The Jenkins family have always been horticulturists. In the ’40s, the first Jenkins generation grew squash both in Indiana during the summer and also in Florida during the winter. For over seventy years, the Jenkins family has firmly planted their landscaping roots in South Florida.
The Jenkins family have always been horticulturists. In the 1930s, Carl Jenkins tended to his squash fields in Indiana every summer, then wintered on the family farm in Florida known as White Cloud Farms, located in what is today Jupiter Farms. At the beginning of World War II, taxes on the land were greater than its actual value and his children and employees went to fight the war. White Cloud Farms was sold for 50 cents per acre.
Harold Eugene “Gene” Jenkins, Carl’s son, grew up in this farming lifestyle. In 1945, after serving in the Navy during World War II, Gene returned to Florida to work with his friend Roy Rood as a tree crane operator at Wilson Palm Gardens. In 1946, Roy started ROOD Landscape, and Roy and Gene would work together. Roy Rood’s professional landscape company thrived in Palm Beach and Martin counties.
In 1959, Gene decided to open his own business, Jenkins Landscape Company to focus on residential landscape installation, though as their reputation grew, Jenkins became well-known for doing “about anything out the door” having to do with landscaping.
Friendly competitors, Roy Rood and Gene Jenkins remained friends, supporting each other’s efforts and enjoying strong mutual respect, until Gene’s death in 1986. Roy Rood, considered a force of nature in South Florida landscaping innovation, retired in 2000 and passed away in 2011 at the age of 92—but not before he became mentor to his friend’s son, Harold Eugene Jenkins II, for fifteen years.
When Harold and his wife Susan assumed ownership responsibilities for the business in 1987, Harold was only 26 years old but considered an expert in the landscape contracting industry. Together, they changed the business model to focus on softscape installations for residential homes, using best practices for design, installation and maintenance, and hiring licensed workers that are willing to earn certifications from FNGLA (Florida Nurserymen’s, Growers and Landscape Association).
We continue to lobby the Florida legislature to require licensing and certification for all landscape contractors and encourage standardization of landscape practices, especially in areas that impact waterways and the environment.
In 2016, Harold Jenkins was elected to the Martin County Board of County Commissioners for a term ending in 2020. Harold is the BOCC Vice Chair, and represents District 3, which encompasses Hobe Sound and portions of Tequesta and Indiantown.
At the helm today are 3rd generation siblings Erin Jenkins Banas and Steven Jenkins, both of whom worked their way from the bottom up in the business with part-time and summer jobs under the tutorage of their parents and foremen.
Erin is a certified arborist, horticultural professional and landscape inspector. She joined the family business full time in 2009 specializing in the maintenance, spray and tree trimming division. Along with her brother, she now runs the day-to-day operations of the business.
Steven is a licensed Irrigation Contractor, serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Irrigation Society (FIS), and is working toward becoming a FNGLA Certified Landscape Contractor. Steven opened Jenkins’ Irrigation Division in 2007 while working part-time. The division now handles over 150 residences in Martin and Palm Beach counties.
The Jenkins staff holds over 50 combined certifications and licenses from Florida Nurseryman, Growers, and Landscape Association (FNGLA), the International Society of Arborists (ISA), and Best Management Practices (GI-BMP). All our Fertilizer Applicators and Landscape & Maintenance Foremen hold commercial fertilizer licenses from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FSACS).
All Jenkins employees are offered company-paid opportunities to advance professionally through certification programs and education.
The first Jenkins family farm was known as White Cloud Farms, known today as Jupiter Farms. This land was sold for 50 cents an acre at the beginning of World War II because the taxes on the land were more than the actual value, and the people who could work the land all went off to war. Read more in an article by Tiffany Smith (Special to Jupiter Courier Newsweekly 15 Feb 2019).