This normal backyard transformed into a great outdoor space. Photo by Ricky Hansen

By Meg Dickens

Mountain View Nursery Hardscaping Manager Ricky Hansen recently won the Belgard Project Excellence Award for hardscaping work on an outdoor space in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Hansen specializes in hardscaping and irrigation at Mountain View Nursery. He is a Tennessee Tech graduate, ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute) Level II certified installer, NCMA (National Concrete Pavement Institute) certified SRW (Segmental Retaining Wall) Installer and certified commercial pesticide applicator. Hansen continues to attend classes to maintain and attain additional certifications. He is also a Belgard Certified Contractor, Belgard Premiere Power Manufacturer and the winner of Belgard’s Most Outstanding Project Award in 2016.
“It gives me a sense of pride knowing that the things I’m creating are getting recognized,” said Hansen. “ It makes me want to keep going and do a better job.”
These types of projects are a team effort between the hardscaping and landscaping teams. The hardscaping team consists of Manager Ricky Hansen, Technician Logan Church and Technician John Kidd. The landscaping team consists of Manager Cody Graybeal, Foreman Tony Church, Technician Nathaniel Meyer, Technician Daniel Branch and new member Jesse Compton.
Owner Harvey Burniston, Jr. is involved in all aspects.

The hardscaping crew takes two classes per year on walls and pavers for certification purposes. The classes put the crew on Belgard’s radar. Hansen sent in photos of this project for recertification, and district Belgard officials chose the project as a winner from there. Mountain View Nursery falls into the Southeast category competing against professionals in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.
The property is designed to function as three separate living spaces. There is a patio and kitchen area, a fireplace and relaxing area and a place to gather. According to owner Jackie Kimball, the area continues to grow even more beautiful. “Everything they did was up to the highest standard,” said Kimball. “They were very professional and mindful of their surroundings. You can tell they are truly trying to please the client.”
Hansen is currently working on a project near Highway 321. He plans to help with Mountain View Nursery’s new location afterward. The Home and Garden Center will occupy the old Wiley’s Body Shop location on Highway 421.The nursery and display gardens will be around back. Customers will be able to walk around and see what they might want. Employees can then make suggestions based on experience.
Burniston plans on opening the new location on April 1 to the right of the Garden Barn. There is no reason to fear conflict between the two businesses. Garden Barn’s Bob Pardue suggested the space to Burniston. They plan on the two businesses complimenting each other.
Customers will be able to buy their flowers and vegetable plants from the Garden Barn and then head to Mountain View Nursery to look at fruit trees, shrubbery and landscaping ideas.
Keep an eye out for a possible grand opening this April. As Hansen says “always go bigger and better.”