Sunday, December 14, 2014

Giving Back…Many ways to be generous

One of the most counter-intuitive concepts is the one of giving to receive. For us it is so true and we have constant reminders of how this conundrum works in our lives. When we started Jefferson Landscaping almost twelve years ago, our primary purpose was for Jeff to build on his passion for working with soils. As we grew, we made the decision that providing a healthy work environment and investing in our employees was our most important mission. We transitioned over to alternative fuels because it is better for the environment and better for our employees not having to breathe those fumes. We have gained so much knowledge and education from our professional association (WALP), we want to make sure we continue to give back so the next generation of landscape professionals have the same opportunities.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Jeff and I have so many things that we are grateful for in our lives. We are very
active in our industry and with our professional development group, the
Washington State Association Of Landscape Professionals (WALP).
And we have always known that our customers are the greatest. What a
delight to have the two cross paths and enhance our gratitude even more.
The Littlefield’s hosted one of the stops on our annual bus tour showcasing
award winning landscape projects and maintenance to our peers of
Contractors, Designers and Landscape Architects. Our customers’ kindness,
warmth and generosity elevated the experience exponentially with their
welcoming participation and it was definitely the hit of the tour.

November has always been one of our favorite months. The holiday season is
kicking into high gear and Thanksgiving gives us time to pause and give thanks
for our health, each other, our family, the amazing relationships we have with
our friends, colleagues, vendors and especially our customers.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Continue to enhance with persistent effort….

It is easy to let up on our gardens and rest on our laurels. The temptation to rely on the work we have already done is in our nature. Nowhere is this truer, than in our landscapes. We cease to see the changes that are taking place daily.
So often we meet with people whose yards became overgrown with weeds and no longer reflected who they are or wanted to be. One of the most common oversights is leaving plants past their prime. Heathers (Calluna Vulgaris) and Lavender (Lavandula) both which have life spans that can be shortened to as few as seven years if not tended to properly. They are a gorgeous addition to many beautiful gardens but it is very common to see them without blooms and woody, knowing they will never regain their glory. Let the dying energy go and replant with new vibrant starts. It will benefit you and your landscape in more ways than you can imagine.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Restore our properties to reflect their best version…

Remember when we just moved in and loved a feature of our yard. Or we added some new component to our landscape. Take the time to remember what it was that made you fall in love with your property. Then look to see if it still reflects the magic that it once held. Sometimes it is the little things like neglecting a favorite tree and our surprise to notice it has outgrown its spot. Or favorite flowers that we looked forward to every year but no longer show because the weeds have taken over.

It can even be the dreams we had for adding a certain plant or art but life got too busy and it never happened.
Jeff and I made a commitment this summer to spend one evening a week in our vegetable garden. This year, that little extra bit of effort (and great weather) has contributed to our healthiest, most prolific garden ever.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Time to move forward…

And sweep away the debris from the areas in our yards that are not working.

August is a great month to look around our properties, walk in our gardens and make the changes so they reflect our best selves. The garden below had a retaining wall in the middle of the back yard making the entire upper area unusable.

So we have created steps along the left side for access to a new hot tub area, a dry stack wall with a seating bench built for movie night projecting against the house and lush garden plantings. We will have a flagstone patio throughout the lower level for entertaining.

This couple from Ireland who never had any reason to go into their backyard made the changes to reflect their heritage and love of family and friends.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


With the frenzy of spring past us now, we get the chance to reflect on the health of our gardens and landscape. As many people know it is the foundation that determines the success of our gardens. Just like in life, we have to nurture those things upon which our strength and character is built. The more attention we pay to the soil on which our gardens are built the more fruits, blooms and bounty they offer us. This is truly the time for reflection, to stroll through our gardens daily and let them permeate all of our senses.

Last night for dinner, we raided the garden (top left picture) for spinach, strawberries and cilantro for a delicious salad topped with seafood and homemade vinaigrette.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"Certified Sustainable Landscape Professionals"

Part of our Sustainable initiative is the ongoing education and certifications needed to offer the best solutions for all of our customers.  Our story continues to develop and we have achieved most of our goals.

Here are some of the certifications we have trained for and achieved:

Our Sustainable Initiative & Motivation
In 2011, we began seeing landscape maintenance companies all over the country converting their mowers to propane with positive results.

In 2012 we converted 2 of our midsize mowers over to propane to see how they would perform.  In January of 2013 we converted our entire fleet of mowers to propane. Also, we have converted all of our 2-cycle hand held equipment; leaf blowers, weed eaters, and hedge trimmers to battery power.  This will mean less pollution and less noise.  When our clients are having meetings at their home office, there is less noise while our team is there.  This makes for a less disruptive meeting.  The same goes for the few commercial accounts we have.

I have been in several meetings where the blowers and line trimmers were so loud we had to stop the meeting for the landscape technician to pass by because of the noise.

For our company to do it’s part to leave less of a carbon footprint on the planet and a cleaner environment. I believe this is the future of the Landscape Industry.

The challenges of Becoming Eco Friendly

Receiving correct information about the new technologies and in some cases the products are so new it’s a learning curve for everyone involved. From manufacture to the contractor. And of course new technology means the products are expensive.

Why was this goal so important?
Linda and I hope that Jefferson landscaping can do their part in leaving this planet in better shape for generations to come. For our children and their children.

First in the State to Become Energy Efficient
In Washington State, we were the first to convert to propane mowers and battery hand held equipment. To date we have converted 5- 21" mowers, and 6-midsize mowers to propane. Our hand held 2 cycle equipment has been converted to battery power including 5 line trimmers, 6 hedge trimmers and 5 leaf blowers.

Why aren't more companies following suit?

Cost and learning curve. With new technology there are always a few problems. We think the small problems we run into are worth a cleaner environment.

The Benefits & Cost Savings of Going Green
Less exhaust, less fumes , less noise. With the propane conversion mowers we should recoup our investment in 3 years. The emission results to our planet is immediate.

Feedback From our Customers
The feed back from our clients is very positive. Especially the ones who see the big picture with or without children.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Splashes of color….

The rule of thumb for our area is to install seasonal color after Mother’s Day weekend. All chance of frost has passed by then and we are safe to transform our pots and garden beds without fear of losing them to a rogue freeze. We love preparing for the event. We have numerous customers for whom we install color, as well as herbs and vegetables. At our home, we decided the four months of non-stop bold, vibrant color was worth the investment in time and effort. We have spots of annual color throughout our entire property.

When we started doing color in the landscape and not just around the house we found that manually watering our plants would take up to two hours a day and was very wasteful. We have added drip irrigation to the areas we install seasonal color which has freed up our time but more importantly uses far less water. We are changing to drip irrigation in our vegetable garden this year. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ever thought about growing your own Vegetables?

Jeff here…and I wanted to let you know we can help. Let us do the hard part of building your raised beds and bring in a nice sandy loam soil with lots of composted material. All you would have to do is plant your favorite edibles. (below; Two different customers raised garden beds using block. We can also do in wood.)

Lawn Renovations…

With all the rain and no sun we are seeing a lot of moss and drainage problems. Our Rainier Maintenance Plan customers include aerating and over-seeding in their annual contracts and our Sustainable Management plans include thatching too!

We are also happy to address as an annual project. If you would like us to take a look at your lawn we can assess normal moss build up from the area being shady during a wet warm year versus how much is from poor soil and lack of drainage. If you are ready to take care of some drainage concerns we could provide you with a solution. As I write this article it has rained for two days straight and I can’t wait for a long stretch of sunshine!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Turning it over…..

As most of you know, one of our favorite things is to participate in the NW Flower and Garden Show with our State Landscaping Association, WALP. This year we combined forces with the State Nursery Association, WSNLA and knocked it out of the park with our collaborative garden. What a great experience and since we were able to take a back seat and just help out where needed it was a lot less stressful than in prior years. And pure magic that it won just about every award, including the coveted Founder’s Cup!
Kudos to Rob Boyker and Kirsten Lints who led the charge for both Associations.

(below; two views of the WALP/WSNLA garden, Natures Studio and left; us with 7 Awards won)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

And hope for tomorrow...

The cold dreary of winter always warms my heart and fills me with excitement and anticipation for spring. It is the only time of year when I feel I can act with purpose and not just respond to the next most important thing. I start planning our vegetable garden and ordering seeds. I have time to catch up with old friends and meet up for coffee.

I make time to go to the gym. I read books curled up by the fireplace. I love to take pictures of the winter landscapes. And I am a great fan (albeit fair-weather) of the Seahawks!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Reflections for the New Year…..

When I reflect on the past year, it is interesting that the things which ultimately brought me the most joy were sometimes the most challenging at the time. Jeff and I both agree that our efforts at the 2013 NW Flower and Garden show were more than fulfilled when we won a gold medal. Our son deciding to join the company while a surprise provided a great opportunity for emotional growth. Finding that work/life balance continues to elude us and our goal for 2014 is to laugh more often, share more sunrises and play more golf!

Picture below taken in January 2007 when at the Getty Center in Los Angeles