Interview With Charlotte From BW Giovanella & Sons Landscaping



My greatest pleasure comes from creating a one-of-a-kind stone project, encompassed by a unique planting of perennials, shrubs and trees, to give that “wow factor.”
backyard landscape aerial view

“I have always enjoyed working with people. I spent 20 years in the fire service as a paramedic and firefighter. I think my greatest skill is communication and the understanding of a client’s needs and ability to create what they are imagining. Having always had a very strong interest in plants, my transition into running the company was made much easier. I am a continual learner, and take from each job new ideas. I’d like to have my customers involved throughout a project, giving them the ability to have a hand in the outcome of the project.”

How I got into the business:

Most people get the chance to choose their career. My introduction into the landscape industry was much less thought out. I had been moderately involved in my husband’s business for the 21 years that we had been married. I had helped with billing, had been a dedicated member of the snow plowing crew, and had always had a love of plants, especially perennials. But I did not know all the the ins and outs, and the running of a landscaping business was a foreign entity to me. Bruce had run his business since the age of 18, following after his father who had started the business in 1948 under the name Millis Nurseries. He had even worked for Weston Nurseries in the early 1940s! By 1970, Bruce’s father had developed medical issues and had left his business, a truck and a push mower to his son. Bruce built an incredible career over the next 40 years. He developed his business into one that focused not only on the maintenance of properties, but also on softscape and hardscape, with a strong focus on stone work. Unfortunately though, in 2014 Bruce became ill with pancreatic cancer. He fought for 14 months, but sadly in 2015 he passed, leaving his business with eight full-time employees to his immediate family. Despite having lost my husband, and my kids their father, lawns needed to be cut and projects finished. Business had to go on. I attempted to continue my career as a firefighter and paramedic, but soon found myself taking on the role of boss and owner of BW Giovanella & Sons. My working full time for the Town of Norfolk, running a growing business, and continuing to raise our three children ages 19, 18, and 12 proved to be a heavy load.

In 2016 B.W. Giovanella landscape became my sole focus, alongside Zachary Giovanella, age 19, as my right hand man. Setting aside his acceptance to University of Massachusetts Stockbridge, to help his mother run the business, he and I rolled full steam ahead to grow BWG into the business it has become today. Zach was and continues to be an integral partner in the business, without whom I could not have managed.

What I love about the business:

I love working with customers to assist them in melding their ideas into reality. I love working with plants, especially perennials, but also stone. My greatest pleasure comes from creating a one-of-a-kind stone project, encompassed by a unique planting of perennials, shrubs and trees, to give that “wow factor.” I also love the feeling of success when I simply get my crews out there to maintain our properties, knowing that I have work for them and can take a deep breath and regroup to work on the next upcoming project.

Funniest Landscaping memory so far:

Nothing could’ve prepared me for the morning in mid June 2019. My son, Zach, had gone to check on the irrigation of newly installed sod on a recent project. I answered my phone to his saying, did you get my text? No I did not, I responded, telling him that something was just coming through now. You won’t believe what I’m looking at Mom, he said. What the heck am I meant to do with this issue?

I opened up my text to see a picture of 17 sheep on the front lawn, grazing on the side and feasting on newly planted hydrangea and spirea. The picture attached gives the view of the sheep rounding the side of the house, being chased by my son back to their neighboring field, unseen by the photo clip. 71 years in business could not have prepared us for this!!!

About B.W. Giovanella & Sons:

B.W. Giovanella & Sons, Inc. was established in 1948 and is now in its 3rd generation. Focusing on all aspects of landscape construction and maintenance, our company serves the Dover, Sherborn, and Wellesley areas. From general maintenance to hardscape construction of existing and newly built homes, we pride ourselves on the highest quality results. If it’s just a sprucing up that your home needs, or a large, intricate project, we have the experience to produce what you desire.

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