That’s why I had originally differentiated between Concept Plan (Rendering to sell your idea) and the Planting Plan who’s making the price. Our forefathers had that “Generation Look”. Unfortunately that got lost over the decades.
You should always show at mature sizes and if needed, show pics of actual sizes at planting. Contractors may want show installed sizes, that is ok, but to show the client the end result, always show mature sizes. Throughout Asia, firms show smaller than mature sizes for no reason at all, it is very frustrating trying to teach and show younger staff (most without an LA background) how to properly present planting plans graphically. It’s a work in progress.
I agree on the 75% size for trees; depending in growth rate, I show shrubs at 75% (slow) or 100%. I also make notes on plans to use (and a list of which and qty) annuals as “cover crops” for first three years to accommodate the installation size. When a bed will move from sun to shade and the ground layer perennials will eventually be shade, I show those with a Temp. Sun annual/short lived perennial option for the time period I estimate the shade plants would not survive.
I’ve kind of struggled with what to spec in an area that’ll eventually become shaded. So you spec temporary perennials for sun, to be replaced with shade tolerant perennials when the bed is shaded out? Do you specify a specific time period for replacement? And how do you show this on a plan? Does the client usually “get it” that that’s what needs to happen?