Leaving the corporate world behind to become an entrepreneur doesn’t seem like a huge leap. But Madison Gardner, a third-generation Park Cities denizen, left a career in management consulting and private equity to purchase a Dallas landscaping company that was founded long before he was even born.
Now the Highland Park High School class of 2008 graduate is president and owner of Lawns of Dallas, a venerable favorite of Park Cities homeowners since 1982. You can see their handiwork across the Metroplex, including Park Cities Baptist Church, Harwood Park in downtown Dallas, and some of the most beautiful homes in Dallas.
CandysDirt.com sat down with Madison Gardner to get to know him better and understand what’s special about his company Lawns of Dallas:
I know you’re a Park Cities native. How has it changed since you were growing up here?
Over the years, the overall growth of DFW has brought more people to the area from out of town, but Park Cities has still retained its small-town feel. There are still familiar local spots and Highland Park school spirit all around, but there is an added sophistication and more diverse culture.
How did you find your way to Lawns of Dallas?
Growing up, I knew about Lawns of Dallas because they’ve always had such a presence in the Park Cities. I was working in the consulting and private equity world, but was always looking to buy a small business that I could grow. Then I heard the founder of Lawns of Dallas, someone I knew of but didn’t know personally, might be interested in selling. I invited him to lunch to get to know him better and asked him about running a small business. During lunch, the topic of selling the business came up. It took around 6 months to get a deal done and it has been a fun adventure ever since!
How did you become interested in landscaping as a business?
I was initially drawn to the idea of giving back to the community I grew up in and making it a more beautiful place to live. Given the high personal touch, it has been rewarding to build relationships and serve people in this way. I love building new things and feeling that I am doing something good for the world. There is a tangible gratification that comes from improving the aesthetics of our world. The recurring nature of maintenance service is also something that gives some reassuring stability to the business.
In a busy market like Dallas, it’s important to differentiate yourself. Lawns of Dallas’ motto is distinct landscapes, impeccable detail. Why?
Our mission is to be the recognized leader in DFW for high quality landscape services. We are on a quest for excellence and we have found that provides great satisfaction and dignity to our team members and clients.
What big projects by Lawns of Dallas are you most proud of?
We have been involved in many notable projects over the years, including Highland Park Village, HPISD elementary schools, Harwood District, and many more. There are probably thousands of homes in Highland Park, University Park, and Preston Hollow for whom Lawns of Dallas has had the opportunity to create a beautiful outdoor environment. As I drive around the neighborhood, there is probably a home on every street that we have had an opportunity to work on.
What’s on the horizon for the company?
We are striving to be the best landscape company in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow and to be recognized in the industry for having the best quality and service. We don’t want to be the biggest company, but we want to be the best. Also, we have outgrown our current headquarters, so we are in the process of looking for a new home.
When a potential customer calls Lawns of Dallas, what should they expect?
They should expect a courteous and professional conversation. We seek to be their trusted expert in all things landscape related, so that they have one less thing to worry about. Every person should have a pleasant experience when working with Lawns of Dallas, and hopefully a strong desire to continue doing business with us on a long-term basis. We want to be the first call a potential client makes when looking for quality care for their property.
For more information about Lawns of Dallas, call (214) 357-6522 or visit LawnsofDallas.com to request a project consultation.