By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Business name: Alan Steiman's Landscape
Address: 206 South St., Northborough
Owner: Banner Steiman
Chief Operating Officer: Deb Mattson
What sets your company apart?
“Quality and customer service are our goals. We have a trained foreman on every job. We have been a high-end provider of landscape service for decades, but we provide this quality at competitive prices. We can work within anyone's budget, tailoring a project to meet the needs of that budget,” said Banner Steiman, who has owned the business since her husband's death.
“We still have some employees from the time we started in 1974. Some have been with us 30 years. And my youngest son will be coming into the business. He's going to UMass Stockbridge and will step into his father's shoes.”
“We can work with all budgets,” added Deb Mattson, who recently joined the landscaper as chief operating officer. “A young couple just bought their first house. They called and said this is what we want to do and this is how much money we have. We told them what they could do now and what they could add later.
“One of the reasons we'se been able to expand our residential business is we don's turn down smaller projects with newer homeowners. We'se trying to build a client base, not a one-time customer. We want to move with them as they upgrade their house.”
What services do you provide?
??? “We do complete installation of landscaping projects. We do masonry, installation of water fountains or decorative pools, low-voltage lighting,” said Steiman, in addition to landscape design and planting trees, shrubs and flowers. The company will take on projects as far east as Boston and throughout Worcester County. It provides maintenance work such as lawn care in areas closer to Northborough.
“Landscape lighting is important. People want their yard lit up if they'se going to be entertaining outside,” she said. The company added a holiday lights installation service last year.
What outdoor projects are popular?
??? “Outdoor kitchens and patios with fireplaces or fire pits are very popular. These areas are an extension of people's homes. They want to take what they do for entertaining inside in the wintertime and do it outside,” Steiman said. “People like built-in grills with countertop space, a little refrigerator underneath. It's easier than going back and forth to the kitchen.”
These outdoor kitchens “are designed for our winters, though we do recommend people cover them in the winter. The manufacturers claim they are weatherproof, but I tell people this is New England, and we can have some unusual weather, especially with ice,” Mattson said.
What types of plants are you recommending?
“Canadian hemlocks. The deer ate a lot of the hemlocks and arbor vitae last winter, but they tended to leave the Canadian hemlocks alone,” Mattson said.
For summer color, “we'se going with the New Guinea impatiens because the other impatiens have been hit by a bad fungus. If you had that fungus last year, it's in your soil and you will get it again this year. New Guinea impatiens have a darker green leaf and really vibrant colors. They are hardy and not affected by the fungus.”