Seeds of Success
With the lush tropical foliage so abundant in Southwest Florida as their canvas, the landscape designers, installers and maintenance team at R. S. Walsh Landscaping create beautiful art out of nature. From a simple shaded walkway lined with exotic flowering plants to the complete design and placement of every single growing thing on the ground of some of our area’s most breathtaking estate homes, the work of these dedicated professionals exudes a passion for planting in paradise.
Company founder and president Robert Walsh has deep roots in the landscaping business, starting at a young age at the A. W. Kelly Nursery in Fort Myers. The fact that his own company is celebrating its 30- year anniversary in business is something from which he derives great satisfaction. Starting small, keeping your eye on growing smart and taking great care of your clients are the tenets that have allowed R. S. Walsh to reach this milestone.
In 1982, the young entrepreneur decided to launch his own family- owned and - operated company and provide complete custom landscape planning, design and installation services. He runs the business together with his wife, Lisa, and their two sons, Justin and Jeremy, and about 60 employees. According to Lisa Walsh, “That’s the part of our work I like the best— I get to work with my husband and sons, doing what we love, together.”
Their clients work directly with a licensed landscape architect in the company’s design center, talking about their shared vision for any size project and following the process from start to finish. About 90 percent of their work is done for upscale residential homes, but
ROBERT WALSH SAYS THE COMPANY IS ALWAYS MINDFUL OF ITS RESPONSIBILITY TO THE EARTH AND TAKES GREAT CARE IN BEAUTIFYING OUR LOCAL SURROUNDINGS IN A RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE WAY.
their commercial work— for shopping centers, restaurants, retail and other professional establishments— is also truly custom and can be seen at some of the area’s most notable properties. The company recently completed work at the headquarters of Chico’s and the Sundial Resort on Sanibel and handled all the refurbishment at South Seas Island Resort after Hurricane Charley devastated the grounds in 2004.
R. S. Walsh also does extensive waterscape designs, building elaborate ponds, waterfalls and other features into some of its master landscape plans.
The company’s main headquarters is in south Lee County, and R. S. Walsh recently celebrated the fourth anniversary of its In the Garden retail center at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Road. This fun little slice of landscaped heaven features a wide selection of native and tropical plants and shrubs, quirky and creative garden art, fountains and a walking trail through stately specimen palms and herb gardens, all of it dappled with colorful orchids, bromeliads and more.
The company recently donated 20 percent of all sales from In the Garden during late January and early February to The Sanibel School, known for its emphasis on environmental education. Robert Walsh says the company is always mindful of
THE WALSH FAMILY KNOWS THAT THE REGION HAS BEEN GOOD TO THEM AND THE GROWTH OF THEIR BUSINESS, SO THEY SPEND A GOOD DEAL OF TIME INVOLVED WITH LOCAL CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS AND PHILANTHROPIC COMMUNITY EVENTS.
its responsibility to the earth and takes great care in beautifying our local surroundings in a responsible and sustainable way.
The seed underneath R. S. Walsh Landscaping’s success has grown out of the firm’s dedication to continuous innovation and creativity in planning and planting and an unmatched knowledge of every type of native and tropical vegetation. Walsh loves the entire process and enjoys thinking and designing outside the box— or planter, in this case. Everyone in the company prides themselves on dreaming up new ways to enhance a home or business property with exactly the right plants, trees and ground cover for every project and staying on the leading edge of new trends in landscape design.
Lisa Walsh notes that her husband’s most enriching rewards come from the creative part of his work. “He loves the creative side of seeing something through from start to finish,” she says, “and working with people to make sure they get the final product they’re looking for.”
The Walsh family knows that the region has been good to them and the growth of their business, so they spend a good deal of time involved with local charitable organizations and philanthropic community events. Robert is a founding member of the Sanibel- Captiva Rod & Gun Club and loves spending time wetting a line in the back bays or Gulf. He also stays very active in the Sanibel- Captiva Chamber of Commerce.
The right landscape design is to your environment what a frame is to a fine painting— and the people at R. S. Walsh Landscaping treat every canvas like a masterpiece. Kelly Madden is a frequent contributor to TOTI Media publications and a 45- year resident of Lee County.
Owner, president and l andscape designer Robert S. Walsh with l andscape architect Leigh Gevelinger, his head of landscape design; the company handled refurbishment at South Seas Island Resort ( below) after Hurricane Charley.
A beautiful Captiva property landscaped by R. S. Walsh Landscaping
The Walsh family: operations manager Justin, co- owners Lisa and Robert, and project manager Jeremy; the company’s garden center on Sanibel ( right); a Captiva client’s residence ( below)