I’ve read a few books on landscaping design, and while I can’t specifically name any, I will tell you that the majority of them portray landscaping as being hard work. And I’m not just referring to “do it yourself” landscaping books. There are some really great ones out there – those that really do teach you the principles of landscaping by example. The problem is, many landscaping books present landscaping design in the same way – as if it’s an activity that can be picked up and moved into a new home project with minimal effort. In fact, a landscaping design class, or even a few introductory landscaping classes, would benefit greatly from including a little more information on landscaping. After all, not everyone has hours to spare.
Landscaping isn’t necessarily hard work, but there are definitely parts of landscaping design that require your undivided attention. A landscape architect, for example, might be well suited to working with homeowners to come up with a landscaping design that fits their needs and their lifestyle. It’s just that there are so many aspects of landscaping design that can be very time consuming, and it doesn’t always seem like it’s worth it. I’ll give an example. If you’re going to construct a playhouse for a little girl, you don’t want her to have a playground that is two stories long because her friends are using it for their games!
One of my favorite quotes is attributed to the world famous landscape architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and it goes something like this (worth checking out from the library, if you have the chance): “I find that my most difficult work comes when I am doing what I love. When I do it for a living, it’s easy.” Now, I know what you’re thinking – this is a bit of an overstatement, and I wouldn’t attribute the quote to Wright exactly, since his interest in landscaping did not extend to making homes. However, you might take Wright’s advice to heart, especially if you are a landscaping professional yourself. You might find that landscaping is not really that hard, after all.
Another example comes from my own professional experience. I worked as a landscaping designer for many years, and while it was hard work, I loved every minute of it! It wasn’t long before I came to the realization that I would rather do something that I enjoyed than work on a task for hours on end that had no enjoyment at all. And this principle works with anything that you’re passionate about; after all, wouldn’t you want to design a building or a landscape for your own home?
Of course, some people might think that they are landscaping simply for the joy of it. If you’ve ever seen pictures of children playing in the front yard of a great house or a beautiful country estate, then you know that there is more to the process than simply picking out the plants and grass. Yes, children can be fun and engaging, but they also demand a lot of attention and effort. It might sound like a contradiction, but the truth is that it is hard work. In fact, it might be one of the most physically demanding jobs you will ever have, but because you love what you’re doing, you’ll find that you don’t mind.
And finally, what do you say to someone who asks, “Is landscaping hard work?” If you have a child who is starting to get into landscaping, tell them that it’s actually very easy. They will probably enjoy, it will help them get into the practice of doing something that requires physical effort that they enjoy.