Business

She has designs on your landscape

"For Kate Easton, life is a garden.To me, a garden is more than a bed of flowers, she says. It's the whole landscape. Anything where there's live plants growing is a garden.Which is a happy arrangement for Easton, the owner of Garden Vision, Inc., a Port Orchard home-based landscape design company.Garden Vision provides landscape and horticultural consulting services, including strategic placement of common and uncommon plant material and hardscape, to a variety of residential clients throughout western Washington.I have a few small commercial clients, but mostly I work with homeowners who want something special for their yards, Easton said.She's traveled a winding road since graduating with a degree in journalism in the 1970s. When I couldn't find a job at a newspaper right away, I went back to school and tried something else, she said.In that era, in California, something else turned out to be a degree in business and a career in computers. She started out in clerical and sales positions at companies like NEC Technology, Wyse Technology, Amdahl Corp., Western Electric and J.C. Penney, then moved into customer service, marketing, computer development and systems analysis.It was getting really stressful, and I needed a change in my life, Easton said.After completing a particularly gruelling project in 1989, Easton sat down and re-evaluated her priorities, and decided at the age of 35 it was time for a new career.It was a pretty easy choice to make, she said. I've been gardening my whole life and I wanted to get into something I really enjoyed instead of something just to earn a living.After taking classes at places like West Valley College, the University of Santa Crus and Foothill College, she started her own landscape design business in 1989.I wanted to concentrate on the horticultural side of the business, Easton said. I already knew about the other things, like decks and structures. But I wanted to learn more about the plants and flowers that go into a landscape.After nearly 10 years in California, Easton and her husband - a web page designer - discovered Washington. We were on vacation in Ocean Shores and we got to thinking maybe we ought to move up here, she said. We looked around various communities, but it wasn't until the last day of our vacation, on our way to the airport, we discovered Port Orchard. We stopped off at a real estate office and one thing led to another.Easton set up shop in the couple's Port Orchard home just over a year ago, and she's hoping to hire another person within a few months."

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