Portland Garden Designer makes plant purchases affordable and easy using Plant Broker Services.
I’m celebrating Roger Miller of Homescaper, his 15+ years of work and contributions to my clients and our industry upon his retirement. I’m introducing Brian Bradshaw to my clients as our new plant broker. First let’s celebrate and commemorate Roger!
Our friendship and working relationship started at the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers (ANLD) monthly meeting about 15 years ago. I asked for volunteers to plant a swale at a Willamette West Habitat for Humanity housing development. Next thing you know Roger and I are standing in a muddy ditch planting native grass starts. We talked a lot that day and he told me about his new business, Homescaper. He wanted to become the go to plant source for landscape designers and their clients.
I loved the idea. My planting plans are diverse and carefully planned for maximum beauty and lower maintenance. Any old plant at some big box store will not get my clients the design I created for them. There is a reason designers don’t use a lot of common overused plants. It’s not elitism. Many of the overused plants are not as good as the ones we use.
Plant Broker makes plant purchasing for Portland DIY Landscaping affordable
Roger went to 5 or 6 different growers to complete one of my planting plans – it was still affordable for my DIY clients so it was a perfect match. As any contractor will tell you it’s a little hard on the bottom line when the designer selects plants that have to come from 10 different sources. Going to 10 different nurseries in a week was just normal procedure for Roger.
My DIY clients do an amazing job installing their Landscape Design in a Day. When they cannot find the plants I selected for them I may not recognize the design when I come to visit. This is a problem.
Before working with Roger what typically happened is this. My DIY client would head out to purchase their plants. Inevitably the local nursery would not have a plant in their design and the clients, pressed for time, would guess and substitute a different plant. This was a big problem that Roger’s services solved.
Roger never subbed one of my plants with a different plant without conferring with me. Because he found and delivered the plants for my clients, they could easily follow my design. I could drive by a year later and recognize the design! My clients loved having all the correct plants delivered instead driving around to different nurseries to get them all.
Garden designers and contractors entrust their plant lists to plant broker
Other designers and landscape contractors noted my enthusiasm or had met Roger through ANLD volunteer projects and one designer referred Roger to another. Homescaper became everything Roger had told me about that day in the ditch, the go to plant source for landscape designers and their clients.
The contractors I worked with also began using Roger for their own projects. This is a testiment since contractors purchase plants and mark them up for a reasonable profit. He also had a long list of happy clients from his own landscape design practice and became an excellent garden photographer.
Amy Whitworth, Roger and I are members of ANLD. We’ve served on the board in a variety of job positions and often at the same time. Roger was our treasurer and board member for years. During and after his stint as treasurer he helped ANLD with marketing and PR. He spent hundreds of hours photographing our member gardens for the now famous Portland Designers Garden Tour , editing and publishing them for our marketing materials. The postcard, the ticket brochure, posters and website all benefited from his excellent photographic eye.
Amy says, “Roger always made me look good to my DIY clients when I told them they could order directly from Roger and I would work with him directly for any necessary substitutions. It was a win-win. They would get a beautiful order of plants at a cost that was close to retail including delivery without any effort on their part. I always knew I could count on Roger to bring me top of the line plants on time and within budget, making the project run as smooth as silk. I often saw Carol’s client’s plants on the truck as I waved goodbye!”
I shared many enjoyable years with Roger on the ANLD Board during my time as Secretary and Communications Chair, then liaison to APLD. You could always count on him to pitch in and lend a hand with pretty much any project that involved the organization.”
Roger and I had a lot of plant adventures over the years. Work seems odd now without him although I am enjoying getting to know Brian Bradshaw who Roger trained to take his place. Roger and I worked together to take good care of our clients. I can’t remember any big mishaps that would be funny in the telling. Things always went pretty smoothly.
I had to laugh because Roger knew that when I wrote in Acer Palmatum ‘Shishigishira’, a cultivated variety of Japanese Maple that I actually meant ‘Shindeshojo’.
They are very different trees. He sure had my back.
Roger and his wife Jan are planning a trip to France in the spring of 2017 and Roger will be building his own guitar at a special workshop, Lutherie School next July. http://whetstoneschooloflutherie.com/
My former clients and I were spoiled by Roger’s Homescaper service and we look forward to working with Brian Bradshaw. Roger taught me in the best way that having a good plant broker as part of my team is indispensable.
My new Portland DIY landscape clients can look forward to saving money on their plants and enjoying the services of my new plant broker Brian Bradshaw. Portland landscape professionals may know Brian because he is also a member of The Oregon Association of Nursery Professionals and owns Bradshaw Nursery. I’ve been using his plants in my designs for years.