Little Interview: Lori Hawkins, Landscape Architect

by | Sep 11, 2020 | Landscape Architecture, Latest, People

Lori Hawkins, RLA, ASLA, is the owner and principal of Hawkins Landscape Architecture. With over 30 years of experience in the field, she specializes in high-end residential landscape architecture serving the Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Asheville, Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina metro areas. She offers 3D landscape design to allow customers to a unique view of their landscape before installation.

What inspired you to get into the industry?

I always loved plants and art as a child. A perfect day would be creating and building things with my hands. At Penn State, I met a girl on my floor who was a landscape architecture major. I had never heard of the field before but was intrigued by her description. I immediately went and changed my major, (without even discussing it with my parents!), and never looked back! I guess you could say I am impulsive.

What’s your favorite style of garden?

An English garden. I love the idea of colors and textures melding one into the other in the landscape. 

What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited?

My husband and I both adore visiting Scotland. My grandmother was an immigrant from Scotland, and we have gone back several times. We visited many castles with restored medieval gardens; they were fabulous! My husband is a “keeper.” That means a good man who lets you walk through a garden that he is totally uninterested in!

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?

In past jobs, the professional disparity that existed between how men and women were treated in the industry was often difficult. I felt I had to work twice as hard to prove my mettle. Things have improved over the years, thankfully. Finally, as a business owner myself, I feel a great sense of accomplishment and respect in the industry. Plus, the boss gives me a raise quite often. (Haha!)

Who do you most admire in the industry?

Patrick Blanc’s vertical gardens. He was a trendsetter and created a whole new type of art out of a natural medium. His art also serves an environmental function in the landscape. His gardens are incredible, and the color and texture are mesmerizing. If I were to become a fine artist, that would be my medium.

What has the quarantine taught you?

What is important and what is not. God has given me an incredible husband and family. I cherish time with them and with our good friends. Conversely, I have found that I have little patience for unkindness and pettiness, not after this.

What’s your ideal Saturday?

Being able to work in MY garden. I am always working, though, so I am truly the cobbler whose children have no shoes. Other people work in my garden, but not me. Ah, maybe in retirement!

What is your favorite phrase, slogan?

“Get busy livin,’ or get busy dyin’” from Shawshank Redemption. I have always felt that you must keep moving forward to reach your goals. Whether those are professional or personal goals, the upward momentum and effort are keys to success.

What is something not many people know about you?

My father was a television journalist with NBC. We traveled with President Ford on the campaign trail during the Ford/Dole campaign. In Bob Dole’s hometown in Kansas, people lined the street waving, even to the Press Corp as our busses passed. It really was an incredible experience.

What advice would you give to someone entering the green industry?

Bite the bullet and get the schooling and training you need for excellence. Too many people think that they “like gardening” and can make a go of it without proper training. That is unfortunately to their and their customers detriment. There are so many facets to landscape architecture and proper training will be needed to reach the professional goals you want.

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