Meet the Team: Tanner Jannsens, Landscape Construction Project Manager

Meet the Team: Tanner Jannsens, Landscape Construction Project Manager

Tanner Janssens started with Madrone in his early 20’s, and has grown his skill set over the years, and matured as a leader. He has a great attitude for getting things done and is one of the sweetest guys we know.

How long have you worked at Madrone?
6 years

What is your favorite thing about working at Madrone?
I like to build things and make things beautiful.

What do you enjoy most about your job/specialization?
I get to work with great people and I get to see some pretty amazing places on the central coast.

What is your favorite, and least favorite, plant and why?
Ceanothus is my favorite. I like how in the springtime you can look up in the hills and see the blue and white flowers.
I don’t know if I have a least favorite – oh wait, poison oak.

What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?
Hiking, hunting, biking. Salmon Creek is a favorite local hike. Out of the area, it’s Dinkey Wilderness.

Give us a fun fact about you!
I often find arrowheads when I’m out hiking, which can really annoy my friends who aren’t as lucky. Once I found an obsidian spearhead in the Dinkey Wilderness.

Meet the Team: Geoff Condon, Maintenance Account Manager

Meet the Team: Geoff Condon, Maintenance Account Manager

Geoff Condon’s work experience is extensive and includes working on the first recognized watershed in the United States by Congress, Honey Hollow Watershed located in Pennsylvania, soil remediation for Tosco Refinery located in Wilmington and a Christmas tree farm. He has five years working in a retail nursery, restoring a 220-acre watershed in Northern California that was clear-cut for lumber harvest, and working on the Dohney Ranch maintaining the lemon and avocado orchards. Geoff’s landscaping experience includes 18 years with GS Brothers, located in Southern California. There he installed and maintained landscapes for some of the largest developers in Southern California.

How long have you worked at Madrone?
7 years

What is your favorite thing about working at Madrone?
I love the freedom the company provides. I make my own schedule and am trusted to get the job done. The owner, Rick Mathews, has created a great team spirit working environment, and I appreciate the company culture. I also really love that I get to bring my dogs to work.

What do you enjoy most about your job/specialization?
I spend my time overseeing Madrone Landscapes’ client properties. This includes performing irrigation, pest control, maintaining healthy gardens and trees, refreshing annual floral colors, and performing property upgrades—among other things.

I would say my favorite part of this job is going to project sites and meeting clients and residents. I have made a few true friends through my work and really enjoy meeting so many people.

What is your favorite plant and why?
I enjoy all plants. The colors and structures really make the landscape come alive. A good landscape incorporates different forms, shapes colors, textures and sound. I appreciate annual color plantings for instant satisfaction

What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?
When I am not working on Madrone Landscapes projects, you can find me working on personal projects. I own rental properties and work around my house a lot. I enjoy time with family (including camping) and hope to see my 97-year-old mother—the inspiration for my passion and career—soon now that we have been both fully vaccinated.

Give us a fun fact about you!
I try to enjoy every day and make people smile. Just give me a chance and you will be laughing in the first five minutes.

People Love Us on Yelp!

People Love Us on Yelp!

Madrone Awarded Yelp! 2021 Honor

And that’s the amazing thing—we’ve won dozens of incredible awards from officials, regions, and authorities which identify our skills on a specialized level, but Yelp! ratings aren’t professional reviews. They’re the opinions of average folks like us and like you, and that’s what makes this so special.

Our community is deeply important to us at Madrone, so having the approval and support of our clients and neighbors is an honor, and we’re excited to display something so small as the “People Love Us on Yelp!” window cling that we received this year. We earned this award through having a significant enough number of positive reviews that we were singled out as a business of genuine quality, and we treasure every review that got us here.

This honor is for 2021, and we’ll be working hard to make our community proud every year to come. Thank you, everyone, for your support.

Breaking Down the Madrone Mission Statement 

Breaking Down the Madrone Mission Statement 

Our mission is to create inspirational landscapes that cultivate the natural beauty of California’s Central Coast

Create in our mission statement refers to the entire design/build process. Design is often the first phase of Madrone’s services. Our initial consultations begin the process that will produce a plan. We work closely with our clients through give-and-take interactions to refine their original concepts and solidify the scope of work.

Create also refers to our work on site. Whether through planting, irrigation, or construction, all phases can be approached and implemented creatively and with innovation, artistic elements, and inspiration.

Inspiration originates from a personal state of mind and is unique, based on perspectives and influences. As a company of green professionals, we’re grateful for the daily inspiration we find in being able to promote and enhance the beauty and health of the Central Coast—culturally as well as biologically. It is an honor to help cultivate one of the best places on Earth to live.

We prioritize inspired creation in our approach to design/build landscaping. Madrone designers and field crews alike tap into inspiration by asking the following question about every single project we contract: What is the “stoke factor” of this job? Every project and client has them, and it’s our job to find and maximize that “stoke”—or inspirational factor—for and with our clients.

Landscapes enhance the effects of the sites they beautify, inspiring those who visit or inhabit them. One of the most common ways is through memorials to loved ones. Whether it is a tree planted in someone’s name, small, personalized elements, or dedicated gardens, these memorials can keep us in touch with our loved ones in the most beautiful and gratifying ways. Memorials can contribute to a sense of home or place and help create an Outdoor Sanctuary. Now more than ever, it’s important to create a personal sense of safety and comfort. Let your garden give you inspiration.

Cultivate helps emphasize both the physical nature of our work and our goals of promoting, protecting, and enhancing the natural beauty of the Central Coast. Development done incorrectly, whether commercial or residential, can impact and damage the environment. Our approach to landscaping seeks to recognize and understand development impacts and mitigate or avoid negative effects as much as possible.

California’s Central Coast provides one of the best climates for humans to live and thrive. As community members, we include a social component in our cultivation of life here. We strive to give back and have made doing so a practice. From building and dedicating gardens to contributing support for addressing social and cultural concerns, we believe it is incumbent on us to continue to earn our place as positive members of our community. Free enterprise includes the responsibility to give as well as the privilege to take.

It is with gratitude and determination that at Madrone Landscapes, we are continuing our mission into a new year and beyond.

Meet the Team: Daniel Mazawa

Meet the Team: Daniel Mazawa

It’s a beautiful summer day to Meet the Team! This month we are highlighting our General Manager – fearless leader and plant guru – Daniel. His passion for our work is deep-rooted and contagious: it is felt by everyone who has the pleasure of working with him. Our team wouldn’t be the same without our pun-loving, surf-styling manager! Read more below to get to know a bit about him!

  1. How long have you been working at Madrone?

I have been working at Madrone for 11 ½ years.  I started in December 2007 right at the beginning of the Great Recession.  With a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture and a couple years of running and working in small design build landscape companies, it was a tough time to be starting out on your own.  Before Madrone, work simply ran out.  I reached out to a former Landscape Architect professor, Stratton Semmes, and she told me to come and talk to Rick Mathews at Madrone Landscapes.  I interviewed with Rick in my nicest button up shirt, slacks, and shoes, willing to help out however I could as a 25-year old young adult.  The next day, I came in with work boots and jeans and started running landscape construction jobs. As time went on, I took on design, estimating, and sales while managing construction projects.  Madrone was about 10 people and we all did what we could to survive in the dismal economy of 2007-2010.  Sure enough, things turned around and the phone started ringing.  We started working with business consultants to organize our roles and the company makeup to handle more work.  We started building the team of key people we still have today and it helped us get past the hurdle of being an awkwardly small company where everyone wears a lot of hats.

Today we have about 25 people and 4 distinct departments: Design, Construction, Maintenance, and Service.  Our capability, organization, and talent has grown.  I have been the General Manager for the last 4 years and it has been an honor to work with such great people and see how much we can accomplish working together.

2. What is your favorite thing about working at Madrone?

My favorite thing about working at Madrone Landscapes is the culture.  We have some unique characters and everyone is free to be themselves.  We spend most of our adult lives at work, so it is important that we make the best of it.  The support I feel from everyone, and the comradery I see really makes me feel good about working here.

3. What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on and why?

My favorite project is Halter Ranch Vineyard.  Before I came on in 2007, Madrone had already installed several projects on the property.  When I started working with Halter Ranch, there were several multi-firm design and construction collaborations for various projects.  Everyone involved shared a pride in the work.  It was fun to work with the ownership and other trades with the common goal of producing the best product we could.  Halter Ranch’s internal team shares a lot of our core values like stewardship, quality, teamwork, and integrity.  Not to mention, we have installed some of the most beautiful landscapes of our portfolio there.  We have won 3 county and statewide CLCA awards in 2012 and 2016, notably 1st place Large Commercial Construction in 2016 for the Tasting Room Landscape.  Having a stoked team that works well together and produces award winning projects is a true privilege.  To add to that, the property is open to the public 7 days a week and it is great to be able to enjoy the landscape and share it with others.  Win, win, win!

4. What is your favorite, or least favorite, plant and why?

My favorite plant is ever-evolving and it really comes from emotions and horticultural nerdiness.  If you are not a plant nerd, you may want to skip this section ;). Generally, I get excited about seeing California native plants in their prime season.  Right now in summer, Mimulus aurantiacus, Mimulus ‘Cone Peak,’ Trichostema lanatum are pretty awesome mid-summer bloomers, with the Trichstema having one of the coolest scents.  In the winter and spring, Salvia spathacea is beautifully blooming and fragrant, while the Satureja douglasii is the most refreshing herby mint scent of all.  In fall, the Zauschneria (way more fun to say than Epilobium) is a showstopper.  Basically, growing up in California, then learning the plants, allows me to flash back to memories exploring the woods as a kid.  If I step on a Gnaphalium californicum, it smells just like maple syrup and brings me back to the walk home from the bus stop in 5th grade, where we would step on them.  Native trees are also very dear to me.  I grew up in a mixed evergreen forest with Quercus agrifolia, Quercus lobata, Quercus keloggii, Acer macrophyllum, Arbutus menziesii, Heteromeles arbutifolia, Umbellularia californica, and Sequoia sempervirens.  Being in a forest feels like home to me, anywhere in the world.  Finally, the almighty tomato, my first introduction to gardening.  I owe my career to growing tomatoes as a kid and developing a great appreciation for how good a home-grown tomato can taste.  The connections to plants in my youth definitely shaped me as a person.  The beauty of horticulture is that it is limitless with cool things to learn every day.

When it comes to landscape installation, I have a different set of favorites and least favorites based on performance.  As I see more landscapes mature, I tend to like to design a majority of long-lived low maintenance plants with far less perennials and high maintenance flowering plants.  There is nothing worse than showing up to a landscape 5 years later to see that it was not maintained to your vision and plants have died.  Therefore, my pragmatic favorite plants are: Rhamnus californica ‘Leatherleaf’, Chondropetalum tectorum, Carex divulsa, Arctostaphylos (several good Manzanita), Quercus (agrifolia & lobata), Pistacia chinensis, Cedrus deodora, Cistus ‘Sunset’, Muhlenbergia rigens, Pennisetum spathiolatum, Agave ‘Frosty Blue’, and of course Arbutus ‘Marina’.  My least favorite plants are invasive pests such as Cortadera selloana, Ehrhart acalcina, Arundo donax, Delairea odorata, Stipa tenuissima, and Cytisus scoparius.  These plants threaten our native California landscape – which means a lot to me.

5.   What’s one of the things on your bucket list?

On my bucket list is getting my Landscape Architecture License.  I haven’t needed it personally to do my job, but it is something I could get this year with the little I have remaining in the process.  Life has a way of changing plans, and it has been evading me thus far.  Free time to study is what it will take.  I will get it done, and hopefully very soon.