My Story How I Became A Landscaping Expert
If you’re looking to hire a landscaper, the most important thing is chemistry, is this the right person for you? I come at landscaping from a fairly unusual perspective, but let me tell you about it and hopefully, I’m the right person for you.
Most landscapers that I run into start off his lawn mowers and grow to learn about plants and design and all the way up. My background is real estate. I come from what adds the most value for the least cost and then I learned all the way down to design. As a kid, I got the opportunity to travel with my parents and grandparents and visit lots of historic gardens, all different countries around the world. I even have a list of the different countries on my website.
So, I had a really early experience getting to see many, many beautiful places that made an impression on me and how they balanced it, how they arranged it, how they made it all flow, how you felt when you were there, which is critical. After that, I became a History Major at Columbia University, ancient history, of course. And that, kind of, helped because well I was already interested in seeing all those sites anyway, but any beautiful historic sites you ever see there’s going to be beautiful gardens nearby and they’re a lot of fun to experience.
I had my own management and brokerage company in New York City, I managed 19 buildings through my own company and I had a real estate broker’s license. So, I learned a little bit about leaky roofs and management, but a lot about brokerage as well. I moved down to North Carolina in 1992, and I developed 58 acres in a gated golf course community. It was raw land, hadn’t been touched in 100 years, so I literally had to design in and blast in roads. Well, using $10,000 in dynamite, you get really good at erosion control because you have to build all these silt ponds to catch the runoff from a hard rain. Well, what’s great about that is silt ponds work just as well if there are fish ponds, but there are a lot more attractive and I was selling a lot, so I really wanted it to look nice. The fun part about that is it, sort of, took me all the way into landscaping for the last 20 years because how do we do the function right? How do we add as much value as possible for the least dollars spent? But then, how do you make it visually attractive? How is our visual value add is that people enjoy it. If it’s not fun, if you don’t like it, if you don’t feel good being out there, there’s no point, it’s just a ditch, forget it, don’t do it. There’s a way to do all of that stuff and do it beautifully.
So, I became really good with stonework. I’m one of the 24 licensed stream doctors in North Carolina, we’re subsidized by the state. Actually, the state pays two-thirds of the bill for homeowners to restore their streams, do you know why? Because it costs a ton more to repair it later if it all washes down, then they have to catch it and pull the soil back up, it’s a mess.
Bottom line is you want to add value, but you can do everything you want to add value and make it as beautiful as possible. I come from the standpoint of a real estate person, adding value and I’ve figured out how to make everything that adds value as beautiful too, and that’s what I think I can bring to you. I hope I’m a match for you and thank you so much for tuning in.