For homeowners, starting a landscape project is nothing short of a challenge. While it may start with ambition and the desire to make improvements, things come to a halt when you realize you may have taken too big of a challenge. That’s when you search for “landscape companies near me” and call the professionals. That’s why it’s best to start with easy wins if you want landscape success. Here’s how you can do it:
- Start with small challenges – There is something called “The Winner Effect” in nature. The term was coined by Ian Robertson in his book and it’s a phenomenon where creatures set themselves up for a larger win in the future by winning small fights in the present. The same applies to humans in their landscape projects. You start with very small projects and bathe in the sense of accomplishment when you finish them. As you do more such projects you pile up confidence until eventually you are armed with the knowledge, skills, and patience required to guarantee the success of a large project. Get on that winning streak as soon as possible.
- Define easy – Easy is defined differently by every individual. In the case of landscape projects, it is defined by the money, time, and effort they invest into it. Projects that don’t demand much of the three resources can be comfortably defined as easy. Once you have determined a project is easy according to your standards, it’s time to handle the limits of the project. To get an easy win, start with a project that takes less time but is very important. List down the solutions to the project and opt for very cost-effective solutions and meet the sweet balance of less effort. Everyone has limits on manual labor and it’s best to divide the task into smaller projects depending on the priority.
- What is landscape success? – Apart from defining “easy” projects, you also need to figure out what landscape success means to you. List down the problems that the project is going to solve, the benefits you may get from it, the quality of life change it will bring, and how you may feel at the end of the project. Whenever you’re demotivated or feel like quitting the project, look at that list to regain your zeal and get back to work.
- Don’t shy away from partnerships – Everyone is biased about their own abilities and hence it’s difficult to know your limits. Most people think they are capable of doing certain things until they actually take on the task. On landscaping projects, based on your capabilities and whether you can either:
- Oversee the project while contracting laborers to do the job
- You get involved in the project physically
- You assume the role of an audience while delegating the project entirely to contractors
Partnering with professionals is a wise choice for landscaping projects since they can fill in the skills and abilities you lack. Treat it like insurance, a fail-safe to guarantee the success of your project. If you decide to hire professionals for certain skill sets, perspectives, or other reasons, make sure that they have the necessary certifications, have insurance that can cover damage to your property, and ensure that they are friendly, good with communication, and easy to work with.
- Set up milestones for your project – As mentioned above large projects can be broken up into smaller ones so that you can build momentum, gain wins and move towards completion. To divide the project, you can list tasks that are needed to be done to make your landscape fully functional. Aesthetics and perfection can be worked on later. For instance, tasks like reorganizing an overgrown bed, crafting a sitting area with outdoor chairs, or clearing a dead shrub that blocks the view of your kitchen fit the criteria of smaller executable projects towards functionality.
You also need to set timelines for these projects and also account for seasonal changes. If you’ve taken on a humongous project that takes months or even years, think of a temporary solution. For instance, if you want to craft seats made of stone, you can place outdoor wicker chairs till that project gets done. This also gives you time to further polish the project to perfection and get that picture-perfect yard.
- Observe your property – During the day look at the yard and take pictures of it from various angles and in different weather conditions. Pictures will help you remember what your property looks like in different situations. For instance, you can learn where the sunlight falls and traces its path till the evening, where rainwater pools up, and which areas are shaded for most of the day. This kind of information helps you figure out where you should pay extra attention to drainage and where you should place your garden and shrubs or what kind of plant variety you need for low sunlight areas. When you’re aware of the unique condition of your property, you would be able to better execute your landscape projects for consecutive wins.
- There’s no perfect time to start – While proper planning is key to any successful plan, you do need to start at some point to score the win. No plan is perfect and yours wouldn’t be either. New trends, styles, and materials will keep popping up and they will force you to make adjustments to your plan. However, if you let those little things affect the start date you won’t be able to begin the project. Set a start date on the calendar and stick to it no matter what. Chasing perfection would lead to perceptual delays. A beautiful and functional landscape, even if not perfect, is always better than having none.
By now you must be familiar with the measures you need to take to ensure the success of your landscape projects. Start small, smart, and build on it. If things seem too difficult you can always get the pros by searching for “landscape companies near me”.