Don’t Sack the Gardener

leggoI have not looked at a household bill in years. Electricity, water, telephone, groceries etc are things which do not interest me. i spent my working day staring at damn Excel, arguing with subcontractors about variations, and with bean counters quizzing my costs. So all expenditure on the home front is managed by my darling wife. Ask me how much is a 200mm post tensioned slab per square metre and I will rattle it off. But ask me what we pay for cable tv and I don’t have a clue.

Yesterday evening my whist relaxing on the back deck after work, my wife suggested we sack the elderly gent who has been tending to the garden for the last ten years. She had been listening to the doom and gloom on the tv regarding ever increasing insurances, utility bills and the like. Even with my deft application of minimal encouragements I became drawn into the conversation. Based on the facts that I don’t own a garden shed, let alone a lawn mower, and the only items in the garage are cars, hell will freeze over before I start maintaining gardens, the pool and hedges. So the gardner has a reprieve.

But this made me think about what we decide to cut first in construction budgets. Of course it is the landscaping on the project. The majority of new apartment buildings are pretty boring. Leggo architecture, withe a few embellishments, an entry statement, and give an oxymoronic italian name. The Palazzo, the Paloma, they could be called Lambretta or Vespa, anything to make them sound better than they look. Then at the end of construction the landscape team move in. The budget has been slashed along with the height of the trees and number of plants. The landscape architects vision at the concept stage is now a nightmarish reality.

So it appears the household budget cuts are mirrored in commercial construction. I say leave the landscape design alone and keep lawnmowers away from my garage.

 

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