About Harbour Design

When I was nine year’s old, my parents purchased Evergreen Hills, at that time one of the oldest and largest pine-spruce tree plantations in Michigan. It was planted back in the 1930’s. From my age of 10 to 17, my younger brother and I planted about 100,000 evergreens, in furrows, which my father plowed with his little John Deere model L single plow tractor. They were mostly scotch pine, with a few blue and white spruce for Christmas trees and Red and Austrian pine for borders/windbreaks. They were to replace the existing plantation of blue, white, and Norway spruce, the tops of which we were growing and cutting for Christmas tree sales at the farm. My father also put in a small nursery to supplement plantings around the farm and sell retail.

At age 14, not being able to sleep, I got up in the middle of the night, and preceded to hand dig foundations for retaining walls and and for an adjacent small pond/waterfall, without permission. The following morning my parents allowed me to put up stone walls, and build the small pond with a waterfall. They were still standing and working 34 years later when my parents passed away.

After college obtaining a degree in science at the College of William and Mary, my wife and I purchased a 180 acre farm near Marshall, Michigan. We started planting scotch pine and Norway spruce for Christmas trees and we named the farm Tannenbaum Farms.

That coming winter Uncle Sam called me to help with the Viet Nam war. Af the end of Officer Candidate School I was awarded a commission as an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers. I then trained officer candidates as a Tactical Officer. I volunteered to serve in Viet Nam after receiving an offer to support General Curtis Chapman and his staff at Fort Bragg and then in Viet Nam. After the Tet offesive I completed construction projects both for the U.S. Army and Viet Nam refugee housing. I returned back to the farm at the end of 1968 and continued planting Christmas trees while eventually retailing 5000 Christmas trees per year.

A few years after returning from Viet Nam, with a background of engineering as an Officer in the Army Corps of Engineers, and a degree in Science, I started with an architect friend the landscape firm, Albright-Mason Landscape and Site Development, Inc. Over a few years, we purchased three connecting parcels with homes on them, and built a garden center with offices above, The Shrub Shop.

Later while visiting and falling in love with New England, I moved and settled in Portsmouth and created Harbour Design, our landscape design and construction firm. After two years of missing the Holiday Spirit of Christmas, we sold Christmas trees from Washington and Oregon in Hong Kong and China on a pre-order retail seasonal basis for seven years. We also planted Christmas trees in Vermont and recently purchased a small farm in Durham, NH. We cleared about 2 acres our first spring and planted red twig dogwood with irrigation and electric deer fencing to supplement the native red twig we have been providing to the holiday season market for the past twelve years..

“No man is born into the world, whose work is not born with him”.

James Russell Lowell