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One-on-One with Kevin McQuade

As Wimberg Landscaping embarks on its 40th year in business, the demand for our expertise continues to grow. We provide our clients with a complete line of landscape services from design to installation to ongoing care of the landscape. To that end, we are happy to announce the addition of Kevin McQuade to the Wimberg team. Kevin is an experienced landscape designer who understands all aspects of landscape design and care. 

Kevin, share with us a bit about your formal and hands-on landscape education.
I attended the University of Kentucky and graduated with a degree in Landscape Architecture and a minor in Fine Arts. While in college I spent the summers working with a landscape installation and maintenance team. After graduating in 2009 I worked in the industry designing and managing lawn applications along with managing project installations. 

What motivated you to enter this field? 
I’ve always been interested in transforming nonfunctional, drab outdoor spaces into areas that are inviting, attractive and fun to use. I had the ability to see a space’s potential, and I knew that studying landscape design and fine art would allow me to fine tune my skills so to interpret and elevate outdoor areas to their full potential. 

Was there a moment that inspired you to pursue this career path?
There was not one specific moment that set me on this career path, but as a kid I always loved being outdoors and using my imagination to create new spaces. I guess this passion evolved into my career. Once a kid always a kid!

How do you approach a new landscape design? 
I find the assets and flaws within a site and then determine how I can use them to my advantage. This is how I start filling the landscape canvas with color. 

What do you see as the future of landscape design theory? 
Rooftop gardens are certainly not a new concept but the idea they embrace: the elevation of garden spaces away from traditional surfaces continues in the form of deck gardens as well as wall gardens. We now see potential areas of green spaces beyond the ground surface, which is ideal as traditional spaces are limited and urban revitalization continues. 

Do you see trends falling to the wayside?  
The bland, cookie-cutter use of landscape material is falling to the wayside. Gone are the days of driving down a street and seeing the identical landscape installed in each yard. Diversity in plant and hardscape materials is evident in our landscapes. Traditional landscaping plants continue to evolve in size, color and disease resistance. Simultaneously, more native plants are being brought to market, making it easier to embrace native and pollinator gardening. As a result, we have a better, more diverse plant palette from which to work. Our hardscape options are keeping pace with the expanding plant offering. New hardscape materials, ways in which materials are prepared and application methods are evolving, too. I believe we are at the cusp of seeing each landscape reflect the personality of the homeowner. 

What designer inspires you the most?
Isamu Noguchi is a designer that has inspired me in many ways. Isamu started out as an artist (sculpture and industrial design) and developed into a landscape architect. His designs are uniquely creative while being functional and fun. 

How do you spend your time when you are not designing new landscapes? 
Hockey and art are also of great interest to me. I started playing hockey when I was six and continued through my time at the University of Kentucky. Hockey has allowed me to travel all over the United States and parts of Canada. Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas were my two favorite places I’ve had the opportunity to play hockey. Now I coach my oldest son’s hockey team. I love the fact that I get to teach the next generation the game I love to play. As an artist I like to use spray paint and acrylic paint to create cityscapes and portraits. Street art has greatly influenced my work: my style has been called graffiti impressionism. 

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