Long-time Blue Mountains landscaping company Now & Zen Landscapes is celebrating its 20th anniversary by opening a new showroom at Bullaburra.
Owned by master landscaper and educator Shannon Decker, the business is well known around the Blue Mountains and recently branched into the Nepean and Central West regions.
"We feel we've come of age," Mr Decker said.
"It's time we had a physical place to set down roots, somewhere comfortable our clients can visit to chat through their garden visions, flick through photo albums of examples of our work and product palette without staff in muddy steel cap boots traipsing through.''
While he won't offer a welcoming handshake and will stay 1.5m away from visitors, landscape consultant Todd Duclos will meet customers face-to-face to chat about garden designs, concreting needs, WaterUps wicking beds and how the Green Ninja Satusteam machine can clean and sanitise driveways, pavers and other hard surfaces.
During the past few months, Now & Zen has transformed the well-known New Oracle building or Bullaburra store on the highway opposite Bullaburra station. It opened in February but the COVID-19 pandemic has meant visitors have had to stay away. Designed to reflect the expertise of the Now & Zen team, the makeover included a chic deep grey facade, landscaping and stone masonry with a screen scrolling through photos of their work.
A new range of bespoke items to enhance gardens and homes, such as bonsai plants, timber and resin charcuterie boards, pots, indoor plants, succulent arrangements, polished stump stools and outdoor artwork and sculptures, have been sourced from Blue Mountains creatives.
"We're passionate about beautiful things and supporting locals, especially in these uncertain times,'' Mr Decker said.
Mr Decker established Now & Zen Landscapes in 1999 after working in the landscaping industry since he was 14, working on upmarket estates in The Hills district landscaping properties to complement the mega mansions constructed by premium builders.
Today, Now & Zen incorporates landscaping and garden design, concreting, a recycling and composting property and The Source Bulk Foods Katoomba.
The industry has also evolved. There are now more than 20 landscaping businesses in the Blue Mountains, consumers demand environmental sustainability and technology is ever-changing. However, Now & Zen Landscapes continues to be the yardstick of the highest end market where projects are limited only by imagination.
Mr Decker himself is the local industry authority, responsible for the education and training of the next generation in landscaping design and techniques. He also sits with The Landscape Association board.
"In the past 20 years we have experienced the usual ups and downs of business, grown in maturity and experience and seen many changes in the wider industry,'' he said.
"Not only have we seen new technology come onto the market, we have had to adapt to changing client expectations and design trends.
"We are now facing the biggest challenge yet - the increasing urgency to address climate change and compounding disasters which we will of course, we must.''
The Now & Zen Landscapes showroom, 351 Great Western Hwy, Bullaburra, is open from 8am to 3pm each Saturday. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.