Laural Roaldson: Wilderness Calling
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
WALNUT CREEK — While it took some time for Laural Roaldson to realize her true calling, it was nevertheless something she’d known all along in her heart. “I grew up in the woods of Virginia, and I’ve always felt at home amidst nature,” she says. “Early in adulthood, I got a job in the corporate sector, but over time, I felt a growing sense of disconnectedness. Eventually, I left to pursue a career in landscaping.” Years later, Laural launched a second foray into the corporate world, only to find the same results as before. “I felt so unfulfilled; it was like the universe was telling me, ‘No, you don’t belong here.’ I knew I had to get back to what made me happy, so I decided to return to the landscaping industry for good.”
Today, as owner of Laural Landscapes, Inc., Laural says her favorite part of her job is the spiritual satisfaction she receives from cultivating the land. “When I’m focused on working with plants and figuring out what the land wants, I feel content…at peace. There’s a connection I experience with the Earth that grounds me and reminds me of who I am.”
Laural came to the Bay Area in 1998 and resides today in Concord. Outside of work, she engages in a variety of active and artistic pastimes. “I love performance art like live music and theater, but I like going to the movies, too,” she says. “I also enjoy music. I like to sing, and I’ve written a few songs.” Additionally, Laural enjoys activities like camping, swimming and spending time with her daughter, Amy, who is currently a business major at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.
In regard to her professional career, Laural believes landscape design should be a client-centered mode of expression. “When I design a landscape, I want to make sure it reflects the customer’s tastes and personality,” she explains. “In our increasingly fast-paced, detached culture, nature is an avenue for people to reconnect with themselves, which is why it’s crucial for your landscape to be representative of your self—a place where you can feel comfortable, relaxed and at home.”
When asked the first thing she’d do if she were to retire tomorrow, Laural says she’d take her wilderness calling to the next level. “I would buy a piece of land that was rich in flora and fauna and turn it into a wildlife sanctuary. Ideally, it would be a place where certain endangered species could be introduced and allowed to flourish.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: I’d like to go to South or Central America, just to see a rainforest in person.
Q: What’s your favorite kind of tree?
A: That’s a tough one, but I’d have to say the valley oak, just because of how big, old and enchanting they are.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Watch a movie…or the rain itself.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Swagat Indian Cuisine in Concord.
Q: Do you collect anything?