Borealis Horticultural Services (2009) is owned and operated by Tony Coakley, a graduate of the Landscape Horticulture program at Kingstec (NSCC campus, Kentville NS). Tony always has loved to be outside, whether working, hiking, or observing plants and animals, and he enjoys being creative. “I like making changes either big or small that will make a positive impact on nature and people,” he says. “The transformation process is always exciting initially, and especially over time.”
When meeting with a client, Tony discusses the client’s needs: whether new construction or renovation is required, their wants, needs and dreams about a project. “We examine their likes and dislikes, how much maintenance they want to have to do on their property, and any areas of concerns they might have,” he says.
Following the initial interview, Tony does a site analysis, where he measures the property, and takes inventory of existing plants, including mature trees. He notes the light conditions on the site, as well as soil type and any problem area such as a drainage problem, then creates a base map from this information.
The next step is to create a conceptual plan, which begins with a sketch of the client’s vision for the project, with input from the client. Tony and the client discuss that conceptual plan and make appropriate revisions as needed. If the client wishes to have a formal plan, Tony will draft a planting plan with a detailed list of hardscapes (walkways, walls, etc) so the client knows exactly what will happen where and when.
Now it’s time to build! Tony and his team will work carefully to create the client’s dream design, and tidy up after their work.
Finally, it’s time to plant. Tony shops around various nurseries, purchasing plants based on their health, how they’ve been grown, their quality and their upkeep. Local growers who have grown plants in the region is very important.
His favourite nurseries are: