Landscape Gardeners and Maintenance Supervisors

Landscape gardeners and maintenance supervisors are responsible for the care of landscapes after they have been installed by the contractors and approved by the landscape architects/designers.

Landscape maintenance involves such tasks as mowing, edging beds, pruning shrubs and trees, planting flower beds, weeding, fertiliz­ing, watering, repairing surfacing, walls or fencing, replacing dead plants, and directing the growth of plants over a span of years. Because good landscapes take many years to mature, the role of the mainte­nance landscaper is of vital importance. Once mature, the landscape requires care and attention to ensure its continuing success (Figures 17-10 through 17-13).

Maintenance landscapers may be resident employees (as on large estates) or they may be independent businesspeople who work under long – or short-term contracts for clients. A knowledge of horticulture, appreciation of plants, and understanding of the many factors that can affect plant growth are essential to success in this career field. Many

figure 17-10. Maintaining just what can be seen in this photo requires knowledge of tree and shrub care, turf care, plumbing, electricity, edging, brickwork, and flower care. (Delmar/Cengage Learning)

opportunities exist, and the investment capital needed to begin is considerably less than for landscape contracting. A young person just out of school can begin by offering a few maintenance services (those not requiring expensive equipment) and build the business as profits allow.

With the almost explosive growth of commercial landscapes in the last decade, landscape management companies that offer total site main­tenance have proliferated. There are numerous and attractive employ­ment opportunities with established landscape management firms across the country for anyone who has training in horticulture coupled with a strong sense of business. Landscape management maintenance companies are the fastest growing members of the national landscape industry.

The best landscapes result from close cooperation between the landscape architect, the landscape contractor, and the landscape main­tenance gardener. Many problems of installation and maintenance can be avoided, and the intent of a design is best achieved if the designer talks with the people responsible for implementing the design and car­ing for it afterwards.