Obey the signs
I knew right away the strata yard I had just stepped into was special. It was littered with signs asking me not to prune anything. Willows, hydrangeas and Japanese maples, all off-limits.
And it was fine because I was there to do finesse work. My job was to rake up the leaves and maybe cultivate the beds so the place looked decent come spring. But then I had to go see the old man in the woods before my coffee-soaked bladder burst.
I discreetly snuck away through the back patio and rushed into the woods. But on the way back I missed another sign asking me to go around. Oops.
Then the old lady came out so I asked her about the signs. Was she a hard-core home gardener who preferred to prune everything herself? Did people make mistakes in her yard?
When you walk into the yard, the first window you see is her bedroom window. So, the signs were there so people wouldn’t prune the three Hydrangeas. She wanted them to grow so they could cover the view to her bedroom windows.
Now, for a split second I thought, given the lady’s old age, it was unlikely there would be a line-up of degenerates looking into her bedroom window. But this blog post has a point to it, as all blogs must, because time is precious.
It’s important to get to know your client’s gardens. You can’t prune everything indiscriminately and ignore all posted signs as you do it. There are people with special plants and special requests. Make them happy.
Here the fix is obvious: leave the hydrangeas alone for a few seasons. If you must remove the mop head flowers, only remove the flowers. Make the owner happy by leaving the height alone.
Talk to your clients and get to know their needs. And if your crews change a lot, inform them so mistakes don’t happen.