About Us

About Us

Zaretsky and Associates, Inc. is a national-award winning landscape design-build firm formed in 1989.

We have designed and installed thousands of landscape projects in Western New York , with special consideration to our soil characteristics, climate and architecture. We have also designed and built many projects geared towards the physically disabled and emotionally impaired, including healing gardens and sensory gardens, and have completed the certification program in Healthcare Garden Design at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Zaretsky and Associates was for many years the major benefactor for the annual Spring Garden Symposium, held by the Rochester Civic Garden Center, featuring nationally known garden speakers and authors. We were a major annual exhibitor at GardenScape, the Greater Rochester Flower & Garden Show, and won over 50 awards, including Best of Show five times. Our work has been featured in many national gardening and landscape trade magazines. (See Periodicals)

Zaretsky and Associates is led by the design team of Bruce Zaretsky and Sharon Coates.

Bruce Zaretsky

Bruce is a New York State Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional and a 1983 graduate of Alfred University in New York (B.A. Chemistry). He has worked in the landscape design and construction industry since 1979, with vast experience in the construction of landscape features, including large-scale retaining walls, paving, lighting and water features. Bruce’s design skills and creativity are well-known not only in the Rochester area, but also nationally. He is certified by the Chicago Botanic Garden in Health Care Garden Design, which focuses on horticultural therapy gardens for assisted living, Alzheimer’s care, children and the physically disabled.

Bruce has spent years educating himself, his colleagues and his clients in the proper techniques of construction and design. His monthly column, On the Level, is featured in the professional trade journal WaterShapes, which is read nationally and internationally by members of the landscaping industry. Bruce has published over 100 articles on the design and construction of water features, retaining walls, low-voltage landscape lighting and landscape design in such journals as American Nurseryman, and The Journal of Light Construction. The company newsletter, “Dirt Digger“, was used for many years as a regular feature inPond & Garden magazine. Bruce was also an Editorial Advisor for Scapes Magazine, a project publication of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois. (see Articles)

Bruce is the Landscape Consultant to the Town of Penfield, Monroe County, New York, and the Town of Victor, Ontario County, New York, responsible for review of landscape design and installation of all municipal, subdivision and commercial projects proposed in the confines of the towns. His steadfast commitment to the environment is leading the towns to consider the use of more sustainable and environmentally sound development of its lands, including water management and green roof technologies.

He has given numerous lectures locally and nationally, (including at the International Pool and Spa Expo, New England Grows, CENTS and at ANLA’s annual Management Clinic), and is on the faculty of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Iowa State University Short Course Program and Ohio State University. Bruce also teaches numerous courses for the Rochester Civic Garden Center’s horticultural education programs.

Sharon Coates

A 1986 graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology (B.S. in Business and Political Science), Sharon has worked in landscape design and construction since 1989, and is a NYS Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional. She returned to school to study landscape design and horticulture in 1991 and joined Zaretsky and Associates, Inc. in 1998, after owning her own landscape design/build firm for 9 years. Her specialty is in the design of entry & patio areas, and perennial & theme gardens.

With years of winter greenhouse experience under her belt, Sharon also handled the forcing of plant materials for their display at GardenScape, and won dozens of awards there. Sharon is the heart and soul behind the scenes at Zaretsky and Associates, handling all of the daily management and operations, while still designing her own projects. She has also lectured on the subjects of landscape design and maintenance, and has been featured on local gardening radio shows.

Sharon is also a mosaic glass artist. You may have seen her work at GardenScape and at selected projects around the area. We try to take advantage of her talents when designing our projects where glass seems appropriate; feel free to talk to her about commissioning a project of your own. (see Mosaic & Glass Work)

Project Scion

Sharon Coates and Bruce Zaretsky (along with their good friend and colleague Pietro Furgiuele) are co-founders of Project Scion (see ProjectScion). This is a volunteer endeavor to convert vacant lots in the inner-city of Rochester to resident inclusive green space. We are working to transform our neighborhoods through gardens and art.