Backyard Zen Garden

Recently, Joe Hertzler spoke with Kathy Van Mullekom at the Daily Press about a backyard zen garden he designed for clients in Williamsburg. Here’s what he had to say:

The area was a completely neglected part of the yard. Nobody ever went there, except occasionally to knock down weeds. The problem was that it was visible from the back deck and from an upstairs window. The clients wanted to enhance those views and create a reason to wander through the area. Plus the owner, being the fabulous gardener she is, wanted yet another place to work her magic with plants.

The design started with two goals: pathways and a focal point. Without paths, the garden is simply a place to view from a distance. With a path, the garden becomes animated; guests are enticed through it. You know the feeling. When you see a path, you have to walk it! The garden was already spectacular from a horticultural point of view; adding paths allowed people to get up close and personal with the amazing diversity of plants.

We then started looking at what might be the focal point. We wanted something exciting enough to be worth the trip, yet relaxing and meditative. We knew we wanted some type of water feature. If I could, I would convince everyone to have water in their garden. There is nothing like it. Water attracts like a magnet.

I’m not sure how the idea for a Zen garden came about, but when it surfaced it was an instant hit. A principle of Zen is finding order in chaos, and as we designed and built the garden, we struggled with the many lines that seem to fly every which way. What we found as we worked through the project is an underlying mathematical order that organizes the space and draws it together. The end result is a garden that is energetic, yet tranquil.

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Always Helpful

Brian came out last week to try to assess a problem we are having in our yard.  He arrived on time, was extremely courteous and took a considerable amount of time analyzing our situation.  While he was unable to reach a solution, he did take the time to research and recommend another business that might be able to help us.  That kind of customer service will make us more likely to call on Hertzler & George if other issues arise.  Thanks, Brian!


Five Stars All Around

We hired H&G to help us re-do our landscaping after a different local landscaping company did a sub par job with plant selections and installations. That company also was very hard to deal with. H&G stepped right up with Jennifer creating a new planting scheme comprising of native plants with some we had never seen before and which we love! She is extremely knowledgeable and pleasant to work with – a true landscaping charm! Jon did the installations and also did a fantastic job. He was very meticulous on planting and finishing the job neatly with mulch. Unlike that other company’s installer, Jon left us extremely happy with the job done. Customer service on the phone – pleasant, patient and helpful. The only, and ever so minor aspect of their work, is they don’t offer a guarantee on the plants or install. I suppose that’s becoming industry standard. However, now looking over all the plantings with a bit of time passing, I am confident that there won’t need to be any replacements. Watering is of course the key element. Thank you H&G, the country cottage landscaping we’ve wanted is now ours – FIVE STARS!

Chris Dombrowski
Ford's Colony | Homeowner

True professionals

Had these guys build a surface-grade patio in May 2023. They looked at the project, sent me a proposed scope of work and contract via email, took a deposit of 1/2 the total via bank transfer. They set a date weeks later to start the job. They showed up on time, worked professionally and cleaned up at the end of the day. Whole job took 3 days, and they even replaced all the patio furniture on the last day. The final product was precisely what I asked for, done in a high-quality, workmanlike way.

H&G are not the cheapest guys out there, but for the extra money you get a professional product, professionally executed, on time, on budget. Honestly: I don’t think it gets any better than that.


Ken Blakely

Beyond Satisfied

We had an ugly uneven weedy patio and a driveway that needed reshaping and gravel. The transformation is stunning. Your representative Brian was patient and helpful in designing repairs to our satisfaction and your work crew was exceptional. Edwardo the work site foreman was extremely knowledgeable and professional and created a beautiful patio. His crew was superior.

Tim & Cynthia Porter

Joe Hertzler goes the extra mile

Hertzler and George were contracted to perform some landscaping for a seller of mine to get the home ready to show. They had just finished an extensive re-landscaping of the next door neighbors entire yard. I was very impressed by their attention to detail and their desire to satisfy their client. Joe Hertzler goes the extra mile to achieve complete client satisfaction. They provide a complete mix of landscaping design services and maintenance of existing landscaping

Tim Parker
Liz Moore Real Estate