Working Local

In the first few years of Gardens by Gabriel's Central Coast start-up, our landscape projects carried our team to the far reaches of the county and beyond--up to Big Sur and even out to the Corrizo plains. It was fun--we would camp onsite to avoid the back-and-forth driving and enjoy the sense of adventure that the destination projects allowed. In recent years we have narrowed our focus to a smaller region within the county to lessen our travel time and gas footprint, and more recently it's gotten even more local than that. 

Two years ago my wife, Maggie, and I settled into a beautiful home and corner lot in the "Heights" neighborhood of Morro Bay. For me as a landscaper, part of putting down roots meant establishing a company demonstration garden as an an outdoor showroom for our work, and I couldn't wait to break ground.

For 18 months the demo garden eked along, with our and I crew squeezing in a few days here and there between jobs, making leaps forward and then working elsewhere for weeks at a time. The dog-walkers and Black Hill hikers watched our project develop in slow-mo, noting peaks of progress along the way. The random rocks and piles of material were a good conversation starter, and thus building the garden became a conduit to meeting folks in our neighborhood.
Even before the demo garden's completion in February of 2014 we were surprised to get multiple job prospects within just a few blocks of our home. The thought of working with our neighbors and improving our immediate area was exciting, and the potential of walking to work was a dream for a landscaper used to hours on the road! I'm excited to say that in the past year we've completed 7 landscapes for our Heights neighbors. Within an 8-block radius I can walk our English Pointer, Cody, by our projects to check on the growth, chat with the owners, and get some exercise to boot.
There's a great sense of pride helping individuals throughout our county create the outdoor atmosphere they've always dreamed of, but there's an indescribable feeling I get when communing and working within our own village, as it were. I'd like to extend a thank-you to all our neighbors who have invited us to participate in the renovation of their yards. It's always an honor and a pleasure to transform someone's outdoor environment, but especially gratifying to improve our own niche on the hill we call home.

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