Need help designing a landscape? Here’s how to find the right pro for the job – NOLA.com

Need help designing a landscape? Here’s how to find the right pro for the job – NOLA.com

Garden columnist Dan Gill answers readers’ questions each week. To send a question, email Gill at [email protected]

I need some help designing a landscape in my backyard. I’d like to put in a deck, beds of shrubs, flowerbeds and some trees, but I’m hopelessly lost in how to do it properly. Do you have any advice on seeking professional help? — Valerie Mitchell

The winter cool season is the ideal time to install new landscapes in Louisiana or redesign and renovate existing landscapes. If you’d like to hire a landscape professional but you don’t know where to begin, here are some helpful tips.

WORD OF MOUTH: Ask your friends, neighbors and colleagues for recommendations. Do some online research into the landscaping companies and landscape installation businesses in your area. Your best bet is to select an experienced, well-established firm or company with a history of completing projects similar to yours.

GET SEVERAL OPINIONS: Arrange a meeting with two or three different companies. Don’t feel shy asking about the training and educational background of the people who will be working for you. Get a feel for how well you could work with the individuals and how well they understand what you want. Ask for references, and check with the Better Business Bureau.

Garden columnist Dan Gill answers readers’ questions each week. To send a question, email Gill at [email protected]

CHECK FOR LICENSING: Make sure the company or individual you’re dealing with is properly licensed by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, which is required by law. A licensed landscape architect has a degree in landscape architecture and can sell you an original design whether he or she does the installation or not.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF PRO: You may also choose to use a licensed landscape horticulturist. Landscape horticulturists may help you develop a design, but only as part of a package that includes the plants, materials and installation. Because landscape horticulturists are not required to have any design training to get their licenses, carefully ask them about their training and experience in doing designs.

The primary benefit of using any of these experts is to draw on their knowledge, experience and creativity.

Before you make a final decision, obtain a written estimate, including a projected date of completion. Make sure the contract you sign for installation includes a detailed list of all plants, materials, work to be done and specifications, as well as any guarantees on plants and other materials used in the landscape. 

I’m seeing lots of dewberry brambles coming up in a garden of monkey grass. Is there any herbicide that will kill off the brambles and not hurt the monkey grass? — Wendy

Garden columnist Dan Gill answers readers’ questions each week. To send a question, email Gill at [email protected]

Sorry, but no there are no selective herbicides I’m aware of that will kill the brambles but not kill the monkey grass. You can try cutting back the individual stems of brambles and then painting …….

Source: https://www.nola.com/entertainment_life/home_garden/article_39deabe4-7224-11ec-b1e6-7b5f36727755.html

Landscaping