Shouldn’t I get a Real job?

Tropical gardenDespite the fact that my design business pays half the bills around here, I wonder sometimes if designing landscapes is a rather frivolous way to make a living, but as my daughter’s say – “compared to what?”  Well a nurse maybe??  I guess it’s the fact that you love a job so much that makes it seem less serious, but the reply to that was that maybe nurses love emptying bedpans like I love staring at a computer with a constant cup of tea beside me and the chickens on the deck outside the office. It IS great to get paid for what you love to do…

Tomorrow I’m flying off to visit a garden that I completed (or thought I had completed) five years ago. It needs “sorting out” after all this time.  Landscape design is not like building architecture as those darn plants just keep growing. When designing gardens rather than commercial projects, I have the problem that it is very hard to let go of a plan and decide that it is finished – I always wonder if it could have been more perfect.  The plan looks so good on paper, your customer is thrilled with your ideas and then reality bites. Those plants that in the tropics will grow to 2 or 3 metres look so tiny when they go in the ground and often the customer sneaks a few extra things that weren’t in the plan around them.

It’s good in some ways – an instant garden to photograph on completion of the project and more work for me in a few years’ time when the garden starts to become too crowded.  Tropical gardens are hard work. They need to be constantly pruned, fed and kept under control. The success of a good tropical garden is actually keeping an invisible line between plants so that you can see their shape and structure and prevent the garden looking too confused.  If you are doing a display garden that needs to look good at completion of construction this sometimes can’t be achieved and you have to revisit the design after a period of time.

Next week I’ll start posting some photos, but for now I have passed my last milestone to get my website up and running- my first two blogs – scary, but it’s done. I can only get better (I hope).

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