Fire pits. Outdoor living spaces. Tree-framed views. These are the visual hallmarks of the mountain culture lifestyle. For 30 years, MD Landscaping in Driggs has been helping plan and develop these spaces.
I caught up with Carrie Baysek, MD’s retail manager and a 25-year veteran of the business, to learn more about MD Landscaping and to contemplate how one’s personal space reflects our unique mountain lifestyle.
The MD Landscaping legacy started when Mike Stears and Dean Kunz from Rexburg, Idaho started a lawn mowing business in 1994. They added a small greenhouse shortly thereafter and the business gradually grew into a landscaping company that designs, installs, and maintains landscapes across the Idaho Teton Valley and Teton County, Wyoming. At their Driggs headquarters, they have a large retail garden center with a gift boutique, café, and all the landscaping gear you could ever want. They also have an off-site tree farm.
In March 2020, Brian Haynie and Mike Hammond of Sugar City, Idaho purchased the business, seeing the potential of an established company with a solid core of employees and a cast of loyal customers.
“There are probably 20 of us that have been here for 15-plus years,” Carrie says proudly. She attributes the family culture of MD Landscaping to hard work, a lot of mutual respect, and a shared passion for learning new landscaping trends and projects. With 120 seasonal employees and 80 year-round staff, the business has very little turnover. “We have Hispanic families that come back year after year for the summer season; they travel here from El Oro and Tlaxcala, Mexico to work with us every spring. They’re part of the family,” she says.
In addition to staff that feels like family, MD Landscaping has created a gathering place for the community. Carrie explains, “we are a ‘destination garden center.’ Folks come in from small outlying communities to stock up. They show up with empty horse trailers each spring and leave with them full.”
The boutique and café have also become a community gathering place — people will drop in to browse, have a bowl of soup, and walk around the nursery. The Driggs shop also serves as a knowledge hub. When the pandemic shut down activities last spring, DIY gardeners reached out to MD Landscaping for advice and materials. Nascent gardeners started vegetable plots.
As a landscaping business with local roots, MD Landscaping is keyed into the unique challenges of landscaping in the Teton Valley. Carrie notes that elevation, temperature, soil, and moisture are all factors that impact planting in the area. And when it comes to landscaping, planting with consideration of local wildlife and crafting outdoor living spaces that reflect the mountain culture often inform the look and design.
Does form follow function or does function follow form in the landscaping world? Fortunately, at MD Landscaping, you don’t have to choose.