Anyone with the requisite technical skills can design and build a functional and formidable hardscape. It would be unwise to hire someone who doesn’t have them.
But when it’s your investment, you’ll also want someone by your side – an advocate - who ensures that the job is not only a durable manifestation of your vision, but one that is priced fairly and exists harmoniously within the context of our natural landscape.
“It’s important to have someone who understands what creates value in our marketplace,” says Ernie Reynolds, owner of Holly Consults, a consulting company that serves as a liaison between the client and general contractor. “We advise on reasonable budgets, recommend sources for their style, and recommend landscape architects and designers who are qualified for the project. And we stay involved until the job is completed.”
Reynolds, a licensed general contractor, opened Holly Consults in January and brings 40 years of experience to his clients. The Williamson County native has specialty classifications in masonry, landscaping, carpentry, concrete and irrigation. He’s also a certified arborist. The combination of professional credentials, local knowledge and decades of experience makes him a trusted resource for those who are considering a significant renovation of their outdoor space.
But Reynolds has a cerebral side that lends depth to his work. In addition to his technical expertise, Reynolds holds a Ph.D. in creative writing and literature, with an emphasis on Southern literature. He’s been published in several literary journals and is inspired by notable writers with strong ties to the region, like Larry Brown, William Gay and Cormac McCarthy. “Writing is something I began more in earnest after shifting gears from construction and general contracting to being a consultant,” he says. “I write short fiction, like Brown and Gay, but it has nothing to do with the elements that we’re talking about."
While his storylines aren’t related to his business, both are inspired by the same source. “My work is greatly influenced by the natural world,” he says. “I think we can make a connection between the aesthetics of our work to the natural world around us.” Those elements impact everything from design to the selection of materials and the choice of foliage. Reynolds says that the severe weather conditions of the past year should serve as a reminder of the importance of utilizing native plants and shrubs.
“Native plants are those that were established prior to European colonization,” he says. “They’ve adapted and grown here for centuries and should be considered as alternatives to exotics, especially exotic invasives. When we lose century-old trees, we need to replace them with trees that our great grandchildren can enjoy. We live in a beautiful natural forest and native plants and trees that have been DNA-engineered over centuries to survive the crazy weather events that Middle Tennessee throws at us. It just makes sense.” HollyConsults.com
“My work is greatly influenced by the natural world.”