A Franz Witte specialty
Have you ever been to The Village at Meridian and wondered who or what was responsible for the beautiful landscaping? Or how about The Terraces in East Boise? To answer your question, look no further than Franz Witte, a landscape contracting and nursery company that has served the Treasure Valley and beyond since 1971.
“We did the entire landscape for The Village, from pottery and flowers to trees and irrigation,” says President Seneca Hull. “We also take care of the maintenance there, as well as for various subdivisions we’ve worked on.” With over 100 employees, Hull suspects that Franz Witte is the only local company that could handle a project that size.
The company’s clients range for the aforementioned Terraces and Village all the way to Jacksons convenience stores. Franz Witte works with clients on residential design/builds, large commercial landscapes, commercial maintenance, and performs management services such as overhead structures. “We take care of everything outdoors for residential projects,” Hull says.
Franz Witte also has a large re-wholesale and retail nursery with a wide range of unique products. “We have a 12-15 foot tall Weeping White Spruce with a $1600 price tag all the way down to three foot tall trees,” says Hull. “We carry everything, and we have many things that you can’t find other places.” Hull says she asked her staff to choose a favorite dwarf plant (something that could fit in a small space) and the unique names range from Show Off Forsynthia and Fireglow Japanese Maple to Little Lime Hydrangea and Weeping Sequoia.
Small space landscaping is one of Franz Witte’s specialties, and Hull says more and more people want to transform the spaces they have. “Lots of people are downsizing or have condos,” she says. “People come and want something very small but still very cool.”
Hull says the most important question to ask clients is, what do you want to do in this space? “It’s not necessarily about what plants you want, but instead what you want to see, feel, do, and enjoy in this space,” Hull explains. “Do you want to relax or entertain? Do you have kids or dogs? These are all important questions.”
Hull says a current trend involves utilizing pottery in garden spaces, for both aesthetic and space utilization reasons. “That area is really taking off,” Hull says. “People are also growing a lot of plants that are upright in a tower or pillar formation.”
The company’s namesake, Franz Witte, is still very involved today after starting the business when he was in college. “He started as a small residential design/build landscaper and really just grew his reputation based on word of mouth,” says Hull, who is also Witte’s daughter.
It’s still almost entirely a family-owned business, and Hull says “family-owned” means more than just blood relation. “Sometimes you spend a lot more time with people you work with than your family,” she says, “So you better enjoy who you work with and what you do—and I think we do here. Family is very important to us and I think that flows through to our employees.”
Hull says Franz Witte’s goal is to continue to grow the company enough to support the people who have built a career there. “We do what we do to make things beautiful, but also to give 100 people a living and a way to take care of their families,” she says. “We do a lot of different things here and employ a lot of really talented people, some who have been here 10-15 years. Our employees and the quality of work they do is what sets us apart.”