Creating a Backyard Haven

Northern Kentucky business helps clients make the most of their homes

By Jake Kratzenberg

Comfortable chairs, colorful planters and a cozy fireplace work together to create a relaxing space.

With the restrictions resulting from COVID-19, more families are retreating to their backyards for comfort and investing more in their backyards than ever before.  The outdoor living space segment has been growing over the last couple of years and the virus has now put it into overdrive.  The Lane Report talked with multiple landscaping and pool companies, all of which say they are booked out six months in advance with installations. 

Shade structures and privacy screening are in most demand, primarily because of the feeling of seclusion they provide.  Those who can go all out are installing luxuries like premium lighting, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and comfortable seating areas. 

The Lane Report recently talked with Scott Maddox, the owner of Maddox Garden Center, a premier outdoor and landscaping company in Florence, about his company and recent trends in the outdoor living sector.

How long has your company been in business?

I am a second generation. My father, Robert Maddox, started the company in 1982. I joined with him full time after graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1994.

What is Maddox Garden Center’s primary focus?

We mainly focus on residential landscaping for both homeowners and a few home builders in The Northern Kentucky area, and landscape supply for both home and professional landscapers.  We have a 6-acre retail garden center located in Florence on part of the Maddox family farm that my grandparents worked.

What else would you want prospective customers to know? 

We are a leader in landscaping design and management, and can develop a landscaping plan that fits your aesthetic needs and your budget. No project is too big, and we will work with you every step of the way.  Our designer Rodney Crice can answer your design questions.

What sort of trends are you seeing during the pandemic?

A lot of folks are pursuing smaller projects or projects that have been put on hold over the years.  People are spending more time at home and trying to improve their outdoor spaces. We are not seeing a lot of larger projects and I presume this is due to uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 issue.

If someone wanted to start an outdoor kitchen, what would you recommend?

I would tell them to evaluate how much they anticipate using it.  What are your cooking habits?  Do you entertain a lot?  If it is going to be used as an outdoor room, your budget should be comparable to a room addition to your home.  Built-in outdoor grill stations are not cheap, and the more appliances you want, the more it will cost.  Also, if there is not enough space for your dream kitchen, you must factor that in as well. 

What are the essentials and set-up needed for a kitchen workspace?

Space and access for construction are essential.  An outdoor grill station will most likely need a concrete footing and utilities such as electric, plumbing, data, gas and lighting installed.

Other than kitchens, what else have people been requesting?

Mostly outdoor living spaces with fire pits or fireplaces; a space in which homeowners can relax and entertain close friends and family.  In addition, landscaping, such as trees and high bushes.  Each provides privacy and is almost always requested by the customer. 

Is it better to go with pavers or concrete for your patio?

We prefer pavers as they offer more options for color, texture and finish. We suggest concrete for folks with limited budgets.

Speaking of concrete, what is stamped concrete?  

That is when we pour concrete and while it is wet, we stamp it with a pattern and add color, so it looks more like pavers or stone.

In your opinion, what is a must-have for outdoor living?

A usable outdoor space that fits your lifestyle and budget. n  

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