Based in Alexander, Little Rock Landscaping has its roots deep in Arkansas soil, history and landscape architecture. The company originated in the 1940s when Mr. H.H. Heitman went door-to-door selling plants from his Model T Ford. He was one of only three landscapers and nurserymen in the Central Arkansas area at the time.
His son Lloyd started H.H. Heitman & Son nursery in 1949. After two generations of Heitman’s running the company, Lloyd’s only daughter Marietta married Steve Knight in 1968. When Heitman retired in 1978, the third generation of the family took over.
Steve Knight changed the name to Little Rock Landscape Inc, and in that very same year received the contract to install the landscape and irrigation for the first phase of Little Rock National Airport. Today, Steve’s son Tony Knight runs the company. It’s a family lineage four generations long, and their work has made wonderful improvements to landscapes all over the state and beyond.
Tony says that what distinguishes them from other companies is their four generations of experience and the fact that they are a “one-stop shop.” Their expertise lies in all areas of landscape architecture, including landscape, irrigation, lawn maintenance and fertilization, weed control, wholesale/retail nursery, drainage, retaining walls, waterfalls, and LED landscape lighting.
Little Rock Landscape has left their mark on many other notable sites: the second phase of Little Rock National Airport; five different Wal-Marts, in state and out; five La Quinta Inns; five Bank of the Ozarks buildings; three Metropolitan Banks including the 40-story headquarters building downtown, now the Simmons Bank building; the Regions Bank Building downtown; McCain Plaza Mall; University Plaza Shopping Center; the original Worthen Bank building downtown; athletic fields in Little Rock and Conway; Veterans Cemeteries in and out of state; numerous churches; two OBU dormitories; UALR Residential Housing; two Pulaski Tech campuses; and hundreds of other notable projects spanning sixty-five plus years of family-run landscaping and irrigation. They have also been contracted to do the landscaping, irrigation, pavers and plants for the new Bank of The Ozarks Headquarters building off highway 10 in West Little Rock. It’s a multi-million-dollar project scheduled to open in early 2020.
But they aren’t only there for the big guns. Little Rock Landscape has plenty to offer the rest of us, including some generational wisdom. If you don’t have thousands or even hundreds of dollars to fix up your yard, Tony offers these tips:
1. Make sure when planting your seasonal color this year that you use the appropriate soil for best results. Soil preparation plays perhaps the most important role in maintaining seasonal color areas. This begins with adding organic matter to obtain optimum aeration to the existing soil, and make sure you have proper drainage. Generally speaking, beds should consist of at least 50% organic matter for best results.
2. There isn’t really a specific date on which to begin mowing your grass in the spring. However, it does require monitoring the length of grass and waiting for it to reach the right height to have your first cut of the year! To avoid injuring your lawn by cutting when it’s too short, we recommend waiting until it’s at least 2 inches tall. Doing this protects the roots of grass. Also, avoid removing more than a third of its length in a single mowing.
3. The best time to fertilize your lawn is in the spring, when the soil temperature reaches 55 degrees generally. You’ll know when the soil warms up to 55 degrees because the lilacs begin to blossom, and the grass starts growing. For most parts of the country, that means the first application should take place by about mid-April.
Like any successful company, Little Rock Landscape Inc. matches its expertise with its people. Tony carries on not only a legacy of savvy entrepreneurship, but also that of approachability.
Tony remembers from his earliest years riding in the truck with the crew to work on projects with his dad. It’s been in his blood since day one. Today, Tony’s 16-year-old son Ben is doing the same thing with crews working on projects in West Little Rock. So, a fifth generation of this company looks to be a certainty. Other than the company, Tony’s other loves are his family (3 kids, and wife Melody), his love of the Lord, and leading worship at New Life Church in Saline County. Both Tony and his dad are pastors, and their love for the church runs deep.
Tony was born and raised in Bryant and spent all his schooling in the Bryant School system. He has seen the growth of the schools and community and now his company is working on a landscape project for the new additions to Bryant High School. The adult Tony has returned to beautify and improve his childhood stomping grounds.
When you talk to Tony you can hear in his voice his compassion and commitment to how he runs the company. He says, “When building relationships, handshakes and doing what you’ll say you will do go a long way.” That kind of work ethic is what brought Little Rock Landscape Inc. from an annual revenue of 500 thousand dollars in 2012 with 8-10 employees and 2 crews, to a multimillion-dollar business currently with 40 employees and 10 crews.
This success has led to their opening a brand new retail/wholesale nursery. They are fully stocked and ready to serve Saline and neighboring counties.
Finally, in talking with Tony and hearing about the success of Little Rock Landscape, he states, “My dad and I attribute the success of our company to one solitary thing…God and His favor on us. There is no way we could do what we do without Him. This is why we have on our company marquee, ‘To God Be the Glory.’ That pretty much says it all!”