For over 30 years, Cedar Springs Landscape Group has provided its clients with luxury landscapes that suit their needs. Adrian Bartels, the company’s owner, has been involved in its operation since his high school years. Adrian and his team continue to work hard to maintain the quality and commitment to customer service that the business was built upon all those years ago. “I tell our clients very regularly that a good house starts with a good architect and a good design,” he says. “Nobody can start building a house until they have a design to build from, and landscaping is – in many ways – equally important. With a design, you take away a lot of those unknowns and ambiguous situations. As an informative tool for our clients, ‘A design allows us to estimate accurately; detail what’s been proposed; and later on presuming a contract is formed, the installation crews knows exactly what to build.’
Cedar Springs Landscape Group offers it’s clients access to a full design studio with over six different design staff working on a variety of Landscape projects. The process begins here. In order to ensure that the client receives their ideal design before progressing to construction. Through the company’s design services, clients receive a more in-depth approach, as 3D rendering programs allow for a more accurate representation of the finished product. “The advantages from 2D to 3D are that, rather than just space planning, you can show different colours, textures, different products – and with the click of a button, you can show what this product looks like with this type of product together,” says Bartels. “None of this could be done on 2D. So, the advantages are, in projects that have a lot of elevations, you can really understand them well with 3D rendering and also with product selection.”
Even before the planning process, Cedar Springs Landscape Group takes all the steps necessary to ensure that each client’s design fits their vision to the best of their ability. From the first call, clients are asked what they’re looking for in their project. From there, they are referred to a designer that will best suit their needs, who will then meet with them to develop their wish list – a project blueprint that will help shape its next steps. “Some clients have a wish list that just says, ‘I want a beautiful backyard. I don’t even know what I want in it. I just want it to be spectacular. You guys come up with some great ideas.’ Other people will come to us and say, ‘I want a pool, I want a fireplace, I want an outdoor living space, I want an outdoor kitchen, I want a waterfall,’ and they’ll have a very specific list. We’ll put together a design that sort of encompasses their entire wish list. We’ll do it in a creative way that works with the space, the sun patterns; pick all their wish list items, work it into the complexities of their yard and come up with a plan that works.”
Given the nature of the business, Bartels understands the importance of spending time outside and interacting with the environment. He believes that creating backyard spaces is not only healthy for users, but it also “gives some serenity” in today’s fast-paced world. As such, the company ensures to remain as sustainable as possible through their projects and the materials they use in order to minimize their carbon footprint. While some of these products and concepts are still in their earlier stages, constant contact with Landscape Ontario helps those in the industry to become the first to know about any new developments. “When we go to Landscape Ontario Congress in Toronto every January, it’s amazing to see the new technology on a yearly basis coming out,” says Bartels. “Landscapers are able to see the stuff and try to implement it. Our company is always looking for the newest technology that can give us an edge out there, because not only do we want to be the best in terms of what we build, we want to be the best in how we build it.
Over the last three to five years, LED lighting is obviously becoming very popular – not just in landscaping, but inside people’s houses as well. We’re certainly 100 percent LED lighting. Sustainable resources like water are starting to take off, where people are trying to capture their water and reuse it for irrigation. To be honest, it’s not as big as it could be. It’s still quite cost prohibitive for most. In the decking industry, we’re seeing a lot of composite products; that is recycled wood that’s being used. We certainly get an interest in these kinds of things. Most of what we’re doing is planting trees, grass and plants, which is obviously all very sustainable anyway. We’re dealing with organic material. We’re bringing in top soil, compost, manure – all very organic matter – and bringing plants in, and these things are fantastic for the environment in creating oxygen and really encouraging animals. Bees, for example, are great for flowers and for pollinating.”
Each year, Cedar Springs Landscape Group submits numerous awards with Landscape Ontario. The company continues to receive accolades and recognition in the industry, including winning of the Don Salivan Memorial Award for top Grounds Management in the province just two years ago. 2013 marked the companies transition to it’s head office in Oakville. “Having a showroom in our market area where clients can come in and find us, I think, is innovative in our industry” says Bartels. A lot of the materials that we sell, we can have them displayed – sort of a one-stop shopping idea. We’ve got a great boardroom with an Smart television where we present our 3D design to clients in a upscale setting. That’s really been a great improvement in our business.
More recently the company relocated to a new operations yard in Dundas; a six-acre property where most operations is dispatched from. As the business continues to expand towards Toronto and north of Toronto, we’re actively searching to find a location to put roots down so as to service this market segment better. About 30% of design/build business for the company continues to develop in these areas, so that’s a growing market for the company. We’re pretty excited about that. We continue to stay aggressive in this industry. We understand that our biggest challenge is finding good employees, and in order to continue to have good employees, we know that we need to give them opportunities to grow in the business. So, we actively want to grow and give opportunities to our guys, so that there’s a constant movement up, and we’ve got a great work force here. They’ve been around with us for a long time.”