Rocky Beginning, Perfect Wedding

Updated Mar 15, 2013

Terra Nikos Wedding 04922Landscaper of the Year finalist marries after transforming this derelict property into a gala-event venue.

Last March, we profiled Nikos Phelps as a 2012 TLC Landscaper of the Year finalist and owner of Utopian Landscapes in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

He was a year into transforming a run-down, 8-acre nursery and various buildings into a comfortable home, a base for his business and a showcase for his landscaping talent.

Near the end of the article, he told of plans to host events such as weddings and parties in an area that was a muddy back lot.

Since then, in a labor of love topping 3,000 hours, Phelps and his fiancé, Terra Dietz, sometimes aided by Utopian crew, moved and re-graded some 400 tons of soil and rock, reclaimed stifled ponds and overgrown groves of trees, and then went on to convert an old greenhouse into a courtyard bar and plant 1,500 sunflowers.

Which all led to July 28, when the two said their wedding vows beneath the canopy of a 100-year-old mulberry tree in front of 150 family and friends.

Courtyardbar Before

Before the wedding transformation

“There were some who doubted we could pull it off,” Phelps says, “but in the end everyone was blown away with the transformation. We literally put sweat, blood and tears into our venue, and now we can enjoy it more as our home.”

He and Terra already have their property booked for a wedding next May. “It’s a natural,” Phelps says. “We’ll grow all our own annuals for the event. Country chic is a trend in weddings right now, and this property is a perfect match for that.”




The Attachments Idea Book
Landscapers use a variety of attachments for doing everything from snow removal to jobsite cleanup, and regardless of how often they are used, every landscaper has a favorite attachment.
Attachments Idea Book Cover