Five Questions: Brandon Hyde

Brandon Hyde (Photo: Lou Ferraro)
Brandon Hyde (Photo: Lou Ferraro)
Brandon Hyde (Photo: Lou Ferraro)
Photo: Lou Ferraro

Brandon Hyde

Hyde Park Landscape, Norwich, Conn.

1. What can you tell me about Hyde Park Landscape?

We started in 1980, founded by my father, Harlan Hyde, who is still very involved in the business. I grew up in the industry and went to work for a wholesale perennial farm to get some insight into the industry. When I came on in 2001, we were warming up to the building boom. Our company was primarily maintenance; we then got involved in some higher end construction and install and added on landscape design. From there, our business has morphed into more and more commercial work and some residential, and we’ve also added on a turf care division.

2. How has 2020 been for you guys?

It started off shaky and scary. We saw some cancellations. Since then, people have come back on board … What we’re seeing is people not spending money on vacations but on their properties … The limiting factor is getting it done with the right amount of people. People want a space they can enjoy. They want to make it green. Plantings and fire pits are a big thing. People want to bring what they can do indoors, outdoors. Indoor/outdoor kitchens have been a huge thing.

3. What do you and your family like to do for fun?

We’re a family-owned business. I’m one of four siblings. We like to travel, we like to hike and see things. We’re really into history. Our family is a founding family here — our direct ancestors helped settle Norwich and Hartford. My kids are the 14th generation here. We’re deeply embedded in Norwich. Our original ancestor came in from England; we’ve been able to track it back to the boat he came in on and even further back. We’re connected to the local history here … We’re working on the oldest silversmith shop in New England, rebuilding the natural stone foundation.

4. Are there any new products that catch your eye?

On the maintenance end, the stand-up mowers. The popularity of those machines is a good thing. Ergonomically, the human health standpoint — it’s much healthier to be standing up versus sitting and to also get the speed of the rider versus a walk-behind. Secondarily, the strength of the blowers and some of the cleanup equipment out there is phenomenal.

5. If you could sit down for dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would you choose?

George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. The first two are obvious. The third one I think is, too. I use all those people as guides. Those three are people who, party aside, did what was best for the country. I think that’s important.

Photo: Seth Jones

Seth Jones

Seth Jones is is editor-in-chief of Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf magazines. A graduate of Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Seth was voted best columnist in the industry in 2014 and 2018 by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. He has more than 23 years of experience in the golf and turf industries and has traveled the world seeking great stories.

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