Improving Outdoor Spaces
by Beth Steury
“I started the business because I felt that was what I was meant to do,” says Patrick Wellman of Wellman’s LandVision. “We started with nothing in 2003, in a small rented building.”
For the first three years, while continuing to work another job, Patrick was a one-man crew, putting in a lot of late and long hours. “I worked for three years without pay,” he remembers.
“The money I earned from those early jobs went right back into the business. This only worked because my wife, who stayed home with our four children, knew how to spend a dollar.”
Soon, clients requested other work, in addition to the hardscaping and minor excavation services Patrick offered. By 2010, Wellman’s LandVision had outgrown its location, so both the business and the family moved to a larger spot. “The house fit the family size, and the large outbuilding fit the business.”
Through continuing education courses from Purdue University’s agronomy department and training classes offered by the hardscape and green industry, along with his work experience and training in the construction industry, Patrick and his crew acquired the needed knowledge and skills to expand their services. Landscaping was the natural next step, followed by mowing, which led to spraying and fertilizing. From there, snow removal with ice control was another natural extension.
Patrick says it was a combination of the classes, along with reading books, and asking questions that he learned what he needed to know. “I, personally, have depended upon and benefited from my bachelor’s degree and the training I received during my six years in the military,” he adds. “So much of that knowledge base has been used to avoid and navigate the pitfalls that may consume businesses starting from ground zero.”
Much of the hardscaping done by Wellman’s LandVision involves pavers and retaining walls. Patrick is certified by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) and the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA).
“We pay attention to detail on the cuts and curves, making extra cuts to keep the gaps consistent and within the specs set forth by ICPI. We also use products that will stand the test of time – for example, concealed edging and Unilock pavers.
“We do all the layout and design work,” he continues, explaining that each project includes detailed pre-planning and layout to exact dimensions. “We really enjoy hardscapes.”
Attention to detail is also a hallmark of their landscaping services, which include cutting-in landscape beds, soil preparation, and nursery stock installation. “We pride ourselves on our landscape bed preparation and solving any drainage issues that exist at the client’s home or business,” says Patrick.
Patrick and his crew employ a varying array of lawn equipment when providing customers with a professionally-sculpted lawn. Patrick admits to being “picky” when it comes to mowing.
“I spend quite a bit of time explaining my expectations to my crew. ‘You should make it look better than what the homeowner could on their own – that’s partially why they are paying you.’”
Patrick states, “Besides proper mowing techniques with razor sharp blades, a lawn can benefit greatly from a well-executed pesticide and fertilization program. We offer a pretty good bang for the buck with our spraying and fertilizing.” The application equipment they use allows for up to three products per application during each visit.
In regards to Wellman’s snow removal and ice control services, which began in 2006, Patrick explains, “Our niche is smaller parking lots, walkways, and tight spaces that larger equipment can’t service; however, we are still able to service large parking lots.
“We love the snow removal season, due to the challenges it presents and how it offers a change of pace from all the other services we provide. The only drawback is when a combination of snow, blowing snow, and/or freezing rain occurs over a period of consecutive days.” When this happens, consecutive work hours can extend through the 30-plus hour range.
In January and February between the snow and ice, Patrick finds himself behind the desk, renewing contracts, ordering and securing material, and accomplishing all of the other tasks required of a business owner. “This is the time that we try to get as much administration work done as possible, because March through December leaves little time for such tasks.”
March, April, and May find Patrick and his crew busy with spraying, fertilizing, mulching, mowing, and landscape bed maintenance. Then, their focus turns to hardscape jobs in June, July, and August, when the drier conditions make it ideal for achieving optimal efficiency with the installation.
New lawn installations and lawn renovations take priority in mid-August thru September. Then, it’s the end-of-season fertilizing and spraying, as well as dealing with the falling leaves. “We try to have things buttoned up by the end of November or the first week of December.”
Winterizing and repairing summer equipment, and getting winter equipment ready to go keeps them busy in December. Patrick’s goal is completing all equipment maintenance and modifications by the end of the year.
Wellman’s LandVision is committed to the safety of its business customers and their clientele. “Nothing is worse than having an injury due to the snow and ice at your home or place of business. Not to mention the disregard it shows clients when it’s not properly cleared.”
Patrick works right alongside his crew, in most cases. He looks to employ people with a passion for this type of outdoor work and encourages them to take initiative and learn new skills. “I value my guys. My guys and the great clients we work for are a large part of why Wellman’s LandVision exists today.
“The biggest reason Wellman’s LandVision exists today is due to God, and then my wife, Daphne. She has endured much, and for this I am eternally indebted.”
As Patrick’s website notes, he serves customers in Fort Wayne, New Haven, Berne, Bluffton, Portland, Decatur, Hartford City, Huntington, Roanoke, Indiana, as well as Van Wert, Ohio. Visit the website to contact Wellman’s LandVision about your lawn and landscaping needs!