Landscapers turn to holiday decorating

WESTWOOD, NEW JERSEY Landscaping companies aren't not particularly busy during the winter, so this gives them an outlet to make money. And yes, even in this economy, people are spending money to have professionals put their decorations up for them.

This year, Christmas at the Herrick household has been a little brighter. Their Rivervale home is twinkling, thanks to a landscaping company that makes the most of the off season.

Joe Soccodato, of JVS, worries about the lawn when the weather's warm. But during the winter, his crew is busy decorating. Back at the office, Joe uses digital photographs and a computer program to create holiday lighting looks. With snow lakes, wreaths, candy canes, the customer simply has to choose the look they like.

As for the overall cost, the first year is usually the most expensive, when the homeowner buys the lights and greens. That can cost $500 dollars and up. But that's a one-time expense. On top of that, there's the cost of installation, tear down and storage and any repair, which is another $200.

And it's not too late to get into the holiday spirit. You can still have your lights hung for you, and most landscaping companies that do this sort of thing will take the lights down as soon as you're ready.

Joe Soccodato and JVS Landscaping are located in Westwood, New Jersey, and can be reached at 201-664-022.

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