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In the Garden

Picture Perfect Landscape

Published on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 | 2:25 pm


The Pasadena area is renowned for its inordinately large number of beautiful estates. Homeowners take pride in their abodes, which means that a hard-working, no-nonsense landscaper like Tom Tuzzolino is in great demand. Californian as he is, Tom represents all the characteristics of his Italian immigrant heritage –entrepreneurial, naturally artistic and creative, honest, and old-world hard-working.

Tuzzolino started his business, “Tom’s Picture Perfect Landscape,” in 1986, which has at different times been based in Pasadena, San Marino, and now Arcadia.

He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy who gets down to the brass tacks of what his success was all about:

“We’re one of the very honest companies out there,” he tells Pasadena Now. “We do it one time and we do it right. We bring honesty, quality, and hands-on attention.

“We do landscape design and construction. We do a lot of water features, driveways, patio covers, fireplaces, fire pits, barbecues, basically complete remodels.”

How did Tuzzolino get started in the landscaping business?

“I grew up in Arcadia. I started mowing lawns right after high school and that’s how I got in. I just started learning this stuff and using the right people – the right subs and just doing all quality work.”
A big part of Picture Perfect’s quality assurance is that Tuzzolino, besides designing, works personally on all of his jobs. That’s a lot of time spent outdoors. What is the attraction in being a hands-on boss?

“I just love being outside,” he says. “Not having to deal with the same place, same thing, everyday. I haven’t worn a tie probably since my wedding twenty years ago.

“Stuff takes a little longer because I don’t have 20 guys. But it’s really satisfying when it’s done.”

Tuzzolino sounds a little like a workaholic. Does he ever relax?

“I’m a softball manager with my daughters,” he tells us. “I spend half my time doing that. I like fishing and camping when I have free time. I’ve never skied or snowboarded or any of that stuff because I was always afraid of getting hurt because I don’t have a bunch of employees. I bought my first house when I was twenty-two, my buddies were all busy having fun, and I was out working hard.

“When my grandpa came over from Italy, he was all about working hard and being honest,” Tuzzolino explains. “Don’t ever cheat anybody and you’ll always have work. My Dad was a fire chief in LA; always had a side job, worked since he was 15 years old. He retired at 47, which is crazy. But I don’t have any plans to retire. I love what I do!”

For more about Tom’s Picture Perfect Landscaping, call (626) 443-3131 or visit



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