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the country fair?

the rub of the green

the rub of the green...

A polite debacle arose recently were a landscape architect, a contractor and a sub contractor agreed to work together for the common benefit of a client. Not much new there and a normal sounding relationship prior to the start of any garden build. What resulted was a mild tarnish and financial loss on the name of the landscape contractor because the firm employed to be the intermediary – the landscape designer, employed not only to design but also to ensure that both client and main contractor were protected financially – did not.

a fair policy?The main contractor, of good standing and rapport, naturally oversaw all of the work, took on the responsibility of the extra costs and the potential risk of added costs should any tasks have gone even mildly askew in the clients or architects eyes. From a garden point of view one would be very impressed with the end result. In this case the end result was not all it seemed.
The couturier and the tertiary contractor became acquainted and the overall costs which allowed for clients extras and mishaps were paid directly to the subcontractor from the main contractors original costings. As advised to the client. Of course it’s not like I haven’t been here myself – but then, in business one learns very fast!

press me at any timeOn a larger scale this happens so regular within the construction industry where the middle man is deemed financially responsible and the contractor more often can do little but bite nails. ‘Sometimes’ it seems some of the finest garden builders in this country result in a negative financial situation through no fault of their own and are very much helpless when crossing the finish line as contract law becomes can you afford to wait and/ or can you afford to take ‘us’ on.

I really empathise and sympathise with my learned colleague and as explained to me the client can only take advice from his closest aide, the design guru. In this situation the client would have known no better than as advised to him and to pay monies down as he did. Should it have been ethically possible to approach this man and whisper in his ear then things may have been different, but it is not my position. However, the finest and most talented horticulturists and garden that was built aside I can only hope that this article allows the next garden contract run a little smoother [behind the scenes] as a result and that the honest contractors may take precedence in this changing world we live in.

a beautiful garden

yet still a beautiful garden...

budget + designer = hot air??

hot air balloons and the great oudoorsI written many times about low budget gardening or gardening on [what you may consider to be] a low budget.

Although not unusual, sometimes *it is* a case where the client cannot see what the end result will be. This is the first usual when one does not wish to employ a full design service.

A quick outline sketch? will not [usually] sell it to you. So what will? This is where it gets tough.. not for me I can see it in my head. But for you, the client.

Like a wedding planner, a web designer [eg.] or any other service, I firmly believe one must *trust* the person they [you] empower to spend *your money* wisely – and there lies the first principle.

You may never be able to visualise your garden – but do you trust in me. Do you believe that what I say will be. At some stage you will have to. No amount of pencil lines can describe a feeling and no tree is ever exactly the same.

ROUND TWO: I want a ferrari. I don’t personally – I also know I can’t afford one. You know this too.

Client: we want two ferrari’s, a porsche and and and…

Designer: that’ll be two euro please

Client: Gees, you’re very expensive!

Designer: hmmm….

peter donegan landscaping ltd dublin

Is it not better to say we’re thinking of getting a car. We have around [eg] 100 euros – what do you think? Is that not where experience will start to pay off? It is never the amount of money that you have that will make a garden great. it is what you do with it.

Two examples: First – The Rolling Stones [great band by the way] on CD double album or on vinyl 2nd hand. Which is cheaper & which is better? Secondly – My garden for Bloom 2007 with the morris minor. Could that be visualised by you? It was the ultimate in recycling, it was free and pretty cool! Would you have bought it – before you saw the garden complete?

Small gardens or large. All the money in the world or not. The best gardens are always built with passion, the amount of money is secondary tertiary. All relationships are built on trust. No matter how long a duration or the basis & reasoning they are founded. It may be a garden. It may be a marraige. But if trust exists between a client and the designer/ contractor from the very start… life for that duration and the final outcome of something that will be so personal [ie *your* garden] to you will shine through.

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