Big Box Retailer or Local Landscape Designer?

In a recent Saturday visit to a large home improvement store in Orlando, Florida, I couldn’t help notice a few things. As a landscape designer I’m always curious about quality, plant selection, and overall value for my clients.

Overall most big box retailers in Orlando, Florida initially have a quality product. Once it reaches the store from the nursery, however it’s the daily care that will determine the long-term health. If a large tree or plant sits out in the parking lot baking in the sun, this will stress the plant. It may look good now, but might not transplant well into your landscape design. My company buys from the same nurseries that supply these retailers, however your plants are at the nursery getting the proper care until they are delivered to your jobsite.

Landscape plants especially annuals and perennials have a shelf life. They can’t sit on aisle 3 like a lawn mower for years waiting to be sold. This means that at certain times of year, there are generally plants for sale that will be out of season or will die in the short term. These plants are moved up front to be sold first. There won’t be a sign telling you this.   Having an experienced local landscape designer who knows Orlando, Florida plant material will save money and hassle.

The prices at big box retailers can vary, however it amazes me how plants are sold for. In some cases, for the same price, or 10% more my company can design, deliver, and install a quality landscape design. No spending a whole day driving to 5 stores to get 40 of the same plant.

As a landscape designer my business is helping people achieve their goals with the landscape. This is done by installing a quality product, designed for their property, that will last for years to come.

Robert Burns, FCLD

FNGLA Certified Landscape Designer