After I graduated from UGA in 2012, I traveled to France for a gardening apprenticeship. I spent four months weeding, pruning, mowing, cutting, and harvesting in the French countryside. Although the location was unbeatable, summer rain showers were merciless and at times, the heat was unbearable. It was both exhausting and completely rewarding.
When tasked to write a personal account describing my experience with Rock the Block, memories of that summer came flooding back. Not because of the weather or day to day to-do’s, but because each day ended with equal parts tiredness and satisfaction, and because our little ServeScape team established a new level of camaraderie in a matter of days.
You see, most days spent working in those French gardens, I was accompanied by a local gardener whose full time job was to tend to those gardens. We spent hours on end, rain or shine, completing one task after the other exclusively speaking French to one another. When working conditions were trying, we worked through it together, and at the end of the day, the garden looked spectacular and we both had a new friend.
Rock the Block consisted of weeks of preparation that included designing, marketing, sourcing, collaborating, budgeting, networking, shopping, planning, and two final weeks of installation. It was all hands on deck, and to this day, I am so proud to be part of a team where everyone is comfortable taking initiative and wearing all the hats outfitted for a successful team. With some help, our team successfully installed four distinct landscapes for four separate houses in ten days or less. The days were very long, most ending after sundown, and followed by an hour long commute home for most of our team members.
For months leading up to this installation, the majority of our interactions as a team were virtual due to covid protocols. For all of us, this installation was the most in-person time we spent together since ServeScape launched in March 2020. On site, there was no awkwardness or hesitation, just one united team committed to doing the very best we could do.
My hope for everyone tuning in to this season of Rock the Block is to find inspiration in how to transform any blank canvas into a beautiful landscape. All it takes is a little creativity, a great attitude, and a pair of helping hands. If you are thinking about tackling a new landscape project or overwhelmed by the numerous options of plants, know that ServeScape is here to help. Just as we lean on one another, we are here for you and ready to give it our best!