Investing in the garden
The creation of gardens in a period of economic uncertainty could be considered a superfluous expense to be postponed to better times.
The garden, be it a small private garden, the park of a country estate or a garden within your company, must instead be considered an investment.
The private garden is the outside continuation and an essential complement of the house. Especially in the urban environment, owning an outside space that can be lived in relation to the house is a privilege, of which we are sometimes not aware.
A beautiful garden is a multiplier of real estate value.
In contexts more advanced than ours in this area, such as the Anglo-Saxon world, it is common practice to invest in the creation of a garden to raise the value of real estate properties.
In Northern Europe or America, the garden project is always an integral part of the home renovation project.
Designing the house and the garden together allows you to manage an overall budget and make the most functional choices in both areas, with much better results.
In Italy it happens quite often that we focus only on buildings forgetting that we will invariably have to take care of the exterior once the construction work is completed.
Realizing that we have to proceed to the restructuring of the garden after completing the renovation of the house is definitely too late.
At this point the configuration of the garden is conditioned by the choices made previously without thinking about the use of the spaces or their appearance, with the risk that the garden will not be very functional, expensive to manage over the years as well as unattractive.
In addition, the available budget will have been spent on the house and the realization of the garden will be seen as an additional cost, not foreseen and possibly to be reduced to a minimum.
So we will try to save, for example by avoiding to design the garden and by performing the work just winging it, without having knowledge of either the final result or the costs.
This is the main reason why we often see beautiful houses, the obvious result of huge investments, which are accompanied by banal and predictable gardens.
Living the garden
However, it must be clearly stated that investing in the creation of our garden is profitable only if it partially changes our way of life.
The garden should not only be admired, nor can it be limited to being a status symbol that affirms our prestige.
Surely the garden does not respond to utilitarian logics and therefore must be beautiful, or it has no reason to exist.
Feeling gratification while admiring our garden is an important source of satisfaction.
In addition, it is more than legitimate to consider the garden as an element that reflects our tastes and communicates our social status to others.
But that can’t be all.
The garden must lead us to spend more time outdoors and to recover contact with nature.
In the case of large gardens, the correct design must push us to walk inside them and discover hidden and unexpected corners.
A good garden project for properties of vast dimensions must provide a variety of spaces and environments, such as grassy areas, a small forest, vegetable garden and orchard, avenues and paths, water surfaces
Instead, the design of small gardens requires a greater effort to optimize the spaces, and more discipline to avoid including too many elements in a limited space. However, it is important to include an area that we have to take care of, in which we can plant seasonal blooms or small fruits.
Whenever possible, the garden must include a small home garden, or even a vertical vegetable garden, in which to grow our vegetables and in which to spend a few hours together with our loved ones, especially working together with our children.
If we stay in the garden and abandon ourselves to the slow pace of nature, we learn again to feel and look with new eyes.
It is essential to live the garden and animate it with our presence: only in this way will we love it and will truly let it become part of our home.
Green in the workplace
When you want to design a garden within your company, you have to make specific considerations.
Ornamental greenery in the workplace meets different criteria than in the private garden.
Creating a pleasant and welcoming environment in our companies is now essential from many points of view.
A successful business must have a brand that lives up to the products and services it offers.
The image of the company is communicated first of all thru the quality of its offices and its plants.
Obsolete and impersonal buildings cannot convey the image of an innovative, socially responsible and forward-looking company.
However, we can not limit ourself to the preparation of a garden at the entrance or an elegant reception.
Anyone who sees people as the company’s greatest asset, and therefore wants to attract a skilled workforce, cannot offer a gloomy and gray workplace.
Bright and positive people cannot work in places suitable for mass production of the twentieth century.
Poorly lit rooms and claustrophobic cubicles generate alienation and depersonalization. This seriously compromises the productivity and creativity of individuals.
It is therefore important to create bright environments with plants and natural elements, in which people do not feel oppressed.
It is scientifically proven that being surrounded by plants and dedicating oneself to their care even with limited notions, has considerable benefits both on mood and health.
For this reason green spaces are now rightly included in places where the well-being of people must be guaranteed, such as in care homes or hospitals.
The presence of plants around us not only helps to purify the air we breathe, but helps reduce stress and improve interaction with colleagues.
Ornamental greenery must therefore enter our farms.
Having greenery areas as an integral part of the working environment is a fundamental element to improve both the image of the company and the productivity of the people who work there.
How to make a garden
So creating a garden is a forward-looking choice as an investment that improves the quality of our lives.
If we have decided to design and build a garden, be it the home garden or the company green, we will want to give maximum value to our investment.
A beautiful garden must reflect our tastes and harmonize with our home or interpret the company mission, at the same time without requiring too much work or high management costs.
The creation of low-cost gardens is an increasingly frequent request, that is, a demand for green spaces that require low management costs over the years.
In fact, the cost of a garden is not limited to the time of construction, but goes on for all its life: this is where we need to intervene to limit the endless expenditures to manage it over time.
To obtain all these results it is necessary to carry out an appropriate design of the garden, with a reasoned project shared between garden designer and client.
Here’s what a garden project needs to include as a minimum requirement:
- the drawing of the state of affairs, which includes an accurate survey and an analysis of the existing situation;
- the drawings of the project proposal with views and renderings that illustrate the appearance of the various environments;
- videos of the garden, which allow us to ‘enter the garden’, illustrating in the best possible way the type of environment and the atmosphere we propose to create;
- the planting plan, or the list of trees and shrubs that we want to include in the project with the blooms, seasonality and main characteristics, including the position they will have within the garden;
- the lighting proposal and the suggested materials for outdoor flooring and outdoor furniture;
- the schemes of irrigation and lighting systems in the garden;
- cost estimates for the realization;
- the plan for a sustainable management of the garden that is respectful of the environment and attentive to our health.
It is evident that the design of green areas is a complex job, it however allows to achieve considerable savings both at the time of creating the garden and in its future management.
If the garden project is proposed for free, included in the realization work, we should be suspicious.
A real garden project which includes everything described above, requires a considerable business organization that involves professionals such as the garden designer, the topographer, the graphic designer, the video-maker, the plant engineer, the botanist, etc.
The cost of an exhaustive project of the garden, from the survey to the revisions made with the client up to the drafting of budgetary cost involving selected workers, does not allow to offer it for free.
It often happens that an approximate drawing is presented for free, with some more or less suggestive views accompanied by photos of plants, and that all this is proposed as a project.
In reality we are buying a closed box, based on suggestions that are just sketched, without having a clear idea of either the final result or the costs of realization and management.
If we want to invest in the garden we must consider it as an integral part of our home and demand a clear, exhaustive project that satisfies us in all its parts.
Only on this basis we can hope to achieve a satisfactory result by making the best use of our resources.