DuBOIS — Landscaping is an extension of one’s home on the exterior and the “icing on the cake,” according to Beau Caldwell, owner of Landscape One in DuBois.
“And hardscaping is important to your home because it extends your usable, enjoyable space outside,” said Caldwell, a fourth-generation landscape contractor. Hardscaping can include almost any type of decorative or practical structure in a landscape, from driveways to fences to benches.
Caldwell said his great-grandfather started Johnston’s Nursery.
“My grandfather, Leo Wise, took over the business and I worked for him in the summer since I was 12 years old,” said Caldwell. “He (Wise) was a major influence in my life.”
Landscape One has been a design/build company in DuBois for more than 20 years, said Caldwell, and is focused on complete project control from start to finish.
“We try to take care of every aspect of our projects ‘in house,’” said Caldwell. “Over the years, I have focused a lot of effort into developing a team with the specialized skills to take care of all aspects of our custom projects. We have also reinvested a lot of money into buying the correct equipment necessary to specialize in high-end custom outdoor living space projects. We strive to always be client-focused and custom-project centered.”
Caldwell said one of the easiest things homeowners can do to improve their landscaping on a budget is to clean up and manicure what already exists.
“Many people don’t take care of the maintenance that comes along with a nicely landscaped home,” said Caldwell. “If a person spends a little bit of time each week maintaining what is there, it doesn’t become an overwhelming task, such as pulling weeds, adding a new coat of mulch or trimming overgrown shrubs.”
Caldwell said he is always excited to follow the latest trends in landscaping and hardscaping, and he and his employees spend the off-season attending as many seminars and trade shows as possible.
“The people on our teams absolutely make the most difference though,” said Caldwell. “Our team leaders each bring a unique set of skills that have pushed our company ahead.”
Locally, Caldwell said he is seeing a shift back to true craftsmanship in hardscaping – the use of natural materials over man-made products.
“We’ve also started blending natural materials with man-made materials to create unique custom, one-of-a-kind looks,” said Caldwell. “Outdoor living spaces continue to be extremely popular as people want to be outside more, enjoying time together. Whether it’s time spent around a fire pit, outdoor kitchen, patio or swimming pool, the spaces allow us to spend quality time with family and friends.”
Reasons why people may hire a professional landscaper vary, according to Caldwell. Usually, a customer would like to complete larger projects that require heavy equipment and a lot of manpower. Other reasons include the desire to make sure a custom project is done correctly by an experienced crew for longevity.
Caldwell’s suggestion for people who think that hiring a professional landscaper might not be in their budget is to make some phone calls, get some estimates and conduct online research of a company’s previous work.
“You might be surprised on what you can accomplish on a budget,” said Caldwell. “Other options are to break projects down into phases. Do phase one this year, then the following phases over the next few years.”
Caldwell said the DuBois area is fortunate to have many good, professional landscape companies.
“Some may be a better fit for a certain project than others,” said Caldwell. “I would suggest that people ask around and check out past work both online and in person. I’m always available and happy to give advice and time to both homeowners and other landscape professionals. Sharing knowledge is very important to me. I want our industry to be viewed by the public in a positive light as much as possible. If this means helping a fellow landscape company with knowledge, or resources, I’m always available. Working together benefits us all.”
Caldwell offered suggestions for some of the biggest mistakes homeowners may make when landscaping their homes.
Getting the scale wrong“So many people, including landscape professionals, create small landscape beds around the house, fill them with too many small shrubs that are planted too close to the house,” said Caldwell. “The landscape beds and plant material need to be correct for the size of the home.”
Plants aren’t placed correctlyCaldwell said many times plants are placed correctly for visual enjoyment from inside the home looking out the windows.
“Landscaping should look good from inside the house looking out as well as from outside,” he said.
People buy plants not suitable for colder climates“Many of the plants that are for sale at big box stores are grown in the south and shipped up for sale here,” said Caldwell. “Many of these plants don’t ‘winter over.’ Buying from local growers and nurseries will ensure hardiness for our climate.”