Owners and Designers
Ben left behind a career in finance to follow his passion, gardening. Jennifer grew up with her family’s gardening business on Vashon Island, before moving on to be a librarian, and then running our business and family. Ben also worked on Vashon for the first years of our marriage, learning the tools of the trade from her father, Phil Zook. We proudly carry on the family gardening tradition (from both sides!—Ben’s grandmother and great-grandfather were estate gardeners in England). Ben is originally from New Mexico, and loves the Pacific Northwest for its fantastic paddleboarding, motorcycle touring, and (of course) gardening.
Our crew is comprised of excellent gardeners, trained in environmentally sound practices. They are all continually upgrading their skills and have completed pruning courses provided by Plant Amnesty. Each of our gardeners brings specialty training to the job as well. From irrigation to hardscaping, from plant identification to award-winning container design, our crew brings a high level of knowledge and experience to every garden.
Erick, our General Manager, has been with us since 2003. He is a master of fine pruning, plantsmanship, micro-irrigation systems, and handles our personnel duties which include recruitment and training of all new employees in the Zook & Oleson philosophy.
Edgar also came to us in 2003. He is fearless–jumping into the toughest work, nothing scares him. He finishes heroic projects with his measured approach.
Fito de la Mata
Fito has a construction background and is our handiest man. Fito is fast, whenever he’s on site we come in under our estimate. He started with us in 2006.
Jose, who joined us in 2010, has restraint and a fine eye for detail. He leaves a jobsite CLEAN.