PHONE: 627-4521

DATE: 08-24-04


HCC Graduates Join Businesses to Open a One-Stop Shop—Haywood Landscaping

Two graduates of HCC’s horticulture technology program recently opened a business that is opening doors for many other graduates of the school’s program. Roger Wright, a 1977 graduate of HCC’s horticulture technology program, and John Fields, a 1997 graduate of the program, have joined forces to create Haywood Landscapes, Inc.

Haywood Landscapes is a complete garden center and nursery, offering complete landscape installation and maintenance, retaining walls, mulch blowing services, and design and installation of water features.

Doyle Justice, a member of HCC’s first graduating horticulture class in 1974, works at Haywood Landscapes. Justice retired from HCC with 30 years of service as a horticulture technician. William and Becky Snow, both 2002 graduates of the program, will also become part of the team at Haywood Landscapes in early September. Roger Wright’s son, Will Wright, is also employed at the garden center. Will is a second year student in the HCC horticulture program. Jonathan Shive, another second year student, is also a part of the crew.

Both Wright and Fields have spent many years in the horticulture business bringing the experience and companies together to create a one-stop shop. Wright joined his Wright Way Nursery with Field’s Southern Exposure Landscaping to form the new business.

"We formed the partnership because there was no place in Haywood County that did it all," Wright explains. "It naturally all fit together."

Haywood landscapes offers a wide range of services from consultations to propagating plants, and minor excavations to building Allan Block walls.

"When someone contracts with us to do a job, we try to start it within 21 days," Fields says. "We can install plants or the customer can install but the difference is we’re available. If anyone has problems, they can find us."

Haywood Landscapes also makes house calls. According to both Fields and Wright, Haywood and surrounding counties have many factors that may affect plant growth. From elevation to microclimates, the area can be tricky for plant survival and success.

"Sometimes, it’s as simple as helping a customer determine what will grow best in their area," Fields says. "Sometimes we lend our services to educate the customer."

Both Fields and Wright were raised in this area. Wright worked at Dayco 11 years when he decided to quit the job and open his own business.

At 13 years of age, Fields began mowing yards with his grand father and still does work for two of his original customers. He used earnings from his yard mowing business to support himself while attending college Fields attended Western Carolina University for a semester and then decided HCC would be a better fit for him.

"I have never worked for anyone but myself," Fields says. "You have to be disciplined and responsible. You can’t take any time off if you want to be successful."

Both Wright and Fields want to provide an opportunity for others in the business to be successful as well. Fields says he has had someone that has gone through HCC’s horticulture program working for him for the last five years.

"We thought that since HCC had a great horticulture program here, we could provide good jobs for its graduates." Wright says. "It has opened up a lot of doors for HCC graduates. People can see a future here, a career."

Both Fields and Wright say they received help from HCC in more ways than one. "HCC was a great stepping stone," Fields explains. "The topics covered in the horticulture program were enough to give us a good foundation for what we are doing now."

Fields and Wright say they also received a lot of help from Sharron Donnahoe of HCC’s Small Business Center when they decided to put their business plan on paper.

"Sharron helped us a bunch, more than she knows," Wright explains. "She was really accessible. We called her after hours when we were in a time crunch. She really came through for us."

Haywood Landscapes is located three miles west of Waynesville on Old Balsam Road. They can be reached at 452-0024. The business consists of 14 cold frames and one greenhouse. According to Fields and Wright, they do mostly residential work but also sell plants to local landscape companies and businesses, in addition to other HCC graduates. Haywood Landscapes will have a grand opening on Saturday, September 11 when they urge customers to remember fall is for planting.

For more information on HCC’s horticulture technology program or any programs of study, please call Student Services at 627-4500.

(Cutline:) Roger Wright and John Fields recently opened Haywood Landscapes, Inc. in Waynesville, NC. Both are graduates of the horticulture technology program at HCC. Other employees of Haywood Landscapes are either graduates of the program or second-year students at HCC. Shown in photo (left to right) Will Wright, Roger Wright, Doyle Justice, John Fields, and Jonathan Shive