I deal with a lot of engineers and scientists. For the most part, they make great clients because most of them can analyze what they do well and what they don’t do well, so we get along. They do well with very detailed mathematical problems because they are “left brained.” As we all know, the right side of the brain controls creativity to a great extent. Personally, it doesn’t matter what I do, calculus is something that I will never master. You see, I am very right brained — and also left handed.

 Much of the problem with getting clients to buy landscape plans is that, “It seems so easy. It’s just a bunch of plants after all. How hard can that be?” Following that theory, fine art is just a bunch of paint, right? I’m not trying to say that some novices can’t design a nice landscape layout. They can IF they are right brained.

Here is the problem. A left-brained person makes designs based on circles and straight lines to lay out beds, grass areas and plants. When you think in those terms, the landscape design turns out to be very formal and loses the natural, organic look that is the hallmark of modern landscapes. If they diverge from that model, the design can become a random placement of plants with no continuity or organization so instead of “natural” it looks “disorganized.”

 Another reason that most homeowners struggle with designing their own landscape is that they can’t visualize the mature size of the plants, so they tend to just  try to make it look good NOW. Chances are that, if it looks really good NOW, then you’ve purchased and installed way too many plants.

All of this wasted effort and wasted money could be solved with a plan. The installation is hard work, but you can do it yourself and have great results if you have the guidance and confidence that a plan brings to the table. The cost of a professional plan saves you money and time because you only purchase and install what was needed and you won’t be spending time changing things that were planted in the wrong place. The result should speak for itself!

Mike Dooley is the designer and owner of Dooley Landscape Designs. Visit his website at www.dooleylandscapedesigns.com. He can be reached at 505-400-0257.

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