Do The Right Thing

It’s 8:30 at night on Labor Day as I write this post.  I just got off the phone with a prospective client who needed some masonry work done to get the CO for their new deck.

After asking questions about the job it became clear what they needed more than a landscape designer was a mason.  I assured them that when the time came for grading around the deck or designing the gardens I would be glad to assist.

I recommended my client call a local company called LRM Landscaping for the masonry work or visit a Southbury Stone and Supply for materials and to get references for masons.

Some contractors would subcontract the job or make something up on the fly.  I’ve reached the point in life where I know what I do well, and profitably, and what I don’t.  I enjoy masonry work but my detailed mind can’t get the work done quickly enough and frankly its heavy work.

I don’t know if I did the right thing or not but I listened to my gut.  If I’ve learned one thing in life it’s to always listen to your gut.

I hope I get a call to design and install some landscaping work around the new deck.  It sounds gorgeous.

*Note:  The featured image is a patio I installed in the late 90’s.  I cut granite slabs to make the rounded corners and used flamed bluestone for the patio.  The granite slabs I used for the steps had a ‘cushion edge’ to give them a weathered look.

My clients hired masons to build steps to their new french door.  When the mason stepped on the patio he looked at me and said, “Do you think you’re working with wood?”  That’s one of my favorite projects.

It’s Monday Morning and I’m Ready to Work

One of my rituals on office days is to clean the office before starting work.  I can’t decide if cleaning is a stalling tactic or productivity tweak.

Clutter is a huge productivity killer for me.  My brain can’t start solving problems or being creative in clutter.

Everything in it’s place and a place for everything.

I keep a bottle of Windex and paper towels in the office to clean the desktop, computer monitor and everything else on my desk.  A damp paper towel picks up dust and has yet to scratch my computer monitor.

A quick run of the vacuüm across the floor keeps Theo’s furballs at bay for at least the morning.

The fish tank looked a little cloudy so I siphoned out some water, cleaned the glass and topped off the tank.

My children won Shimmer and Zoomer at a carnival 4 years ago.  I often glance over at their tank and see them staring at me trying to convince me to feed them more.

Shimmer and Zoomer Goldfish
Shimmer is the fish on the left. He’s named Shimmer because of his shiny scales. Zoomer on the right darts off when she or he feels threatened.

The last touch is to light a Candle.  A candle sets the tone for the day by relaxing me.  I save the candle for when I’ll be in the office most of the day.

Yankee Candle Home Sweet Home

I also cleaned, fed and watered Minnie.  Here’s a video of Minnie, named after Minnie Mouse because of her black ears, if you’re interested.

Time to get to work.

A Day That Changed My Life Forever

It was a Saturday morning and I had a 10:00 appointment with a client 30 minutes away.  My family and I were off to visit a lighthouse when I returned.

My client wanted me to look at a landscape a local nursery planted six months earlier.

They spent over $7,000 on a landscape that gave them no pleasure.

It was a classic case of a nursery installing a job late in the season.

The nursery used the leftover plants they had in stock.  Specimens sprung from the landscape with no sense of purpose and there was no continuity to the design.  Weeds were breaking through the dusting of mulch.

My heart went out to those poor people.  There was little, if any, landscape design or installation skill used in the planting.

I gave them an estimate of 3-4 k to mend the landscape because you have to move, and remove, a lot of plants.  A landscape design to work from required a $300 investment for travel, materials and design time.

I left the visit waiting for a call that never came.

When I returned home at noon my family and I were off to visit the lighthouse.  We never made it inside.  There was a 3 hour wait to get in.

This wasn’t the first time I met a potential client and didn’t get the job.  I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Something about that day left an impression on me.

After 25 years of free consultations I knew it was time for a change.

If you’re considering hiring my company I welcome your call.  I’m happy to discuss your needs and see if we’re a good fit for you.

If you’d like me to visit your home please know that I charge for consultations with future clients.  This consultation gets you the knowledge I’ve learned in 25 plus years working in the field and my degree in Ornamental Horticulture.

The consultation charge justifies that you, and I, value my time.

If you’re not interested in paying for a consultation I know a nursery that will be glad to help.


Fall in Love with Some Activity

A viewer on my YouTube Channel shared this quote with me.  I think you’ll enjoy it too.

Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don’t think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn’t stop you from doing anything at all. – Richard P. Feynman.