Following is an interview with Mike Jenner, Senior Landscape Designer and Residential Division Manager of American Design Landscape (ADL). ADL is the landscaping contractor working on the Pradera community landscape improvement project that is currently in progress. American Design & Landscape is one of the landscape companies that the Custom Collection at Pradera is pleased to refer.
1. How long have you been in the landscape business and how did you get into the industry?
I have been in the industry for sixteen years and have worked for ADL for the past 9. I was studying engineering at Colorado State University and had a lawn mowing business during the summer. I liked working outdoors and switched my major to landscape design and construction.
2. Why has your company been so successful?
Most importantly, the company hires quality people – we have over 140 employees during the peak season. Referrals are over 90% of our business, and that shows we work really hard on customer service, which includes listening to and following up with our customers, providing excellent warranty service and correcting any of our mistakes. We also have also won many awards over the years, including a national MAME award for best design for semi-custom and custom homes. We have also participated in several Parade of Homes, including the event held at Pradera in 2005.
3. What makes a great landscaping job?
It starts with building a relationship with the client, earning their trust, and listening to their ideas. Then the job has to be functional. It all needs to work, including the drainage. And finally, we bring in the aesthetics. So, a great job needs to be functional as well as beautiful and come in within the customer’s budget.
4. What do you like about Pradera and its landscape design standards?
At Pradera, I really like the natural beauty of the terrain, the rolling hills. I like that Pradera’s homesites offer different elevations to work with. And the large size of the sites give us a good palette to start with. I like that the design standards are specific enough that they will make the home look good and they give us and the customer room to be creative. They also encourage the design to follow the natural beauty of the land, which includes using native species.
5. Are there any trends in the industry right now?
Yes, outdoor living areas, which include fire pits and fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, water features, pools, etc. We really like the challenge of combining these elements into the overall concept of the project.
6. What do you like best about landscaping?
I like the variety of the work and that all of my projects are unique. As well as the combination of working both indoors and out. And I really like working with our customers.
Mike at American Design & Landscape can be reached at (303) 841-2820, www.americandl.com.