HAPPY GARDEN, HAPPY HOME
THE ‘ORIGIN’ STORY OF ROBERT BURNS AND BLG ENVIRONMENTAL
W elcome to our very first newsletter! I’ve spoken with many of you personally, so by this point, you might even know me pretty well. There’s a good possibility that we’ve talked about my wife and our three kids or about our new cavapoo puppy, Teddy Bear. (We’ve included a
whole article about him and his breed!) But I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you a little more that you may not know about me and how I started BLG Environmental. Let’s start at the roots: I’ve lived practically my whole life in Orlando, but my great-great-grandparents were agricultural immigrants fromMadera, an island in Portugal, and they lived in Hawaii — specifically, on the islands of Maui and Oahu. Up until I was born, my entire family lived in Hawaii. My father worked in Hawaiian canaries and pineapple plantations until he was 18. After my parents got married, they moved to California so my dad could attend college at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. When I was 6 months old, our family moved to central Florida and has been here ever since.
“ I’VE HAD THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT SINCE I WAS A KID ... I’VE HONED IN ON MY PASSION FOR LANDSCAPE DESIGN. ”
gradually, I started taking on tasks outside of simply mowing. It made me realize that I had a bigger passion and insight for the outdoors than I had ever considered before. I started to understand how to navigate and cultivate a rich, beautiful landscape, and I was gaining momentum.
I am entirely self-taught through hard work and perseverance, and I come from generations of agricultural professionals. In 2000, I started Higher Power Lawn Care. In 2003, I joined forces with a childhood friend of mine and became the director of operations for Better Lawns and Garden. We’d provide maintenance, irrigation, and custom landscape design to our clientele and had over 120 residential and commercial clients. I enjoyed working there, but in 2006, my partner and I sold our lawn maintenance division, and I decided to get laser-focused on my true passion: landscape design. That’s when I formed BLG Environmental Services. I’m certified by the FNGLA as both a landscape designer and horticulture professional. I’m also a Florida Water accredited irrigation professional. I’ve been making the outdoors beautiful for decades now, and I’m happy to say that I even enjoy doing it at home with my kids, too. They actually love helping me in the yard. Really! I promise. My older kids Gavin, 6, and Ella, 4, are still too young to successfully pretend they’re having fun with me. They enjoy riding the mower with me and follow me around pretending to weed wack and edge as I do. Juliet is just 10 months old, but she’s out there with us all the time, too. None of my success would be possible without my incredible wife, Megan, by my side. She’s been my rock for more than 11 years now!
My two younger sisters and I were raised to have a lot of respect for nature. Growing up on a lake, we were always outside doing things like fishing, canoeing, or playing man hunt or flag football with the neighborhood kids. We were always connected in one way or another to people through nature. These days, I think it’s harder to feel connected to people or nature. It’s tough for us to find the present moment, much less enjoy it; we have so many digital intrusions, not to mention the stress of work that often distracts us from living in the moment with our families. That’s the biggest thing: being present. I feel lucky to have been brought up by parents who knew the importance of this and to have a wife who reminds me of it often (wink, wink). Speaking of luck, aside from living on a lake, I was able to spend many summers in Hawaii visiting my grandparents who lived in the small plantation town of Haiku. The lush scenery I saw during my time there continues to inspire me today. Even so, many years passed before I found myself with a career in the landscaping industry. I’ve had the entrepreneurial spirit since I was a kid. I’d sell lemonade, wash cars, or charge admission to my own magic show. In 2000, I started my own lawn maintenance business, and over the years, I’ve honed in on my passion for landscape design. Back then, I was just mowing lawns for some quick cash, but
WE MAKE YOUR OUTDOOR AREAS BEAUTIFUL
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