By Meg Dickens
Mountain View Nursery and Landscaping is much recognized in the Johnson County area. The business began when owner Harvey Burniston Jr. decided to use his skill and love for agriculture to fill a need in the community. Burniston already had a reputation for his hard work and excellence as an agriculture teacher at Johnson County High School and involvement in agriculture or horticulture. One of his first jobs was working in a garden center at age sixteen. Mountain View Nursery has a five-star rating on Home Advisor, a Triple-A rating from the Better Business Bureau, a Best of Houzz award for 2017 and 2018, a Reader’s Choice Award for Best Landscape Service for 2018 and a plethora of positive reviews and testimonials.
Burniston has received the following awards: USA Today Teacher of the Year for 2000, National Agriscience Teacher of the Year for 2002, US Forestry Service National Leadership Award for 2003, Leadership Award from the Governor of Tennessee, Johnson County Citizen of the Year, Tennessee Agriculture Teacher of the Year, Tennessee Agricultural Program of the Year, Chamber of Commerce’s Johnson County Citizen of the Year, Leadership Award from Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist, state winner of National Association of Agricultural Educators’ (NAAE) Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher Award for 2008 and the NAAE Southern Region Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
According to Burniston, the key to running a successful business is to “do what you say you are going to do.” He goes on to add, “You have a lot more fun and will be a lot more successful with a good attitude.” Burniston runs his business much like he ran his classroom. He works to make learning fun and to focus on each customer as a person. The team at Mountain View Nursery is constantly looking for ways to improve and is implementing a few ideas soon. “I still teach every day” Burniston exclaimed. “I educate customers and employees. It’s fun!” Several of Burniston’s former students followed in his footsteps and now work at Mountain View Nursery. Tony Church, Logan Church, and Daniel Branch all started out in Burniston’s classroom.
This type of business does not pop up over night. Burniston started his journey thirty-five years ago. He now offers over 400 different species of plants along with landscaping, hardscaping, LED lighting and water features. Burniston began slowly building up his business while still holding down a steady job. “Start part-time and have another job because it takes a long time to build a business,” Burniston suggests to those interested in following his footsteps.
A good business is built on quality over quantity. Mountain View Nursery is 30,000 square feet and is based at Burniston’s residence for convenience. Twelve people are involved in the business total, and many of them have won awards for their work. Burniston and his team do the labor and his wife, Maureen, does the books. The Burniston family is quite involved in the business. Other than Maureen, Burniston also works with two of his sons-in-law and occasionally his three daughters, including Michelle, who came up with the name Mountain View.
Burniston has trouble taking a day off. Despite the flexibility of being the owner, Burniston’s passion keeps him going. He often quoted the saying “choose an occupation you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life” to his students.
Mountain View Nursery is a testimony that the road to success is paved with passion, hard work, and dedication.
Click below to view some examples of work done by Mountain View Nursery and Landscaping LLC.