Avant Gardening


Our staff is comprised of professionally trained, well rounded, employees who share our company goals and philosophy. We hold degrees in Landscape Architecture, Horticulture, Biology, and Grounds Management. Our collaborative team approach to projects allows us to draw from the strengths of our diverse backgrounds to deliver innovative solutions.

We strive to empower and uplift those who work on our team through ongoing training and education.


Liza Lightfoot Raised internationally, Liza’s focus is on sustainable landscapes and blending responsible living with broad aesthetic influence. From English Formal to Japanese Gardens and everything in between, Liza designs with the influence of the surrounding landscape and buildings, with an unparalleled knowledge of site-appropriate plants. Liza retired from design work in 2020 and is hard at work with many nonprofit organizations across the globe.



Becky KielstrupBecky has been in the industry for more than 25 years and brings a vast knowledge of landscape maintenance. She has an extreme passion for plants and turf and treats everyone’s property as if it were her own. Customers love Becky’s conversational approach to determining their needs and dreams. From turf-grasses to native prairies, let Becky help sculpt a comfortable outdoor space for you!



Tim has a Bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology from UW-Madison and a Master’s in Landscape Architecture from SUNY-ESF in Syracuse, NY. Before returning to Madison he spent several years working in and around Chicago and the North Shore communities. He is a registered Landscape Architect and enjoys working on projects of all different sizes. He also likes doughnuts and campfires. He does not like mosquitoes or eggplant. In his spare time he enjoys hiking and trying to convince his children to go hiking with him.


Kassie has her Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education from University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Growing up in a family owned restaurant, she learned from a young age what it means to be a hard worker and quitting time is when the job gets done. She loves spending time with family, hunting, and riding four wheelers. She also loves to travel and has been to nine European countries.



Michael received his Bachelor of Science Natural Resources degree in Horticulture from UW-Madison. He spent four summers working at the UW Arboretum Longenecker Gardens. In the academic year 2010-2011, while his wife was teaching in Florence, he became familiar with Renaissance gardens and volunteered at the “Giardino Torrigiani”, the largest privately owned garden in Europe situated within city boundaries. At this time he was able to indulge another of his interests: the tomato’s journey from the New to the Old World by studying Italian Still Life paintings from seventeenth through early nineteenth century. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis and volunteers with his wife for Angel’s Wish, a non-profit animal rescue organization.

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