Weekly Business Profile
Waterwise Landscapes Incorporated
Type of business:
PO Box 6632
Albuquerque NM 87197-6632
Number of Employees:
How did you get started in this business?
Barb and I created Waterwise in 1993 in response to the glaring need for water efficient landscapes that are not just gravel deserts. Waterwise continues to demonstrate that xeriscape can be beautiful, functional and low-water use.
What is your business philosophy?
Waterwise strives to create and maintain landscapes that are both beautiful and in tune with our unique local environment. Our landscapes create a sense of place that are tailored to local conditions as well as to the personality of our clients. Special care is taken to have color and textural elements that maintain beauty throughout the year while making the most of our most precious resource, water.
What significant changes have you implemented recently?
We have made active rainwater harvesting systems (cisterns) a priority. We have always done passive systems (swales, french drains and pumice wicks) and wanted to take things to a new level. We installed an 1800 gallon rainwater cistern in front of our office at 2700 Second Street NW two years ago which now waters our entire office's landscape through an automated irrigation system.
What was your best business decision?
Our best business decision was to stick to what we feel is most important and what we do best. We decided right from the start that we would concentrate on high quality xeric landscapes.Waterwise does xeric design,efficient irrigation,rainwater harvesting, beautiful hardscaping and maintenance.We install both new and renovation landscape projects. We take great care in choosing a variety of colorful low water use plants that fit each niche within the landscape.We also offer regionally appropriate edibles (fruit trees, herb gardens and vegetable gardens) in the landscape and we can create wonderful wildlife habitat oases.
What have you learned over time through running your business?
The first thing is that finding and empowering good people is paramount. We have people that always want to learn more and improve themselves and the company. They have done this by building teamwork and looking for better ways to create sustainable landscapes.We help our staff with continuing education and certifications opportunities. I've also come to realize the importance of trees in the landscape. Often when people convert to xeriscape they don't take the time and care to protect the existing trees root systems and afterwards to set up adequate watering and appropriate mulch for the tree's continued health. Our Maintenance Supervisor is a certified ISA Arborist and continues to train the entire staff in the proper planting and care of trees.Finally it is so important to pay attention to your clients, the site and the wealth of knowledge you accumulate. We have gotten great feedback from doing maintenance over the last 22 years to know what works and what doesn't over the long run.
What other things should people know about you and Waterwise?
We have a phenomenal website (waterwiselandscapesnm.com) which we are always looking to improve and update. I am the photographer for the website (as well as the Facebook page). There are a huge number of plant and hardscape photos and more. We welcome everyone to use it as a resource even if you don't use our services directly.
What contributions to the community (charitable or otherwise) are you most proud of?
I am proud to be Vice President of the non-profit Xeriscape Council of New Mexico (xeriscapenm.com) which puts on the yearly 'Land & Water Summit' every February in Albuquerque.This conference promotes responsible stewardship of our water, land and culture.
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