Expertise Native Landscape Solutions, Inc.

Simon Barker, Director of Native Horticulture

Simon is a native of Great Britain, Cornwall to be exact. He began studying horticulture in high school, followed by one year at a local Parks Department and Educational Garden before attending Reading University, England.

Simon graduated from Reading University with a bachelor of Science in Horticulture with an emphasis in Landscape Design. Simon completed a year and a half long internship at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO, where he gained a solid ground in Midwest gardening! He worked for Suburbia Gardens Inc. in St. Louis for 2 years, where he expanded his knowledge of landscaping in the St. Louis area.
Landscape and Nursery Association of Greater St. Louis, Past President.
Horticulture Co-op of Metro St. Louis, Past President.

Monica Barker, Horticultural Consultant

Monica has been working with plants since 1978. She earned both an Associate and a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture, with an emphasis in Landscape Design. She has a diverse background of experience.

The first 10 years of her career were spent at Missouri Botanical Garden. She worked with tropicals in the old plant shop, grew bedding and display plants in the production greenhouses, pruned & learned about the elements of design in the Japanese Garden for two summers, and was Staff Rosarian for almost 5 years. The following 21 years of Monica's experience in horticulture, until the present, were shared with her husband Simon, and are noted below.
Missouri landscape and Nursery Association, Past President.

Combined Experience: From 1988 to 2003 Simon and Monica were employed to develop and manage Bowood farms Inc., in Clarksville, MO. The nursery became a leading wholesale grower of perennials, native plants, herbs, hardy roses, vines, ornamental grasses, and shrubs for the St. Louis area. In 2003, Simon and Monica started their own business, Baker Horticultural Services, LLC. Projects included small residential and large country estates. By listening to client's needs and ideas, many quite difficult sites were transformed into beautiful and practical landscapes. Working with their clients, 'reading the site', and creating sustainable solutions have become a focus for the Barkers. Native plants have become the main plant pallet in their designs, and a real passion!

Mark LaBarge, Director of Operations

Mark has been in the landscape and nursery industry for over 30 years. He has operated SFP Landscaping, Inc. ( for 25 years as a high quality design/build and maintenance contractor for discriminating commercial and residential clients.

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Mark served as president of Mangelsdorf Seed Company for 15 years, as one of the area's leading suppliers of lawn and garden products and specializing in seed blending and distribution, including warm season native grass seed and conservation seed. Mark has a business degree and has taken substantial advanced coursework to further his business education and background.

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