Lori Hawkins has a lifelong passion for art, nature and design incorporated into an innovative landscape architectural design firm, Hawkins Landscape Architecture, serving the Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem area in North Carolina.

After graduating from Penn State University with a bachelor’s of science degree in landscape architecture, she went on to work for some of the most renowned landscape architecture and engineering firms in Washington, D.C. For the past 15 years, Hawkins’ emphasis has been on custom residential design with a design/build emphasis.

Hawkins works with 3-D imaging design software that allows her customers to see their projects before construction begins. She recently added a mobile design studio that offers same-day landscape plans. She believes in the importance of working closely in collaboration with architects, engineers and developers when creating her landscape designs.

Proudest moment in business: If I could change the question to say: “Proudest moments in business,” then it would be whenever I put my 3-D images next to pictures of my finished projects and find how they are almost identical. My 3-D imaging technology allows me to see an almost exact representation of the finished product. It’s truly exciting to see it come to life, which puts me at an advantage ahead of my competition.

Biggest business challenge today: Trying to educate customers as to the value of using a registered landscape architect versus someone with less education and training even though the cost may be more. I tell them that the advantage is that their projects will turn out exactly to their expectations, on time and on budget when working with a trained and experienced landscaper.

Best sources of landscape design/build/install/renovation inspiration: I check out landscape design projects on HOUZZ and Pinterest to inspire me.

Photo: Micciche Photography

Favorite plant or plant combination: I love Russian sage, pairing it with miscanthus and Black Eyed Susan with Holly or osmanthus behind it. This creates quite a stunning combination.

Monday morning motivation: Seeing things getting done. I am not a procrastinator, so I hit the ground running on Monday mornings without a problem. I wake up looking forward to working on the new designs of the week.

Business worry that keeps you up night: Managing the addition of a recent furniture line to my products and services for my customers. This is stretching me a bit, but I love it.

Landscape design/install mentor or idol: I know it’s trite, but I still love seeing the work of Frederick Law Olmsted. His designs are timeless. On a more contemporary note, I adore the vertical gardens of Patrick LeBlanc. I love the way he uses color and texture in his gorgeous works of art that adorn the sides of buildings. I like the way he pushes the envelope in his designs. I am sure many people told him it could not be done and that is exactly the kind of thing that makes me work harder.

Photo: Micciche Photography

Favorite business or landscape design book: “Design with Nature” by Ian McHarg. Like the description says, the book has done much to redefine the fields of landscape architecture, urban and regional planning and ecological design.

Landscape design/install project that makes you smile every time you drive past it: I worked on a craftsman-style home about 10 years ago performing a complete garden renovation. The homeowner keeps in touch telling me it still looks great with ongoing compliments from others. It makes me proud to see my designs stand the test of time.

Describe your business in five years: I would like to hire more designers and work in a larger geographic area.

Client mix: 90% residential, 10% commercial

Service mix: 100% design

Business motto: Design is our passion: Beautiful, well-planned landscapes and outdoor rooms will add value to your property and enjoyment to your life.

Connect with Laurie Hawkins and Hawkins Landscape Architecture on Linkedin and HOUZZ.