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Old World gardening

This guy is devoted

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COMMITMENT :  David Daniel wants to grow old with your trees. - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • COMMITMENT : David Daniel wants to grow old with your trees.

David Daniel is probably one of he happiest men you’ll ever meet. If not, he’ll at least whistle while he weeds your garden.

He’s been landscaping in this county on and off for years, but he finally quit his traveling addiction and decided to put down roots in SLO.

He officially launched David J. Daniel Landscaping two months ago—but he’s not a typical grass clipper.

“I fit in a really weird place in the landscaping world,” he said. “I am not a traditional landscaper. I am not a landscape architect, but I’m also not a mow and blower kind of guy. If you had to call me anything, I would say I am an estate gardener.”

And what is that? Daniel explained: “It is someone who develops the land, designs it, maintains it, and stays with it.”

“I grow with the project,” he continued. “A lot of landscapers do a design, and then they implement it, and then they’re done. A lot of landscape architects will do the design work for a project, and then they’ll pass it on to the laborers. And then a lot of maintenance people just maintain ... previous designs.”

Daniel wants to work with his clients to develop a design that fits their landscape and personality, implement it, and then stay with it and handle the ongoing maintenance.

In this sense, he’s bringing back the old role of the gardener. Hearing Daniel speak about his passion for gardening, design, and commitment to a specific landscape conjures images of old England and grand estates, of homes where the gardener lives on the land and invests a life’s work into the upkeep and development of the grounds.

Daniel admits this would be his dream: to live onsite and grow old with a landscape. But the truth is that he’s in his 20s and is at the start of his gardening career.

“I’ve always known it’s what I wanted to do with my life,” he explained. “I have been playing and working in the garden since I was 4 or 5. My mother loved plants, and we would make two or three trips to the nursery a week.”

Daniel graduated from Cal Poly in 2008 with a B.A. in science via a custom major.

“I started in the landscape architecture department, and then switched over into the sciences,” he said. “I took a number of design classes, environmental science classes, horticulture classes, and cultural classes.”

 In this way, he created a major that was practical considering what he eventually wanted to do.

Daniel claims to be mostly self-taught through time spent in the garden, getting his hands dirty. Nonetheless, he does feel that his formal education was invaluable from a sustainability standpoint.

 Due to the reality of limited resources, especially in this state, Daniel firmly believes in and wants to practice sustainable landscaping techniques.

“Ideally, I would like to use drought-tolerant, native Californian plants and certain techniques to doing a garden that keep the use of resources very low,” he said.

He admitted: “It’s what your clients really want. Not everyone wants that look.”

Daniel ultimately offers people more than a landscape; he wants to develop a relationship with his clients and a deep dedication to ongoing and growing gardening and landscaping projects.

Want Daniel to be your most committed gardener? Contact David J. Daniel Landscaping at (415) 806-1907 or daviddaniel85@yahoo.com.

Fast facts

The Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Center is offering free, one-hour Bar-stander Intervention Trainings to give bar staffers tools for helping prevent sexual assault in the community. Ask your favorite bartender or call local bars and urge them to schedule a session. For more information, contact Jess Hawley, education director, at 545-8888, or e-mail education@sarpcenter.org. …

Shoot some hoops this summer at Atascadero’s Colony Park Community Center. Adult drop-in basketball hours are 10 a.m. to noon, Monday through Wednesday and every Saturday. Drop-in cost is $2 per person. For more information, contact the Community Center at 470-3426.

Intern Lauren Cook compiled this week’s Strokes and Plugs. Send items for consideration to strokes@newtimesslo.com.

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