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Should you hire a landscape designer or do it yourself?


by Lisa Miccolis, owner of Bountiful Gardens

o you ask yourself if you really need to hire a landscape designer and why couldn’t you just do it yourself? You think that it’s pretty simple and you can just look through some books and magazines and then get some recommendations from the garden center. You may be able to get the job done but the question I have is will you have actually saved money? If so, at what expense? Possibly a mediocre design with mistakes that may need to be fixed in the future. As the owner of three garden centers I love to sell plants but I never like hearing that they are being bought as replacements for ones that have perished. I enjoy hearing our customer’s stories of how well their plants are doing and they are digging up more lawn to add more plants. We always discourage impulse buying when it comes to plants unless you are shopping for annuals. Planting a perennial, shrub, or tree is an act you will live with for years and any mistakes on placement can really be costly later. For this reason I do feel that hiring an experienced landscape designer for any major overhauls of the landscape can save a lot of more than money. Experience, Design, Creativity, Construction, Cost, and Satisfaction are all the areas of expertise that you should benefit from when hiring a good landscape designer.


A good landscape designer has many years of experience working in the area and knows what works and what doesn’t. Have you ever bought a plant and it didn’t perform to your expectations and you eventually pulled it out of the garden? One plant may not be a huge loss but what if it was dozens? That would be a costly mistake.


A good landscape designer will listen to your ideas and try to put your vision into a landscape design on paper and put into plan everything that you want. The designer will let you know exactly what you need, where it is going to be placed, what it will look like and how much it will all cost.


Although you may have collected magazine clippings of gardens you like and properties you dream to be yours, every properties conditions are different and has its own unique circumstances and this is all taken in by a good landscape designer. The designer will take the best elements of the desired look and put them into a design that is an original masterpiece.

Construction & Installation

Having a wheelbarrow and a shovel isn’t going to cut it for most landscape projects. Having the right tools is essential along with knowing how to use

them. There are so many aspects of landscape construction that require the man power of 2-3 people moving and lifting. Recruiting friends and family to do this work could get them hurt if things aren’t done safely. When adding up the costs of hiring workers and renting equipment, you may find that it would have been cheaper to hire the landscape designer. This is especially true because the designer will prevent costly mistakes.


How long will it take you to do it yourself? Do you really have the time? Landscape designers know how to get projects done quickly with the best possible results. It is amazing how quickly an experienced landscape team can turn around a property.


Loving and enjoying your new landscape is the ultimate goal. Hiring the right landscape designer can turn your dreams for your property into reality. You will be proud of the collaborative effort and you can take credit because you were involved. A landscape designer should help you turn your dreams into reality, not impose his or her dreams on you. Our Landscape designers are always available for an at home no cost consultation to discuss your dream property. Set up your appointment early before the season gets going because we do get very busy starting in April. If you are a DIYer don’t hesitate to come in and shop at our locations. We have many displays to inspire our customers through the use of color, texture, and fragrance.

135 Route 206 Hillsborough, NJ 08844 (908) 526-5500 • fax (908)526-5501

1536 Lower Ferry Rd. Ewing, NJ 08618 (609) 583-5167

54 Main St. Chester, NJ 07930 (908) 879-9993 Ads template 10x12.indd 1

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Princeton Magazine, February 2016  

Witherspoon Media Group

Princeton Magazine, February 2016  

Witherspoon Media Group