How to Hire a Sustainable Landscaper
Whether you are looking to increase the value of your home or simply create an enhanced outdoor living space for your enjoyment, a sustainable landscape can be a great investment. Sustainable landscaping refers to low-impact and low-maintenance landscaping apt for a particular area and climate. For example, a backyard that utilizes sustainable landscaping may have native, drought-resistant plants which require little watering.
When it comes to hiring a sustainable landscape designer, not all are created equal and companies that assert they are environmentally-friendly and sustainable may not live up to such claims. Here are six tips to help ensure you hire a truly sustainable landscaper:
1. Do your homework! Research as much as possible on prospective designers. Browse through their websites, read their mission statements or frequently asked questions and find out who their preferred vendors are (or who they regularly work or contract with). Furthermore, ask for references of prior clients and inquire if you can see previous work of theirs. Due diligence is essential if you expect to hire a truly sustainable landscaper.
2. Find out what types of products they regularly use and would recommend – everything from eco-friendly landscaping tools to natural herbicides. A truly sustainable landscaper will have no hesitation telling you exactly what they use and why.
3. Have prospective designers detail how they would complete your landscape project from start to finish in a sustainable manner. This will give you a good idea if the landscaper is knowledgeable and skilled in sustainable landscape design and installation.
4. Ask about watering practices and sprinkler installation. Any good, reputable sustainable landscaper will offer a handful of solutions designed to limit water use in their landscape design.
5. Inquire about professional accreditation or membership from sustainable organizations. For example, they might be a member of the Coalition of Organic Landscapers (also known as COOL), which is an organization of professional landscapers committed to organic and sustainable garden design and care.
6. Ask about eco-friendly and organic practices they routinely utilize. For instance, do they offer plants and shrubs that have not been treated with fertilizer or other chemicals? Or do they practice effective erosion and sediment control on every landscape job?