Spruce up your outdoor space with help from Frank Otte Landscape and Design Group
By Elizabeth Scinta
Photos by Walt Roycraft Photography
“We’ve been in business for over 60 years. We have graduate landscape architects on staff, which means we know outdoor spaces and we know what works,” explained Jeff Skelton, a landscape designer and project manager at Frank Otte Landscape and Design Group. Starting a new project on your home, whether indoors or outdoors, can be overwhelming, so being able to trust the people completing that project is extremely important. Having been in the business for over 60 years, the Frank Otte Landscape and Design Group can be that trustworthy group for you.
They are a full-service design-build company that offers everything from landscape design to installation and construction to irrigation and fencing. “Pretty much anything that has to do with outdoors, we do,” Skelton explained. Originally, Frank Otte started as a nursery and garden center in 1963; however, after realizing that landscaping was a booming business, Otte added a department within the company that focused on landscaping, according to the Frank Otte website. After he saw the landscaping department take off, Otte decided to make it an entirely separate entity. Thus, in 1999, Frank Otte Landscape and Design Group was born. Skelton has been in the landscape design business for 38 years. After graduating from Purdue University with a degree in landscape architecture, he started working for Frank Otte in July 1983 and has been there ever since.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Frank Otte’s team has seen a significant increase in people wanting to redo their outdoor spaces. Skelton explained that they have seen an even bigger increase this year than they did last year. “Patios and swimming pools are huge right now. Since everybody has been stuck at home, we’re seeing a lot of people doing more activities at the house. They’re wanting us to create outdoor spaces with outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, putting greens and places for their kids to play,” Skelton said.
Something I’ve heard a lot in the past few months has to do with “bringing the indoors outdoors,” and Skelton emphasized that point to me as well. Customers want to create three-season rooms so they can gather safely if they choose to. I think the pandemic has led us all to appreciate the outdoors more; I know I’ve definitely been appreciating my daily walks more than I used to.
The design process starts with a customer describing to the Frank Otte Landscape and Design Group what they want, and then the team takes it from there. “They’re giving us the ‘I want’ list and then we develop a landscape plan. With that plan, we figure out what the project is going to cost for installation,” Skelton explained. “We can then take that budget price and break it down into any number of stages for implementing the project so it doesn’t all have to be done at one time.” Being able and willing to break up the stages of the project allows the customer to have some flexibility about when the whole project is completed. After all, any type of renovation can be pricey. It’s about creating a unique project for every customer but also creating what the customer wants and what makes the most sense for their property. If you’re interested in checking out their work, head to their office in Middletown and wander through the gardens, patios, walkways and waterfalls sprinkled throughout the property. It’s never the wrong time to start a new project, especially if it’s bringing happiness and greenery to your life.
Frank Otte Landscape and Design Group
13905 Aiken Road
Middletown, KY 40245