In the 1990s, Ben wasn’t sure what career path to follow. First, he studied interior design at Humber College then switched to graphic design at Seneca. But he couldn’t face the prospect of working indoors, so he channeled his creativity into making gardens more beautiful.
He spent the next several years working for landscaping firms serving large estate properties in the Bridle Path area, learning everything he could from his employers, reference books, the Internet and a succession of Landscape Ontario seminars. As he worked his way up, he also saved his money. So when the owner of the company he was working for retired, Ben was able to buy it. After five years, he sold it and came to work for Lawrence Park.
The degree of organization at Lawrence Park was a revelation and a relief. “It was very different…a lot fewer headaches (for me), not having to do all the admin work as well as the maintenance work.” The crew he now leads serves the same kinds of large estate properties in the same neighbourhoods he knows and loves. “These properties are all different and they often have exotic trees and shrubs that require special care.” He takes great pride in his work, often taking before and after pictures showing “his” gardens before spring clean-up and again in mid-summer.
In the off-season, he does snow clearance and takes courses at Landscape Ontario in crew management, greenscapes and various horticultural topics. Currently, he’s working toward certification in landscape design.