Our StoryNeil Best grew up in Tiverton, RI, a Mecca of historic stone walls. As a child living there, he admits not giving the stone walls he was surrounded by a second thought. They were just stoic structures in the woods he used to play around, things to be climbed over, hidden behind, and deconstructed (as boys will do). But somehow, through that play and proximity, the quiet power of stone steeped into his blood.
Years later, he found himself studying Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at the University of MA, Amherst. While there, he became an avid mountain biker and outdoorsman – and those stones were starting to call to him again. But being practical minded (and broke), he joined an engineering firm after graduation, worked as a carpenter, joined a landscape architect's office, and later earned his landscape architect license.
But, Neil is a builder. Sitting in a cubicle all day is just not an option for him. Plus, those stones kept calling him. So he left the comfort of a full-time job, put aside dreams to travel the world, and started his own design/build company with nothing more than a small, pick-up truck.
It’s been over 16 years now, and on any given day you may find Neil in the office designing grading plans or on a job site with our crew, running the excavator, or prepping for construction. But most likely, you’ll find him doing his favorite thing – using stone to create timeless outdoor spaces.
As for Samantha Best, she had no idea she would end up owning a landscape design/build company. She grew up across the bay from Neil in Portsmouth, RI. Like Neil, she was also surrounded by historic stone walls and a coastal New England landscape. But Samantha took a different path, studying at the Rhode Island School of Design as a photography major.
While at RISD, she found herself with a job working for a small garden center. Although she didn’t realize it at the time, that experience transformed a part of her. After graduating from the photography department, she became involved in several PBS film documentaries and later settled into life as a television editor. But being surrounded by television monitors and whirring machines all day was not satisfying. So Samantha left the security of her full-time job and went back to school at the University of Rhode Island majoring in Landscape Architecture.
Now Samantha puts all her design skills together to create innovative project solutions. Her passion is for plants, and she puts that to good use through creative, but practical, master plans.
As fate would have it, Neil and Samantha met in a landscape architect’s office, fell in love over secret trips to the burrito shop at lunch, and started their business. Their work together includes designing and building master landscape plans that create visceral connections between their clients and their clients’ personal outdoor environments. They put their heads together on every project, constructively argue over design concepts when needed (they are married after all), and praise each others design solutions once they’ve gotten it right. Their skills cover all aspects of outdoor living and allow them to design and build timeless outdoor retreats.
Neil Best, Owner
Registered Landscape Architect, RI #452, Rhode Island Contractor’s License # 29517, RINLA Member, MA Home Improvement License # 177780
Samantha Best, Owner
Certified Horticulturist, Certified Invasive Plants Manager, RINLA Member, Public Speaker