Ever since his grandmother taught him about harmony in a manicured landscape from a young age, Bob Chappin has had a passion for landscape design.

As a child, he learned how to [properly] pull weeds and knew the difference between a weed and a daylily. His passion grew in high school when his FFA horticulture teacher helped him see a career beyond the confines of a classroom and let him manage the school greenhouse. Bob and his dad also moved and reconstructed a greenhouse that had burned so he could grow bedding plants for sale while in high school.

One thing led to another, and he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant and Soil Science at MTSU in 1998. Before being our landscape design extraordinaire, Bob worked with a handful of the Southeast’s leading nurseries and landscape contractors, which gave him plenty of hands-on experience with materials, processes, and people. He’s gained great satisfaction from being instrumental in some great outdoor living spaces, and currently has designs implemented from the Carolinas to California.

Bob has been a part of Team Greathouse since July 31st, 2017, making 2022 his 5th year with us as our Landscape Designer.

His favorite part of his position is revisiting projects as they have matured 5, 10, or even 20 years down the line, knowing that the craftsmanship has held up and stood the test of time. At Greathouse, we plant trees whose shade we may never sit in, and it matters that landscapes endure for the enjoyment of many.

A close second is seeing people develop as individuals, as they become more confident in their skills and find success in working toward excellence. Because at the end of the day, we are a people-based company doing great things with landscape projects.

Get to Know Bob: Q&A Style

Couldn’t get through the week without?

The support of friends and family in a faith-based community.

Role model as a child?

Fred Rogers. “Most values… like compassion… are CAUGHT rather than TAUGHT…and who you spend your time with determines what you ‘catch’.”

Involvement outside of work?

I’m a fan of travel to scratch the curiosity itch and enjoy time on a trail in a local park or any National Park at any time with my wife, son, and daughter. Seeing other places and cultures stirs curiosity, creativity and helps me review previous lines of thought. Getting outside of my comfort zone has also helped me realize how blessed I am to be a free citizen of the United States of America.

Person in the industry you’d love to meet?

Piet Oudolf. His designs and compositions using sweeping plantings primarily of perennials and grasses are bold yet naturalistic; a true art form that creates wonder in all seasons. Viewed at High Line and Battery Park in New York City and Millennium Park in Chicago.

Biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?

There can be a tendency among those in leadership to be less than honest, whether it is an overly optimistic sugarcoating of reality or actions behind the scenes for a short-term gain. Either way, the truth is sharp and will cut away the lies. Being truthful is the best sleep aid I know of.

Your most used saying or cliché?

A happy wife is a happy life.

Newest gardening trend in your opinion?

I’ve seen a movement toward simplicity for sure, and I do believe in the statement from Steve Jobs of Apple, “Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Karaoke song of choice? 

“Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, because by the time you get to the chorus, everyone is singing so loudly that they can’t hear how badly I sing.

Advice you have for those starting in the industry?

Realize that excellence is a decision. It is always the product of your best intentions, sincerest effort, and intelligent execution.