How An Ivy League, Ancient History Graduate And Land Developer Became One Of The Most Sought After Landscapers in Asheville, NC


My name is Steve Ambrose and, I’m the owner of Ambrose Landscapes in Asheville, NC.

Many of you already know me; however,  people often ask me about my background and how I became one of the most sought after landscapers in Asheville, NC.

I decided that instead of always having to tell the same story ┬áthat, I’d write a blog post and to make a video. That way, it will always be here for you to access and to share it with your friends & colleagues.


I began in the landscaping business in a fairly unusual way.

You see, most landscapers start out by mowing lawns, trimming bushes and trees then, build up their skill set from there.

My path was a bit different.

When I was young, I had the chance to travel with my parents and grandparents to visit many historic places and historic gardens, in many different countries. I had the opportunity to see how they balanced everything, how they arranged everything, how they made it all flow and, most importantly, how it made you feel when you were there – which is critical.

I graduated from Columbia University in New York City, with a degree in ancient history, which really helped me to learn the story behind these amazing places I’d visited.

After graduating from college, I had my own management brokerage company in New York City where I managed 19 different buildings. I learned a lot about brokerage and, I also learned a lot about management and, fixing leaky roofs, plumbing and the like.

My background in real estate taught me to always add the most value to a property at the lowest cost.

I moved to North Carolina in 1992 and I developed 58 acres in a private, gated golf course community.

It was raw land and, it had not been touched for more than 100 years!

I had to clear out the underbrush, remove trees, grade land and…

I had to, literally, design & blast in new roads – I used over $10,000 in dynamite alone!!

As a result of using so much dynamite to clear the land, I became an expert in erosion control.

I was required to design and create silt ponds to catch the runoff from the heavy rains.

Since I’d studied those ancient, historic gardens so deeply, I realized that instead of just making silt ponds, I could make fish ponds instead, which would make the property even more attractive and valuable.

You see, I was selling lots.
I wanted them to be as attractive and, to add as much value to the property as possible.

Now this is where things get really unique and interesting in my story…

Over the last 20 years, I have become an expert landscaper as a result of developing those 58 acres of raw land.

I learned how to make it function efficiently, how to add the most value possible for the least amount of dollars and, how to make it look beautiful.

Because if the landscaping is not beautiful and, if it doesn’t make you feel good when you see it…
Then, what’s the point?!

If its not fun, if it doesn’t make you feel good, if it’s not beautiful to look at, if you don’t enjoy it, then there’s no point in any of it.

It’s just a ditch…Forget it.

I also became an expert in stone work as a result of developing those lots –
Outdoor stonework & decorative stonework for patios, walkways, stairs, chimneys, tables, you name it – I’ve created it with stonework.

I learned how to use river stones & river rock to help create storm channels and irrigation ditches that work naturally to help with the erosion and the runoff from storms.

As a result, I learned how to channel all the storm water down the mountainside, to water the property and to keep the trees, plants, bushes, flowers and grounds, lush & beautiful.

Thereby, adding massive value, great beauty and, the most economical “green solutions” for the lowest cost possible.

I am also one of twenty four (24), state certified, Stream Repair Doctors in North Carolina.

Stream repair is subsidized by the state of North Carolina.
The state will pay 2/3’s of the cost of the repairs.


Because it costs more money for you to move the land that was eroded, back on to your property, than it does to correct the problem from ever happening in the first place.

Without proper erosion control and/or Stream Repair, things can quickly become a big mess.

My company, Ambrose Landscapes, specializes in all of these areas that I’ve discussed here.
We specialize in adding value to your property, creating a beautiful property, making it an economical/green solution, stop storm erosion, create beautiful and functional stonework solutions, we are a state certified Stream Repair Doctor and, create a landscape solution that is designed specifically for YOU.

The bottom line is that, your landscaping should add as much value to your property as possible AND make it as beautiful as possible.

My unique background and experience is my value to YOU as my client.

I hope that I get a chance to show YOU what I can do for YOUR property.
Thank you for your time.
I hope to see you, soon.

Steve Ambrose
Ambrose Landscapes



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