About Us

What We're All About

Our Mission is to serve and create JOY in the world through plants.  #plantjoy

Our Vision is to work with a team that is inspired, fulfilled, feels valued and encouraged to chase their biggest dreams.

We do that by:

  • Building a community of like minded people that care about nature, creativity and serving others
  • Building a work environment that lets people thrive both in and out of the workplace
  • Building a boutique business that is built on integrity, trust and superior service

Our Values:

  • Impeccable Customer Service
  • Attention to Detail
  • Exceptional Quality
  • Professionalism
  • Continuous Learning
  • Creativity & Innovation

Our Story

Founder Leigh McGonagle has always been surrounded by plants and nature. Growing up on her parents' property in the Finger Lakes, she spent her summers helping with the chores, taking care of the animals, and tending to the gardens. This was where she developed a love for spending time outside with her hands (and often bare feet) in the dirt. Leigh's parents were entrepreneurs themselves, and they instilled in her the values of hard work, integrity, and problem-solving.

Leigh graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Landscape Architecture. The first version of the business was started in 2008 as a side gig while she was there, intending to be more of a multi-faceted design studio with a focus on landscape design. The business was named after a grove of poplar trees at a point formed at her parents' pond.

After nearly a decade of trying out different jobs in various industries, Leigh found herself burned out and unhappy with her work. She decided to take a break and returned to her roots - playing with plants. This decision led her to formally restart the business in 2017, this time with more of a focus on gardening than the original services related to design. Leigh wanted to create a company that would serve its clients at a significantly higher level of service than the landscape industry had been known for, and provide a predictable income model in upstate NY, where seasonal businesses are common.

Leigh's experience working in her father's software company taught her valuable business concepts, such as marketing, sales, team building, and process improvement. She combined this knowledge with her love for playing in the dirt and her entrepreneurial spirit to create a fresh approach to the landscape industry.

Poplar Point Studio has evolved over the years, responding to the needs of its clients and team members. The company's vision is to create an amazing place to work that happens to create joy in the world through plants. Leigh's values of hard work, integrity, and creative problem solving continue to guide the company's growth and success.

Focusing on Plants

This is what sets us apart from other companies in the area, a niche approach to garden care; we love to tend to and fuss over your flowers and shrubs!

Traditionally landscape firms are generalists, doing a little bit of everything you might need to take care of your property. We have chosen to specialize in horticulture and stay focused on all things plant related instead. This lets us have a deeper knowledge of plant identification, best practices for pruning, maintenance and health care.

We still can help guide you through all the other pieces of your landscape, but our focus on plants is what makes us truly unique. 

Long Term Relationships

PPS values relationships and the opportunity to develop and care for our client’s properties from one season to the next, year after year.

We value building long lasting relationships with our clients, and have cultivated a specific ideal client profile that we find that we partner best with. Gardens are at their best when they evolve over time, and relationships are the same. By investing up front in getting to know your preferences, lifestyle and how we can best plug into your needs, we are always in lock step with you, often anticipating things that the garden needs without you asking, because we know your garden, and you.

Consistent Team

We know you don’t have time to waste managing a new team every time they come on your property. That is why we have assigned Garden Leads who are trained in "the art of gardening" and whose job requires them knowing your property inside and out. They will make sure any team members that are with them know exactly what your preferences are, and because we have incredible team members who stay with us for years - you will see the same faces and be able to expect the same level of horticultural skills at all times. All properties are inspected by your assigned Field Manager to make sure our PPS standards are upheld.

You can feel confident that each visit your Garden Lead will be on site, anticipating things that the garden needs without you asking, because they know your garden, and you.

Trusted Partners

We aspire to be the first phone call you make about anything related to your experience outside of your home or office. While we specialize in the plant portion of landscaping, we also are integrated into the local professional services community and can make recommendations for you about anything you may need when it comes to hardscaping, lawn care, tree services, outdoor audio & lighting, outdoor furniture and more.  

Putting Our Team First

We know that the single most important part of our company is our team, so we invest heavily into making sure they feel taken care of. Not only do we offer competitive wages and benefits, we have intensive training programs so everyone feels confident to do their job. 

We also make sure that we foster a culture that supports each other as people, leaning on each other when times are rough, and helping to build each other up and celebrate wins together.

Giving Back

We are committed to being an active and supportive partner in our community. We believe that our roots in the community help ground us, and by giving back, we can help make a difference in the region that does so much to help support us too. 

We support many local organizations that reach out to us for donations of plants, containers or our professional services. We also have a strong relationship with the Tompkins Cortland Habitat for Humanity - being their plant partner to help lead volunteers to design and install foundation plantings for newly built or renovated homes. 

We also are involved with a national program called Industry Collective, made up of more than 40 landscape companies across the country, who all participate in volunteer projects that create a bigger impact on our communities. 


We believe in leaving the world better than we found it. We make conscious choices in our own operations and processes to do that in a number of ways. 
1. Using battery powered equipment 
2. On-site composting of yard waste at our nursery facility 
3. Leaving the Leaves in place during Fall Cleanups for winter habitat 
4. Practicing IPM Strategies and reducing pesticide spraying 
5. Reducing our dependence on single use plastics 

Get Started With Us!

  1. Fill out our short questionnaire to give us more information about your property or project.
  2. Book a FREE 15 minute landscape consultation to help determine if we’re a good match for you.
  3. We’ll schedule a Site Visit to review your goals, walk your property and discuss which service package works best for you.
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