Lets talk about what it means to be a landscape designer.
We take an idea.
We conceptualize it.
We design it and figure out the logistics.
Then, we create.
Piece by piece a landscape is handcrafted. The landscape is crafted by a designer and by a contractor and a laborer. These are, in essence, handmade spaces by craftsmen. To begin a project we have to break ground. This sets off the building process by which the space is altered. From here on out we are handcrafting the landscape. We are manipulating the visceral qualities of the land we are designing and we are creating an ultimate and large scale hand crafted item. Every scoop of soil is a part of the process. Every nail hammered, every plant placed, a part of the process. The result becomes a custom creation unique to each owner.
Don’t we, as owners of things generally appreciate and place higher value on items which are handmade? The status of handmade items almost always brings greater pride to an owner of any equivalent item that comes off the shelf. It must be the knowing that my item was personally thought of and conceived. That a skilled set of hands used a selection of custom tools to build and create. That a person devoted time specifically for my item, with sweat and exertion, fatigue and a completed hand crafted item as a result. To know these things and know it did not come from a factory line or is 1 of 1 million plastic molds brings high satisfaction to a client and purchaser of things.
A friend of mine is a maker of leather goods. He cuts, burns, stains and stitches raw leather into crafted goods. The end product of the raw leather is a wallet, a handbag, a wrapped leather bound sketchbook. All of these items are available at any retailer. The big box retailer carries them along with the boutique store. Though, his is his own. A product unique to his technique. With it comes character and originality and effort and many man hours. Those types of things are appreciated greatly by some. Those types of things are valued much higher than an off the shelf item.
Let us think of the landscape again. Can we begin to see landscape design as one large, unique, intimate and original handcrafted item? The hardware store will always be there to offer those factory made and cookie cutter landscape accessories. But to own an original idea, now that is something more personal. I know I find more joy and comfort in knowing my item is originally mine. The competition is growing and there is a surge coming of highly creative people into the industry. These designers will bring variations to their craft. However, our craft and craftsmanship will be soley ours. Our signature will be our craft and craftmanship, and that sets us apart.