The first landscape of the year happened on a Thursday in January.  I went out to meet Todd and the guys, take some video and pictures and see the project in person.  The home was set on 3 acres and with a rural-feel although it’s very close to the center of everything in Sugar Land.  The weather was still cool enough for a jacket and it was cloudy.

While Todd and I were talking on camera about the project, I was surprised to meet a very pleasant and loving golden retriever named Dante. 

Golden Retreiver in Azalea Flowers with Truck

Dante, the gentle golden retriever, posed for me in the azalea flowers that had fallen behind our diesel work truck, on landscaping day.


My video, which you get to see the end of my post, really became so much about Dante and not the landscaping.  After I had edited it down, I got in touch with our client, Lisa, to ask her a few questions.   

Golden Retriever in his new landscape

The landscaping was completed and it was picture time. Dante is the star of this beautiful landscaping bed. He posed perfectly!

We landscape homes, but also meet and get to know people. I believe every person has a story.  Here’s Lisa’s…

“This may be more than you wanted, but I had fun reflecting on your questions,” started Lisa. 

Garden Gal: Tell me a little about yourself, family and of course DANTE!! 

“I retired last year as a director of software consulting services.  My husband is a software engineer for Texas Instruments. We have 2 sons – Ryan is an aerospace engineer, and Kyle is a physicist in the making.  Dante is a 9-year-old golden retriever. He brings great joy to our home and has us all well-trained. He misses having his boys at home but is cheerfully helping me learn how to be retired.  Dante has 3 acres to monitor and is especially pleased that we’re sprucing up the landscaping for his personal enjoyment.”

 Garden Gal:  What’s your favorite thing to do outside?

“We enjoy hiking, snow skiing, and water activities like sailing, kayaking, and motor boating.  Dante likes to take us for walks”.

 Garden Gal: Who do you like spending time with?

“Dante, of course!”

 Garden Gal:  What was your biggest challenge in 2019?

“Learning how to be retired!”

 Garden Gal: What was the biggest problem with your yard?

“Twenty-four years of neglect! I have always enjoyed working in the yard, but when we first moved to our home in Sugar Land I was caught off guard by the exponential level of effort involved in managing 3 acres of property. I was overwhelmed by the scale and frustrated when our landscaping labors were ravaged by deer, armadillos, and wild hogs. Then we had children and our landscape was set aside as our time was happily invested in the activities of busy boys.”

 Garden Gal: How long had you been wanting to fix it? 

“The drought in 2011/2012 inflicted mortal wounds on what little landscaping I had managed to nurse along over the years.  I missed the way beautiful landscaping enhanced the sense of peaceful wellbeing when I arrive home, and I’ve been wanting to re-invigorate it ever since.”

 Garden Gal:  Why did you decide on us?

“Okay, I confess, I was drawn in by the Green Acres photographic parody!  Not because of the clever marketing appeal, or the great photos, but by the sense of humor that it embodies.  So I started my due diligence knowing I could enjoy working with you, then your professionalism scheduling our initial appointment and putting together a design and bid reinforced that I could expect a satisfactory experience.  When I discovered that I have friends who have done business with you, it was their positive references that ultimately made the decision.” 

So that’s Lisa’s story, in her own words.  Thanks for reading!  Here’s the video I promised you!


Garden Gal