By Lisa LaRose
Fournier Landscaping started as a small landscaping business in 1984 by Lance Fournier while he was still an undergraduate student majoring in agriculture at UVM. Fast forward to today and find that Fournier and his crew of 12 have transformed hundreds of properties throughout Vermont from their new headquarters on Rt. 7 in North Ferrisburgh. Those transformations have included a range of services that his business offers its clients: from mulching and clean up, lawn services, stone wall, patio and wall construction, to property maintenance. Fournier has expanded his business to one that is sustainable throughout the year, with most of his customer base in South Burlington, Shelburne, and Charlotte.
First steps to a landscape plan
Fournier shares that his approach to starting a landscape plan for a piece of property is similar to planning a house. “Designing a landscape is like making a blueprint for your home. You wouldn’t want to walk through your bedroom to get to the kitchen. The flow of the landscape has to make sense.” He went further with the analogy, saying, “some homes are very inviting and you know exactly where to go to enter them. Other houses have entryways located in, well, less than optimal places. When designing a landscape I make sure people have a clear direction of where to go.”
Fournier shares what he sees as major considerations for homeowners looking to start designing a landscape.
Look at the project as a whole, even if you can’t afford to do the entire project at once. Plan out exactly what you would like the finished landscape to look like before starting small projects. This will give you a more cohesive look when finished.
Make sure you know the mature size of the plants you are planning on placing in your garden. This will keep you from over planting the space that you have.
Good “foundation” is the key to everything. When gardening, laying pathways, or creating stonewalls the most important consideration is to lay a solid foundation, whether that involves picking soil, base preparation or top soil.
The UVM Extension Service can provide you with a heartiness zoning guide for Vermont. This will help you determine which plants will thrive on your property.
Design your garden with maintenance in mind. There are landscapes that require more upkeep or less; the plan you decide to follow should match the level of commitment you are willing to put forth in its maintenance.
“One thing to always do is make the effort and take the time to do the job right the first time,” Fournier stresses. That, and hard work, has been the basis of Fournier’s success for over 28 years.