Mark Keightley knows what it means to go big.
The owner of Artistic Landscapes, Woodstock, Georgia, prides himself on taking a specific approach to the design/install work in which his company specializes. “You do it as if it was your own,” he says of his philosophy he lives by every day. He now has owned his company for 25 years and the days pass in a flash, something he never could say of his prior career as an accountant. Today, he has landscape renovation on his mind.
The average job completed by Keightley and his crew of three is $25,000 but can go up to as much as $300,000. They are building opulent designs for higher end homes in the Atlanta area and encourage potential clients to “Renew your outdoor space.” Every job is custom. Projects include decks, outdoor kitchens, outdoor living, fireplaces and firepits, outdoor lighting, pavilions and arbors, and water features.
Landscape Renovation Specialty
As an example of the type of projects that Keightley specializes in, one residence underwent a complete landscape renovation in 2012.
Artistic Landscape removed the fescue lawn and installed zeon zoysia. The crew created new beds and installed flowering shrubs and perennials. According to Artistic Landscape, the yard now has numerous flowers from sun and shade loving shrubs, perennials and annuals.
In the winter of 2014, the company installed a Japanese garden there. Artistic Landscape brought in mature Japanese Maples using a 90” tree spade and a shooting boom forklift to install the trees, which weighed about 6,000 pounds each.
Keightley and crew have installed a number of Japanese maples of different varieties throughout the property. On its website, Keightley notes, “We take care not to overplant shrubs and trees that will outgrow their allotted space in several years. Therefore it takes a few years to mature.”
Using His Own Landscape as Inspiration
If you visit Artistic Landscapes’ website, you will also see that Keightley’s own residence is featured and was the inspiration for so many of his projects. He uses his home as a showcase for prospective customers.
“I do all the design work, but I also am on site and I am heavily involved in construction,” he says of all the projects accepted by his company. Three employees may not seem like much, but Keightley focuses on quality over quantity and has had negative experiences with attempts at growing his workforce.
“Nobody ever showed up five days consecutively for work,” he says of trying to find reliable workers. “I have three total employees now who are loyal and show up every day and work very hard. I supervise the job and we train as we go. I teach them what I expect to be the right way.”
Keightley’s commitment to excellence in the designs and installation never has wavered. He takes all reviews seriously and doesn’t underestimate the power of the online world.
“We live in an online world,” he says. “One bad review can outdo the value of seven good reviews.”