Well my Husband and I decided to hire the landscaper that quoated us $5600. we're meeting with him tomorrow to go over the contract. We just felt that the yard was to big for us to to id ourselves when we have absolutely no experience at all.
I do need a little advice though. One the srubs his planning to add to our yard are Red Tips , and Boxwood plants. What do you think of that ? A few of my friend thought that Chinese Fringe would be better than the red tips, and Boxwood attract a lot of bees.. Is that true.
I don't know about the boxwood and bees---I don't think they have much in the way of flowers (or maybe that's because the only ones I've seen have been pruned so much that you never see the blooms!), so I would think there would be many other plants that the bees would go for first.
As far as Chinese Fringe vs Red Tip, the Chinese Fringe is very pretty while in bloom but when out of bloom they can sometimes look a little ratty (especially the ones with green foliage--the dark foliage ones are a little better) and I think the Red Tip looks better in general for the rest of the year. I think they also have different growth habits so you might need to rethink spacing, etc if you start swapping plants for other ones. The most important thing really is whether you like the look though, so if you don't like some of the plants they chose then by all means suggest other ones.
I should also add that there may be other plants that go by those common names, my comments were based on these plants and I might change my mind if you really meant something else!
And some other money saving tips...I would definitely try to negotiate with them on a few items, it may not work but it never hurts to try! You can also save some money by having them put in smaller plants--landscapers tend to plant larger plants so the landscape looks filled in sooner, but if you don't mind waiting a little longer for things to grow in that could save you some $$. Also look at whether there are some simple things that you could do yourself--on my project, I saved myself about $1500 on the drip irrigation system by running the 1/4 inch tubing to the plants myself, and I saved another $1500 by putting down the mulch myself rather than having them do it. These things aren't hard at all, but they can take a fair amount of time which means when you're paying people by the hour to do them they can be quite expensive. My overall project was quite a lot more expensive than yours, so your total savings might not come out quite as high, but I'm sure you can save yourselves at least $500 or so by doing a few easy things yourselves.
Hi - re: Boxwoods - I just planted four last Fall, and they are very hardy, drought resistant, evergreen, and the deer don't normally munch them. They are not grown for bloom, but for foliage. The ones I got are known for their mounded habit, and don't require pruning. In fact, the advice was to allow them to take their natural form. The ones I got grow to about 4 - 6'. I'd suggest looking closely at the types he is recommending, and ask him about their growth habit - they may be a definite plus to your area - and avoid the types estreya is referring to, as they definitely exist also. Dax
I have several red tipped photinias,some are trimmed as a hedge and three were allowed to grow to tree form. They are evergreen in my area. The only problem that I have had with the trees is that they produce tons of red berries. The robins and mocking birds like the berries and they leave droppings on my deck. But it is only a couple of weeks until they have eaten all of the berries. Tree form may be achieved by trimming up the branches. The photo is of one of the photinias.
Oops-- realized this is an old post. Well, maybe someone else wants info on boxwood, etc. I love boxwood because they add a stable green element that gives color year round. They aren't that exciting, but you need a balance with all the flowering plants. I agree on planting smaller shrubs in many cases. Just find out if the shrub or perennial is a fast grower or not. For example, the climbing hydrangea vine is soooo slow that I would never buy a small one. It could take 5 years. Many other plants are quick to spread and it can save money. You also could have the landscapers prepre one bed that you will plant yourself later.
Sorry to disagree about the Boxwood BUT, in UK where I live (Scotland ) the Box is used for structure, Greenery all year round, can be kept to any size and needs pruned (ONCE EACH YEAR ONLY) gives a different texture and because the flowers are SOOOOO small, they are difficult to notice, I hate to say this but, there are a lot of other plants that the bee's are attracted to, but we all need bee's and other insects in our gardens to pollinate the flowering plants we like to use for colour in different seasons.
When the landscaper gives you the list of plants, go along to your garden center and have a look at the plants Named in the scheme, this will give you a better idea of what they look like, check the plant labels and they should tell you how tall / wide the plants grow to by about 10 years, don't be scared to pull the plants out and lay them close to each other so you can look at the different textures and colours, I have seen a garden that has nothing but foliage / greenery and planted out well, it looks stunning, not my taste but, very clean and stately.
Also keep in mind that unless you give your preferred plant list, it is quite common for contractors to give the cheapest, easiest to obtain and more common named plants that don't cost a lot of dollars as they need to keep there profits up, so always ask questions. Remember it is YOUR garden, you have to live with it for years, it is not the landscapers garden, but most of the landscape businesses like feedback and questions as it helps them to find out what people they are designing for and their taste.
Good luck. WeeNel.