Robert Cruikshank was born on October 7, 1955, in the Pensacola, FL, naval hospital while his father, Pete Cruikshank, was serving in the Navy. 6 months later, Robert moved with his family to Spokane, WA, where his father began his career in the railroading business with the Great Northern Railway. During Robert’s youth, the Cruikshank family moved 11 more times throughout the Northwestern part of the United States. Childhood memories include playing ice hockey in the winters (Robert has become an avid San Jose Sharks fan) and working in the garden with his mother, Alice Wayland Cruikshank, in the summers. The gardening plus the camping that he did ever summer with his family planted the seeds of interest in working outdoors in the landscaping field.
In 1978, Robert graduated with honors from Middlebury College in Vermont and moved back to the Pacific Northwest, a part of the country that he remembered fondly from his childhood.
In the 1980’s, Robert developed a passion for Afro-Cuban music which brought him down to the San Francisco Bay Area to live in 1988. Robert traveled to Cuba in 1993 to study with the Cuban master drummer, Regino Jimenez, and spend time with the preeminent Afro-Cuban folklore ensemble, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas. Robert’s interest in Afro-Cuban music inspired his study of the Spanish language which is very useful in communicating effectively with the large majority of the workforce in the landscaping industry in California.
In 1990, Robert decided to pursue a career as a landscape contractor. This profession allowed him to continue his lifelong love of gardening and being in the outdoors with an ability to live in the San Francisco Bay Area where he can continue his study of the Afro-Cuban folklore music. At that time Robert took classes in the highly regarded horticulture program at Merritt College in Oakland, CA and began a small gardening business. In the fall of 1992, Robert took the California state exam for the contractor’s license in landscaping. Upon passing the exam on his first attempt, he received his license in January, 1993, and began his full service landscape contracting business. Robert has continued to develop his business over the years by participating in programs about all aspects of the landscaping field offered by the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA). After years of experience, Robert has become the best choice for landscape contractor in the San Francisco East Bay Area.
In 1994, he met Milena Montano Escobar, a truly amazing woman from Nicaragua. In developing his relationship with Milena, Robert’s proficiency in speaking Spanish and his appreciation for Latin culture continued to grow. Robert and Milena married in 1995 and purchased their current home in Southwest Berkeley in 1997. They continue to be very involved in their community and in the Berkeley Public Schools which their two children, Luciano and Gabriela, attend.
Robert continues to participate fully in his family and his community, living a very full life. He brings that same passion to his business. His focus is on developing a strong culture of respect among his employees and with his clients. His entire team is proud of the excellent service and the top quality product that they provide to our clients.