Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pull the plug

I'm trying to stay upbeat , but it is becoming increasingly difficult, especially after seeing Deborah Silvers spectacular planting :

From garden tours.

My Buddhist training has been helpful but still it is a hard pill to swallow.

Two weeks ago I went to a garden that I maintain and found half the plants that I had planted in containers ripped out and stripped of its foliage.
The shriveled up foliage was tossed next to the gardeners work shed, lying there like some sort of Freudian masochistic message.

My client obviously did not like the plants.
When asked if she wanted the containers replanted with something else she replied she wanted what she has had for the past half century, pink petunias. .. Thank you very much.
She also asked me to cut off all that 'cascading' foliage so that she could see the containers.
So I cut back a beautiful snow white cascade of flowering bacopa to the top edge of the containers . - What a waste.

It was also a waste to see dead salvia plants lying on the ground next to a mound of Helichrysum ( if it doesn't have pink petunia looking flowers its a No-No.) And the gorgeous grouping of ornamental grasses that I drove an hour north to purchase were desiccated and lifeless as they lie thrown to the ground.

It's just so disheartening to see plants ripped out and left to die on the ground.
All your efforts done for naught.
But the biggest disappointment is to have to return week after week to work in this garden and see crappy pink petunias pruned back to the edges of the pots .

From garden tours.


donna said...

Not all clients are worth it, even if you do get paid... ;^)

danger garden said...

Donna took the words right out of my mouth. Sometimes its just not a good match, for you or the client. Perhaps its best to sever this relationship and keep your blood pressure down and your attitude upbeat.

Anonymous said...

So sad. Could she not trust you to remove those plants and at least save them for some other use?

Susan aka Miss R said...

Oh my. It does boggle the mind and chill the spirit sometimes. Clients are very, very persnickety this year. Even the ones who haven't been in the past. Your vision just isn't her vision. Breathe and move on. If she paid for the plants unfortunately they are hers to treat like crap--not your issue, no matter how hard you tried and how much thought and effort it took. It doesn't make it suck any less though.

kimberly said...

I fail to understand why she hired someone to design containers if she really didn't want anything creative? She could've at least been up front with you.

Tara Dillard said...

Ugh. Ouch. Wow. Sad story. I would love to have you do my pots.

Perhaps the client sees 'better' days from her past in those pink petunias?

If that client hired Julia Child she would send her for take-out from the nearest corner.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

Hello all,
Thanks for your words of cheer and wisdom.

This is my 'humble pie' job.
I took this once a week landscape maintenance job during the economic downturn so that I had dependable monthly income.

I thought that this would be a good fit because I had done all the original landscape architectural work and had, or at least thought I had, a good handle on the clients likes and dislikes.

Turns out being the gardener is a lot harder than being the landscape architect.

So I breath deeply, knowing that all things are impermanent and that my mortgage is being covered each month by this humble pie job.

thanks for your support.

Delphine said...

(laughting) very funny story !! it is the same for me when i create a brochure : at the end of the work, i have to remove all nice colored things from the page. When it is finished, it's not my creation anymore ! it's just ugly.

We all love your work ! Be sure i would be so proud to have a garden made by you !

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Ahh...Pink Petunias...such a rare and protected flower.

Helen said...

Old bag. I hope she gets piles. She simply doesn't deserve you. Breathe in, breathe out and this too will pass.

debinca said...

OOH ouch, that's sad. Too bad she does not deserve you! Looks like she likes hardscape, just not plants.
Well unless they are pink and rufflie like a tutu.


Kerry said...

Ugh! Well at least it pays the mortgage.

Sometimes you just can't fathom what the client is thinking. There is no accounting for taste.

Poor plants, what a waste.

All I know is friends don't let friends buy annuals! Stupid Petunias. :)

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

My new favorite saying , " Stupid Petunias" !

love it.

Thanks all for renewing my sense of humor and perspective.


thistleandthorn said...

I feel your pain. Thanks for your comment that being the gardener is harder than being the landscape architect.

denise said...

I used to have a client that liked his balcony to change plantings seasonally. This client, though typically a fairly methodical guy when it came to what changes he wanted to occur, did have a wildly spontaneous streak. Or, as it became known as, the " no cut-cut". It became a joke between us. And when he was proud of himself for not cutting his plants, he would announce that he'd " no cut-cut." Very cute.

His sense of humor certainly did help me keep mine.

John said...

Michelle, I feel your pain. Maybe you can sneak some Calibrachoa in there one of these days. You know, just to spite.

ryan said...

Ahhh, clients.

Sarah said...

You know I thought that just Southern ladies were addicted to boring old pink petunias, marigolds, impatiens etc. Its oddly comforting and disturbing all at once to know that the ridiculous obsession with these common annuals isn't just in the South.
What a dissapointing client!

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carolyn gutierrez said...

I guess there's just no accounting for lack of taste - no matter how big the budget may be. :-p