SHOPTALK - Garret Hergert

When did you first become interested in landscape design and what was the journey to eventually building your own firm?

Since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I am a fourth generation farmer. It’s in my DNA. I grew up farming raspberries and commercial fruit, and we also had a poultry farm. My dad was a general contractor and framed houses so I grew up working on the jobsites with him since I was 5 years old. When I was 5 or 6 I started gardening. My grandma and my mom taught me how to germinate seeds and how to garden. I was raising produce and fruit on my own by the time I was 11 years old and selling it at the farmers market in Vancouver. Friends and family were some of my best customers. I was growing hanging baskets and flower pots when I was 10 years old and was selling Mother’s Day baskets at church and the farmer’s market as well. I landscaped my first house at 14 years of age using my parent’s farm equipment and trucks. I was able to do some really cool projects at a young age. I received my Washington business license at 13 years old.

It’s the ultimate question of any project: Where do I begin? How does GRO Outdoor Living begin each project?

We start every project with a site meeting whether it be with one of our GEM’S (Gro experience manager/sales person) or one of our architects and designers, or even the owner. Ultimately every project starts with some sort of design process. Whether it be on a napkin with a sharpie or a CAD drawing.

As you work with a client, how does a final landscaping plan take shape?

We start off with multiple renderings, concepts and designs. The designs are then refined from there onto a final master plan which then turns into construction drawings which are used for building the project. Many times there are changes throughout the project as we collaborate with the client to create the perfect completed collaboration to create that perfect outdoor space.

GRO has been recognized for many award-winning landscape designs, what part of your portfolio of work are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the family’s lives that we have been able to impact while creating these amazing spaces. Our employees and trade partners’ families we sustain through building these projects.

What are some recent product introductions you’ve used or are excited about introducing into a project?

New natural stone products that we have been able to incorporate. We like using new furniture and decking products. New specimen trees that we grow at our own nursery facility.

What are you working on at the moment?

We just completed three outdoor living/pool projects and have dozens of current landscape renovation projects going. We are preparing for one full estate project and multiple pools, and outdoor living spaces projects.

Favorite way to spend a weekend in the PNW?

Being with family, while enjoying the rolling hills of our scenery on the water, fishing, hunting or gardening and hanging out at home on our property. I also enjoy taking my children on a ride through our nursery fields.

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