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Don't know where to start, or who to hire

Posted by rivkadr SoCal (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 5, 12 at 12:48

We have a small bungalow in Southern California. This is an older picture of our house:

We recently had some work done on the foundation, and they had to dig around the flower beds in the front to get to it, and so whatever was there is pretty much pulverized. So we figure it's a good time to go ahead and redo the landscaping since it's looking pretty shabby and dated.

Thoughts/issues/etc:

- I'd like to put some flowers in, and make the general appearance look a lot prettier and professional. Right now there's a crooked line of brick separating the flower beds from the lawn; surely there's something more attractive that could be done, although what that would be, I don't know.

- Neither my husband nor I have any interest in doing any gardening ourselves; we have lawn care people that come in once a week.

- I'd like to replace the big red bush (now a small, dead red bush) in the front with a small clementine tree. Is this feasible in that space?

- I'm not even sure what kind of company or person to hire for this. What we need is someone who can advise us on what to plant, do the actual planting, and make things look nice.

- Finally, how much does stuff like this cost? Not looking for exact estimates, but are we talking thousands of dollars?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Don't know where to start, or who to hire

  • Posted by catkim San Diego 10/24 (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 5, 12 at 14:13

Clementine are citrus, and citrus need sun. Your spot looks quite shady in the photo. If your house is north-facing, you will have difficulty producing fruit.

Go visit your local nursery (not a big box store) and talk with them about your garden. They will very likely have suggestions and contacts for you.


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RE: Don't know where to start, or who to hire

Our house is east facing.


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RE: Don't know where to start, or who to hire

Add some low maintenance plants to soft the driveway and the straight lines so much.
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RE: 5Don't know where to start, or who to hire

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RE:8 Don't know where to start, or who to hire

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RE: Don't know where to start, or who to hire

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RE: Don't know where to start, or who to hire

It looks to me like your best bet would be to look for a small landscape contractor who was capable of providing design services or the local garden center may offer installation and design. You should have a good idea in your mind about what it is you're after, design-wise, so you can communicate it to whoever you hire. Provide pictures or examples. Controlling the design and setting the budget is the best way for you to control the actual work that will happen later. Be willing to adjust your budget if you get feedback that it's insufficient. How much it costs depends entirely on how much you wish to have done. It's like buying a used car and can run the gamut. Give them a budget and get feedback if it's reasonable. I don't know California prices, but for sake of comparison, here, a small front yard, kept simple, could be less than $2K to $4K, or more. It depends entirely how much you're having done. Like anything, there barely is an upward $ limit if you want to go crazy. (Keep in mind I can't really make out what's in the shadows so don't have a good idea about the extent of work.) If the job is too small, you may have to look harder to find a contractor who's willing to do it as there'd be little profit... not enough for a larger outfit. Keep in mind that good plants cost money. No one will do $5K of work for $2K. You'll get what you pay for. If it were me, I'd get involved on selecting or approving the larger plants as there is a wide range on style and quality. You may not have the interest or have good trust in the contractor. Research the plants that are proposed on your plan and try to understand and visualize what it is you're getting so that you don't miss opportunities to have it suit your liking. But knowing that others will be caring for it will probably incline you toward not making it too unusual in any way.


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