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Updating Your Landscape: An Interview with Cindy Jones of Oak Ridge Shrubbery and Landscape, Inc.

By Cindy Jones

Tell us about your company and its foundation.

My husband and I have been into gardening, searching out great plants and always worked out in our yard. Craig was in the industry for years with a maintenance company but that market was changing and did not feed creative juices. Over ten years ago we had an opportunity to buy an ailing garden center and we thought we could sell plants of the kind and quality that we had always been seeking out.

When is the best time of year to re-invent your landscape and why?

We are so lucky here in North Carolina that we can plant all year round. (Snow on the ground being the exception). We provided the same warrantee on our work regardless of the time of year. The best time to do embark on the project is when you will home, not traveling, so you can look after any new plants in your yard. We walk all of our customers through what they need to do, and we are always here at our retail store as a resource. Typically planting in the fall if good, as it requires less watering, and with a mild winter things get well established before the real heat of the summer begins, but this past winter caught people off guard and the harsh winter was hard on new plants, and killed a good many.

What are common reasons you see as to why homeowners are unhappy with their current landscape?

This industry is ripe people who claim to be landscapers but are in fact not at all knowledgeable. These low price providers lure customers and then they end up with a poorly designed landscape, trees pruned incorrectly and as time marches on the poor design shows itself more and more. Plants are planted too close together, and plants too large for the space begin to crowd windows, engulf the corners of houses and create a maintenance nightmare for the homeowner. Make sure you landscaper is knowledgeable, they should be able to name all the trees and shrubs in your yard, if they cannot, beware. Investing in quality landscape adds value to your home, done well you have curb appeal that will lead to fast home sales with solid real-estate values. Homes with quality sophisticated landscaping are sought after in the marketplace.

About how often do you suggest a homeowner updates their landscape?

Landscaping is ever evolving, plants continue to grow, spaces get shadier, so you have to adapt your landscape gradually over time. If you have not done so in over five years, you definitely need to take a critical look at your spaces. We provided a consulting service, to help people prioritize what can be done. Sometimes just a few additions, a deletion and changing the outline of a garden bed here and there is all that is needed to give the whole landscape a big facelift.

What a new trends that homeowners are implementing in their landscapes currently?

Trends in the backyard are pondless waterfalls, water features and paths with destination points, a bench or sitting area, somewhere to enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine actually out in your garden. Perennial areas in the front yards, to add a friendlier look instead of all green.

Do you have any suggestions for the do-it-yourselfer who just wants to make a few changes around their yard?

Get some professional advice and then do it yourself. Quality garden centers will be able to guide you. We are open all year long and always available some customers can do the planning off season.

What is the best way to contact you and your company?

We are available at 336-662-0081 or through our website or email at We are open 7 days a week March through October, and 6 days a week November through February.

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