Show features local native

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 5, 2013

Covington County native Hayley Davis works on a pot creation as part of her job as a landscape designer in Atlanta. Davis’ work will be featured Saturday at 3 p.m. on PBS.

Covington County native Hayley Davis works on a pot creation as part of her job as a landscape designer in Atlanta. Davis’ work will be featured Saturday at 3 p.m. on PBS.

Just like the flowers she loves so much, Covington County native Hayley Davis has grown her love of nature from a tiny seed planted at local garden club meetings to a blossoming career in the Atlanta landscape design world.

That career has even grown so bright as to draw the attention of a television producer who will feature her story in a PBS show Saturday.

“I think that I have always had a fascination with flowers and gardens that was only amplified with my grandmother taking me to garden club meetings in the Holly Store Community,” Davis said.

A 1995 graduate of Opp High School, Davis earned a horticultural landscape design degree from Auburn in 1999.

“After graduating high school, I had to make a choice on what I would like to major in at Auburn University, and thanks to my college roommate, Jessica Woodham Pierce (of Opp), who encouraged me to come along with her for career day at the agriculture department, I signed up for some horticulture class,” Davis said. “I wasn’t sure if it was something I want to pursue but after my first quarter in horticulture I was captivated.”

After graduation, she immediately began working in the seasonal color department at Gibbs Landscape Company in Smryna, Ga. She credits “actual, hands-on experience” in planting, maintaining the flowers and observing the results allows her to be a better designer “because I’m able to use plants whose growth habits I’m familiar with and that I know will perform.”

Her career has allowed her to expand from the production side to the design side.

“Designing was a dream for me and being able to create the flower schemes for so many in the metro Atlanta area still remains an exciting undertaking,” she said. “This is where my past experience with other designers, watching them create as well as relate to clients, has proven useful.

“Learning to lay out a pattern on paper and then making that idea into reality was a difficult challenge,” she said. “Combining that challenge with understanding the needs of clients and listening to what they would like, instead of my own preferences, was even more difficult.”

She said working for Gibbs Landscape Company has opened many doors for her from being an award-winning designer for seasonal color to being featured in Georgia Gardening magazine along with an appearance on Garden SMART, a national television show that comes on local Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) throughout the United States.

Davis said the accolades came after the owner and president of Gibbs Landscape Company opened his world-class garden to the public last year. Davis was responsible for designing daffodil meadows in the spring, a Japanese garden, a rhododendron garden and seasonal color gardens.

“Since the garden has become a tourist attraction and with tourists comes the producer of Garden SMART,” she said. “The (Garden SMART) producer requested to do an episode featuring me on container gardening to help provide their viewers with unique and initiative ideas for container gardening. It’s all been so exciting.”

The episode will air Saturday at 3 p.m. on APT. Davis will discuss her work with potted plants and hanging baskets.

One can also view the episode online by visiting the Create Network and selecting episode No. 3109.