Native Athenian Garth Lovvorn has had a lifelong love affair with Alabama the Beautiful, and specifically the lawns, shrubs, flowers and landscapes of our area that make our town so stunning, especially in the Spring. His family has been here for well over a 125 years. Garth grew up here, graduated from Alabama, and Athens has always been home. During the time in which he has had full-time careers with Habitat for Humanity, in banking, and as an insurance agent, he has always maintained a side business in lawn care, and in 2014 decided to go full time. Valley Mowing Company is the name of his service, and he truly loves what he does.
Now is the time of year when you see trucks with trailers carrying riding mowers beginning to pop up all over town, and most guys do a decent job and charge a fair price for what they do. However, I am not sure how many genuinely enjoy what they are doing, and that’s where Valley Mowing sets itself apart. “There is a difference between coming home drained and coming home tired,” he said, as we chatted about the “good tired” you feel after working outside and being able to see with satisfaction what it is you have accomplished.
Garth’s interest in making our area a shining example of “Alabama the Beautiful” goes beyond seeing to it that lawns look tidy and property is well kept. “I enjoy helping clients envision eye-catching landscapes, and how to design with color. I am skilled with pruning all kinds of shrubbery,” he told me. For a while during our talk, I picked his brain about various challenges we encounter where we live, due to the fact that there are more than 60 trees on the property. I learned that part of the reason that several of my flowering shrubs either don’t flower at all, or not in what could be considered in a hearty manner, is that the root system of the deciduous trees that have been there for generations takes the lion’s share of the nutrients out of the ground—it’s not just an issue of too much shade. I was grateful to have my level of frustration diminished, if only for the moment, and as I am mentioning below, got a lead on how to solve some of my lawn and garden problems.
Garth is quick to refer clients to the County Extension Service ACES hot-line, and because he takes a personal interest in his clients, he will do research for them as well to see if he can get answers for some of their “growing concerns.” Many of his long-standing clients are elderly, and he will both take the time to chat with them, as well as go to pick up items for them such as mulch, fertilizer, border material and plants. He has found a way to keep things on a schedule, and has several standing appointments that go all season long. “If someone says they want their lawn cared for every Thursday at 10 am, then that’s what I do,” he says.
He also has always had quite a love for property maintenance, and when he was an insurance agent, he became fully acquainted with the requirements of insurance companies toward residential properties, especially rentals. He became aware of how important it is to have someone who genuinely cares about other peoples’ properties after the legendary tornadoes of April 2011. “I’ll take care of limbs, damage, shrubbery that has gotten out of control, haul away messes, and treat each house as though it is my own,” he added. “I take an active interest in the condition of peoples’ property,” he said. We discussed prices, and his are both reasonable as well as competitive. “I do my best to work with people,” he said.
He also prides himself in the level of service he can give as a sole proprietor. “It’s just me,” he said, although occasionally for some of the larger property maintenance jobs he hires extra help. “I am the one who does the work, and that way I know what was done, and how,” he said. Because he has a client base that has been in existence literally for years, he has a lot of experience customizing his work for each job, and is able to make suggestions if his customers want to upgrade their landscape. This is such an important part of that sometimes elusive thing known as “curb appeal.”
If you are looking for lawn and property maintenance that is provided by someone whose roots in the area literally “run deep,” then give Garth Lovvorn of Valley Mowing Company a call to schedule your appointment today.
Facebook: Garth Lovvorn
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner