Get To Know Us: Erik Staiger
After graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in landscape architecture, Erik immediately began developing his track record as a Landscape Designer. His successful approach to design has benefited several companies in the southeast.
“From a very young age, I was always drawing. I was most inspired in school when I was tasked with an art project; whether it be a simple 2-D drawing of an aquascape, or a 3-D model of the surface of Mars. My fondest memories of school come from these moments, when I poured all of my creative efforts into a tangible, colorful works,” Staiger said. “I also grew up with a very horticulturally minded family. My great grandmother, grandmother, and mother are all ‘Green Thumbs,’ and I learned most of my planting technique and love for plants from them. When I went to college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, until I found Landscape Architecture. I quickly learned that landscape design was a perfect discipline for me to blend the artistic, creative side of myself, with my love for trees, shrubs, and flowers. From day one of walking into college, I stayed with Landscape Architecture, and still to this day know that I made the right decision.”
Beyond design, his skill set includes project management, job costing, knowledge of the horticultural market, plant installation techniques, hardscape materials and construction methods, proposal development and contract negotiation.
At UGA’s College of Environment and Design, Erik mastered several computer-assisted drawing programs including the industry standard AutoCad. His proficiency in CAD facilitates collaborations with general contractors on large scale commercial projects; sharing digital files across the web allows us to increase our productivity and our range.
Erik employs three-dimensional rendering software to accurately depict how conceptual designs will appear once installed. His drawings allow our designers, crews, subcontractors and especially our clients to visualize how hardscape elements like shade structures, fireplaces, fountains will enhance their landscape projects.
“A few years ago, a colleague of mine told me that my passion for the industry doesn’t necessarily mean success, as passion can be lost in the competitive nature in our industry. This was around the same time that I met a couple of team members from The Fockele Garden Company. I feel that the Fockele team is the most passionate group of people, with the broadest set of skills, which has reinforced my love for landscape design and installation, Erik said. “My goal in this business is to be surrounded with personalities that match, if not exceed, my passion for all things landscape. The Fockele team is exactly that; a unique group of individuals that each bring their experience and knowledge to inspire each other, and the people we create beautiful gardens for an artist, Erik creates attractive and accurate illustrations to convey his design intentions, express his visions and engage his clients, knowing that a drawing coming to life helps to build confidence and longevity in relationships- characteristics valued by the Fockele Garden Company.”
Erik, his wife Aimee, and three young children live on a section of their family farm- the homestead tract has been in the family for four generations and includes the home where his grandfather was born. In his spare time, Erik enjoys raising his kids, vegetable gardening and art. He said that heading into 2019 trends he has been seeing includes the popularity of urban farming.
“In recent experience, I believe that urban farming has become more and more popular, which provides homeowners on small lots to have an area where they can grow fruits and vegetables for their table. Moving forward, I believe that this ideal is becoming less segmented, and edible landscape will become more a part of decorative landscape. I am excited to design more fruiting trees and shrubs into my landscapes because they provide interesting color and texture, as well as their benefit of supplemental produce,” he said.