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Economy Forces Property Owners and Managers to Go it Alone for Landscape Design & Contracting

The author discusses the challenges created by the economic downturn and ongoing drought in California. Property owners, businesses, homeowner associations and property managers have reduced or eliminated budgets for landscape design, renovation, construction and maintenance, and are having to make decisions on their own. He introduces a simplified method called Horticultural Design for those going it on their own.

As the economic and environmental drought continues in California, many property and business owners, home owner associations and property management companies are faced with shrinking or nonexistent landscape design, renovation and maintenance budgets. Many water agencies throughout the state, particularly in Southern California, declared a stage two water alert which imposed restrictions on outdoor irrigation and sprinkler systems, supposedly rationing irrigation to 2-3 days per week with associated fines for violations.

Although California had a slightly above normal rainfall the past year, water restrictions remain in place for a long time to come. The simple realization is we can no longer proceed with unsustainable, lush, turf dominated landscapes in Southern California. Water has finally become too precious a commodity to use for making grass grow, unless you are willing to pay the ever increasing utility and maintenance costs. Increased water rates and maintenance costs are forcing businesses, property owners and managers to re-assess their landscape and irrigation budgets.

Whether faced with design and development decisions for raw land, or renovation of existing landscape and irrigation systems, with reduced or limited budgets, owners and managers are increasingly making their own design, contracting and maintenance decisions. Property owners and managers must sort through a confusing array of landscape architects, landscape contractors, landscape maintenance companies, gardeners, and even handymen when trying to design, contract, renovate or maintain their property. With limited budget, managers and HOA's are eliminating design and contracting professionals and going it alone on many decisions.

Jeremy Rappoport, President and founder of Rappoport Development Consulting Services LLC, published an article called "Why You Should Consider Horticultural Design" which provides valuable insight for property owners, businesses, property managers and those trying to make intelligent, informed landscape and horticultural design and construction decisions. Horticultural design, a term coined by Rappoport, matches plant's cultural requirements with the specific environmental conditions of the site, a completely different process than the traditional landscape plans and themes produced by landscape architects. Mr. Rappoport contends selecting a plant palette compatible with specific site and environmental conditions optimizes plant establishment, vitality and vigor, while minimizing excess water consumption, disease and insect problems and maintenance costs.

The following is an excerpt from the article:

"In response to questions from friends and clients, the following provide an alternative to the traditional landscape design process by simplifying landscape planting and design decisions during the planning stage, utilizing a process called horticultural design.

Horticultural Design:

The term horticultural design is the process of creating a plant palette based on the compatibility of plant’s cultural requirements with the site environment. Don’t select a theme then try to force plants to work in an environment they are not adapted or suited to. Knowing plants cultural requirements is fundamental for horticultural design and plant selection.
Here are some basic cultural requirements to look for when determining a plant palette:

By Rappoport Development Consulting Services LLC
Certified and Registered Consulting Arborist, Landscape, Horticulture & Land Development Expert
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeremy Rappoport
Jeremy Rappoport, President and founder of RDCS LLC is a professional horticulturist, C-27 landscape contractor and certified arborist. Mr. Rappoport is a seasoned construction and development professional. Possessing decades experience as a land development specialist in posting as landscape, grading, and offsite superintendent, Director of Operations and Director of Land Development for prominent public and private master development companies, Mr. Rappoport combines comprehensive design, field, and management expertise with a university B.S. degree, industry certifications, licenses and membership in numerous industry associations.

RDCS LLC provides impartial forensic and non-forensic landscape, design, horticulture, arboriculture and site construction expert witness consulting services for the legal and insurance industries.

Copyright Rappoport Development Consulting Services LLC

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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