Landscaper shares devotion to Redskins in his yard

One man shows his love for his football team by creating intricate mulch designs. Photo: Redskins.comOne man shows his love for his football team by creating intricate mulch designs.

It’s that time of year again. Football season is here and diehard fans of every team are coming out of the woodwork. Most will be wearing their team colors today; some will raise flags bearing their team’s logo; a few will even paint their faces with the team colors before attending a game.

If you want to know who Clevane Gillespie is pulling for, though, the place to look is his landscape.

A passionate Redskins fan, Gillespie displays his love for the team through murals of mulch.

Back in 2007, the longtime landscaper was injured while trying to cut a tree limb. The limb knocked him sideways and in his fall he damaged his vertebrae, causing him to lose the use of his left arm.

After a long bout of surgery and rehabilitation, Gillespie was able to re-learn how to use his arm, although he was unable to manage caring for his lawn.

Ignoring his wife’s desire for him to go on disability, in 2009 Gillespie chose to channel his determination and devotion to his work into the creation of tri-colored beds of mulch.

Gillespie has been mulching his lawn since 2009 with Redskins logos. Photo: Google MapsGillespie has been mulching his lawn since 2009 with Redskins logos.
Photo: Google Maps

His designs have changed every year. And when neighbors mentioned they couldn’t see his creations very well, he began to put them in raised beds. His current Redskins head logo stands 2 feet above the ground. He also has beds that spell out “RG3,” “NFL” and “Go Skins.” (For the uninitiated, “RG3” refers to the Redskins’ backup quarterback, Robert Griffin III.)

Gillespie starts his creations in June and begins work at 6 a.m. each day, sometimes working until 9 in the evening. His wife makes sure he takes water breaks.

The designs take about two and a half to three months to finish and Gillespie does it all on his own.

He shops at a variety of stores to find the perfect mulch and spends about $1,000 each year. Gillespie doesn’t even use a diagram to map out his creations.

“Basically I just look at the picture in my head,” Gillespie told “What I do is try to make it exactly like it is. I get that picture focused in my mind and I just go to it. God just gives me that special eye. I step back when I do it, and I can tell if it’s right or if it’s not right. Once I get it in my mind, I know what needs to be done.”

Underneath the mulch is a heavy duty layer of plaster, ensuring the design will stay put if it rains or snows. Gillespie has had trouble with vandals though.

“You’ve got crazy people that come and want to mess your yard up,” he said. “So I’ve got one camera, but I’m going to have to put more cameras. Eventually I’ll have to put a fence around it.”

But most people appreciate Gillespie’s work. People regularly ask to walk around and observe his yard so he is planning to install a rubber walkway. He is hopeful that he may be able to raise some money with the site.

He is also hopeful about his team’s chances this season.

“I believe we can win 10 games,” Gillespie said. “I believe RG3 is going to have a coming out season, too. I really believe we’ll win 10 games.”

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