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You finally finished the install! What to expect next.


You finally wrapped up the journey of construction. It can feel long and arduous for some of our clients and exciting and joyful for others. Either way, it is often quite an adventure.

As pleasing as it is to wrap up the construction, it can also be jarring.

For many months or even a few years, you have had teams of people managing all that goes into the construction of your landscape. Many milestones have been crossed with many exciting moments as your dream is being realized. Additional, changes and any general labor needs have been easily met. But now, those teams are leaving.

While they will be available for questions and warranty work, their crews are off to their next long-term project.



Do you have a transition plan in place?

Crossing the threshold from construction to management is a critical step that requires preplanning and contractual agreements made in advance of the completion of the landscape.

The mindsets and skill sets of builders and managers are generally very different and few people do both very well. Therefore It is generally a completely different team that manages vs. builds.

This decision to hire a management team should not be made lightly. Improper care voids warranties, severely sets your garden back in its growth, and takes away from your time and overall enjoyment of your new landscape.

Our build partners offer a plant warranty and about 1/2 of them offer ongoing management. We will help you choose a team and a plan that is right for you.



The change from construction crews to management crews, the associated loss of crews monitoring plant health on a daily basis, and the young state of the plant material render this time a most vulnerable point in the life of your garden. It is rare that a homeowner can manage this effectively, especially at a second home.

This team will be handling the scheduling, weeding, pruning, pest management, fertilization, and most importantly irrigation management. The early stages of the garden are quite fragile and need a regular skilled hand and an attentive eye.

All the natural systems are establishing themselves and need to be watched closely for the first year. The summer heat and the winter frosts can take a serious tole on the garden if plants and soils are not properly hydrated.

Plant health is best monitored by regular visits, paying close attention to the signs and behaviors of the garden.

Skilled managers are watching the weather, checking the soil, and looking for subtle signs of plant stress and plant health on a very regular basis to gauge the health of the garden. If one waits until there are serious signs of plant decline before addressing the issue, the garden will lose the vigor for possibly the entire rest of the growing season, assuming you catch the issue before plant fatality.

Regular observance and care is critical in the first year.


Rick Taylor


Elder Creek Design Studios


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