I posted in the June 2016 installment of the Homestead Report that I had received the plan from the edible landscaper/permaculturist (Hereafter referred to as the "ELP"). It was a beautiful plan. However, I had some concerns which ultimately led to me not using him.
One was that he would take longer than I would like to get back to me. Another concern was the distance. He has to get on a highway or two to get out here, crossing several busy cities. I wanted someone who would have no problems getting out to the site everyday. For that reason, I decided to go with a local person. I figured that since the plan was already done, it shouldn't be a problem having a conventional landscaper merely install the plants. Anyone should be able to do it without a problem.
And there shouldn't have been a problem, but I ran into SEVERAL with the company I chose for the job. The latest issue, discovered a few weeks ago as I looked closely at the tags on the plants, is that he switched out varieties. He switched out varieties without consulting me beforehand or even informing me after. This shows an utter disrespect for me, for the project, and for professionalism in general. These plants were specifically selected for this site and for the desires I communicated to the ELP.
As a result, I now have peach trees that will reach 15 feet in the spot that nectarines reaching only 5 are supposed to be, blueberries that get 5-6 feet high crowded into a spot where a 24 inch variety is supposed to be, and box woods that reach 5 feet where there are supposed to be 2 foot bushes. Looking closely, I found that I was supposed to have 3 different varieties of blackberries. There were two installed, one of which is unlabeled, the other is a fourth type altogether. I am supposed to have Oauchita, Arapaho, and Kiowa. I got Chester and some unknown variety.
This is an Elberta peach tree in the spot where there is supposed to be a dwarf nectarine. You can see a tiny little green peach.
Originally, the project was supposed to be completed this Spring when the rest of the plants became available. Needless to say, we put all that on hold when these unauthorized substitutions were discovered. How we will ultimately seek to resolve this is still under consideration.
In the meantime, the hubs and I have undertaken the planting. I have spent hours online seeking these plants, some of which are quite rare. I have made multiple trips to nearby nurseries for what we can get locally; hauling plants, topsoil and various amendments. We have put in dwarf yaupon holly, azaleas, and blackberries, and have transplanted blueberries from my pots into spots designated by the ELP. There is a lot of work ahead of us. The peaches, which have begun producing fruit, will have to be moved. I have to find a spot for them as they were not planned for. Same thing with the blueberries and boxwoods. It all has to come out and the correct varieties have to be ordered and installed. I may have to do without the two varieties of peach I was supposed to have.
This is one of the three Arapaho blackberries, put in by my husband and our little girl.
Much time is now being spent correcting something that wasn't done properly the first time; time that my family was supposed to be spending on other things. My baseboards are dusty and I am terribly behind on laundry, among other things.
This box wood, while pretty, is the wrong plant for the spot.
The bright side is that the hubs is getting some extra exercise, and we are having fun being outside together. My littlest, who loves gardening and spending time with us, is having a ball loosening roots and digging holes and mixing topsoil with native soil and amendments is more fun when you are working with someone you love. There will be many opportunities to bond over peat moss and composted manure in the weeks to come.