My connection with dirt began on a spring day when as a young boy I helped my mother plant marigolds to spruce up our front yard. Boys love to play in the dirt – especially wet soil that sticks to everything it touches and makes a glorious mess of a pair of blue jeans and new tennis shoes. But planting those marigolds was different. Even though I got to play in the dirt with Mom, the real satisfaction was watching the flowers grow all summer and making sure they were watered during dry spells. It was the birth of the landscaper wannabe I am today.
Like many boys during the ’60s, my summer job was keeping all of the neighbors’ yards mowed, raked and edged. It was a momentous occasion when I finally earned enough money to buy my first power mower from Western Auto and put away that old rotary blade mower for good. Years later, my wife bought me my first gas-powered line trimmer, and that occasion, too, was one that helped revolutionize the art of lawn care for me.
While I ultimately chose something else besides landscaping as my profession, it is with great interest that I learn about the art of landscaping from those who do make it their vocation. The artistry – and subsequent hard work – of transforming a parcel of drab land into something magnificent is what motivates those of you who do it every day, and what amazes those of us who stand by and watch.
“Whatever you can dream, you can do” is a saying that seems particularly appropriate to landscapers. It can start with artistically striping a highly visible mowing project, or trimming bushes into interesting shapes. But, the most dramatic projects, like huge stone outdoor fireplaces, or waterfalls similar to the one featured on our cover a couple of months ago, are being created by the same folks who were mowing and blowing only a few years ago.
Landscaping is driven by creative minds that reinterpret and reinvent national trends. It’s a visually exciting industry with practical end results that help our nation as a whole. Remember, whatever you can dream, you can do.