like, but without the colors and details it just doesn’t carry the same impact.”
Professional landscapers have a good sense of what belongs where, and they can quickly assemble a working plan. Even do-it-yourself gardeners can benefit from their advice. Not only do the experts have insights on what plants fit a particular landscape, but they also know how to get the most out of each plant.
“If you have a bee allergy, for example, find plants that flower at times when bees are not at their peak,” Ducey says. “If you have small children who love getting into things, maybe a plant with thorns isn’t the one for you. Mention these types of things to a professional, and they’ll help find the right plants for you.”
These experts also have the know-how and years of experience to assemble high-quality hardscaping – that is, the stone and hard surfaces that integrate with a landscape.
Professionals are particularly helpful on hardscaping because they understand the products and any local ordinances regarding patios, steps and other features, Ducey says.
“There are county code requirements that need to be followed and product guidelines that need to be followed as well,” Ducey adds.
Before hiring just any landscaper, be sure to do your homework, adds Ducey. Understand who it is that you’ll hire and what expertise they can bring to the table.
“Make sure they’re fully insured and also ask to see some of their jobs in person,” Ducey says. “You can do a lot with editing photos these days, so you definitely want to see their work in person.” ❚
Whispering Hills Garden and Landscape Center is located at 8401 Ill. Rt. 31, in Crystal Lake, (847) 658-5610.