Doug Smellage was 12 years old when he started mowing yards in his North Dallas neighborhood. Little did he know at the time that his part-time summer job would blossom into a lifelong career.
(ABOVE: Doug Smellage’s newest venture is landscape consulting. Photo by Tim Sharp Media)
Smellage mowed yards while a student at Hillcrest High School (when he wasn’t tied up with school work or training and competing as an all-district high jumper and all-district basketball player).
At SMU he continued mowing yards with the help of his ATO fraternity brothers. After graduating in 1977, he was preparing for law school, but his love of yard work kept calling to him. In a pivotal moment, he left law school behind and headed to Texas Tech to study horticulture.
Armed with a graduate degree in horticulture, Smellage returned to Dallas in 1979 to marry his high school sweetheart, Ann, and with a $16,000 loan, he started up Lawns of Dallas in 1980.
My goal is to create no-pressure, simple, and efficient solutions for landscaping projects – both old and new. -Doug Smellage
What started as a mowing service for residents of North Dallas, Preston Hollow, and the Park Cities expanded into providing services to municipalities and other commercial customers. He negotiated contracts with the city of University Park and the town of Highland Park to mow their city’s green spaces, and the cities quickly discovered working with Lawns of Dallas saved them money while getting them top notch service. Other commercial customers followed including Greenway Parks, the Katy Trail, several large corporations and non-profit organizations.
Using his horticulture degree, his business acumen, and his lawn-boy work ethic, Smellage developed Lawns of Dallas into an award-winning maintenance and landscaping company with 100 employees, 35 trucks, and an annual income of more than $6 million. After more than 37 years at the helm of Lawns of Dallas, he sold the company to someone he believed would keep its culture intact and continue to provide exceptional services to Lawns of Dallas’ customers.
Smellage hasn’t slowed down much since the sale. He serves on the boards of the Ronald McDonald House, the Salesmanship Club, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, and the SMU Dedman College. He is the chairman of the SMU Alumni Association.
Recently, his innate enthusiasm to serve has inspired him to start a new business: landscape consulting.
The name of his new venture? Yard Man Landscape Consultation, yardmanconsulting.com.
“My friends have always called me ‘Yard Man’,” he said.
With his 50-plus years of skills, experience, and wisdom, Smellage is looking forward to providing landscape consultation services to homeowners and businesses.
“My goal is to create no-pressure, simple, and efficient solutions for landscaping projects – both old and new. I’m excited about this new adventure in my life.”
It’s good to have the Yard Man back.