by Angie Kay Dilmore
Inspired by her mother and grandmother, who both loved potting flowers and tending gardens, Heather Metzger grew up with a passion for plants and discovered she has a knack for landscaping. After Hurricane Laura, she and her husband, Matt, built their forever home on 75 acres in Lacassine, where they’re raising their two young children, along with cattle, ducks, and chickens. But prior to the storms, the couple lived in neighborhoods with home owners associations (HOAs). “I always did the landscaping for our own homes,” Heather says. “And I’d give advice and planting tips to our neighbors on what to plant, where to plant it, and how to take care of it. They’d tell me, ‘You should do this for a living!’ Two years ago, I decided, ‘Why not?’”
Metzger formally started her business, Landscape Lady, in 2021. Since then, her following has grown faster than her grandmother’s legendary English ivy! “My original intent was to offer custom, personalized landscaping design to average people who might not want the full services of a landscape company but who want a plan with appropriate plants that would work with their style and who are willing to do the labor themselves.
I not only suggest plants that will do well, but also determine how much dirt, mulch, rocks, and edging they’ll need. As my business grew, I discovered many clients also want someone to install the plants and still save some money. I’ve partnered with specific growers in Forest Hill so I can get plants at cost for my clients. Now my family is involved – my stepdad, my dad, my uncle – and they do the installation if a client requests that.”
A unique feature of Metzger’s business model is that she hand-draws each client’s landscape plan. “I’ve always loved drawing, so I decided, instead of using a computer program to create my clients’ designs, I would hand-draw them. I illustrate their home and help them visualize the landscaping I see in my head. I give these drawings to my clients as an added value; there’s no extra charge for this. Some clients even frame the drawing and display it in their home.”
Metzger says she is meticulous in her work and takes her time when creating a client’s landscaping design. “First, I schedule an appointment with a client at their home and we sit and talk about what plants, flowers, and colors they are drawn to. This gives me an idea of their likes and dislikes. Then we go outside and discuss the actual project and their vision for the landscaping. We consider ways to cut back on costs and maintenance.
My next hour or so is spent measuring the space. I use a walking wheel that measures distance and I draw it all out on graph paper to get exact measurements. I use highlighter spray paint to mark it out on the ground to give the client a better idea of the plan. Then I go home and start sketching! I also give my clients an itemized price list so they can see the breakdown and make cost-based decisions.”
Metzger’s motivation stems from her love of helping people. “It’s about picking the right plants and having the proper infrastructure, such as consistent water, mulch, and adding fertilizer a couple times a year,” she says. “Most people don’t know where to begin and what plants will grow well in the sun vs shade, when to trim, and how to care for their landscape. I love educating my clients about the maintenance of each plant and providing them with care cards for each plant in their new landscape.”
For more information on Landscape Lady, find her on Facebook or call 337-274-0048.