Jim's Lawn Designs Inc.
and Jim's Driveway Sealing
Lives in: Yorktown
Works in: Yorktown and
throughout Westchester County
In 1990, operating from the trunk of his
car and with his dad's 20-inch lawnmower,
Jim Capone (35) went around Yorktown
for an entire summer mowing lawns.
That's how he started his business. He
quickly bought a pickup truck and a commercial
mower. Business picked up enough
to help him pay his way through college.
Though he loved mowing, he knew he
had to diversify and offer more services
to truly succeed. Today, about 3 percent of
Capone's business is lawn mowing. His focus
is on landscape design and installation
of swimming pools, outdoor kitchens and
lighting. His company, which now operates with numberous trucks and employees also provides asphalt paving, sealcoating, masonry and planting services - Virtually covering almost every aspect
of the landscape industry..
When were you bit by the
"Around age 12, I asked my dad to buy
me a snow shovel. That $8 shovel made
me about $100 one afternoon after school
and a young entrepreneur was born."
Why did you decide to start
your business in Yorktown,
where you live?
"I moved to Yorktown with my parents
when I was 16. It didn't take long
to get adjusted to the area. The friends
I made then were in my wedding party
in August. When I purchased my own
house it was a simple choice to buy in
Yorktown as well. Yorktown is a great
place to live and raise a family. I started
my business there 18 years ago because
it was a convenient location to
my home. Since then, my business has
grown and I remained in the county because
of the quality of life here."
What is the best part of your job?
"I am definitely a people person.
I have met so many great clients and
contacts over the last 18 years. Some
of my relationships go back more than
15 years and I still have several clients
from the very first day back in April
1990. Though a lot of my time is spent
in the office or driving between job
sites, I love to be outside and where
better to spend it than around Westchester?"
Landscape designers in Fairfield and
Westchester counties are ready with practical
advice and creative ideas to help
spruce up your outdoor spaces.
||Recent cold weather aside, spring has
arrived. Crocuses have broken through
the hardened ground and the daffodils'
green beginnings dot the side of the road.
The promise of rebirth is exciting.
Just don't look around too much.
Old leaves still lie in collected piles
scattered around the yard, sticking out
from under a bush or between the rocks
in a garden wall. The grass is lumpy and
brown. In short, the yard looks a mess.
It is clearly time to call in the landscapers.
But, this year, how about something
different - special.
"I get people asking for putting greens in
the back yard. It's a pretty popular feature,"
said Jim Capone, owner of Jim's Landscape
Designs in Yorktown, N.Y. "You don't need a
big yard for them either. They say that most
of your game is your short game.
"In big yards you can build a chipping
area. We did one home that was on 2 acres
and put a green in the back and (the home
owner) shoots from the front," said Capone.
"Sometimes you can tell who has them,
they're made from synthetic grass so it stays
perfectly green in the winter."
Capone is among a number of landscape
designers and architects happy to oblige
what appears to be a growing desire among
home-owners to engage their whimsical
side when cleaning up after winter.
While unusual ideas do have their place,
much of the advice these landscapers give
is geared more toward practical improvements.
"Now is a good time to start thinking
about what you want," said Capone. "In a
week or two it will be time to plant, usually
the beginning of April."
And make sure the quick transition into
warmer weather doesn't pass you by if you
plan on doing any major restructuring.
"Up county there is a lot of natural stone
made to look like it's always been there. It's
less formal and more country."
||"A lot of people have begun to ask for landscape lighting and water features. Everyone seems to want more accent lighting and water features like waterfalls. People like the way water sounds. Perennial gardens around their living space is popular as well" said Capone.
Landscapers cover more than just the
greenery when designing a property. They
take into account driveways, garden walls,
pathways and any 'hard-scapes' that need
"There are so many different types of
pavers (bricklike blocks) now that aren't
commercial looking, they last, they're easier
to walk on and can make more sense for
some people than cobblestones," And they can be laid in many different
patterns like "running barn," "basket
weave" and "herringbone," he said.
"Lower Westchester is a little more formal
the type of stone is more granite."
It's not just stone that divides southern
and northern Westchester.
"Everything we plant north of Scarsdale
are varieties that are deer-resistant. This
is more and more suggested by the home
"Zones are important. There really is a
transition zone and we're right above it," he
said. "There is a difference between what
you can plant in Mount Vernon or New
Rochelle compared to what you can plant
up by Katonah or Mount Kisco. If you go
to a retail nursery sometimes the nursery
grower hasn't done their homework on
whether we will have a harsh winter."
So what is the cost of having a landscaper
work on your property? "You can spend
anywhere between $2,500 and $600,000,"
"Any contractor worth their salt will say
to get two or three other estimates," Capone
said. "A lot of people shop around and get
two or three quotes. It's good to have something
to compare to. But don't get 10."
Then the contractors just become numbers
on a page, it's confusing. The quality of
the work gets lost and it becomes a battle for
the lowest quote. You want someone who
fits your sensibilities.
The best thing about hiring a landscape
designer for your property is being able to
translate your vision to reality.
"People get to see the entire project laid
out before them. It's such a benefit. Then, if
they want, we can do the work in stages,"
Capone said. "We come out for a free consultation
and, when we show you our portfolio,
we'll give you ideas. Its worth it to do the
work with us because what we charge for
the design is given back as a credit toward
the project," he said.
914-962-9704 E-Mail: Sales@jimslawndesigns.com Address:
3652 Lee Road, PO Box 189, Jefferson Valley, NY 10535
Copyright © 2006 Jim's Lawn Designs Inc. All Rights