The image and quality of your home or business can be greatly affected by its landscape. Garden Works can transform your vision into an aesthetic masterpiece while remaining environmentally friendly.
Garden Works began in 2001 with just owner Sal Bacarella, a red van and a lawnmower. He had been working for his father, also a landscaper, part-time. Bacarella admits he didn’t enjoy it then, and wanted to strike out on his own. He looked for jobs and didn’t find anything that interested him, so he decided to open his own landscaping company. Only 24 years old at the time, he began by servicing small residential homes in the Whitestone/Beechhurst area.
“Once I ventured off on my own, I really started to enjoy the work. I was hands-on while still involved on the business end and doing more designing,” Bacarella said.
The company progressively grew, and there are now 32 employees at Garden Works servicing 84 commercial clients, including Mt. Sinai Hospital, Pace University and numerous parks, rooftops and terraces.
“My very competent employees are the backbone to my business,” said Bacarella.
The feeling seems to be mutual.
“Sal’s a very good guy. He’s a good person and very fair as a boss. You treat him good, he treats you better,” said Garden Works employee Patricia Farrell.
All the employees have certifications in different fields of landscaping and irrigation. There’s even a Marine Biologist on staff that acts as an environmental advisor involved in analysis, soil testing and plant healthcare.
Garden Works implements Green technologies to ensure all organic, 100% eco-friendly landscaping. In addition to grey water and drip irrigation systems, you can be assured of 100% bio-organic applications and eco friendly maintenance. All equipment is bio diesel, ethanol and hybrid powered only. Garden Works uses planned landscape to decrease run-off and increase water infiltration, reducing the amount of pollutants flowing into storm drains and waterways. They don’t use any pesticides and all yard waste is completely recycled. Garden Works in certified as Green by the U.S. Green Building Council in water audits, saving water, low- flow emitter irrigation systems and LED landscape lighting.
Among the services offered by Garden Works are landscape design, construction and installation, landscape management, pond and water features such as low maintenance water gardens, irrigation and street trees.
Green roofs are also a service provided by Garden Works. The installation of green roofs helps the environment and the building by absorbing the sun so it doesn’t heat the roof, providing insulation and lowering air temperatures. The application of green roof trays (also known as Sedum Trays) cover the roof, filtering pollutants and heavy metals out of rainwater so it neutralizes acid rain and purifies the water before it hits the sewer. This can drastically increase a roof’s life span as well as a building’s real estate value. The city and state offer tax credits for green roofs.
While Bacarella estimates about 90 percent of Garden Works’ clientele is commercial, they do still work in residential landscaping, as well. His most successful and recognized work was the Olive Park Condominiums in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for which hereceived enormous recognition. The residential roof/meditation garden with a reflecting pool featured wood imported from Brazil, stone imported from Israel and Mexican beach pebble. The Zen landscaping project cost $230,000 and was completed in a month. It was featured in the New York Times and New York magazine.
Much like Olive Park, Bacarella said he incorporates Feng Shui methods in all of his landscaping. He sees a difference as colors, shapes and sizes can all alter the flow of energy and have the potential to attract wealth, peace and happiness into a home or business.
“My mission is to create a landscaping company that can bring the community, the city and local businesses to work together and beautify New York City, making it more sustainable and green. I also want to help local businesses and the city by giving back,” Bacarella said.
Bacarella says his family instilled a strong community service ethic in him. He estimates the company is involved in as many community projects as commercial ones.
Garden Works maintains nine ball fields at Hollis • Bellaire • Queens Village • Bellerose Athletic Association (HBQVB), for which he was recently awarded. Bacarella is involved with fundraising, St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Knights of Columbus and the Coastal Preservation Network. He works with city and state local politicians, MacNeil Park in College Point, the Auburndale Homeowners Association, 109th Precinct and other various community events. He is currently working with Devon from the Welcome to Whitestone Organization in trying to raise money to replace the Welcome to Whitestone sign, and is donating all the landscaping and maintenance.
“We do a lot of work in the community and are involved with local leaders to help preserve and maintain our community,” Bacarella said.
Bacarella said he enjoys seeing a project the whole way through, and designing is his favorite aspect of landscaping.
“You start with a blank canvas and do everything: design and install the landscape and irrigation system and maintain it as well. Then I can really express my creativity,” Bacarella said.
He said it’s important to know that if after two years the installation is not maintained, it will fall apart.
“My favorite part is completing a job and seeing a customer’s reaction that makes it all worth it. It’s very gratifying,” Bacarella said.
Right now, Garden Works is working on a number of projects throughout the city. They’re design and installing the landscape at Valentino’s in Bayside, a low-income housing development in Brooklyn and the Anna Gonzalez Apartments in Bushwick. Garden Works is part of a conglomerate of designers who donate landscaping to needy areas around the city, while businesses donate labor and materials to put it all together.
Garden Works will also host and sponsor this year’s Halloween Fall Festival for the Kids at Bowne Park on October 31, which usually draws about 3,000 people. The festival for kids includes music by live bands, pony rides and face painting. Local businesses donate pizza and hot dogs.
Green Works services NYC, Nassau and Westchester. Bacarella also owns a landscape company in Arizona, which he describes as a vastly different business than in New York, and is hoping to expand his business to Miami and Los Angeles in the near future.
Bacarella has high hopes for himself and the future of Garden Works.
“I would like to see my business flourish and thrive, like our landscapes. We have set ourselves apart from other landscaping companies and built a reputation for being design and customer oriented while working with the community,” Bacarella said.
He believes Garden Works already stands out in their design aspects and customer service.
“We really listen to our customers and understand what they want. We’ll listen to their vision and then incorporate theirs with ours and give it a Garden Works twist,” he said.
Bacarella has a few suggestions for anyone looking to hire a landscaper. First, make sure the landscaper is licensed and insured. Ask to see some projects they’ve completed. Get some recommendations and be sure to hire someone who knows the community and the surroundings well, so you don’t stick out like a sore thumb from all the neighbors.
For more information about Garden Works, call 718-539-2986 or log on to www.landscapenyc.com.