TRI COUNTY LAND­SCAP­ING

Ready­ing for the hol­i­days, grow­ing the busi­ness for 20 years

RSWLiving - - DEPARTMENTS - BY CRAIG GAR­RETT Craig Gar­rett is Group Edi­tor-in-Chief for TOTI Me­dia.

Ready­ing for the hol­i­days, grow­ing the busi­ness for 20 years

Chris Baker was that 8-year-old kid pound­ing on your door ask­ing to mow the grass. Some of us are just made to fol­low a cer­tain path. Three decades later Baker is the owner of Tri County Land­scap­ing, a Cape Co­ral firm that not only main­tains lawns, but also of­fers count­less other ser­vices in com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial work such as out­door kitchens, gar­den per­go­las, fire pits and out­door light­ing. The com­pany has 65 work­ers in Southwest Florida and has com­pleted thou­sands of jobs over 20 years in busi­ness. “We care more than you do about your land­scap­ing,” says Baker, mean­ing he has ac­quired a pro­fes­sional’s un­der­stand­ing of which trees, shrubs, flow­er­ing plants and land­scape de­signs work best in Florida’s sub­trop­i­cal heat and rain.

For many of us, the hol­i­day sea­son is about making our homes and busi­nesses more fes­tive, per­haps a time for re­newal. Baker says win­ter­ing clients and even na­tives en­joy dress­ing their homes in lush trop­i­cal col­ors and palms, par­tic­u­larly to back­drop or high­light the pool and lanai. For the hol­i­days they may add ev­er­greens, bet­ter ir­ri­ga­tion and other plants that re­mind the own­ers of a north­ern cli­mate. “The hol­i­day sea­son,” says Baker, “is really all year; it’s al­ways sum­mer in Florida.”

Baker is most help­ful in ed­u­cat­ing his clients on which plants go best with one an­other, then de­sign­ing those ideas us­ing tech­nol­ogy, or “be­fore shov­els hit the ground,” he says. Tech­nol­ogy also al­lows a client to play with looks, col­ors and heights, to judge what best suits the out­side, such as screen­ings to en­hance pri­vacy, he says. Stones, rocks and hard­scape bor­ders are an­other op­tion, as are land­scape is­lands, lay­er­ing, path­ways, gar­den sanc­tu­ar­ies and clean de­signs. Land­scap­ing can also be used to at­tract but­ter­flies, hum­ming­birds and other crit­ters to add joy in the gar­den.

Op­ti­mally, Baker says, most prop­erty own­ers want low­main­te­nance land­scap­ing, which is where the pro­fes­sional’s ad­vice on sub­trop­i­cal plant­ing and lay­out is nec­es­sary. “My job is ex­plain­ing what things will look like down the road,” he says. “That can some­times be hard to vi­su­al­ize.”

My job is ex­plain­ing what things will look like down the road.” —Chris Baker

The hol­i­day sea­son is about making our homes and busi­nesses more wel­com­ing, per­haps a time for re­newal.

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