1) How long has Silverbrook Nursery been in the community and what year business since opening in 1999–and now celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. When in season, Jerry Haley, together with his brother Brian, daughter Cindy, and nephew Buzz staff approximately 35 employees, the majority of whom have been with the nursery for many years and considered “like members of our extended family,” according to Jerry.
The family bought the 8.5 acre property in 1999 and take great pride in the appearance of the nursery. “It is more like a park and sanctuary with many animals and birds plus three ponds,“ Jerry offers. Fellow dog lovers are encouraged to stop by to meet the family’s new nursery dog “Pippa,” a black mixed lab rescue dog about eight months old. She has a wonderful temperament and will smother you with love!
2) Do you have specialty services/products? When we do an estimate, always free, we take into account the topography of the property, amount of sun or shade plus sprinklers or dog traffic. We also consider how much maintenance are you willing to do yourself. Does the customer have a favorite color or fragrance plus what is appropriate for the area? How hardy is the plant being considered or is a new cultivar more appropriate? We hand pick the material at Silverbrook and prune as necessary before installation. We dig the right depth for every plant and add the correct soil amendments and mulch. We also water as needed. We don’t want the material just to survive, we want it to thrive and provide years of enjoyment plus value to the property whether residential or commercial.
Additionally, we do outstanding patio and walls designed by craftsman who have over a minimum of ten years experience. Our goal is to exceed your expectations. We also help with drainage issues to move water away from your home and prevent damage. Landscaping, done correctly, is to compliment your property, not camouflage it. We truly believe ‘less is more.’ We see the vision of our landscaping and how it will grow in 10-20 years.
3) How can residents prepare in the Spring for great lawn care/gardens/landscaping? Here are some tips:
Stop in and ask us any questions regarding your lawn or plants. We have a full in-house library to address any questions. If we are not sure of an answer, we will research the issue and personally get back to you.
4) Do you have a personal story about the community that you would like to share?
What I refer to as “psych income” is the real joy at completion of a job where we far exceed the clients’ expectations. It’s a matter of trust that we know what we are doing. With our years of experience, we can provide a vision for a property that a client can’t see. We once did a job in Clifton on a home just outside a cul-de-sac . Five other owners saw the huge improvement in the landscaping and approached us to create designs for their yards! No sales talk, just ideas that were appropriate.
Another time, a lady who lived nearby Silverbrook came in and explained that her daughter had purchased a home in McLean that was in need of work. She wanted Silverbrook to remake the front yard and walkway to the home as a house warming gift to her daughter. She engaged us, and the daughter did not know we were coming. She came out of the home three or four times during the day to observe but never said a word. When we finished, she came out and viewed the dramatic change and started to cry with big tears streaming down her face! What a testimonial!! Our guys really felt appreciated! 😊
5) Do you have any upcoming events? We will be celebrating our 20-year anniversary with a Spring Fling event on Saturday, May 4th from 11-4pm. Admission is free. For our event, we are offering a 20% discount off one item (tree, shrub or flower)! We will also offer a bargain meal - a hot dog, bag of chips and a drink for a dollar. We also have a large playground with swings and slides available for children, and will be sure to have some surprise gifts to present throughout the event.
When was Walking the Dogs started?
In March of 2007 - we have been serving the local area for 12 years! It’s hard to believe it has been so long. When I first started the company I figured if anyone loved their dog half as much as I loved my dog, they would pay me to walk their dog. I started putting out fliers and the business grew. I asked a couple of friends I had volunteered with and trusted, to join me on this new adventure. Many of our new employees were also military spouses, like me.
What type of animals do you care for?
I was surprised at the number of people who needed care for their cats, and other small animals so we added small animal care.
I have had cats most of my life, and am pretty crazy about them, so it was a natural fit to expand to small animals as well. We have had a few pets who have needed in depth care and we are able to provide things like insulin shots, sub Q fluids, and inhalers, etc for our clients based on our team’s experience with those types of issues. Having kids, I have also owned several types of small animals (hamsters, rabbits, etc) and tanks of fish, so we expanded from there. Our team is comprised of ladies with extensive knowledge about birds and reptiles as well.
We have served all of the following over the years: guinea pigs, rabbits, reptiles, fish (salt water, fresh water, koi ponds), sugar gliders, birds, ferrets, hamsters, turtles, and chickens.
We also do house checks, mail pick up, and plant watering inside or out when clients don't have pets, or take their dogs with them but still want someone to provide that lived-in look for their homes.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Wow, that is a tough one! Probably getting to meet all of the pets. I get to see so many of them since I do the majority of our new client meetings. I also enjoy getting to meet all of the nice people who love their pets and want the best for them. Some of our clients have become personal friends to me and/or our team. We have met some really interesting breeds of dogs and cats, and some pretty fabulous rescue pets as well. I was surprised early on how attached you get to other people's pets. They really become a part of our family when we see them on a regular basis. Did I mention puppies and kittens... Ya, there would be that too! :-)
How does a client contact you?
Most of our new clients start with either a phone call or an email. It is probably 50/50. Once in a while someone will reach out to us through our social media, texting or through another existing client.
Sounds like a great job – are you hiring?
We are always looking for great people to join our team who love pets and want to spend their days outside getting exercise with dogs or inside snuggling with some kitties, bunnies, etc! We hire a lot of military spouses (active duty and retired); we find they are a great fit for our company. We also have several team members who are currently teachers that work with us. They do pet sitting for dogs or other small animals in the evenings or on the weekends. My husband is retired military, and we spent many years moving around. I know firsthand how hard it is to find a flexible job that is part time.
Lastly, what areas do you serve?
We serve the following areas: Springfield, Burke, Fairfax Station, Lorton, Fairfax, and a small bit of Annandale. We try to maintain that personalized feel to our company. We want each client to feel they are getting specialized treatment from our dedicated team for their special pets and the security of knowing their home, as well as their pets, are in good hands with us.