Everything’s coming up roses for Carol Gilbert. Also, daffodils and azaleas and clematis and wisteria. Carol runs a custom landscaping and lawn maintenance business, and she loves nothing more than coaxing a customer’s landscape into full bloom.
“The first thing we do,” she explains, “is find out about conditions. What is the soil like? Where and when do we have sun and shade? How will the customer use the space? Will children be playing in the gardens? Does the customer entertain outside a lot—or want to? Are there pets who go outside?
Then we find out about the customer’s tastes. What kind of look do they like? Do they like a lot of structure? Sometimes I compare it to art. Do they like Impressionist or Abstract? What makes them happy?
Then we come up with a plan to make sure they get the kind of landscaping that will thrive in their yard and also create an outdoor environment that fits both their real life and their dreams.”
Carol came by her passion for gardening naturally; it’s a special bond she shared with a special lady, her grandmother. While no one else in the family inherited their mutual interest, Carol loved working side-by-side with her grandmother to choose, care for, and grow a variety of flowers and plants. Her grandmother adored her garden, and her early influence shows in Carol’s business to this day.
“I love to use the old-time plants my grandmother used,” she says. “Plants like weigela, hydrangea, mock orange, lemon lilies. I love to sprinkle them in with the newer plants to create variety—something really unique. I also like to add a lot of year-round color so the yard is never boring. And fragrance. I love plants with a pleasant fragrance. I just love beautiful flowers, plain and simple. And I like to add a little pop and sizzle to people’s yards.”
Carol started her career in the greenhouse at Pike Nurseries, where she grew her position from part- to full-time and helped customers care for their lawns and gardens for eight years. Eventually, she decided to go out on her own. She’s now been bringing yards to life for more than 30 years. Along the way, both her husband and her son joined the business. They also added lawn care and maintenance to their menu of offerings. After all, most people have grass as well as gardens. In her spare time, she drives by and visits as many landscapes and gardens as she can to admire other gardeners’ ingenuity and find inspiration for her own new ideas. As with any small concern, there have been ups and downs, but Carol is thrilled with the business she’s built—especially when it comes to customer relationships.
“We survive through the tough times and try to help our customers do the same,” she says. “It’s not all about the numbers. We’re a business, sure, but we’re also personal landscapers. And the ‘personal’ part is really important. We focus on building long-term relationships and a lot of our customers are now our friends. My favorite thing is when a customer calls us back to do more work. I love that, because it means we did a good job the first time. And that’s what it’s all about.”
“I like to add a little pop and sizzle to people’s yards.”
To contact Carol, visit her website at carolsgreenthumb.com or call 770-461-0514.