Parker Whitney, owner, Elevated Living Landscape & Outdoor Space Design, knew he wanted to be a landscape designer from age 10 when he began mowing yards, planting and rooting plants around his house in Wichita, Ks.
“I knew I wanted to work outside, and in high school I figured out I wanted to become a landscape architect. My advisor in college switched me to landscape designer,” he says. “My parents always pushed me, and now I’m living my dream!”
Whitney turned this childhood passion into a degree in Landscape Design from Kansas State University. He has been in the industry 12 years now and works with clients across Johnson County and the greater Kansas City area to elevate their landscapes.
He personalizes his design process to each client.
“I assess the entire site and go back out at random points during the day to walk the premises, look out through the windows to get a perspective of what they want,” Whitney says. “My designer, Marc, has a different process, and we all mesh. We draw the design up on a computer program, to give them a full-color example, then tweak it and work with them every step of the way.”
He says outdoor living areas, including firepits, fireplaces and other types of fire features are popular right now. Hardscapes, patios and pergolas are highly requested, as well as patios around pools.
“I think COVID has helped us regarding people wanting things outside. We have completely multiplied our business and enjoy creating beautiful living spaces for families,” he says. “We can also give people tips to keep their landscape nice, and we believe when you do something yourself, you get great satisfaction.”
Whitney recommends doing your research when planting. He notices that many people want to plant their native plants, say, from Florida, which do not do so well in this temperature zone. Also, avoid planting trees too close to your house. Consider the size they will grow to and plant accordingly.
The company believes in giving back, and a portion of each job goes to support military families through Folds of Honor. Whitney mentions that working outside is good for PTSD and welcomes anyone to visit his website and apply, adding, “I feel lucky to have had my education paid for, and I want kids of deceased or disabled veterans' families' education paid for. They deserve a college degree as much as I do.”
Whitney is engaged to Jill, a nurse at Overland Park Regional. They spend time outdoors with their 2-year-old, 130-pound Newfoundland, Haas, and enjoy traveling to find new inspiration for his landscape ideas.
“Many of our happiest family memories come from time spent in our backyards, whether grilling out, soaking up the sun or just hanging out. We are passionate about continuing to create those memories and helping others do the same by providing spaces that inspire time together and time outdoors,” he says. “The relationships I have made through my work are what keep me learning and growing.”
As the birds begin to chirp and the trees bloom, take time to enjoy it all. Being outside is, after all, Elevated Living.
Elevated Living Landscape & Outdoor Space Design is located at 1812 E. Kansas City Road, Suite 200, Olathe, Ks. Visit elevatedlivingkc.com or call them at 913-944-5066.