Augusta, GA-based Backyard Life host Jane Waldrop has been a landscape designer for more than 35 years. In this role, she loves to help clients enhance the beauty of their homes and create “vacation spots” in their own backyards. In her personal life, she’s played many roles too, including wife, mother and grandmother. Here, she shares what she loves most about her work and her own backyard.
Jane Waldrop: I live in Augusta, GA and have been married for 41 years to David Maples. I have 3 kids, 6 grandkids, no pets. We are starting a new traveling hobby in our Airstream Camper.
JW: By knowing what to expect from the plants at maturity, and plant science in general, the design works better that way.
JW: August, GA is known as the Garden City. It’s home to the Master’s Golf Tournament. People here are very attuned to a beautiful yard, so I have plenty of work out there.
JW: My backyard is my personal vacation spot as well as my laboratory. I spend as much time planning, scheming, and implementing new ideas as I can. Those ideas that have succeeded, I share with clients.
JW: These days, the trickiest part about my backyard is having helpers to take care of the heavy work. The older I get, the more help I need.
JW: Low maintenance is key for success. Eliminate anything that takes a lot of time to care for. For instance, group like plants together, avoid ground cover plants under trees where birds can spread seeds of unwanted plants.
JW: Continuity, focal points, easy flow, balance and color.
JW: The most important thing with clients is to LISTEN. I can’t tell you how many clients have voiced that issue when dealing with other contractors. I have a number of key questions I ask to get them talking and that helps me zero in on what exactly are their needs.
JW: Always have a gathering space. I like to include moving water and a good easy flow to move around the yard and get back to your gathering space.
JW: I like the fact that every yard and every client is different. It’s a joy and a challenge to have a new project with everyone I meet.
JW: They’re all my favorite. Usually, it’s the one I’m working on at the time.
JW: For therapy, it’s pulling weeds. For relaxing, it’s listening to the moving water and the birds.