Verbatim from: St. Louis Jewish Light newspaper; 2004

Gardens by Hilary Bloom Year Round
By Carla Patton, special to the light

Civil engineer-turned-professional landscaper Hilary Daniel knows more than a few things about plants and how to keep them thriving. “I’ve been an avid gardener since age 11 and I have always enjoyed working with plants,” she says. After a high-tech engineering career and more than a decade of construction and drainage work, she now concentrates her energies and expertise on the business she began six years ago, Gardens by Hilary.

A full-service residential landscape-design and maintenance company, Gardens by Hilary provides one-stop shopping for discriminating clients who own both large and small properties. Most new customers are referred by existing clients, according to Daniel. “I give potential clients a list of addresses where we have worked, so they can drive by and have a look at what we do,” she says. She emphasizes the company’s commitment to reliability and efficiency, along with its reputation for timely project completion and respect for the environment.

“We only use materials and methods that are kind to the Earth. It is our privilege to be entrusted with its care,” Daniel says.

Daniel initially meets with new clients to establish goals for their landscape and to develop notes for the design. The garden design is based on a master plan which, depending on its scope, may be implemented over time.

Once the design has been set, “we often approach the garden installation in stages — first the front yard, then the back yard, and perhaps, finally, a water garden,” Daniel says. The firm also coordinates the installation of patios and walls that may be part of the overall plan.

“We design a landscape for the long-term, so that the plants have room to grow,” Daniel notes. We incorporate a lot of Missouri native plants and also plants you won’t see anywhere else. Our goal is to use something new and different for each job, to make it unique.”

In her designs, Daniel also strives for plants that provide four-season color or interest, to achieve a garden that blooms from March to November. “I like to use witchhazel because it blooms during the coldest months,” she says.

A plant-replacement warranty is included with the design/installation package, though “we lose very few plants due to the care and attention to detail applied to each job,” according to Daniel.

Garden maintenance is a year-round endeavor of Gardens by Hilary. “Some clients want to be very hands-on with their gardens and some just want it to be taken care of,” Hilary notes. “We really serve both types of clients. And, of course, we prefer to maintain the look of the original design for them.”

To keep a garden looking its best at all times, Daniel’s crew, dressed in their royal blue tee shirts (“the ‘queen’ wears purple,” she says with a laugh) may tend it every two to three weeks. Other gardens may receive professional servicing — mulching, fertilizing, environmentally conscious pest and weed control, cleanup or winterization — three to four times per year.

Daniel is a member of Gateway Professional Horticulturist Association and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA). The firm was awarded ALCA’s National Safety Award for 2004.

Gardens by Hilary has a new Shrewsbury office at 7243 Devonshire Ave., Suite 201, St. Louis, Mo. 63119. (314) 647-1456.

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