A Fond Farewell
Every once in a while, the perfect client comes along. One who trusts you, gives clear direction as to what he/she wants, allows you to stretch the limits of creativity, and pays the invoice on time! I have had the privilege of working with just such a client for the last five years.
I met this client, let’s call him “Mr. X”, when he and his family moved into the neighborhood and were referred to The Captured Garden by another client of mine. He asked me to give him a quote on 9 extra- large Campania stone planters. The planters were at the front of the home, at the side door and on the back patio. I sent him my proposal and it was a go.
His only direction was “I don’t want them to look like everyone else’s”.
Music to my ears.
Over the years and many different seasons he has allowed me to have fun with his planters. To push boundaries, knowing that the cost of “different” is not always cheap. It’s such a treat for me, as a designer, to know that when I see an unusual plant it can be within the budget. That being said, I think Mr. X appreciates the fact that I spend his money wisely, often using plant material that can span more than one season. His spring garden, which was not designed by me, was always a riot of so many colors I had to be creative in my plant choices to make sure things did not clash.
Some clients can treat you like a vendor. Mr. X has made me feel like a part of the family – I play with the dog (often wrestling plant material out of her mouth!), tease his son about being a Yankees fan and find the door unlocked when I need to get in and he will not be home.
I kept that message on the answering machine.
This client has been one of my favorite to work with for many reasons but one of my favorites is he trusts me, often saying, “I know it will be beautiful”.
Unfortunately, dreams end and dream clients move. I understand that the perfect job opportunity cannot be rejected just because I will miss planting his containers, but still… The family will be moving back to Connecticut, which I explained was not really that far. And I saw pictures of the house and am convinced there is room for a small gardener’s cottage.
As much as I am going to miss the creative process I am going to miss Mr. X and his family. We should all be so blessed to work with great people who affirm our talents and encourage us to do our best. If the home’s new owners want to work with The Captured Garden and are half as wonderful, I will be happy.
To Mr. X and his incredible family…thank you. It has been a privilege. And let me know when you need the blueprints for the gardener’s cottage.