warning: very long story.
The year was 2008 and I was 9 years into operating a landscape company. I had done moderately well for myself being able to purchase a home, pay off student loans and start a family. I employed 4 people during the what I call work season, which for us is March through November. December through February we lay off our workers and go on hiatus for the most part. Side note, our company focused mainly on maintenance, and in the Pacific North West once all the leafs are picked up from the Autumn there really isn’t much maintenance to be done. I had that year developed a relationship with a home builder who hired me to care for his personal home and very much liked our work. He asked us to start bidding on installing the landscapes to the homes he built. Sounds easy right? Well remember, we focused mainly on maintenance so my crew didn’t have a ton of experience in the install detail of landscape, and, the homes this guy built were not “track homes” or your cookie cutter type neighbors you find in the suburbs. No, a small home for him was 3500 sq ft on a 25k sq ft lot, and an average size he developed was 8500 to 10k sq ft home with all the bells and whistles. He was more generous in his landscape budgets than many of the contractors I’d met and we were off to what I had hoped would be great partnership.