It was just overwhelming, his knowledge,” Property Manager Pat Trippe said of Jon George, owner of Cottage Gardens, Inc. In 2016, the company completely renovated the Brookwood Terrace property that she manages. The landscaping at Brookwood Terrace was 20 years old, and a large tennis court blocked the view of the office and clubhouse.
“A new look for the property was needed and a design challenge presented itself,” explained Jon George. It was Trippe who connected Jon George to the owners of Brookwood Terrace with the idea of removing the tennis court and renovating the front space on the property. They had a vision to transform it into a park-like atmosphere and update the landscaping for the most effective use of the space. The owners wanted something kid-friendly, low-maintenance and environmentally sustainable.
To help the owners of the property visualize what their space could be, Cottage Gardens photographed every square inch of Brookwood Terrace and created a 3D walkthrough on the computer. That way, even out of state owners like David Neidorf, could virtually walk through the space and see what it would look like from the streets or how Brookwood Terrace would feel without the tennis court.
“The biggest challenge was bringing the vision to reality,” said Jon George. Once a plan was agreed upon, three semi-trucks worth of tennis court debris were removed, and Cottage Gardens brought in 14 dump trucks worth of soil. They created a design lined up to the entrance of the front office and replaced the tennis court with grass, shrubbery, a fountain, benches and public sidewalks.
“The changes are astronomical compared to what we had,” said Trippe. George designed a space for them that needs little maintenance but has plenty of color year-round.
“I was so pleased and proud walking through with the owner who flew in to do a final walkthrough. I mean, the fountain was sparkling in the sunlight, all the grass was green and the plants looking amazing,” George said.
Neidorf himself admitted that he can be “a little adamant about the details” but working with George was a pleasure.
According to Trippe, “My owner said to me ‘You could not have found a better demeanor of a person than Jon George to work with us’. His whole demeanor is very calming and solution-oriented. So if there’s an obstacle, whether it’s money, or you can’t get anything to grow in that area, Jon always overcame all the obstacles and was able to bring new ideas we had not thought of.”
Trippe also said that the complex receives more walk-ins now simply due to the curb appeal of the new landscape. But even better, “[The residents] love it. They absolutely love it.”
“Before it was just a dead space that people walked around carefully. Now people are running, playing. You see kids in the park. You see adults lounging on the benches,” George explained.
Trippe said, “He put together a whole new look for us, not just aesthetically. It really brought life to our property. He is a visionary, for sure.”
Photography By John Sloan and Courtesy of Cottage Gardens