Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Three Word Mission Statement

Terry Sims, Owner of The Garden Artist, Inc.

The Garden Artist, Inc., is a landscape design and build company specializing in outdoor living areas.  We are the recipient of national, international and professional awards for our business practices and the aesthetic and functional qualities of our landscapes. Our Mission Statement consists of one statement “Long Term View”. We apply these three words to all venues of our business.

The underlying significance of our Mission Statement, “Long Term View”, drives a long term practice to our relationships, continuing education, R&D, sustainability, and community involvement.  A benefit of working over the long term is the time efficiencies that come with experience and familiarity.

Time Efficiency is our most valuable asset because however business savvy, no one gets the opportunity to recapture time. Our time Efficiency falls into six categories; Workforce Relations, Customer Relations, Vendor Relations, Continuing Education and Research and Development, Community, and Sustainability. Each category is equally important.

As we excel in Long Term Thinking through repetition, adjustments and experience, we become more efficient and proficient in our policies and actions.  Take for example our Construction Team.  We pay higher than market for a skilled, company and customer service oriented, quality workforce.  The longer our workforce is on the job, the more we benefit from time efficiencies, such as eliminating the revolving door of new untrained personnel.  A long term workforce tends to represent the company well and through experience and dedication our team doesn’t stand around waiting for one phase to end so that their work phase can begin.  I’ve noticed that my Team takes a lay pocket of time to mobilize and repair their tools, stage materials, work on another section of the yard.  These time efficiencies, the result of workforce retention, shorten our receivable time line.

For our customers, our Long Term View goes beyond the well designed outdoor living area that they will enjoy for decades. It includes warranties, quarterly touchbacks, quick turnaround on warranty items, phased landscape improvements, and annual walk-thru’s to assess the health of the plants.  Our customers are for life and not forgotten after the job is completed.  Our motto is “Let me know how I can help”, and we are sincere about that. One of the benefits establishing a long term relationship with our customer is new and referral business, opportunities to build out the next phase, or up-sell improvements that were out of the budget at the time of initial construction.

Our relationship with our vendors is equally important.  Loyalty is a long term commitment.  Because we develop long term relationships, our vendors are familiar with our repeat purchases and keep these items in stock.  We never wait for a shipment unless it’s something we haven’t ordered in the past.  Our vendors know us, know our style, and know what to expect.  As a result, vendors are proactive with our account.  Long term vendor relationship reduce our construction timeline because we don’t wait for materials.  If there ever is an issue, I can guarantee our vendors expeditiously solve the challenge so our timeline is not delayed.

Continuing Education and Research and Development (R&D) must be a long term commitment in order for us to stay ahead of the curve.  Our team takes a minimum of one hour semimonthly to increase their knowledge and experiment with new product, design, etc.

A successful company supports the community that supports them.  Repeat contributions, whether they are volunteer or a monetary contribution are highly respected in the community. It takes years to become known within a community and a company must have consistent exposure to show their commitment.  A well known company runs more efficient through referral and recognition than the time required for an advertising campaign.  I’m not saying that advertising isn’t important, we do this consistently, however we are able to back off a portion of paid advertising and the time spent on a campaign due to our long term recognition in the community.

Every design, every build-out is based on the greatest sustainability we can procure.  All of our products are recycled or up-cycled. We are efficient with the use of our machinery to keep our goal of lowering our carbon footprint.  We look toward the future on every project, protect Mother Earth, and complete the project knowing it will be useful and uncontaminated for the next generation.

Our company mission to look at all aspects of business as a “Long Term View” has been instrumental in our success.  The greatest benefit of this mission is the time efficiencies that naturally develop as we practice our policies over a period of time.  Our customers and vendors are for life. Workforce retention, sustainability for future generations, education and research to stay on the cutting edge, and commitment to community is the underlying basis of our three word Mission Statement; “Long Term View”.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Evolution of an Outdoor Living Area

The Goal:  Create an outdoor living area, functional in use, aesthetic in beauty and 'edgy' in design. The project would have two destination areas; the upper level, for sitting/socializing and the lower for dining.
Each destination area was given its own location but tied together by two identical staircase and a water / fire feature.  The lower area is dedicated to dining.
A spiral of water is surrounded by stone, starting below a fire bowl and cascading into a basin located in the dining area.  A fire bowl sits proud of the water structure providing both areas with warmth.
The 11' outdoor kitchen hosts a BBQ, sink and cooler, terminating into a large boulder that also functions as a serving surface.  Rock veneer and stainless steel embellish the face.  Large rectangles of porcelain tile are used on the counter for strength and environmental extremes.
Sandstone-like retaining walls divide the two levels and embrace the two staircase that curve around the water feature. Planting beds slope up to the retaining / sitting wall to soften the transition between the hardscape and the natural surroundings. Adjacent, a smaller boulder retaining barrier balances and complements the larger boulders built into the walls.
Each level has multiple drains routed to a sump and pumped into the sewer system.  The utilities and garage access are disguised with an espalier and columnar evergreen trees.
The heavy posts of the pergola frame three unobstructed views of the Boise valley.
The side entrance is flanked by a custom iron trellis and gate.  A statue is strategically placed within the evergreens to be a welcome surprise and focal point at mid-entrance.
The images show in chronological order the evolution of this outdoor living area from start to finish.

The final product:

Terry Sims is a Landscape Designer and Horticulturist. Her company, The Garden Artist, LLC is located in Boise Idaho. For more information visit

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Award Winning Sedum Gard

The Taylor Home, Promontory Point, SE Boise
Selected by the Lunaria League and Idaho Botanical Gardens
for the 2012 Garden Tour


Terry Sims is a Landscape Designer and Horticulturist. Her company, The Garden Artist, LLC is located in Boise Idaho. For more information visit