Tom Barrett & Environmental Construction
Founded by West of Market resident, Tom Barrett, Environmental Construction is a two-part business: garden construction and garden stewardship. They’re not huge. They have just eight employees. But, don’t let their humble size fool you. Their hands-on process is a far cry from the mow and blow folks who shape yards to match magazine pictures and trim shrubs into balls.
This boutique firm has been helping clients transform gardens into functional beauty since 1990. They don’t simply make things beautiful. They create exquisite spaces humans can use.
“Some yards have tiny patios. Once you stick a table and chairs on them, you have to move them just to walk past. We don’t do things like that,” Tom explained.
He never has. With 34-years of hands-on industry experience and a Landscape Horticulture degree from Ohio State University, he knows success is creating a yard clients will enjoy spending time in for years to come.
That’s why Environmental Construction offers consultations to each potential client where they discuss wants, needs, expectations, and finances.
The Neighborly Way
“I love being a resource for those in the neighborhood, whether we pick up business or not,” Tom said. “In general we charge $75 for a consultation, but for anyone who is west of Market, we welcome the opportunity to come and talk about their garden on a complimentary basis. Because, it’s only five minutes from my house and I like getting to know the neighbors.”
Methods That Last
Wanting a large grassy meadow and being able to have one are two different things. “Anyone can put sod down and it’ll live – for a while. But, if you don’t have enough sunlight, the grass isn’t going to make it. The cultural requirements for landscape plants matters,” explained Environmental Construction General Manager, Lori Beehner.
This is a large part of what makes the folks at Environmental Construction so unique. Their personalized, one-on-one service creates open lines of communication. With their strong knowl- edge of garden care and their solid construction methods, they provide viable options, which will assure your garden’s health. Plus when necessary, their custom built features offer untraditional solutions to achieve a space you and your family will love.
Environmental Construction wasn’t always a two-part business. In the beginning, it didn’t have the stewardship component. Lori changed this.
For years, she watched as yards they developed fell into disrepair or were manicured to death. “A lot of people just don’t know how or don’t have the time to take care of their yard properly,” Lori explained. She saw an opportunity to teach people about
proper maintenance and help them understand how their yards needed to be tended in order to flourish. Thus, the garden stewardship program was born.
Today, the Environmental Construction staff not only helps clients design and build their outdoor living spaces, they help them learn how to keep their garden vibrant. Often, this means staying hands-on with the project. Lori explained:
We have clients who go the à la Carte route and just call us as needed, such as when they’re prepping for a large garden party. And, we have clients who use a fixed price option, where they receive our help for a set amount of time each week. Either way, it’s an interactive gardening process where we communicate with the client about what they want to accomplish and how long that will reasonably take.
Gardening Tip – Plan Ahead
“Most people aren’t thinking about their garden right now. They wait until spring and summer. But, now is actually the time to plan and get things done,” said Tom. Why? Because redoing your garden often requires moving plants. And, “Plants need to be moved during the winter when they’re dormant,” Tom explained.