Shiloh Landscaping and Designs foremen Joe Cabrera, left, and Justin Ranieri cut back potentillas at a home in Spring Garden Township. (DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN)
This fall was a tough time for York County landscapers and nurseries.

In October, John Shelley's Garden Center & Nursery in North Hopewell Township closed its doors because of the poor economy.

John Shelley, owner of the greenhouse, which operated for 21 years, said at the time people aren't spending money on landscaping jobs.

In January, Brown's Farm Market & Garden Center in Emigsville said it was not reopening in the spring because of the poor tree and shrubbery sales.

Also this fall, Shiloh Nurseries, in business since 1937, decided to shut down, said Greg Kern, a former employee of the company.

"It was a very seasonal business, which was challenging," he said.

However, Kern wasn't ready to give

Shiloh Landscape and Designs foremen Justin Ranieri, left, and Joe Cabrera, look over the yard before beginning to work at a home in Spring Garden Township. (DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN)
up on the company's landscaping division just yet.

"I approached the owners and said I'd like to purchase the (business) name and customer list," he said. "I used that and started a new business."

Though "Shiloh" is still in the name, Shiloh Nurseries has been transformed into Shiloh Landscape & Design, Kern said. The new, smaller company is part nered with York Tree Service and Shades of Green Lawn Service to provide full-service landscaping and lawn care service.

Shiloh Landscape has two designers and four crew people on staff, not including seasonal employees, and an operations manager, Kern said. The business operates out of the York Tree Service office on West Market Street in West Manchester Township.

"What I said was, 'Let's just scale this back a little bit,'" he said.

Despite the down economy, there is still a demand for landscaping services, Kern said. Customers want a relaxing yard without a lot of upkeep.

"People are definitely interested in low-maintenance work and it's important to address that," he said. "People don't want to spend all their free time to maintain what they've put in."

And with the "staycation" trend brought on by the down economy, more people are turning to their own back´yards for a way to escape, Kern said.

"If you create a nice environment in your own back´yard, you don't have to go anywhere," he said. "You can experience it right outside your door."

Many customers are focusing on creating outdoor living spaces, complete with outdoor fireplaces, grill islands and pergolas, said Derek Retallack a designer with Harrisburg-based Hemlock Landscaping.

"With the high gas prices, people are wanting to stay a little bit closer to home," he said. "They're utilizing the space they were once over´ looking."

This trend has led to more high-end landscaping projects for the company, Retallack said.

"People pull back on vacationing, but they still want to enjoy the finer things in life," he said. "They're just bringing it closer to home."

However, with many customers being more careful with their money, sometimes jobs get cancelled or downscaled once estimates come in, said Ryan Jacobs, owner of Hanover-based Ryan's Landscaping.

"(A lot of people) don't really know what to expect and when they get a cost estimate, they say, 'Oh my gosh, I had no idea,'" he said.

But Jacobs said the company is still getting plenty of work, with popular landscaping projects like building patios or water features.

"I've started getting a lot of hardscapes," he said. "People just love patios and retaining walls. They like something really eye-popping that sticks out."

Jacobs said he remains positive about the future of the industry.

"Every year gets better and better for us," Jacobs said.


A sampling of some local landscaping companies:

Shiloh Landscape & Design, York Tree Service and Shades of Green Lawn Service 2108 W. Market St., West Manchester Township


Ryan's Landscaping


Hemlock Landscaping

3221 Spring Street, Harrisburg