When a customer calls Spaces, a small family-run landscaping business based in Oso, children can be heard in the background.
The phone rings in the kitchen, and the kids are home-schooled.
The down-home approach to parenting is duplicated in the way Daniel and Sierra Mencucci run Spaces, the landscape design business the couple shares. She cares for plants in the nursery, arranges stones in patios and helps manage the office.
Unlike other companies that may hire teams to do the physical labor, the Mencuccis roll up their sleeves and do the work, from penciling designs to shoveling dirt.
"I'm the one who designs, and I'm the one who plants," said Daniel Mencucci, 43. The Mencuccis also grow their own food and many of the plants they sell on their 4-acre property.
The Mencuccis and their Spaces landscaping business are one of dozens of vendors participating this weekend at the 10th Annual Everett Home & Garden Show at Comcast Arena at Everett. It's the largest show in Snohomish County, according to the show's promoters.
"We meet some great people, and our clients get to visit with us," Daniel Mencucci said.
Potential customers can browse more than 50 before-and-after images of homes where Mencucci has, as he'll say, transformed landscapes into sacred spaces.
It's a process that worked for Mary Dulin and Tom Benner, a south Everett couple who recently hired Spaces to turn a patch of grass behind their home into a functional, livable patio.
The couple wanted privacy from the road and access to an elevated piece of lawn that wasn't easily accessible.
Spaces came in and broke into an existing rock wall, added stone steps and replaced grass with an Iron Mountain slate patio. The design included filling in the border with shrubs, tree and plants that thrive in the Northwest.
Homeowners typically need to water Spaces designs for the first year, then the garden should be self-sufficient, Mencucci said.
Mencucci has eschewed computer programs built for garden design, settling instead for old-school pencil and paper.
Surrounding himself with classical music, he attempts to create backyard environments that enhance and embrace the natural environment.
That's worked well, especially in the past few years when homeowners have passed over costly investments like new homes in favor of projects that fit budgets and add value, he said.
Average garden redesigns run between $8,000 and $15,000.
"Of course there's bigger and better, and there's also smaller," Mencucci said.
The south Everett garden, near Harborview Park, fell in the average cost range. It took a five-person crew three full days to build the garden. Mencucci said he spent longer coming up with the design.
Mary Dulin said she's pleased with Spaces' professionalism and thrilled about her new outdoor living area.
"It's beautiful," she said. "We can't wait for it to be finished."
Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3447; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everett Home & Garden Show
The 10th Annual Everett Home & Garden Show takes place noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Comcast Arena at Everett, 2000 Hewitt Ave.
Tickets are $6.75 for adults, $6.25 for seniors, and children 16 and younger get in free. Military with an ID pay only $2. Tickets are available at the door.
For more information, go to www.everetthomegardenshow.com or call 866-332-8499.
Speakers and events
• 1 p.m. Bob Barca, master gardener: "Landscape Garden Design"
• 2 p.m.Thea Habersetzer, CODA Design Builders: "New Concepts for Electric Lighting Design"
• 3 p.m. Keith Hughes, West Seattle Energy: "Solar Works! The truth about cost and benefits in the Northwest"
• 4 p.m. Steve Smith, Sunnyside Nursery: "Come Garden With Me"
• 5:30 p.m. Wine tasting at main stage sponsored by Dunn Lumber
• 11:30 a.m. Bob Barca, master gardener:"Garden Water Features"
• 12:30 p.m. Tim Nelson, Fire Mountain Solar: "Thinking Solar. Learn about grants and low interest loans"
• 1:30 p.m. Dawn McMillion, NW Natural Lighting: "Daylighting on a Dime"
• 2:30 p.m. John Rumpf, Key Bank: "Home Finance in 2012: Buying and refinancing in today's market"
• 3:30 p.m. Steve Smith, Sunnyside Nursery: "Come Garden With Me"
• 4:30 p.m. Thea Habersetzer, CODA Design Builders: "New Concepts for Electric Lighting Design"
• 5:30 p.m. Keith Hughes, West Seattle Energy: "Solar Works! The truth about cost and benefits in the Northwest"
• 11:30 a.m. Tim Nelson, Fire Mountain Solar: "Thinking Solar. Learn about grants and low interest loans"
• 12:30 p.m. Bob Barca, master gardener: "Hummingbird and Butterfly Sanctuaries"
• 1:30 p.m. Thea Habersetzer, CODA Design Builders: "New Concepts for Electric Lighting Design"
• 2:30 p.m. Steve Smith, Sunnyside Nursery: "Come Garden With Me"
• 3:30 p.m. Erick Teegarden, Northwest Wind and Solar: "The Many Benefits of Renewable Energy"
About Spaces: www.landscapesbyspaces.com or call 800-317-5535
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