You’ve admired or flat out envied the beautiful plants in other offices, and you’ve read all about the many benefits of interior Plantscaping. So you have decided it’s time to improve your business or organization’s workspaces and hire a professional to help you.
You’ve made a great decision. Even if this wasn’t the way I’ve earned a living for close to 40 years, I’d be just as enthusiastic about all the benefits you, your employees, and your customers and guests will enjoy as a result.
Now in addition to everything else on your plate at work, you’re probably wondering how exactly how to go about hiring the right company to create the perfect green spaces in your home, office or building. What do you need to know? What questions do you need to ask?
Hiring a professional interiorscaper is similar to hiring any other creative design professional for your business or home, with one significant exception: this is an ongoing professional relationship. After the plants and pots are chosen and then installed, you’ll want them professionally maintained to protect your investment. You want to work with a company with exceptional qualifications and training able to deliver quality customer service.
Ask these questions when you choosing candidates to interview and bid to provide services:
- How long have they been in business? What is their experience? This isn’t a business you learn overnight. As with any professional service, the more experience, the better. We’ve got 40 years of it!
- What credentials do they have? Look for specific industry certifications such as the Certified Landscape Professional – Interior designation from the National Association of Landscape Professionals, and the Green Earth – Green Plants Certified Business designation. At the highest level, plantscapers will also have a contractor’s license, and may be LEED AP or WELL Building Standard qualified.
- What do the company website and social media portfolios look like? Good Earth Plant Company invests a LOT of time in our online information. We are proud of our work and we love to share it with people. You should be able to review current work and see the scale and creativity of the company’s projects. Would you be proud to have the same kind of interiorscaping in your workplace or home?
- What professional organizations do they belong to? Membership and active participation in national professional trade organizations such as Green Plants for Green Buildings, the Tropical Plant Industry Association, US Green Building Council, and local horticulture associations signifies an interest in keeping up with the latest trends, technology, and best practices.
- Are they willing to provide professional references? Pretty pictures on a website are a good start, but they aren’t enough. What do current clients tell you? How are the employees to work with? Do they do a good job and how is their customer service
- Does the business have proof of liability and workers compensation insurance? Does it have a business license? State contractor’s license?
- Are the Horticultural Technicians professional? Are they well trained? Have they undergone a background check? Do they wear a uniform?
When the company makes its presentation, assess these issues:
- Was the company’s presentation professional, knowledgeable, and informative? How was the attention to detail? Did they ask questions about your needs and really listen to your concerns? Were they able to answer all your questions, or be willing to get answers for you? Did they follow up?
- Are you comfortable with the personnel? Did you trust them? Are they respectful and responsible? Trust your instincts on this all-important “fit.”
- Are employees screened? People are entering your workplace and need to be trustworthy and ethical.
- Could representatives explain how they arrived at their quote for services? It is clear exactly what you’ll receive for this quote? Are pest control, trimming, and replacement plants included? Are containers included? Just like with the airlines, beware the low bid that comes with a whole lot of extra charges.
- What kind of guarantee do you have on the plants and containers or structures (such as living walls) provided? Does the company replace damaged, dying or unattractive plants? Will the company replace plant choices with different types of plants if it turns out they aren’t thriving in their conditions? You shouldn’t pay for a plant struggling to survive in the wrong light conditions.
- What are the safety procedures for pest control? Do they have a state license to apply chemicals? Even non-toxic substances like agricultural soaps and alcohol sprays should follow specific precautions.
- Does the company guarantee leak-proof containers? In an office with a lot of electronic equipment, safety and precautions must be in place. Listen when the plantscaper recommends adjusting placements to reduce the risk of accidents that could shut your business down.
- What suppliers and vendors does the plantscaper work with? There are multiple sources for plants, containers and other supplies. An eco-friendly plantscaper will do its best to work with as many locally sourced and environmentally responsible suppliers as possible. While you’re improving your interior environment, you shouldn’t do it at the expense of the planet overall.
You might be thinking, “well, maybe I’ll just buy my own plants and do this myself.” It’s a compliment to us if what we do at Good Earth Plant Company “looks easy.” It means we’re good at our work. But the truth is that it’s a labor-intensive, technical service. You need to master horticulture technology, have an eye for design, and have the time to devote the attention to your plants that they need. You need to know how to select healthy, insect and disease free plants, place them in the correct location to allow them to thrive and look their best, and water, trim, fertilize, clean, and treat for pests or illness.
And then there are the dirty little secrets of our business. Like that employee who dumped out a cup of cold coffee into a plant when you weren’t looking. Or if the office cat did … what cats do. Maybe you’ve got serious temperature wars going on, with heat and air conditioning alternating on blast. What if an employee decided the awesome ficus tree in a corridor belonged in their office – where the conditions were completely different and then the plant starts to deteriorate?
Your interior plantscaper isn’t there to judge, just to manage the circumstances and make sure your plants survive whatever plant abuse you might dish out.
Most people I know already have plenty to do at work. You don’t need a second job as a plantscaper too!
There’s never a bad time to bring nature inside your home or office to improve your surroundings, reduce stress and increase your productivity and well being. Select the right interior plantscaper and you can enjoy all these benefits and more. Call Good Earth Plant Company if you’d like to get started!