Lorenz Inos, a sought-after landscape designer from Nueva Ecija, mentions the phrase “pera na [naging] bato pa,” meaning money that has been lost.
With pride he said that he has made money from stones.
The stones come from different parts of Luzon: Mindoro, La Union and Nueva Ecija, while boulders are sourced from Antipolo. There are some that he declines to sell despite offers from buyers, noting that each piece is unique.
The stones serve as a signature look in Inos’ landscaping projects, which he has been engaged in for over 20 years, since he was 21 years old.
How Inos finds beauty in his natural surroundings translates to a style inspired by tropical views, with designs that spruce up any home garden without looking too contrived.
Inos’ knack for designing gardens came from being constantly surrounded by collections of plants since his childhood, as his late father Lorenzo Inos ran a plant supply business.
He never had formal training in landscaping or horticulture, instead learning from his dad and his late uncle, agriculturist Modesto “Modi” Manglicmot. Modi personally cultivated a bonsai garden in the University of the Philippines – Diliman.
From starting on his personal garden, Inos drew attention from friends who wanted their own landscaped views. He receives most of his work by word of mouth, with projects now numbering up to 600.
The landscape designer has become so in demand that clients hail from as far as northern Luzon — Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya — all the way down to Metro Manila, including exclusive Alabang villages.
According to Inos, the benefits of landscaping are beyond aesthetics. “Karamihan nagsasabi na paglabas ng garden, nakakatanggal ng stress nila,” he explained. (Many say that after they have been to their garden, they are relieved of stress.)
“Yung iba, tingin nila, parang OK na, na walang garden. Pero kapag nakita nila sa ibang friend nila, maganda pala ganito, mas presko.” (Others think that it is fine not to have a garden. But when they see their friends’ gardens, they see that it is beautiful, more refreshing.)
In his hometown of Talavera, Inos has created an oasis in their family-owned resort, Tropical Garden Resort and Hotel. The resort was first intended as a private venue for family functions, but Inos’ impressive work attracted friends who wanted to use the picture-perfect scenery for events.
From 7,000 square meters, the space has expanded to 2 hectares of towering palm trees, shrubs, clean-cut grass and swimming pools. Now, it is booked year-round with weddings, baptisms and birthday parties.
Inos has also taken great care to design the gardens in their family residences, offering his siblings and his mother each a private tropical paradise.
In his brother’s home, the front lawn boasts of date palm trees and shrubs positioned at varying levels. Bromeliads add a burst of color with their yellow-green leaves while rocks give contrast to the greenery.
On the right side is an elevated portion specked with a variety of trees and shrubs.
Inside, a mini garden adorns the patio, and the first thing that catches the eye are the large rippled leaves of the wave of love. Another variety of bromeliads pops with violet tinges at the edges of their leaves.
Besides the display of plants, Inos’ choice of ornaments are derived from natural materials. For instance, antique stone mills serve as textured embellishments along with the plants.
Inos also designed his mother’s home with a striking view of date palm trees, bromeliads and water lilies in bowls.
Along the perimeter are a variety of bonsai, ranging from kalachuchi to bougainvillea, while a pathway to the side of the house holds its own in various shades of green.
Besides his eye for natural beauty, Inos’ work ethic has proven himself reliable among clients. He personally oversees his team complete each project from start to end, working with clients depending on their budget and how they can realistically maintain the garden.
Landscaping is more than just a job for Inos. “Halos lahat ng ginagawa ko, masaya ako. ‘Di ko rin gagawin kung hindi ako masaya,” he said. (In almost everything I do, I am happy. I would not do something if it does not make me happy.)
Though his father was able to see his career bloom in landscaping, he missed out on bigger projects he has been able to do since.
“Sana nga nandun siya, marami pa siya maituturo sa akin,” he said. (If only he were still here; he has much to teach me.)
With some regret, he said his dad was not able to meet his 3-year-old son. “Noon pa niya ako pinipilit mag-asawa para makita naman apo niya. Ganun talaga.” (Long before, he has been insisting that I settle down so he can meet his grandchild. Life’s like that.)
But it looks like the profound appreciation for nature continues with his little one who is already able to identify the plants around him.
When asked how he thinks his father would react to the hundreds of projects he has done, including their sprawling resort, he replied, “Matutuwa sana.” (Happy, hopefully.) JB
[For inquiries, Lorenz Inos may be reached through the number +639165545350.]