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Re: trees and other design elements

Those tract home developments just make me shudder every time I drive
through one...and makes me thank heaven I live in a small town where
almost every home is unique and special! Most are just simple, ordinary
homes built in the late 1800's/early 1900's...many with
additions/remodelings, but almsot all have an individual character and
charm! We have two little subdivisions at opposite ends of town and even
there, a concerted effort was made to individualize each home so that
you don't get row upon row of those cookie cutter homes.

Melody, IA (Z 5/4)

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious."    
--Albert Einstein

 --- On Sat 01/31, james singer < jsinger@igc.org > wrote:
From: james singer [mailto: jsinger@igc.org]
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 15:01:52 -0500
Subject: Re: [CHAT] trees and other design elements

I think that's probably right, Kitty. Most people want their property
<br>to look just like every other piece of property on their street.
Some <br>kind of safety in numbers. There are probably 200 houses in the
<br>development I live in and only three or four of them are
"different." <br>And only two that have done away with the front
lawn.<br><br>Most of the landscapes we do at work [that's three or four
a week], are <br>cookie-cutter designs for cookie-cutter tract houses in
named, often <br>gated, developments. $5,000 worth of trees and shrubs,
4,000 square <br>feet of lawn [usually St. Augustine "Floratam"], and a
$2,500 <br>irrigation system. Most of this stuff, which is selected and
approved <br>by the house buyer, is rolled into the mortgage loan. Most
builders pay <br>for the lawn and the irrigation outright, and grant the
house buyer an <br>"allowance" for the shrubs and trees, all of which
are included in the <br>sales price of the house. The only additional
cost the buyer may <br>encounter is any landscaping beyond what is
covered by their allowance.<br><br>I called where I live a development,
and it is, but it's an old one, <br>developed back before real estate
marketers hit upon the notion of <br>giving every group of 12 streets
some kind of development name--I <br>suppose because it sounds more
appealing to advertise "a Home in <br>Pelican Point" than "a house on
Darwin Street."<br><br>One other comment: Even among the moneyed
clients, there are very few <br>who have wanted gardens, except for rose
gardens, herb gardens, fruit <br>orchards, and the like. In five years,
we've had a total of one person <br>who wanted a cut-flower garden and
no more than five who wanted all <br>shrubs and trees [no lawn], four if
I can't count the guy whose only <br>lawn was a putting
green.<br><br><br><br><br>On Saturday, January 31, 2004, at 12:35 PM,
Kitty wrote:<br><br>> I think many people are influenced by the media as
to what their home <br>> should<br>> look like. Check the magazines.
You're *supposed* to h

ave a patio and<br>> landscaping. So they have it done even if using it
doesn't appeal to <br>> them.<br>> I believe landscapers often realize
that their clients just want the <br>> pretty<br>> picture with low
maintenance and that the broad expanse of sunlit lawn <br>> still<br>>
rates highly with their customers. So they give them what they want.
<br>> And,<br>> as has been mentioned, many people are afraid of doing
things out of <br>> the<br>> ordinary for fear of repercussions to
property value. Your area is<br>> relatively new and upscale and it
would seem to me that most buyers <br>> would<br>> not want to take big
chances.<br>><br>> Which makes me think of a recent community issue
here. As our city <br>> expands,<br>> new developments go up in every
direction. Occasionally this will <br>> include<br>> new apartment
complexes or retirement communities. One national chain <br>> built<br>>
a lovely complex of retirement apartments with the building' sided in
<br>> their<br>> trademark soft yellow w/white trim. The neighbors were
up in arms!<br>> meetings called! petitions to the city to force them to
change the <br>> color to<br>> blend with the neighborhood! How could
they side the complex in that <br>> gaudy<br>> brash color when
everything else - absolutely everything else - is <br>> boring<br>>
taupe?<br>><br>> Kitty<br>><br>><br>Island Jim<br>Southwest
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