My first job was working after school in a garden center.
It wasn’t long before I was asked to help customers, and that meant answering their questions.
Thinking back it’s kind of funny. I was sixteen years old and homeowners were handing me leaf samples of their ailing plants. Or showing me pictures of their home and asking for design ideas.
A little stressful? For sure. But I had two bosses (who were brothers) that were happy to help and share their knowledge.
I loved what I was learning and helping folks get the right answers.
As luck would have it this garden center had a design/build division with an excellent reputation. Often I’d go out with crews to work on their landscape projects.
Well, that did it for me. I decided this is what I wanted to do.
After college I worked for this same company as a designer, and five years later started Hickory Grove, specializing in landscape design/build.
Looking back I was fortunate to work with such a professional company. Their systems and standards aligned so well with me personally.
Over the years systems and standards remain foundational to my projects. And the tradespeople I collaborate with think along the same lines.
For 25 years I operated Hickory Grove with crews and equipment. And when specialized trades were needed I’d bring them on to work with me.
I kept the business small to keep my attention to detail and clients’ concerns. Was that limiting for growing the business? Perhaps. Was it good for project outcomes and reputation? Yes.
Eventually I stopped the in-house contracting, and for the past 15 years I’ve operated by myself designing and overseeing landscape projects.
Landscapes are complex, and shortcomings anywhere in the process can affect the project… and your peace of mind.
My approach is process-oriented. I break things down from planning to implementation — and make sure everyone is kept informed.
My goal is to alleviate concerns such as design decisions, costs, workmanship and material quality. I want folks to stress less and actually enjoy the process.
Over the years I’ve designed and overseen 100’s of residential landscape projects.
The majority of my work comes from referrals — folks who like the confidence that someone with experience is sharing their concerns, and helping them make the right decisions.
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