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Local landscaper finds himself in the limelight

By Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henryherald.com

After 19 years on the job, Hampton landscaper, John Newman, is beginning to get some well-deserved national attention.

Newman, president of Classic Landscapes Inc., has been in front of the television camera six times, appearing on a national gardening television show.

A graduate of the University of Georgia's landscape architecture school, he has worked in the south metro area since the early 1990s, and saw an absence of companies led by landscape designers in the designing and building of homes.

His approach to the importance of keeping landscapers involved in the construction, from start to finish, gained Newman national attention last year, and again this year, as the landscaping company appeared on HGTV's (Home and Garden Television's) "Groundbreakers."

The company had its first contracted project on the show, and won several industry awards. "It gives us credibility," he said of his appearances, adding that it's good for business. "It's helped us in that respect."

The show was taped on location and documented the progress of landscape projects as they unfolded, from beginning to end. "We enjoyed being a part of it," he added.

Two of Newman's satisfied landscape customers are Stockbridge residents, Larry and Sallie Davis, homeowners in the Eagles Landing Country Club community.

Mrs. Davis, a Master Gardener, first met Newman through a mutual acquaintance, who was also a Master Gardener. She told him her landscaping needs and he took over the maintenance and care of the greenery.

They work well together, she said, adding that she is quite happy with the care he takes ensuring everything stays healthy and green. "I love it," she added, of his handiwork. "I prefer a very natural look. John does, too. We're on the same page."

The back yard features an irrigation system, flagstone walkways and steps, gravel walking trails, a gazebo, a bridge and outdoor benches.

Because of the continual threat hungry deer pose for the vegetation, Newman must spray deer repellent on a regular basis, and they both work together to cover some smaller plants with netting to protect them from the animals.

Also prevalent are Camellia bushes, Japanese Maple trees, Wild Agerateum, Yew, Creeping Raspberry and ferns. The sweeping, panoramic view from the deck provides a slightly different view of the landscaping, and Mrs. Davis said she enjoys spending time outdoors because of the scenery.

"The corner lot is very private," she said of the three-quarter-acre lot at the intersection of two streets. "The unusual configuration of the lot affords us some privacy. It's like a park here.

Newman first began working on the Davis' property two years ago, and divided the work into sections. The work is ongoing, and Newman pointed out a spot now covered with pinestraw, groundcover greenery and brightly colored Knockout Roses. "Two months ago, this was all grass," he said.

Mrs. Davis has done much of the planting herself, but said Newman has done a good job maintaining the greenery. It's hard, she said, to pick out any one favorite place in the yard. "I like it all," she said.