What’s in a Professional Landscape Consultation & Why You Should Pay for One There are many levels of expertise and experience within the landscape industry. At Green Jay, we pride ourselves on our ecological niche that takes a holistic view of a property when determining any design or program recommendations. Simply put, these recommendations cannot be made in a vacuum over the phone. Site analysis is the first essential step in any of our projects. When we first visit a property, we consider the following: Client Wishes– this is a pretty obvious step, of paramount importance! What do you like and dislike about your current landscape. How do you envision your landscape functioning – do you entertain often, have young children, rowdy pets, or do you just need a quiet place to relax outside? Client Views– sometimes the best inspiration comes from insidethe house – particularly to evaluate and frame views outside from primary indoor living spaces. Getting a sense of the client’s style through their home décor choices also provides valuable insight. Drainage – we always ask, “do you have water in your basement?” Often, clients are habituated to their basement sump pump running constantly, not realizing that there are home and landscape improvements that can reduce flooding and ponding. We evaluate gutter and leader sizes, trace where they dump the water, and inspect drains, catch basins, and pipes for debris or signs of degradation. Moss, mold and slimy surfaces are other good indicators of drainage issues. Plant Health – Maybe you inherited a fifty-year-old landscape of exotic shrubs, now overgrown, and have no idea what’s worth keeping, pruning, or dumping? Maybe your arborvitaes haven’t grown since you planted them several years ago. Maybe you have shrubs with yellowing leaves and holes. Our trained horticulturalists evaluate your landscape’s plant health and make recommendations on how to rejuvenate them organically. Sun / Shade Conditons – Sun mapping is critical in determing planting recommendations. Lawn – is your lawn organic yet?! What will it take to get you there? Do you have a crabgrass problem? Do you have the right pH and enough organic matter to grow a great lawn? Is your soil suffering from compaction? Our Organic Lawn Care programs are custom designed for each property. Soil – We evaluate the physical characteristics of your soil (how much sand, silt, and clay) by hand, and take note of coloration (rusty, light brown, almost black). For clients signing on for a design or organic maintenance program, we alwaystake a soil chemistry test to evaluate pH, micro and macro nutrients, cation exchange capacity, soluble salts, and more. Circulation– is your landscape accessible from major entry points? Could it benefit from a stepping stone path or stone staircase to guide the visitor? Repairs & Improvements – We can advise on existing property improvements from masonry work to gutters to rot and mold issues. These observations and analyses are critical to informing a design plan. If you have a landscape project in mind that could benefit from a professional evaluation and recommendations, give us a call at 914-560-6570.