At the 2021 Awards of Excellence reception, Hoffman Landscapes was presented with the Decade Award for exterior landscape maintenance. NALP members who have received a Grand/Gold Award and have managed their project continuously for 10 years can submit for this award. If they submit their project and score the equivalent to a Gold award again, they receive a Decade Award.
“We are always honored anytime we are recognized by NALP for the work we do – whether for maintenance or design/build projects,” says Kelly Acevedo, marketing and communications manager for Hoffman Landscapes.
“The Decade Award makes us especially proud, as it is a testament to our work maintaining not only this property but also our relationship with the homeowner. In our region, this industry is particularly saturated with other residential landscape companies, big and small. It is not uncommon for clients to bounce between them as the seasons change. The fact that we have these established long-term relationships with our clients is a real accomplishment and we are very proud to have that acknowledged on a national level.”
Hoffman Landscapes had originally planned to submit for the Decade Award in 2020, as it was the 10 year anniversary of them winning the Grand Award. However, due to pandemic-related issues, they were not able to arrange a shoot with updated photos.
“This year, the homeowners were more than happy to have us come back and take new photos for our submission,” Acevedo says. “We pride ourselves on our strong relationships with our clients and are very grateful that the team at NALP understands the value of those relationships as well.”
Hoffman originally assumed this property located in Wilton, Connecticut, in 2007. The client knew they needed a larger team to help care for their 9-acre estate with its numerous plant beds.
The main goal of the clients for the property is for the beds to be an extension of the home. The clients love birds and butterflies so plants that attract them were chosen accordingly. They also enjoy viewing a gradient of different shades and textures when looking out their window.
Multilevel beds allow the plantings to become an extension of the pool house. They are cared for to give off the appearance of being naturally wild.
To allow the clients to enjoy the quiet of their oasis, Hoffman’s crews visit the property only twice a week. On Wednesdays, they handle the gardening and weeding, which can easily take all day. On Thursdays, the crew comes in to mow, edge and clean up any clippings.
“The biggest challenge is making sure the lawn, trees, plants, and ground cover don’t have any diseases or fungus starting,” says Kyle Waterman, property care manager for this client. “If they do, we have to be on our A-game to get it treated as soon as possible to help prevent it from getting worse. With all the plantings, if something like that were to go undetected and spread, it could really be a disaster.”
Because Hoffman has cared for this site for so long, they have put together a good rhythm and difficulties are infrequent. This is thanks to having the same foreman, Wesley, for the property since 2010. He has developed a deep understanding of the property and the clients. He proactively addresses potential issues and can anticipate any concerns before they become a problem.
“He knows every inch of the intricately detailed property and is such an asset to our success here,” Acevedo says.
Visitors to the home are greeted by a 40-foot waterfall. Its height is a challenge when it comes to maintaining the feature’s plant life, but a series of trails and steps have been dug in behind the plantings to provide safe access. In the courtyard, large hornbeams are trimmed every August from an aerial lift.
Tucked away in the farthest part of the backyard are a garden and koi pond. The homeowners also have an eclectic collection of outdoor sculptures here. The area around the koi pond is only treated with organic products at the customer’s request.
The property also has a sprawling lawn of bluegrass that the client requests be mowed with a lower blade setting to have the feeling of an old English cottage. A 48-zone irrigation system is used to keep everything well-watered. Hoffman’s irrigation manager, Jason Springer, says staying on top of the mechanics can be difficult as the system ages and its size can make diagnosing some issues complicated.
“That said, after maintaining this system for as long as we have, we have dialed it in over the years to where we know what works best with the watering levels,” Springer says.
This article was published in the January/February issue of the magazine. To read more stories from The Edge magazine, click here to subscribe to the digital edition.