May 15, 2009
While the present economic situation may scare many business people, it has inspired Doug Mooder to move his operation in a new direction. Through hard work, passion, talent and traditional methods, Doug Mooder has created a successful business over the past 20 years.  He currently operates two businesses, Mooder Horticulture and The Gardens, both located in Elmira, Ont.

Mooder Horticulture provides custom landscape design, construction and maintenance services for both residential and commercial properties throughout southwestern Ontario. The Gardens is a unique living showcase of landscape ideas. Consumers may walk upon a large variety of highly creative combinations of hardscape designs while looking at the many beautiful plantings and water features.

Mooder began his new phase, saying, “I began to examine my own business as a consumer.” This perspective reinforced his knowledge that along with value, good service is the other great motivator that brings customers back to a business. “I hire only people who have good social skills, and are able to relate well with people,” says Mooder. On the issue of pricing, Mooder says he now has the ability to provide sale prices during the peak season. “With the recession, I had to create a system that will attract people to shop here. In the peak season, I offer great low fall sale prices on plants that I have chosen with a designer’s eye.” They are  the same plants visitors see growing in his display gardens.

The other major change for Mooder is the landscape design packages. Having just launched his new website (, he has created a series of design packages for the consumer. Now his clients can go online, choose the level of design they can afford and that fits their home. Four categories are provided: economy from $2,000 to $5,000, enhanced up to $9,999, luxury up to $12,000 and custom, “larger scale projects based on the needs of your project.”

Once the level is determined online, Mooder then speaks with the clients to understand the amount of work he or she may want to put directly into the property. “If the customer is willing to roll up his sleeves, he can save from 10 to 20 per cent on the overall cost,” says Mooder. Once a project has been confirmed, he visits the property with spray paint cans and drawings. “I also provide mentoring for those who want to complete their own work.”

The Gardens show the beauty of great design

Clients can see first-hand the end result of the great designs that have come to life inside The Gardens. Within the one hectare of gorgeous creations at Mooder’s Elmira offices, visitors will see one of the first garden-style landscape design displays. They have become a great marketing tool. “People can see for themselves what a finished project will look like and know that we have a high level of competence in what we produce, ensuring them that they will receive quality work.”

While people may walk on and admire the hardscaping, they can purchase the plants they see on the premises. Mooder created The Gardens as a unique living showcase to make landscape ideas come to life. His passion, pride and love of his life’s work are all evident when Doug Mooder says, “The inspiration for The Gardens is that it is a space that connects my respect for nature’s benefits to daily life.” He is a man who has truly made a career out of what he loves.

For clients, The Gardens alleviate the anxiety they sometimes feel about landscaping by seeing options for plants, trees, hardscaping, water features and building materials first-hand, all on one site. Mooder has used some of the industry’s leading companies, Connon Nurseries, Stone Landscapes and Creative Landscapes, to supply him with material.

A member of LO since 1995, Doug Mooder has won over 14 Awards of Excellence, along with two feature garden awards from Canada Blooms. He is excited about the possibilities the next phase of this life’s work will bring.

Caption: The display gardens