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slys_120If you have fantasized about what your outdoor landscape could be but didn't think you could afford it, maybe you can.  Slaterville Springs based Scott Land Yard Services makes landscape design affordable by offering design and realization of landscape designs in one package.  While the company does do traditional landscaping, owner Caleb Scott says what he loves most is transforming outdoor spaces.

"My passion is for taking the outside and making it an extension of the living environment in the inside of the house," he says.  "It's taking 'I really only go outside to barbecue and then bring it inside to eat' to creating a space where people want to spend that extra time in their landscape and enjoy it.  To me that is the most rewarding."

slys_caleb_nicoleCaleb and Nicole Scott

The core of the business is a husband and wife team.  Nicole does the design work and oversees the implementation of her designs.  Caleb handles office work, oversight and management of the crew, and spends a lot of time on job sites, especially for large installations.  A core of five employees grows seasonally as the work demands.  While the couple approaches landscaping from different viewpoints, they share a passion for transforming the outdoors.

"The kind of clients we are after are people who want a landscape to love.  I want somebody to not want to leave," Scott says.  "To want to sit out there and have a fire after they've had a barbecue, and walk around the gardens and watch the birds, and pull weeds because they just love being in the environment.  Or read by candle light.  It's creating a space that the customer really loves and has always wanted for a reasonable price."

Scott was raised in Slaterville Springs, where he still lives today. He had been landscaping with his father since he was a child, and worked with other local landscaping firms.  He joined with his father at Scott & Crispell, Inc., which they own together.  He studied business management at TC3 while running his business.  And in 2006 he started Scott Land Yard Services in 2006 to focus more closely on the landscaping aspect.

Scott met Nicole during final exams week when she was finishing her graduate degree.  A Colorado native, she moved to Wyoming when she was 13, where she grew a love for the outdoors.  She earned her undergraduate degree in horticulture and a masters in landscape architecture at Cornell.  After school she worked for a firm in Saratoga Springs on projects like Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. and Finger lakes vineyards.  A year later the couple became a team.

slys_NativeStoneWallLansingA native stone wall in Lansing

That allowed Scott to take his company to a new level, offering Nicole's talent for coming up with dreams with his own passion for making them a reality.

"It was an unexpected step, really," Scott says.  "I was marrying the girl of my dreams and getting the business of my dreams.  It just so happened she had a passion for landscaping, as well, which was phenomenal.  Having Nicole really added a whole new dimension to the way we operated.  At that time I was like most landscapers.  I did not have the expertise that she brought to the table."

The company focuses on higher end residential customers. who want complete exterior renovations like a large patio with a built in fireplace and seating walls around it, or a stone walk that goes to the front of the house, and fun, architectural design elements like a natural willow sculpture that tunnels into the kids' play yard.   But the firm also does everything from We also do garden weeding, snow plowing, and cleaning gutters to full property master planning.

With a focus on installing their own designs, the firm also installs other peoples' designs.  In either case they like maintaining the designs and landscape over long periods of time.


"It's really nice to see an entire property transformed and then continue to maintain that property over the next 15 years and watch it develop and grow," Scott says.  "We plan for ten or fifteen years of growth, and ten or fifteen years of the customer living in that home.  We like to think about things like future access ramps, accessibility, environmentally friendly ways of implementing your landscape design, and low maintenance, high impact functional landscaping."

Scott says that every job is his favorite job when he's on that job.  he says he loves making people happy with the work, and that is the challenge he likes to rise to.  He gets to do every day, which suits him fine.

"I grew up doing it.  I love doing it," he says.  "I landscaped with some really reputable companies in the Ithaca area while I was in high school, and worked with United Asphalt.  I grew up in the trade.  I have always had a passion for it and I knew it was something I always wanted to do."

Photos courtesy of Scott Land Yard Services

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