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About Mel About Gus A Little History About this Website Our Philosophy
That's me, Mel Bellar, on the cool bench that I made in a rustic furniture workshop that Judd Weisberg taught at Sugar Maples.  I am looking a little posed and not so comfortable but at least I am colorful and smiling.  I am the owner of Zone4 Landscapes.  I am also the designer, bookkeeper, backhoe operator,  webmaster, field manager and the list goes on.  I love getting to do a little of everything but I do have helpers and utilize them and the expertise and services of other tradesmen when needed.

I have a Landscape Design Certificate from the excellent program at the New York Botanical Garden.  I also have a Master Gardener Certification from the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County.  I am still active at both institutions, continuing to take a variety of classes and workshops to keep up with the industry and acquire new skills as well as giving lectures and participating in special projects and workshops. 

My passion for gardening and design has  been developing for many years but it took a leap when I purchased an apartment in Manhattan  specifically to gain exclusive roof rights.  I then proceeded to  create a 1200 square foot roof garden where I  spent almost all of my time away from the office.  After exhausting the limitations of the roof garden I purchased a log home with 5 1/2 acres in Andes, NY  in order to expand on this obsession.   I finally decided to give up my  lucrative career in Information Technology (and my roof garden) in Manhattan and  move to my home in the Catskills and start a landscape design business.  It has been a challenge but you couldn't drag me back kicking and screaming.

Me, posed on the cool bench I made

Mel Bellar


I am originally from Louisiana and did all my undergraduate and graduate work in music composition and piano performance with a focus on classical or "serious" music although I was a rock & roller in high school.  When I moved to NYC in 1975 to pursue my musical career it took a strange twist and I ended up playing at CBGB's in a new wave rock band, not Carnegie Hall.  I switched gears a couple of times and after a wild journey ended up at Ogilvy and Mather as the Chief Technology Officer of the Interactive Division.  That is all behind me and now Zone4 is now starting its sixth season and I am loving it.

I believe that I have a good combination of skills, natural affinity, experience and knowledge to guide Zone4 to provide excellent solutions for clients in a cost effective and enjoyable manner.  I am totally jazzed by creating functional and beautiful solutions to living situations and the exterior environment provides a great canvas.   My designs are very  sensitive to environmental and ecological concerns including using indigenous plants and avoiding invasive species and unnecessary chemicals.

I canít say enough good stuff about Gus. His name is really Agustin but I call him Gus and it fits. Gus has been working with me at Zone4 since 2010 and what an addition to the operation! Gus not only has extensive landscaping experience but he is amazingly organized and really keeps me on my toes.

Gus plays a major role in the field operations, helping from the point of taking measurements for the site plan to laying out the design on the property. During installation he operates the backhoe, excavating and preparing the various beds and foundations for paving and planting. He manages any staff required for the site preparation and installation. He also knows where I all of the tools are that I lose :-)

Agustin comes from Puebla, Mexico and has lived in Fleischmanns for 14 years. He has had various jobs/careers over the years ranging from construction, restaurant managment to cooking. Most recently he was a key force in the kitchen and dining room at The Full Moon Resort. From 2010-2013, I only had Gus 3 days a week because of his commitment to the Full Moon but starting this season in 2014 he is going to with Zone4 full-time and we are hoping to grow the business together.

Gus shares my passion for creating beautiful outdoor spaces. He brings an excellent set of skills, a good eye and an impeccable sense of detail to the operation.


Agustin (Gus) Torres

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