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




March is the start of the gardeners’ year, so Nacho, Gerardo, and Pablo, naturally arrived on February 28th at Oakland on a Volaris flight from Guadalajara, ready to fill out the staff and get to work. They looked well rested after 2 months in sunny Mexico. It’s good to have everyone back and in good spirits, swapping stories and getting the news from Mexico. Another year begins…


Pablo tells me his youngest, 15 year old Paulina, enjoyed her December Quinceanera held at their country home in Destacamento. Pablo’s wife, Florentina, had the garden overflowing with color, especially bougainvillea, which she plants in profusion. About 90 guests enjoyed the DJ, food, and beer. Pablo reports that his famous “Rancho California” is doing well: his 3 cows are set to double the herd when they give birth this October.


Gerardo’s home of Atotonilco is a few hours north of Destacamento, and is known for its Tequila production. His wife, Cecelia, and sons Luis 14, and Giovani 6, will hold down the front until he returns next December. Gerardo has been making the migration north since he was 12. He is now 50. He started out picking cherries in Washington and eventually worked his way south to the apples of Graton and grapes of Napa. He worked at Skylark Nursery before becoming a full time landscaper. He owns a two story house in Atotonilco and says his favorite part of it is the rooftop patio, which has a view of town and surrounding hills.


Nacho’s house in Llano, Michoacan has a similar roof patio. Llano is a small pueblo, but the views of the area on a warm , quiet evening are still impressive. Nacho’s sister, Elena, stays in the house all year maintaining it for her brothers and sisters when they come to visit. Nacho turns 65 September 4th and is looking forward to retirement. He got his start at Skylark Nursery back in the 1970’s before joining us at Waldron Landscape in the early 1990’s.


Every 4 years or so we adjust our rates to try to keep up with inflation. In April, we will raise our prices 7% to take a bite out of the 8% inflation of the last 4 years that has set us back. If you have any questions on this issue, give me a call.  Another business concern is centered on the drought. We will be concentrating on water conservation more than ever. This includes fixing leaks, adjusting irrigation timers and sprinklers for the highest efficiency, and in some cases encouraging everyone to think about the possibility of converting areas like lawns for more drought tolerant landscaping. In the meantime, think “March Miracle” and pray for rain.







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.




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!









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.





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.


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