Re: trees and other design elements
I think that's probably right, Kitty. Most people want their property
to look just like every other piece of property on their street. Some
kind of safety in numbers. There are probably 200 houses in the
development I live in and only three or four of them are "different."
And only two that have done away with the front lawn.
Most of the landscapes we do at work [that's three or four a week], are
cookie-cutter designs for cookie-cutter tract houses in named, often
gated, developments. $5,000 worth of trees and shrubs, 4,000 square
feet of lawn [usually St. Augustine "Floratam"], and a $2,500
irrigation system. Most of this stuff, which is selected and approved
by the house buyer, is rolled into the mortgage loan. Most builders pay
for the lawn and the irrigation outright, and grant the house buyer an
"allowance" for the shrubs and trees, all of which are included in the
sales price of the house. The only additional cost the buyer may
encounter is any landscaping beyond what is covered by their allowance.
I called where I live a development, and it is, but it's an old one,
developed back before real estate marketers hit upon the notion of
giving every group of 12 streets some kind of development name--I
suppose because it sounds more appealing to advertise "a Home in
Pelican Point" than "a house on Darwin Street."
One other comment: Even among the moneyed clients, there are very few
who have wanted gardens, except for rose gardens, herb gardens, fruit
orchards, and the like. In five years, we've had a total of one person
who wanted a cut-flower garden and no more than five who wanted all
shrubs and trees [no lawn], four if I can't count the guy whose only
lawn was a putting green.
On Saturday, January 31, 2004, at 12:35 PM, Kitty wrote:
I think many people are influenced by the media as to what their home
look like. Check the magazines. You're *supposed* to have a patio and
landscaping. So they have it done even if using it doesn't appeal to
I believe landscapers often realize that their clients just want the
picture with low maintenance and that the broad expanse of sunlit lawn
rates highly with their customers. So they give them what they want.
as has been mentioned, many people are afraid of doing things out of
ordinary for fear of repercussions to property value. Your area is
relatively new and upscale and it would seem to me that most buyers
not want to take big chances.
Which makes me think of a recent community issue here. As our city
new developments go up in every direction. Occasionally this will
new apartment complexes or retirement communities. One national chain
a lovely complex of retirement apartments with the building' sided in
trademark soft yellow w/white trim. The neighbors were up in arms!
meetings called! petitions to the city to force them to change the
blend with the neighborhood! How could they side the complex in that
brash color when everything else - absolutely everything else - is
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