Gail Willey, the owner of Gail Willey Landscaping took some time to answer some of Thumbtack’s most popular questions. Gail Willey has been working in the general landscaping business for nearly 50 years. He has traveled all over the North West doing landscaping and came back to his home roots in Reno, Nevada around 30 years ago to start his company Gail Willey Landscaping.
Read below to hear a personal snapshot of how Gail Willey Landscaping came to be, and why they continue to do what we do.
What do you love about your job?
I love landscaping. I love living things: trees, plants, and gardens. I also love making people happy, so I found a way to combine my two passions.
What or who inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve always heard it said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” For me, that love is landscaping. I’ve always loved the physical labor of moving rocks, dirt, and trees into natural formations. There’s just something about taking a piece of bare ground and making it look like its been there for a thousand years. Thirty-two years ago, I moved to Reno and started a tree business where I would simply dig, plant, and sell trees. One day, a client of mine asked me to landscape his yard, and the rest is history.
Describe your most memorable project.
About 12 years ago, I transported trees by helicopter and a handmade skyline. I built a cable that had a pulley on it (think ski lifts) that would transport trees down a hill by about 300 yards in order to get them down over the rocks. We used the skyline and a helicopters to place these trees.
Another project I enjoyed was Lake Stanley because it provided such a challenge. The water levels were low, erosion was taking over, and the current drought wasn’t helping the sustainability of the lake. The Gail Willey Landscaping team creatively designed and renovated an eco-friendly plan that helped restore the natural beauty of the lake.
Another memorable project was when I built a retaining wall for a large multi-million dollar house in Tahoe. It was very steep and dangerous. We used a front excavator to pull the other excavator down the hill. We successfully built the walls, and solved the client’s problem.