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
W hen you imagine the landscaping around Brad Pitt’s home, you don’t realize it, but you also imagine incredible outdoor lighting. Outdoor lighting is crucial to accentuating your landscape’s most beautiful assets. Most photographers, architects and interior decorators already know this, but choosing the proper lighting is a huge game-changer, and not just indoors! We know that the options can be overwhelming, and that’s where we come in: We’ve got the expertise in the landscaping industry, so let us give you some advice for highlighting all of your outdoor space’s best features. Because BLG Environmental has been in this industry for decades, you can imagine we’ve worked with dozens of products. We ask ourselves the same thing you do: What type of lighting fixture is going to make your
DON’T MISS THIS STEP TO A BEAUTIFUL YARD! Alliance Outdoor Lighting’s Bluetooth Fixtures
landscape look like the luxury space that it truly is?
Not only can we make your outdoor space beautiful, but we can also make it flexible to your mood: You can change the warmth, brightness, and color of your lights with the tap of your finger. Adjust your
lights individually or group them to set apart one zone of your landscape from the rest. It’s all thanks to Alliance Outdoor Lighting’s Bluetooth model. This fixture comes in a nice, deep coppery hue that fits in effortlessly with your landscape.
The ease of adjusting these fixtures means that there are endless ways that Alliance Outdoor
Meet Teddy Bear Burns, an adorable cavapoo puppy and the newest member of our owner Robert Burns’ family! Teddy evens out the score for the Burns family, making it three boys and three girls. There’s nothing better than the unconditional love of a dog, and the Burns family had been missing that for quite some time ever since their Great Dane, Titan, passed away in 2014. When Titan passed, the Burns’ oldest child was just an infant, so he and the rest of the kids had not yet received the true reward of a dog’s affection (as well as the lessons in responsibility). It was time! A constant at your side, Teddy Bear not only looks like the stuffed version of his namesake, but he’s also just as cuddly and soft as one! This month, let’s take a look at the history of the cavapoo breed and why we love this little guy so much. HISTORY OF THE CAVAPOO TEDDY’S CORNER
Charles spaniel and a poodle. The spaniel breed has been around since Roman times. They were perfect for keeping your lap or feet warm during the winter, and King Charles II kept them around quite often. As a small dog, they’re very energetic and don’t mind walking for hours, just so long as they’re with you.
Poodles are one of the oldest breeds of dogs there are. Cavapoos are bred fromminiature and toy poodles. Widely acclaimed for their high intelligence, poodles aren’t just for looks: They’re retrievers, or “gun-dogs,” and plenty of hunters use them as such. Their tight, curly coats are moisture-resistant, helping their swimming ability and lessening allergy risk. Their fur also makes it easier for them to retrieve wild game from cold rivers! Breeding the two dogs first became popular in the 1990s in Australia, and the resulting breed became renowned as an intelligent, sociable pet that is perfect for families! It took no time at all for the breed’s popularity to soar on over to the United States. CAVAPOO BEHAVIOR Always happy-spirited, these puppies tend to be mentally alert, agile, and quick to solve problems. A gentle, loving approach is always recommended when training your cavapoo. While training your pup, remember that lavish praise and small treats are very effective! (Much like with children, ha!)
Robert and his family can confirm this. It was easy to fall in love with the little guy! He has a white spot on his chest that he eagerly reveals as soon as you meet him by just rolling over and waiting for your affection. Who’s your beloved pup? We love hearing your pet stories and seeing your adorable photos!
Also known as cavoodles, you might be wondering: What is a cavapoo? It’s a mix between a Cavalier King
LANDSCAPE - HARDSCAPE - IRRIGATION - OUTDOOR LIGHTING
OUR CLIENTS SAY IT BEST!
Lighting’s Bluetooth fixtures can improve your space. You’re free to change the lighting to your preferred white color temperature or any other shade you can imagine, and you can use preset scenes for different holidays, seasons, or times of day. You can also sync all the fixtures together or offset them to unique intervals with a simple slider. There are so many ways you can improve get-togethers and parties with the right lighting. Impress your friends on game day by showing off your favorite team’s colors! Or surprise your loved one with a romantic evening at home that includes a fancy dinner in the garden with warm, dimmed lights. If you’re interested in enhancing your landscape with the right lighting, we highly recommend Alliance Outdoor Lighting’s fixtures, and we’ll install them for you! Call us today at 407.702.7905 to get started!
The landscaping at my house used to look so bad that I felt
embarrassed for people to see it. After Robert and his team installed my gorgeous new landscaping, I feel proud of my yard because it’s one of the prettiest yards in the neighborhood!” —Adam Willingham
FROM THE KITCHEN
PESTO CHICKEN WITH BLISTERED TOMATOES
Inspired by CookingLight.com
Brighten up after a cold, dark winter with this fresh and flavorful springtime dish.
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, pounded to a 1-inch thickness Salt and pepper to taste 1/4 cup whole-wheat panko
• • • • • •
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted 6 tbsp spinach pesto 2 cups cherry tomatoes 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced 1 tsp red wine vinegar
1. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add it to pan. Cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side, then remove pan from heat.
3. In a bowl, combine panko, Parmesan cheese, and butter.
4. Spread pesto over chicken and top with panko mixture.
5. Broil chicken for 2 minutes on high heat until browned.
In a skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat.
Add tomatoes and cook for 6 minutes.
8. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
9. Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper, and add red wine vinegar.
10. Serve tomatoes with broiled chicken.
WE MAKE YOUR OUTDOOR AREAS BEAUTIFUL
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WE MAKE YOUR OUTDOOR AREAS BEAUTIFUL
The ‘Origin’ Story of Robert Burns and BLG Environmental Product Spotlight: Bluetooth Lighting Teddy’s Corner Hear From Our Clients Pesto Chicken With Blistered Tomatoes
Your Epic Adventure Awaits
CREATE YOUR OWN ODYSSEY Mythical Adventures Await in the Mediterranean
O ne of the oldest stories inWestern literature is Homer’s “The Odyssey.” This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the TrojanWar. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught with mythical monsters and magic, many of the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in theMediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own. SICILY, ITALY One of the most popular stories in “The Odyssey” is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew fromPolyphemus, a man-eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is nowmodern-day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world-class golf courses, and delicious food. GOZO, MALTA While Odysseus’ journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent seven years on the mythical island of Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was Gaudos, nowmodern-day Gozo, Malta. Gozo
is home to the Ggantija temples, which are older than the Egyptian pyramids. In addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures. ITHACA, GREECE
If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop Odysseus’ home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of your trip. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee by a seaside cafe before lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca!
With dozens of other islands to explore, theMediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey —minus the mythical monsters, of course.
LANDSCAPE - HARDSCAPE - IRRIGATION - OUTDOOR LIGHTING
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