Mr. Alfred Smith Jr. was the owner of Blythewood Farms, a historical farm in Upper Marlboro that had been in the Smith family for generations. I had the good fortune of befriending Mr. Smith while at the University of Maryland studying Landscape Management. He insisted I called him by his first name “Al Junior,” but I always respectfully called him Mr. Smith. He was in his golden years, and he spent many a days riding his tractor and caring for animals on his farm.
One day I was invited to spend an afternoon on the farm with Mr. Smith. That afternoon made me feel like a kid again. I proceeded to spend all my free time after school, after work and on the weekends helping Mr. Smith out on the farm, learning from him and absorbing his words of wisdom. Mr. Smith and I had the same passion for agriculture and he eventually took me under his wing. He became a great mentor to me.
While still in school at UMD, Mr. Smith encouraged and helped me, along with my brother, start our first residential landscaping company, Ball Park Lawn & Maintenance. We ended the year with a few dozen residential customers and very little earnings. It was a modest first step into business, but it was something I loved doing.
Mr. Smith helped us even more by allowing us to move our operation to the farm. The landscaping business grew even bigger in the next 6 years. We made a strategic shift in our focus to mainly commercial landscaping.
Very sadly, during this time, Mr. Smith passed away. With no one to care for the historic farm, I became its steward by maintaining and restoring it.
BP Landscape eventually became partners with a service company, working under their umbrella and providing complimentary services. During this time, I partnered with Michael Berg who became the company’s sole sales/account manager. Michael and I worked hard to grow the company even larger in the next 3 years. Eventually, in 2017, Michael and I decided to break ties with the service company and start a new landscaping company of our own.
Without a second thought, I named it Blythewood Landscape Management as a tribute to Mr. Smith and the special farm I became part of more than 20 years ago.
Bernie Granzow, Owner