Andrew has intentionally surrounded himself with nature since the age of 10 when his mother and uncle began to expose him to their family’s natural preserve in West Alabama. From that day forward he began to orient his hobbies around spending time in nature and became fascinated with all the ecological systems at work in our native landscapes. His logo is derived from an American Beech(Fagus grandifolia) leaf, which is his favorite tree remembered from the family land hunting trips as a child with his uncle.
Andrew holds a bachelors degree in Landscape Horticulture from Auburn University as well as a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture from Auburn and is a Licensed Landscape Designer in the State of Alabama. He was a leader in graduate school with his emphasis in Urban Design and merging Urban and Natural systems to create pockets of intentional green space for respite from the psychological rigor of Corporate America in our urban centers. He firmly believes that intentional exposure to nature directly increases psychological healing. Prior to launching Cole-Tyson Land & Garden Design Studio, he spent many years working for nurseries and landscape companies across the state of Alabama and most recently spent 2.5 years in a Mixed Use Architecture firm in Montgomery, AL. During this 2.5 years in Montgomery he lead teams to launch 2 Urban Farming Projects on formerly contaminated vacant lots, traveled to Burkina Faso, Africa to design the first 1000 Acre Christian University in that Country, launched Montgomery Pedicab Company as an Urban Transportation experiment, and won the Max Community Credit Union City Wide Sustainability Leadership Award for 2010.
Andrew is most passionate about designing spaces that encourage people to spend more time outside of their homes and in touch with nature. He believes that it is our moral and ethical responsibility to educate our youth of the importance of incorporating nature into our daily routines. As a designer he is most interested in Custom Residential Outdoor Living Spaces, Urban Green Space Design, Horticultural Therapy and interactive healing gardens, and encouraging homeowners and restaurant owners to integrate food growing/cooking practices into their outdoor living rooms. Aside from this venture, Andrew is a founding partner of Cahaba Farms (Organic Wholesale Plant Nursery in Helena, AL), and Founder of Birmingham Pedicab Company with the support of his wife Ashley. At Cahaba Farms, Andrew grows several of the plants he designs with in a continued attempt to learn each plant's seasonal characteristics. His focus now is ornamental grasses, and fern and perennial varieities.
Sarah Thelen--Native Plant Design Specialist/Botanist
Our Native Plant Design Specialist, Sarah Thelen has been serving the Landscape Design, Construction & Garden Maintenance industry for 16 years now nationwide, impacting many communities across the Southeast and Midwest. Sarah began in 1996 by obtaining her Undergraduate and Graduate Degree in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design from the University of Tennessee. During her time at the University she worked for 5 years at the trial gardens, where she grew (from seed), designed, implemented, and maintained several styles and types of gardens. She also worked for many garden centers and clients on weekends and afternoons doing various odds and ends. Once she graduated, she moved on to various communities in Oregon and Colorado to use the more technical side of her education by serving the Federal Government in Botany by working with the Bureau of Land Management & National Park Service. Although she loved working in far flung places within the peace and quiet of the woods, it was not what she was meant to do long term, so she formed her landscape design and estate gardening business Alpenglow, in southwest Colorado. While running that business she designed over 200 landscapes and had 25+ monthly estate gardening clients.
Recently, her husband was offered a great opportunity here at the Talladega National Forest, thus she moved back to the southeast where she is excited to further her career and spend time with her 2.5 year old son Max.
Sarah is most passionate about encouraging the use of Native Plants and Environmentally Responsible solutions in her designs and is excited to collaborate with us to inspire as many citizens in the communities we work in as possible. Her design focus is assembling the most appropriate species of native plants to meet the specific needs of each of our clients to make beautiful and functional spaces that increase their quality of life! Sarah is also passionate about Urban Gardening & Farming and is currently serving a project in Fairfield, AL working with the youth there to teach them basic gardening and farming practices and the importance of eating healthy and interacting with our native landscapes!
Joel Bullock--Illustration/Visioning Consultant
Joel is a transplant to Birmingham, AL by way of the recent hurricanes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Upon his arrival to Birmingham he began to use his talents to get plugged in to the art community. Joel is a graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design and is currently employed at the University of Montevallo with various assignments in the Fine Arts Department and Library there. Joel has a passion for bringing things to life with his powerful character illustrations. He is currently developing his Architectural Rendering capabilities with the use of Ink and Watercolor.