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By-the-Sea Gardens

By-the-Sea Gardens staff, from left: Robert Benson, Chris Williams and new owners Geoffrey and Holly Smith with 11-month-old Grayson, and staff member Julie Lebow, on right.  

BANDON — On Jan. 1, Holly and Geoffrey Smith became the new owners of By-the-Sea Gardens, LLC. The well-known landscaping business was started by Liza Ehle and has been operating for the past 35 years.

The Smiths, along with their son, 11-month-old Grayson, moved from Arizona and have been visiting Bandon for the past five years. It's been their dream to live in Bandon so when they found a business opportunity, they jumped at the chance.

While in high school, Holly became involved with the Future Farmers of America, learning about Horticulture. Holly has had a passion for gardening all her life. When she was just 16, she won 1st Place in the state of Arizona for Landscape and Floriculture design in the FFA.

Coastal plants are Holly's favorite and she is excited to show clients how they can transform their yards into wonderful outdoor living spaces. She is a licensed landscape contractor and brings her previous experience with Floriculture design and landscape management to the company.

Geoffrey is a licensed general contractor with the business name By-The-Sea Repair LLC. which specializes in small home repair, fences, decks and arbors. His skills include carpentry, mechanical, welding and heavy equipment as well. Being a go-to guy for handy work around town, Geoffrey has earned a great reputation for being reliable, honest and hardworking.

"We are definitely a husband and wife team operation, being a two-contractor household," Holly said. "Geoffrey will be the lead in construction and I will be the lead in planting and design. Between the two of us, we can tackle almost anything."

The Smith's primary business model is commercial and municipal maintenance as well as new residential landscape construction. They have three full-time employees.

Geoffrey's mother, Lisa Smith, moved to town six months ago and is also helping with the business as the company's office manager and works as a substitute teacher for the Bandon School District.

The Smiths are assuming all the basic parameters of By-the-Sea Gardens, LLC which Ehle started in 1983, and they plan to continue and expand the company.

"They are ambitions and smart young people who have worked hard to understand all the subcontractors, vendors and other folks we work with, learn the ropes on maintenance quirks for each client we have serviced," Ehle said. "They plan to continue these valuable relationships that have spanned over 30 years. Our clientele, professional network and our loyal employees are our greatest assets and the Smiths have a strong basis in all areas as a family run company."

The couple has purchased a home and already put down roots in Bandon.

Ehle will continue with her nine current licenses in a consulting and project management company called Windward Gardens, LLC. The focus of her work is the watersheds, municipal, state, federal and tribal lands and projects that need inmate labor from Shutter Creek, habitat restoration, vegetation management and unique public projects involving creative design and resource management.

Ehle hopes to do some public art projects using inmates, to develop more continuing education for the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture and Oregon Landscape Contractor's Board as well as other classes on organics, ergonomics, pesticide safety and other horticulture related topics. Without the load of employer, contractor and bookkeeper, she can use her college degree, network of professionals and 40 years experience to generate efficiency and accountability in larger projects in the public sector.

She plans to stay in the area, offer advice to the Smiths when they ask and help make the transition as smooth as possible.

"I have been so fortunate to have both Diana and Lori Rodman work with me for decades to keep all the accounts ticking along smoothly and our clients and their loyalty made it a great experience to build this successful company. However, it is time to let the next generation take it from here to the next level."

The Smiths are eager to be just as helpful to their clients. They are happy to do free estimates and encourage people to visit their website at To reach By-the-Sea Gardens or By-The-Sea Repair, call 541-347-9050.

"We are the people that people call when there's an odd task that they can't find someone else to do," Geoffrey said. "We have resources and networking to accomplish just about anything and we like a challenge."

"Bandon is truly a wonderful place to live we are so happy to be a part of the community," Holly added. "We couldn't have picked a better place to raise our family and do business. Our goal is to keep Bandon looking beautiful and our clients happy."

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Bandon Western World Editor