Friday, February 21, 2014

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

If you've read my bio on my web page you know that I've worked in an office with landscape professionals for 13 years now. I've worked with an Arborist and Landscape Architects. We often work with other professionals - engineers, archaeologists, etc. Now, I'm not selling anything here, but I do want to make a point. Professionals are not cheap. When you hire one, the price usually includes degrees, training, and in most cases years of experience. 

This train of thought started the other day when I saw a 'How-to' video on Facebook. It was created by a Landscape Architect who also teaches. The video was on drawing shrubs. I watched it because I'm not very good at sketching or rendering. After watching the video I am still not good at it.

But I've had the opportunity to work with professionals who can sketch and can draw 3-d graphic renderings by hand or computer. One in particular has outstanding artistic talent, all of them have a skill based on training.

There is a big push to "Do-It-Yourself" and there are websites and Youtube videos showing you how. But, I think it's wrong to imply that after watching a few videos that someone will walk away with years worth of training.

In our line of work many people confuse landscaper with landscape architect. I've been a landscaper, so I'm not putting anyone down. But the ability to mow a lawn and the ability to do grading for a commercial design are worlds apart. 

I came away from the 'how-to' video thinking she was over-simplifying her own training and talent. Maybe she was hoping that someone like me would try drawing it myself, then consider hiring her. Probably not, I'm sure she just  had a great idea to showcase her talent. But, I think people should understand that the reason professionals cost more is because they have more to offer. And there are some things you just can't 'do yourself.'

Exhibit A:
My garden plan from 2 years ago, working with professionals has not improved my drawing abilities. But, it has improved my plant knowledge.

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