Tim Rivas is a 20-year veteran of the landscaping industry and owner of Rivas Landscape Group, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 526-5915 or by email.

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CONCORD – Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re planning a landscape project, you’ll want to consider a few irrigation systems to help you save water. Today we’re in Concord with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Tim Rivas of Rivas Landscape Group to…Watch Now

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Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Profile

Tim Rivas: Horticultural Diversity

  • Tim Rivas, owner of Rivas Landscape Group in Concord

Tim Rivas: Horticultural Diversity
“I realized I’d rather be working outside than in a laboratory."

CONCORD – When asked their favorite part about living in the Bay Area, most people cite notable characteristics such as its temperate climate, natural beauty and cultural diversity. As a landscape contractor and designer, however, Tim Rivas has a unique perspective on what makes the Bay Area his ideal location. “I love living in the Bay Area because I can grow just about anything I want, from Mediterranean and tropical plants to evergreen trees and Japanese maples,” he says. “With more and more varieties being brought in from around the world, the creative possibilities for a person in my line of work are practically limitless.”

Tim got his start in the landscaping business in the early 1980s, initially as a way to pay his tuition while attending college. “I was studying biochemistry and horticulture with plans to get into agribusiness,” he remembers. “As time went on, however, I realized I’d rather be working outside than in a laboratory, so I decided to become a landscape contractor and designer.” Today, as owner of Rivas Landscape Group, Tim says his favorite part about his job is getting people excited about their yards. “A lot of people don’t realize the potential of their yards, so I love showing them what’s possible in terms of enjoying the outdoors, both in the daytime and at night.”

Tim was born in Southern California, where he spent most of his childhood on his family’s strawberry farm. Looking back, he cites his parents as one of the primary influences on his professional career. “My parents were very outdoorsy—not only did they teach us how to grow and care for plants, they also took us hiking all over the country, from Yosemite to Yellowstone. More than anything, I think that’s what has given me so much variety to draw from when I’m designing yards.” Today, Tim continues to derive creative inspiration from his frequent travels abroad. “I’ve traveled extensively throughout Europe, Canada and the United States, and I always enjoy meeting people from different cultural backgrounds, as well as checking out their gardens and landscapes.”

Outside of work, Tim is actively involved in personal interests that include physical fitness and raising birds. “I’ve been a fitness instructor for more than 25 years, and I teach weekly classes in weight training, cardio, and body sculpting,” he says. “Another one of my passions is raising exotic birds, including canaries, parakeets and quail. Last year, I actually earned a national award for my English budgies.”

In his life and career, Tim recognizes the importance of treating others with respect. “I try to live my life as honestly as I can, and that includes respecting both nature and my neighbors,” he says. “When you live your life that way, it makes the world a better place and makes it easier to sleep at night.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Tim says he would start by embracing the simple things. “The first thing I would do is have a cocktail, lie out in the backyard and read a book. After that, I’d probably do some more traveling.”

Ask me anything!
Q: What’s your favorite Bay Area winery?

A: It’s a tie between Thomas Coyne Winery in Livermore and Darioush in Napa.

Q: If you had a theme song, what would it be?

A: “Happy” by Pharrell.

Q: Who makes you laugh?

A: Stephen Colbert, Chelsea Handler and Margaret Cho.

Q: Are you fluent in any foreign languages?

A: I speak Spanish pretty fluently. I also used to speak German as well as I speak English, but I haven’t lived in Germany for a while, so I haven’t had as much practice.

Q: What’s your favorite dessert?

A: Tiramisu.

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