2 min read

Law of the Land

Law of the Land

Pool ViewProject Details Project value: $300k+| Build time: 2-year multi-phase project | Size of project:1/2 acre

Richmond Lawyer-Turned-Landscaper Jeffrey Cartwright
Transforms His Family's Forever Home

Jeffrey CartwrightJeff Cartwright has always loved a good project. So, when he saw a 1930s home in a Richmond, Virginia neighborhood that needed a complete overall, he got excited. “The inside needed a total gut job and we basically stripped everything out of the yard,” recalls Jeff. “We wanted to put a fresh stamp on the landscape and create a home to raise our daughter.”

Four years earlier, Jeff launched his own company, Cartwright Landscaping, after leaving his job as an attorney. “I grew up landscaping with my dad,” says Jeff. “As kids, we were told to make the yard look nice. We always took great care of our yard. I really took pride in being meticulous and making it look pristine.”

Restoration Hardware PlantersRestoration Hardware planters and blue select thermal bluestone provide a warm welcome

While running a landscaping business might seem like a 180-degree turn from practicing law, both require a strong work ethic and attention to detail. “I really wanted our company to be a one-stop shop,” he says. “I spent a lot of time researching the very best people to partner with so when I opened my business, we could hit the ground running.”

Nothing seems out of Jeff’s wheelhouse. Cartwright Landscaping handles everything from design to build to maintenance. Irrigation, drainage, grading, lighting, hardscaping, landscaping, tree removal—they do it all. If Jeff or one of his nine employees can’t do it, he calls on one of his partners.

The transformation of his own residence is a testament to his company’s talent and breadth of services. Welders and metal fabricators created powder-coated custom gates, arbors and steel screen growers. His team expanded the driveway, using valley black stone. To provide a visual buffer between the road and the home, they built a cobblestone culvert as well as a cobblestone apron and border. They duplicated the design at the entrance to the garage.

Custom Built Garden ShedJeff worked with his team of carpenters to design and build two custom sheds—one for gardening and one as a gym that overlooks the new swimming pool. They also built a rough-cut property fence and a covered porch with a sitting area, outdoor fireplace and TV.

"I spent a lot of time researching the very best people to partner with so when I opened my business, we could hit the ground running."

The team constructed a stone firewood container, fireplace and firepit, using cinderblocks with a falcon mist veneer stone and a large bluestone cap. Around the pool, they used sandblasted and sealed marble to keep the surface from becoming too slippery.

Summer Classic FurnitureSummer Classic Outdoor Furniture with custom metal screen by Andrew Mazza

They installed blue select thermal bluestone on the front patio to add richness to the front entrance of the home.

Throughout the design and build process, Jeff considered the right plants that would add texture, beauty and privacy while maintaining a sense of scale.

Built in fire containter“I hate seeing these huge expensive houses with nice cars, but they’ve put in these tiny little plants and disease-susceptible landscaping,” he says. “It’s really important to achieve a balance. My rule of thumb is to plant about 60% of the way up the window sill, taking into account the plants will grow.”

He also created a little side cutting garden, since his wife loves having fresh flowers in the house. “We’ve planted peonies, tulips, freesia, gardenias, dahlias…” says Jeff. And to anchor plantings in the garden, they installed boxwoods.

Other plants around the property include Japanese maples, Shenandoah grass, camellias, holly plants, deodar cedar and cryptomeria, among others.

To accentuate all the new improvements, Cartwright Landscaping – which is licensed in lighting – designed and installed uplighting and downlighting systems to illuminate the home and areas around the property.

“We’re really happy with how things turned out,” says Jeff. 

"We doubled the value of our home,
so the investment has been well worth it.
We see this as out forever house."

Refurbished windmill

Refurbished windmill by DM Welding; blue select thermal bluestone patio

About Cartwright Landscaping

Cartwright Landscaping is a full-service design, installation and maintenance company in Richmond, VA. Jeff Cartwright is also a Stihl partner for equipment, demos, tutorials and seminars.

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