I am an owner/operator of Mountainside Irrigation & Landscape. I am originally from the Pocono Mountains in Northeast Pennsylvania. I have a B.S. from Penn State University and made my way to Tahoe in spring of 1997; chasing bigger mountains and big snow! Upon arrival to Lake Tahoe, I landed a landscape job that very day and there was no looking back! I worked several years with some of the major players in the landscape business on the North shore. This is when I learned about native species, landscape irrigation and met Tracy. Then in 2001, I purchased a landscape maintenance business in which later evolved into a full landscape construction and maintenance adventure known as Mountainside Irrigation & Landscape.
My background is in working with water and operating machinery. During the winter months, I have run snowmaking systems around the world and have honed my skills as an operator through grooming and snow removal operations. Hardscapes, trees, lawns, patios, lighting, stairways, Bocce courts, retaining walls, maintenance, water conservation thru native design and proper irrigation installation, Best Management Practices (BMPs) and defensible space are all services we provide.
BMPs are mandated by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA). These are erosion control measures for maintaining the clarity and beauty of Lake Tahoe. The goal of the BMPs is to reduce transportation of sediment from your property to the lake. This can be done thru proper landscaping and garden design. Other ways of diverting flow is installing driveway drains with sediment ponds and by placing drain rock under all eaves of the house and decks. I am a certified BMP contractor which provides knowledge and understanding of the subject and also performs the work.
After the Angora Fire several years ago the Fire Protection District has also instituted guidelines for fire protection. These measures include thinning for healthy forests and cutting of trees 14 inches in diameter of less, raking and cleaning the properties of pine needles and offering literature for fire resistant landscapes. We work with these agencies to maintain a safe environment to live and provide expertise in landscaping and defensible space.
I have assembled a crew that compliments each other well and is not afraid of hard work (we actually prefer it!). Mountainside Irrigation & Landscape is looking forward to working with you to enhance your experiences in your own backyard!
The following briefly describes my qualifications as well as my belief in sustainable practice and the specific services we perform. I have performed many landscaping tasks over the last 20 years. Garden design has been the most gratifying and rewarding for me. There is much more to Garden design than color, texture and composition; plants must be suitable for their location. The high desert climate in which we live in requires plants to endure some harsh elements. We use native species whenever possible because they are drought tolerant, can handle snow load and provide a natural habitat for wildlife. This helps in minimizing infestation of certain insects and also allows for minimal water consumption after these plants are established.
My years of gardening in this climate provide me with the knowledge of plants adaptable to the many microclimates that exist in the Tahoe region. Working at a nursery, reading a plethora of literature, having a degree in Fine Arts and becoming a Master Gardener have all contributed to my ability to provide sensible designs that are appropriate for your gardens location and climatic influences. Sustainable business practice is important to us and we want to be part of the solution by creating as little waste as possible by recycling and composting. Our preferred method of fertilizing is using organic matter versus chemical fertilizers.
Now that you are more familiar with me, let's talk about your garden!
I am an alumni of Michigan State University during which I received an Associate degree in Landscape Nursery. My studies and experience range from underground and drip irrigation system installation, entomology, plant and pest disease identification and turf grass.
I began landscaping in Northern Michigan with projects ranging from large underground poly pipe and pvc irrigation systems to elaborate boulder walls with staircases, planting terraces and hidden showers. Landscaping in Michigan on two-plus acre estates allows for great expression and creation. Roughly five years later, I relocated to the Bay Area to find a completely different landscaping environment. Instead of large areas to work with, most backyards were 30' x 30' square. Here, I had to learn to create a visually pleasing and relaxing atmosphere in a drastically smaller area and had to pay much more attention to detail and the plants used. We constructed large patios with container gardens and spill-pot water features to make their surroundings more inviting.
Three years later, I found myself at Lake Tahoe. Designing and landscaping in this arid climate posts many challenges. I found myself doing more research about native plants that thrive in this region and have increased my knowledge of irrigation.
Throughout my career I have had to adapt and learn about different environments, climates and landscaping styles. This allows me to bring different landscaping creations, designs and ideas to any landscape I encounter. I have a real passion for landscaping and thoroughly enjoy creating new looks and feeling into landscapes through new construction and maintenance.