As I’ve gotten deeper into the Instagram world new doors have opened for our company. I’ve always been a big believer in providing the best quality work you possibly can. Our company was offered the opportunity by one of our customers to bid a large commercial landscape job. The further I got in to the blueprints the more I realized it was larger than something we would comfortably take on. Also a completely new process of working within the union and for a giant contractor that generally works on strict timelines. Not saying they don’t worry about quality, but I know that time is everything is the large construction world. I brainstormed ways to take on this job and a couple of people I am a huge fan of on Instagram came to mind. Mostly Jon T Aguilar, with Heritage Earth and Stone. He is a master stone-smith and artist. This guy creates some of the most amazing stone work projects I’ve ever seen. But it was his business philosophies I fell in love with. Share the knowledge, work together. For companies that provide superior quality work there are fringe benefits. So I went to my customer with the idea that Lexis would bid the job but we were going to bring Altered Grounds Landscaping with us for the water feature (something we have never done), Hawkeye Irrigation for the irrigation (something we do but not to this scale) and Waldbart and Sons Nursery for the planting. We do plenty of planting but we already had our hands full with all the other work. I went to all the owners of these companies to ask if they would do this with me and they all agreed. We have built a great reputation over the years of good, honest, quality work, and they were happy to come along. We are currently in the middle of this job. The water feature is complete, irrigation on the south building is done, and most planting on the south is done. But we still have the north building. This has easily been one of the biggest learning scenarios I have ever been in. We had to sign some union papers and follow their rules and regulations, work with a huge company that just wants updates to know when we will be done, etc. The union being the toughest for us. But it has also been one of the greatest work experiences I have ever had. We are getting things done before scheduled completion dates because I brought these companies on board. I’ve made some great new friends in the industry. We have made our client extremely happy. Point being is think outside of the box, don’t be afraid to try something new. Make friends in your industry. Provide a superior service and you don’t have to be that company that low balls bids to try and snatch work that you will end up loosing anyway. Work smart, hard, and honest! Check out our Instagram feed for updated photos of the job. @Lexisoutdoorservices on Instagram.
The end of the maintenance season is here. But the best time of year to plant has just arrived. I absolutely love planting this time of year. The weather is cooler, which makes watering less of an issue, holes are easier to dig and plant material from our nursery are less expensive. Plant material goes dormant and pulls far less water. In the past month we have planted 10 of the most beautiful Taylor Junipers I have ever planted or seen for that matter. 10′ tall with 300lb root balls. A couple of Columnar Blue Spruce and an absolutely beautiful 7′ Pom Pom Scotch Pine. Oh yeah, and a crazy big and awesome 10′ Pom Pom Juniper. We can get almost anything native at our nursery. We purchase all plant material from Waldbarts & Sons. A local, family owned nursery that has been helping us for the past 10 years. I didn’t know a lot about plants when I first started with small, little jobs here and there. They have helped me with every question along the way and taught me more than I could ever read from a book. They are awesome people. I love this business. I truly wake up every day excited to see what the day will bring. I’ve heard from customers that for years they wanted to see their trees get big before they were dead. Haha, crazy thought, but I get it. Its an awesome thing to be able to plant people 20′ trees. They look like something substantial immediately. You never know what the next will bring and I always feel like there is so much to learn I’ll never catch it all. I work hard at it. If not reading a book about proper tree pruning techniques, I’m online looking a different design styles. Or talking to people that know way more than I do. I’ve learned that people are usually far more helpful when you show interest. I’ve yet to meet the person that holds their info like its a secret. So thank you to everyone along the way that has helped me. Well, this has been my First blog. Hopefully they get better as time goes on.
I would like to grow some “barometer plants” to use as an early warning system for my garden. What plants are first to respond to frost, first to bolt and first to wilt? Is this a waste of time? It’s not a waste of time, but I’m not sure you’d have to invest in any particular variety. I would use half-hardy annuals that are sensitive to frost, such as cosmos lobelia