Waldron Landscape

We are a full service Sonoma Valley landscape company equipped for any residential or commercial project, large or small.  Our services include consultation to full design, through construction, and regular maintenance.  We also provides one-time cleanups, garden renovations, high weed mowing, and emergency irrigation repairs.

We are fully insured and licensed in landscape architecture, construction and maintenance.
Contact us today to discuss your needs:
(707) 996-5868

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Monday
Dec012014

DECEMBER 2014 NEWSLETTER

 

 

                                 

 

As we at Waldron Landscape start our 41st year in business here in this wonderful valley, we want to extend our thanks to all of you and wish you a happy Christmas season and a fulfilling 2015. When my brother Dave started the business in 1974 he hired me part time to help me through my senior year at Sonoma State College, we had no idea what we were getting into. Fortunately, we both liked the work and clients. I started my own business as a general contractor and worked in the Nevada City area for many years before returning to Waldron Landscape when Dave retired. I will say this, managing 40 employees, taking care of over 700 regular maintenance customers, while juggling the installations is very different than building one custom home at a time, but it’s a heck of a lot more interesting.

 

December is always a good month to get a jump on winter pruning. Many annuals are flowered out and can be removed. Most flowering shrubs can be pruned now as well. The wet weather means that all irrigation systems can be turned off. Be sure all exposed pipes to valves and faucets are covered with insulation. Nobody wants to come home to a geyser in the yard. Whoever did the successful rain dance to bring the recent wet weather Thanks!

 

This year, about eight of our gardeners are migrating south to Mexico for a little sunshine. Six guys will swell the population of La Union de Guadalupe. Population doubles there every Christmas. It’s the biggest celebration time of the year. This year the festivities will be even better. Juvenal’s brother Conrado Gutierrez (who worked for us several years ago) will marry Perla on December 27th. He works in avocado groves now and lives in La Union. Pablo Sosa Jimenez will be funding his daughter Paulina’s Quinceanera on January 15th. Several years ago my brother Dave, my son Dave and I visited La Union. I expect everyone to be back from vacation in January and February, well rested, tanned and a little chubbier.

 

One last Thank You to all of you. Because of you we were able to fund Kaiser, 401 K plans, vacations, and give a Christmas bonus.

Wednesday
Sep032014

SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER 2014

 

Before I get into a little sidebar about corn, let me do a couple housekeeping chores. First, it’s now mandatory to water lawns only on Mondays and Thursdays 7PM to 7AM. Let us know if you want any help reprogramming your irrigation timers. Second, we invite those of you who would like to be billed for your landscape services via email to let us know. Just put your email address you’d like Windy to use along with a little note to that effect when you send in your next payment.

 

Now, a word about corn, Mexico’s staple food. Almost nothing goes on with our Hispanic employees that doesn’t touch on this commodity. I’m not even referring to Juvenal planting every spare patch of ground here at the corporation yard. That’s a given. What he does with the corn is the secret, but now I may have a clue. We got his wife Luz a little job helping a caterer with an informal party of 140. She, and her daughter Bianca, were there to just cook the tortillas. She arrived not only with the presses to flatten the corn batter, but with her own corn batter as well. Rumor has it that she and Bianca cooked the tortillas at top speed, but still had a line of people waiting for more when the supplies ran out. Now Juv, where did the delicious corn really come from?

 

While our chief irrigation honcho is in the spotlight, I must tell you his mother Maria de Jesus Gutierrez (Dona Chuy to her family and friends) and her 89 year old father  Gregorio de la Cruz, visited Sonoma last month. It was a first visit to the U.S.A. for both of them. Jesus (Dona Chuy) whose three sons Juvenal, Luis, and Jesus all work for us, is also married to a Jesus. Can you imagine the confusion in that household? It makes my mother naming her first three sons David, Denis, and Daniel pale by comparison. Our own Martin de la Cruz is one of Gregorio’s seven children. I checked with Gregoriao about his 17 grandchildren, 10 live in the U.S. most of them here in the valley. His vacation was marred by only one bit of bad news, and you might have guessed, the news involved corn. While on vacation here, a storm cell in his home town of La Union de Guadalupe did quite a bit of damage to his own acre and half of corn. This is basically what he lives on for the year, so now he’ll have to make other arrangements to feed his family. Juvenal said his Dad’s corn field on the other side of the valley didn’t suffer any damage. Juv, you may be sending some of your seed corn back home with Gregorio. Now I understand why you grow so much of the stuff. Good job!

Tuesday
Jul012014

JULY 2014 NEWSLETTER

 

 

                                           

 

                                             

 

Boy did I make a mistake when I mentioned Jose Mejia’s move to Idaho. Our manager of many years, Jose Hernandez, has been getting calls all month asking why he is leaving.

Jose H is here to stay! I should have known with 11 of our 42 employees named Jose, there would be some confusion. On the plus side, our three most recent hires, Baldemar, Hugo, and Roberto, have added some good men to the roster not named Jose. By the way, Jose Mejia, who is Jose Hernandez’ uncle, got a job as a maintenance gardener in Boise and is doing quite well.

 

PRICES! I hope I got your attention because our dump fee of 1 dollar per 32 gallon can will increase to 3 dollars in August. Let me explain. We have been losing money on this part of the business and ideally would like to haul as little as possible. It’s time consuming to transfer the debris from the little trucks to the 10 yard truck each day, haul it to the transfer station, and pay for the load ( by the ton).We would rather put as much as we are able into the green 96 gallon yard waste cans supplied by the city or county garbage collectors. These cans, as you know, add nearly nothing to your regular bill. Mulching your clippings right on site is an ideal option if you have enough space. Let’s work on individual solutions during July to help us cut down on hauling and save you from extra expense. Remember, we want to do as little hauling as possible.

 

That last paragraph was a bit much. Life was simpler awhile back when Dad put the yard waste in a pile and burned it. Date yourself and tell me that the smell of burning Sycamore leaves is a pungent memory from your youth. On weekends, entire Sonoma neighborhoods lived under a haze of smoke. Now if you smell smoke while on a stroll in the old neighborhood, the first thought is “where the heck is the fire department?” Enjoy the summer and remember Jose Hernandez is under long term contract and has no plans to move to Idaho.

Thursday
May012014

MAY NEWSLETTER 2014

 

 

Everyone here at Waldron Landscape was relieved the rains finally arrived in February, March, and April to give us a green and colorful Spring. I’m sure you were also happy that there won’t be mandatory water rationing this year. Water conservation is always a priority and we want to help you keep the gardens happy without wasting resources. Just the high price of water is reason enough to be a little conservative. Let us know if you need help with leaks or just setting irrigation timers. It’s also time to plant vegetables and begin high weed whacking. Our guys have already begun weed cutting and in one instance on 7th St E discovered 6 rattle snakes in one field!

 

I recently promoted Rafael Casillas to maintenance manager. He will be doing more estimating and trouble-shooting. He’ll get a breather on May 9th when he heads down to Ciudad Guzman to visit family and friends for a brief vacation. Long time employee Jose Mejia is moving to Boise, Idaho to be closer to his wife’s family. We’ll miss Jose and wish him well. Juvenal has planted most of our community vegetable garden here at the corporation yard. I commandeered two rows for bush beans and my brother Dave (some of you may remember him) planted 4 tomato plants. We put everything on a drip line and timer to save water.

 

When I bought the business from my brother Dave last year, he had a few addendums in the contract. One was that I periodically report on his cats in the newsletter and that I donate to the projects for which he volunteers. Well, the cat part is easy. Dave tells me that Bella is still as sweet as ever and loves to perch on his lap at every opportunity, and that 18 year old Slim is getting a little arthritic and wobbly. Despite going up the stairs one at a time and losing his once pogo stick-like jumping ability, Slim still has a good appetite and sleeps away his days on an old sleeping pad set on low. The donations Dave requests are given happily since our company has always had a policy of helping the community. Dave only had to put me in a brief head lock to convince me to donate mulch for the Rotary Club cleanup at the Vintage House May 10th and to become a corporate sponsor for the Rotary Club’s big fundraiser “Applause” to be held at Hanna Center August 23rd. I may go to that one if my neck brace is off by then.

 

Monday
Mar102014

MARCH NEWSLETTER 2014

 

As Spring springs forth, Nacho and our other employees who spend several months in Mexico, begin to make their way north. Nacho arrived in Napa on February 26th, ready for work. He’s been with us for over 20 years. His brother Ramon began work here in 1988. Enrique Salas flew to Mexico February 28th for a month to visit his 2 brothers, 2 sisters, and 26 nieces and nephews in Jalisco. He must be a little confused, going south when everyone else is coming north. Our general manager Jose Hernandez recently turned 40. His wife Erica threw him a big party at FAHA Manor. Rumor has it he had to drink tequila from his boot. That must have been a real chore, because Pepe (Jose) only rarely indulges in even a Bud Lite. Good job.

 

It’s impossible to escape the “D” word these days: drought. When I was finishing college at Sonoma State in 1975, I started working with my brother Dave in his fledging landscape company which he generously named “Waldron Brothers Landscaping”. When the 1976-77drought hit us, we had to ration water to the extent that most lawns died. I went to work for Levine Fence Company to help bring in a little more income. From there I began working for local builder Bob O’Gorman building custom homes. That led me to getting my contractor’s license and relocating to the Grass Valley area. Now we’re once again faced with another drought. Since we have had so much experience with xeriscaping, a fancy name for drought tolerant landscaping, we are in an ideal place to cope with what is looking like a summer of serious water conservation. Each garden has its own unique requirements, so it is impossible to sort out all the contingencies. Just be aware that we will work with you to minimize water usage as much as possible. The local water agencies are still paying rebates to remove lawns and replace them with xeriscaping. The long term benefit of removing lawns and perhaps adding more hardscapes such as brick or flagstone is that you will lower your water bill in the years to come. As water becomes more expensive, this option looks better and better.

 

My overweight Chihuahua Coco has been hogging the newsletter spotlight lately and some of you have expressed concern about the cats that once held sway here at Landscape Central. Well, I’m told my brother’s cats are doing well. Slim is now pushing 18 years old and takes one step at a time. He still has an appetite of a lion and pretends to be the alpha over Bella, who judiciously ignores him and generally jumps to high perches that Slim can only dream about. Our yard cat Vagabundo who lives somewhere between our corporation yard on 8th St E and Montini’s diary is now fed by me and so many of the guys that he is beginning to pop at the seams. Putting him on a diet around here would be next to impossible.

 

Please advise us on any water savings plans you may have and in the meantime do your best rain dances.

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