City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Get Out in Nature (Without Leaving Home)

How Father Nature Landscapes Makes it Happen

Daniel McCurry and his older brother Andrew grew up in Gardendale, Alabama, and both fell in love with the natural world from remarkably young ages. Before the brothers were even teenagers, they were doing their own landscaping around the house, using native plants from the surrounding valley to beautify their residence and create an atmosphere the family could enjoy. Family and friends are of utmost importance to the McCurrys, and Daniel McCurry noted that “connecting people with the land around them” is a mission Father Nature takes seriously. 

Years later, after both brothers completed degrees in horticulture and landscape design, Daniel McCurry came home from New Zealand, where he had suffered the unfortunate loss of a friend, and decided to join the family business with his brother, who had started Father Nature in Washington in 2006. By 2009, the Birmingham branch of Father Nature Landscapes was transforming ordinary backyards into lush landscapes, and, in the last decade, McCurry has seen the business steadily grow. 

Recently, McCurry and team completed a gorgeous landscape for a local couple who complained of “a muddy backyard.” Being nature enthusiasts who longed for a better outdoor lifestyle, they heard about Father Nature from a friend and called McCurry — then waited for availability. Fortunately, it turned out to be well worth it. 

“We connected immediately,” McCurry emphasized. “I understood they wanted a place to have serenity, to dine and to relax. They are vegetarians, and we created some planters so they can grow plants. We did a lot of things to make the yard more substantial and durable and also made it so they can view their space by changing the tiny window in the kitchen. We did outdoor furnishings, drainage lighting, and water features.”

The project was not without challenges — namely, a large stone slab, prohibiting drainage, just a few inches beneath the ground in the backyard. But McCurry’s expertise made chipping away the stone and redirecting excess water much simpler than it could have been. Now, the couple is constantly admiring their landscape. Though they simply wanted a backyard that wasn’t constantly soggy, they got much more than that: a wonderful place for togetherness.

“All the client knew was to tell us to fix her yard,” McCurry said. “But when we met her and learned about her parents, my goal became getting all of these family members together. There’s no price you can put on getting loved ones together.”


Want to update your space for spring? Here are a few tips from Daniel McCurry. 

  • Swap out decorative touches, such as outdoor sofa cushions, for a fresh look. 
  • Redefine your bed lines, clean up old weeds or dead plants, and add fresh mulch. 
  • Take care of your plants. 
    “Don’t be scared of your plants and your landscape. They need to be given attention and loved,” McCurry said. “You’ll  feel like you have a relationship with your plants if you prune them and make sure they’re healthy.”
  • Don’t skimp on water! 
    Irrigation systems need to be serviced once a year so that they are efficiently watering your plants, according to McCurry. 
  • Move plants around or change them up. 
    “Don’t be scared of adding, moving or changing things,” McCurry said. “I like to swap out the plants near the front door a few times a year as a quick change.”