August 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm #152523
I have been at this for 10 years or so. I was always taught that you do a planting plan to show what the mature size of the plant will be, not the way it will be planted (i.e. show it as a 5 gal. pot) rather than a 4′ wide boxwood. I know that there are not a lot of LA’s out there in the design/build world, maybe I am just having a hard time adjusting to this. I am just wanting peoples opinion, please don’t post a novel here. Keep it simple.August 15, 2014 at 1:31 pm #152546
Your approach sounds logical and correct. While I generally avoid planting plans, I think I probably show mature size (or reasonably close). Am I reading too much into your comments to think that you are being asked to show the installed size? I’ve been in design/build (pools/hardscapes) for about 10 years. My landscape installer typically does the planting plan based on my concept, but I don’t think the size of the plant graphics has been a topic of discussion between us.
DaveAugust 15, 2014 at 3:17 pm #152545
Mature size in Plan view.
Under 5′ small shrub/groundcover
Plant List : installed size ex. 3 gall shrub, 5/6′ Ornamental B&B etc.August 15, 2014 at 4:28 pm #152544
All at full size. LA’s have a tendency to over plant projects without looking at the landscape 3,5,7 years afterwards. Some of that stems from outdated planning regulations which require x number of plants per sq. foot. The result is maintenance has to come back and rip plants out that grow together or it creates burden for long term maintenance. Always at mature growth.August 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm #152543
In my experience, it seems that it is the D&B landscape companies that over plant, simply because they want to cram as many plants in there as they can and $$$$$ on the job.August 15, 2014 at 9:40 pm #152542
I think I walk a line in between.
Locate plants based on mature size but show them at a size reasonable after a few years. I do not want to confuse my clients who look at the plan and don’t know why all the trees and shrubs look so small when planted. They need to have a sense of what the landscape will lok like when done.
But my landscapes are all exhibits so what they look like on Opening Day is more important to my clients than what they’ll look like in 20 years (how many landscapes remain as they were 20 years later in the current scheme of things? Is “mature size” a fantasy now?)August 15, 2014 at 10:55 pm #152541
Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
I did residential design/build 15 years before I got my degree and 14 years of residential after I got licensed. I draw plants “in between” as Rob wrote. Basically, I draw them at a size that is based on looking good in a plan with the actual spacing that they will be planted at … if that makes sense. A 5′ tall holly would be drafted at a diameter of 4.5 to 5′. A Compact Japanese Holly is usually 3.5 dia. on one of my plans. A shade tree might be 14′ dia. (20′ if it is a commercial plan) and a Kousa Dogwood 12′. I’ve used the same standard for 15 years and never got negative feedback in regard to the representation of plant size.
You have to be careful not to appear deceptive in design/build by “misrepresenting” what you will build. Also, residential landscapes have a shorter life span and a different type of maintenance than an Olmsted park, so the realization of “mature size” is unlikely for most of the plants in the plan. Spacing of plants should take that into consideration in my opinion.
I saw several ridiculous plans when I used to work installing or bidding on plans … usually by LA students or recent graduates. I saw lots of professional LA residential planting plans while working in civil offices. They scaled very similarly to how I do it …. I learned from others in the business.
Sorry, if it is a novel.August 16, 2014 at 11:11 am #152540
I‘ve used this as a rule of thumb for 25+ years and have had no real problems. I just tell the client that when the plantings are installed it’s not going to look like what is drawn. It will have to grow into what is on the plan. Then I put a note on the drawing stating that the plants are drawn at mature sizes.
I hate seeing shrubs that want to be 6′ wide planted 3′ o.c. When LAs do this it makes us all look bad.August 17, 2014 at 3:36 am #152539
Plants don’t come out off a form. Every species is different and should be addressed accordingly. We LS should know the material which makes us unique to the rest of the civil-, architecture, electrical-, structural-, and so on, world.August 17, 2014 at 3:44 am #152538
I have learned that one should show the footprint of a plant expected after 15 years off planting. It sounds right to me as plants and elevations are the space creating elements and will hardly ever change. This accounts for the concept. When it comes to planting plans I believe one should aim for a surface closure to be achieved within one year – having the necessary maintenance of soil, plants, and effect in mind. It is like putting grass down by seeds. A 100% coverage is not achieved over night.August 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm #152537
Note: I said, “RULE OF THUMB”. But, I do appreciate you pointing out to me that there is a difference between a shrub and let’s say… a concrete box culvert.August 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm #152536
Hi Craig, I had given a RoT a bit further down. Footprint at plant age of 15 years for concept. Common practice in Germany.August 17, 2014 at 1:19 pm #152535
Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
There is a difference between size when planted, mature size, and ultimate full size . Then there is the size range that it is intended to have during the life span of the landscape that is going to be defined by maintenance, like it or not philosophically,. Some plants can be allowed to grow to their ultimate size. Some need to be controlled.
There are some landscapes that can be designed to allow plants to naturally grow to their ultimate sizes. Those are not very common in design/build (design/build is typically residential). The plant pallet simply does not have plants that fit every size, form, color, and texture needed and remain stable.
I hope when you all use the term “mature size”, you are referring to the size that it is intended to hold in the landscape whether it does so naturally, or through maintenance.
I always think of a planting plan that I had to price out that featured a Bristlecone Pine that was drawn in with a 20′ diameter and a 4’5′ plant was specified. …. those homeowners will be dead and gone.August 17, 2014 at 1:59 pm #152534
I think that “15 year rule” makes sense to me. But, here in the States a lot of people want instant gratification. They’re thinking that they will only live in the house for 5-7 years and they want it to look like the established gardens that they see on their European vacations… RIGHT NOW! So within that 15 year period a home could have 2 or 3 different owners and each one will want to redo the landscape to their tastes (or lack thereof). Besides lots of our housing stock is built to last only 25-30 years. It’s been a constant battle for me to get my residential clients to understand that for the best result, they have to allow the garden to grow into its own. It seems like the wealthier they are the less they understand this.August 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm #152533
Of course the thing is, plants (especially woodies) don’t have a set “ultimate size” or even “mature height.” How big that red oak will get depends on many factors. And is 50 years the period we use as “mature”? Or 100?
The 15 year ROT is fine because it sets a reasonable time. But the client had better understand when you show the plans the difference between the nice plan and what they will see in the ground when you hand them your bill.
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