B.C. LANDSCAPE & NURSERY ASSOCIATION PUBLICATION • NOVEMBER 2007
Highlights Garden Shop... Just Add Water entwines merchandise displays with sleek landscaping. This retailer’s nursery ﬁlls a courtyard surrounded by restaurants and whimsical shops.
South Africa Shares the Ultimate in Garden Retailing By Brian Minter The 50th IGCA Congress in Vancouver is off to a great start, having received 74 registrations in South Africa toward the 300 delegate goal. This was due, in part, to a trip for two across Canada by rail, courtesy of Via Rail, which was used as incentive to register (a big thanks to Karl and Valerie Stenson of Sheridan Nurseries for securing this trip) and the energetic contingent of Canadian ambassadors who help to sell the event. Nevertheless, the South African Congress will be a hard one to match. Over the sixday event we were treated to some amazing retail concepts. We began in Cape Town, visiting garden centres with phenomenal merchandising and use of water features,
and one — Cape Garden Centre — that hosted children’s birthday parties in its palatial play-park. Between retailers, we toured Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, renowned for showcasing only native plants, among them the best collection of proteas in the world.
4 Landscape & Retail News 9 Communities in Bloom 11
BCLNA News Bulletins
BCMAL Report After a short ﬂight to Johannesburg, we were shown the rapidly-growing Builders Warehouse chain; refreshingly, it included high quality plants and displays, and comparable pricing to other garden stores. Several garden centres on the tour were used as anchors for other boutiques, concessions, restaurants, and complementary businesses. Garden Shop… Just Add Water was located in and around a mall, continued on page 7
14 Warming Winter Sales
Message from the President
Passion Remains Despite a Climate of Change As I write this message, a thunderstorm pelts rain at my window. It’s unusual for early fall. The norm would be crisp mornings and sunny skies. It is obvious that both the world and the weather have changed, and this got me thinking about how our association has too. In the past, associations were predominantly run by the passion of volunteers. As colleagues and friends, members made time to lunch or have coffee together regularly. Some even went on sales trips together, sharing knowledge and expenses. Members’ social lives were centered on association functions, and a new suit and party dress were in order for the big events of the year.
HortWest NOVEMBER 2007 MANAGING EDITOR Renata Triveri ADVERTISING Barb Nelson Phone: (604) 574-7772 Fax: (604) 574-7773
HortWest is the Newsletter of the B.C. Landscape & Nursery Association for the horticultural trade in Western Canada. For further information, contact us at: Suite 102, 5783 – 176A Street Surrey, B.C., Canada V3S 6S6 Telephone (604) 574-7772 Fax (604) 574-7773 HortWest is owned by the B.C. Landscape & Nursery Association, and is published 10 times a year. Views expressed inside do not necessarily reﬂect the attitudes of the Association but are those of the writer concerned. Material may not be reprinted from this magazine without the consent of the publisher. All advertising and editorial material are to be received one month in advance of mail out date. HortWest is mailed under Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement N. 0288608 This magazine is printed in Canada by Globe Printers.
Life has changed and time is scarce. Women build careers while raising children and managing homes. Peak season in business seems to extend from January to December. Managing more staff and increased competition, requires a great deal of effort to achieve a healthy bottom line.
to review drafts of initiatives and ensure they are practical and produce the desired deliverables.
BCLNA, which once relied heavily on government support to fund projects, now takes a lead role in new initiatives and required staff has grown from three to more than a dozen people in the last decade.
The BCLNA has many projects in the works. I encourage you to use your passion to provide input on any of these projects/programs/ committees (it doesn’t require a lot of your time): certiﬁcation, public garden shows, trade shows, environmental stewardship plan, and others. If you feel changes could be made in a particular area, please attend a commodity meeting and you will likely ﬁnd others who feel the same way.
What has remained constant is the passion our members have, and how vital that passion is to the BCLNA. Staff work hard to develop frameworks, but they need your guidance and input to ensure the strategies will accurately reﬂect the needs of our membership. Members need
Fred Giesbrecht, President, B.C. Landscape & Nursery Association
SERVICES Landscape Contractors Wanted The Home Depot is installing residential landscapes and is looking for additional landscape professionals to design and build landscapes in Western Canada. We have great opportunities in Greater Vancouver, Abbotsford, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Kamloops, Prince George, Vernon, Victoria and West Bank. If you are interested in finding out more about joining the Home Depot landscape team, please contact:
Lindsay Davidson (604) 463-0075 email@example.com
BCLNA Board Highlights
Monday, October 15, 2007 Awareness President Fred Giesbrecht represented BCLNA at the Communities in Bloom annual award presentations in Qualicum, noting that the group is contributing signiﬁcantly to raising awareness of horticulture in BC.
Correspondence Letters were sent to: Hon. Pat Bell requesting that BC take over
administration of the CAIS program as Ontario has done; Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) supporting the appeal of a member’s ﬂood claim on the basis that the PEP valuations are unrealistically low; Hon. Rick Thorpe, Minister of Small Business encouraging his Ministry to continue working on a new process for agricultural PST assessments. BC Agriculture Council and Ducks Unlimited have renewed their partnership supporting Environmental Farm Plans. Growers The Environmental Farm Planning program is set to end in December 2007 and the deadline for cost submissions is February 2008. Transition funding will be announced so the program can continue until the revised EFP begins in fall 2008.
Garden Centres 21 Canadians attended the South African IGCA Congress and were commended for their spirit and enthusiasm. Brian Minter’s presentation for the September 2008 tour in British Columbia resulted in 74 people registering to attend. Interior BCLNA members provided input into the City of Kelowna’s review of their Landscape & Irrigation Standard for Water Sustainability, ﬁrst draft. It is possible that other municipalities will adopt this standard. Labour Retail clerks have been included as “occupations under pressure” in BC so our retail members can apply for out-ofcountry workers without having to wait for a lengthy labour opinion prior to hiring.
Landscape & Retail News
Specimen Trees Wholesale Nurseries graciously hosted a facility tour and landscape meeting this fall at their Pitt Meadows facility. The main topic of discussion was Phytophthora ramorum traceouts to landscape sites, as a number of landscapers have received Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) notiﬁcations that their gardens would be investigated for the disease. The P. ramorum issue affected only the retail and nursery sector until late 2005, when the CFIA began to trace out sales of potentially infected plants from nurseries into the landscape. Hedy Dyck, who holds the P. ramorum ﬁle at the BCLNA, reviewed the process of traceouts and how the increase in the number of host plants has required CFIA to follow up on plants
prevent from getting into our forests.
Attendees were treated to a hay ride before the landscape meeting at Specimen Trees in early October, with Sandy Howkins pointing out their favourite new varieties that are ready for market.
sales from nurseries several years prior. The process of CFIA investigation, its authority, and how to work with investigators was reviewed. Hedy also presented the P. ramorum Crisis Management Manual, which outlines the process of what happens when P. ramorum is found on a site, and how a business owner can cope with the situation. A copy of this manual is available from the BCLNA to any company where a positive is conﬁrmed by the CFIA. It was also stressed that P. ramorum is a very difﬁcult disease to diagnose. Its symptoms are like many other typical plant diseases and the only way it can be deﬁnitively diagnosed is through DNA testing. There have been many plants that apparently have no symptoms and look extremely healthy, but have the disease. Like many plant diseases, the symptoms often express themselves when the plant is under stress from heat, lack of nutrients, over watering, etc. The BCLNA was instrumental in working towards compensation for P. ramorum losses, including cost of destroyed plants and reimbursement of destruction costs. However, although compensation is available, a key concern was how the landscaper could best manage the situation to maintain a client. Education and open dialogue are critical, as is the understanding that no one is to blame—this is simply a new disease that the CFIA wants to
To maintain a good relationship with your clients: • Be well versed in the issue. Watch the “P. ramorum in the Landscape” DVD; contact Hedy Dyck for a copy or to ask questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. • Implement as many P. ramorum Best Management Practices (BMPs) as possible and explain to your client what you do to protect their property and the environment at large. These BMPs can be found on the BCLNA website under “Current Issues.” • Provide the client and concerned neighbours with a copy of the notice titled “CFIA and Landscapers Working Together to protect BC’s Environment” (also found on website under “Current Issues.”) • Buy plants only from P. ramorum certiﬁed nurseries, and ensure that it does not broker plants on their behalf from a non-certiﬁed nursery.
Environment Strategy Underway for Retailers BCLNA has contracted the services of Joanne Betzler to coordinate the development of a retail environment strategy. Along with an extensive literature review, garden centres and retail nurseries across the country will be surveyed on topics such as: • actions that could improve their current environmental practices • expectations from growers regarding production practices • current actions/programs used to increase public awareness of responsible practices.
A draft action plan with recommendations is expected to be presented to industry for feedback and prioritization by early spring.
October 15, 2007 Board Meeting Final Approval The BCLNA welcomes the following new members: ATD Waste Systems Inc. John Victor Van Slyke, Vancouver, Associate Charnell Garden Services J. Mark Charnell, Vancouver, Active Landscaper (Interim) Coastal Grounds Maintenance Ltd. Mark HandďŹ eld, Nanaimo, Active Landscaper Garden in Gardens Greenhouse Ltd. Ming Wu, Richmond, Active Retailer Golden Spruce Nurseries Sharon McGuin, Chilliwack, Active Grower (Interim) Handcrafted Pond & Garden Raymond Lachance, Vancouver, Active Landscaper Katsura Landscaping Ltd. Scott Haile, West Vancouver, Active Landscaper (Interim) Landeca Wendy Kay, Victoria, Active Landscaper Pacific Coast Trees Dan Anderson, Surrey, Active Grower Skyline Nursery Stuart Robson / Jonathon Harrison, Chilliwack, Active Grower Unique Landscapes & Irrigation Jason Routley, Kelowna, Active Landscaper (Interim) Geina Fournier Vancouver, Student Tentative Approval The following companies will become BCLNA members at the next board meeting unless a member provides a valid reason for not accepting the application: Selections Nursery Supply Bruce & Lara Hunter, Surrey, Active Retail (Interim)
Landscape & Retail News
Taking Stock — Legal or Illegal? Is your stock of fertilizer and supplement products legal? Numerous products on store shelves have not received approval by Canadian regulators or do not meet Canadian regulatory standards. These illegal products could put your business at risk. By law, all fertilizer and supplement products sold in Canada must be safe, effective, and properly labeled. Many suppliers take these rules seriously; however, others will sell you unregistered, mislabeled, or illegally imported and re-packaged product.
unintentionally, a CFIA inspector may detain that inventory until the problem has been rectiﬁed. This could mean that: a) you will have to carry the product until next season; b) the inventory of illegal products could be worthless if the manufacturer does not resolve the problem; c) you may be responsible for making corrective actions and assuming 100% of the costs; or d) you could be ﬁned tens of thousands of dollars depending on the severity of the offence.
As a distributor or retailer of these products, you are responsible for ensuring that what you sell is legal and in compliance. In the event that you are found to be selling non-compliant products, even
The severity of the infraction normally depends on the potential harm that the product could create for humans or the environment, the level of intent, and your history on similar infractions.
Products regulated by the CFIA include: • moisture retention products • wetting agents • inoculants • fertilizers (including fertilizer-pesticides and micronutrient fertilizers) • composts • plant growth regulators. How can you ﬁnd out if the products you handle are in compliance with the Fertilizers Act and Regulations? Here are some tips to help. • Be proactive in verifying the product’s registration. In cases where the product requires registration, look for the registration number on the label. • You can request a list of registered products directly from the CFIA by calling (613) 221-7519. • In cases where the product is exempt from registration ask your supplier whether the label has been approved by the CFIA ; they must still meet safety, efﬁcacy, and labeling standards. • Ask your supplier if unregistered products have been assessed by the CFIA or ask them to demonstrate that their product meets Canadian Fertilizers Act and Regulations. What should you do if you identify illegal or non-compliant products in your inventory? • Contact your supplier and request that they bring their product in to compliance and refuse to carry any more until it is brought into compliance. • Seek out suppliers who will provide products that are in compliance. • Share the information with colleagues in your organization and across your industry so that the entire industry can work towards achieving compliance. • Contact the CFIA Fertilizer Section’s Client Services Administrator at (613) 221-7519 to report the noncompliance. For more information visit www.cfpffcpf.ca/. ■
continued from cover
Merchandisers at Plant Paradise Garden Centre craft attention-getting gardens and displays in and around their product offerings. Their creativity granted them the title of “Best Garden Centre of the Year” for 2006.
No garden tour of South Africa is complete without a visit to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Kirstenbosch spans 528 hectares, 36 of which are cultivated with only indigenous plants of the country, including the glowing orange, red and yellow pincushion plant (Leucospermum) pictured here.
Leeways Garden Centre features colourblocked displays, and emphasizes the themes with sizable but inexpensive accessories painted in bright hues. Each colour-blocked display also includes a sign board to indicate, in this case, purple-ﬂowering plants.
and the company created a warm, cottagegarden atmosphere within the shopping centre. Another, Flora Farm, included a wellness centre/spa and wholesale showrooms for Christmas, ﬂoral and container imports. Lifestyle Home Garden combined a horticultural college and a gigantic DIY hardware division, shops and topof-the-line restaurants with its plant selections, and was the only garden center
with a two level parkade. Its recent renovations, following a devastating ﬁre, have included state-of-the-art water and energy conservation elements. Topping off these unusual businesses was Safari Garden Center, with a huge stone chapel, fabulous restaurants and bars, and water features that are out of this world. Gardening was a sideline to its wedding and corporate events.
South African garden centres are exceptional at creating welcoming display gardens and diversifying what attracts people to their stores. Flora Farm leases a portion of their buildings to All Senses Wellness Centre. To support its integration in the garden centre, Flora Farm maintains an “All Senses Herb Garden” from which herbs are harvested for use in the spa’s baths, oils, and steams.
It was a real treat to see such diverse, innovative and visionary garden stores. The South Africans brilliantly blended their history, culture and music, adding incredible value, and throwing down the gauntlet for future garden center congresses. It’s our turn next September 8th to 12th in Vancouver, and we look forward to showcasing our part of Canada. For more information, visit www.igcaCongress.com, or contact Renata Triveri (email@example.com). To become a sponsor, contact Donna Budd (firstname.lastname@example.org). ■
The frothy blooms of Jacaranda trees tower over Safari Garden Centre’s thatched-roof buildings and outdoor nursery. Safari’s plant sales comprise the smallest portion of its business with a thriving convention centre and wedding facilities, chapel, game farm, several restaurants and a popular pub now attracting the bulk of its customers.
BCLNA OFFICE: 604-574-7772; 800-421-7963
eve n ts
FCC AgriSuccess Forum November 21 Abbotsford, BC www.fcc-fac.ca (click on Learning Centre) P. ramorum Certification & Environmental Farm Planning Workshops Various dates and locations. Contact BCLNA for details.
Nursery Commodity Meeting & Christmas Party November 29 Ledgeview Golf Course Abbotsford, BC www.bclna.com
BC Landscapers & Contractors Expo January 22 – 23 BC Place Stadium Vancouver, BC www.landscapingexpo.net
Landscape Commodity Meeting & Christmas Party December 5 Executive Plaza Hotel Coquitlam, BC www.bclna.com
15th Annual Nursery Growers Short Course January 29 Ramada Plaza Conference Centre Abbotsford, BC www.bclna.com Western Canada Turfgrass Conference & Show February 24 – 27 Penticton Trade & Convention Centre Penticton, BC www.wctaturf.com
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BCLNA Fundraising Auction February 26 United Flower Growers Co-Op Burnaby, BC www.bclna.com
Out of Province Events International Irrigation Show December 9 – 11 San Diego, CA www.irrigation.org Congress 2008 January 8 – 10, 2008 Toronto Congress Centre Toronto, ON www.locongress.com Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition January 17 – 19 Broward County Convention Center Ft Lauderdale, FL www.tpie.org 2008 Management Clinic January 30 – February 02, 2008 Louisville, KY www.managementclinic.org National Awards of Landscape Excellence February 9, 2008 St John, NB www.canadanursery.com
BC Communities in Bloom
4th Annual Awards Ceremony & Conference Hosted by the Town of Qualicum Beach, the 4th Annual BC Communities in Bloom Awards Ceremony and Conference was held at the end of September. With a ‘Casino Night’ theme, delegates enjoyed an evening of socializing and gambling their play money away. Events continued the next day with a variety of educational seminars geared for CiB delegates including Networking – Beneﬁts to Connecting With Other Organizations and Composting Organics As Part of Your Community’s Garbage and Recycling Program. The awards ceremony took place that evening and all community participants received their Bloom Rating Certiﬁcates and Evaluation Reports. Glass vase trophies were presented to top winners with an additional seven awards going to communities with outstanding marks in specific areas. Congratulations to the following 5-Bloom Winners: • Village of Clinton • District of Lillooet • City of Castlegar • District of Summerland Congratulations also to: • Hope: Natural & Architectural Heritage Conservation • Campbell River: Landscaped Areas • Gibsons: Environmental Awareness • Ashcroft: Tidiness Effort • Cranbrook: Floral Displays
Mission: Community Involvement Harrison Hot Springs: Urban Forestry
neighbourhoods, parks and streets through the imaginative use of regionally appropriate landscaping. An integral part of the success of this program is increased environmental awareness and preservation of heritage and culture. This program engages the whole community by including citizens of all ages, businesses, community groups and local government. With environmental stewardship especially relevant today, participants in the BC Communities in Bloom program are leading the way at a ‘grassroots’ level. We are proud of what these communities are accomplishing!
Dale Macdonald accepts the 5-Bloom award on behalf of the District of Summerland.
For more information, visit www.bccommunitiesinbloom.com ■
Special recognition goes to the following communities that received awards at the national ceremony in Moncton, NB: • Quesnel: Best town with a population of 10,001 to 13,000 • Langley City: Best International Medium Category • Kelowna: Best Blooming Community BC Communities in Bloom is a not for proﬁt organization that delivers the CiB program to this province’s municipalities by helping to focus community effort in improving the tidiness, appearance and visual appeal of their
The new BCCiB website ofﬁcially launched in September. The site was professionally designed by Nick Ellery, Ellery New Media.
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Langley Township Considers Botanical Garden Reprinted from the Langley Times, Al Irwin, October 21, 2007 A botanical garden proposed in Langley Township will be the subject of a report from the recreation department to council. Recreation director David Leavers told council that staff will report back to council on the costs involved to study the proposal, and make a recommendation. The staff will examine costs involved in environmental, soil, archeological and other aspects which would require investigation if the Township proceeds.
Councillors, with the exception of Kim Richter, appeared interested in the idea. Richter commented that the idea came from with Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender, and added that perhaps Fassbender should run for a Township seat. Mayor Kurt Alberts said Richter might have gotten that idea from an inaccurate news story. Councillor Mel Kositsky said the City of San Fernando, which the Township has been involved with as a partner through CIDA, is renowned in the Philippines for its botanical gardens, and would likely be willing to share its expertise with the Township.
Annika & Jerry Say ‘I Do’! We are delighted that Ina Chang has accepted the position of Reception/ Administrative Assistant at the BCLNA. Formerly a business manager for Christian Dior Canada, Ina left to enjoy her year of maternity leave with now 17 month old Katelyn. With a keen interest to develop her skills in an office environment, Ina will be the voice of the BCLNA as she welcomes your calls and assists with various administrative tasks.
“There is some detailed analysis that needs to be done,” he told council Monday. The proposal, from the Langley Rotary Club, had been the subject of a presentation to the Township’s Parks and Recreation Commission, and council Monday received a commission recommendation to support a botanical garden. Rotary Club members, led by Les Clay, the former operator of Clay’s Nursery, have proposed the garden for a 47-acre portion of the old Berry Farm purchased by the Township last year. The land is bordered on the west by Langley Bypass, Langley Airport on the east, on the north by 56 Avenue, and on the south by Fraser Highway. Clay, who sold the nursery but retained an acre of land planted in rhododendrons, said 2008 is the 50th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Langley, and the hope is to do something “significant” to mark the milestone.
BCLNA Welcomes Ina Chang to the Team
Annika Kristensen, BCLNA Industry Development Assistant and HortEducationBC Recruiter, and Jerry Ingram of GSU Landscaping, exchanged vows on a crisp, sunny afternoon in September at RedWoods Golf Course. In a beautiful setting of tall trees, fallen leaves, container plantings and hanging baskets, family, friends and colleagues celebrated the outdoor wedding ceremony followed by an evening of good food and fun under a beautifully decorated (and heated) tent. Congratulations Annika and Jerry!
Spectrum Sells Canadian Home & Garden Division Spectrum has signed an agreement to sell Nu-Gro which is the Canadian division of its home and garden business. The new owners are RoyCap Merchant Banking Group and Clarke Inc. They specialize in investing in undervalued companies with the goal of returning the business to sustainable, long-term proﬁtability.
BCLNA News Bulletins
Governments Work Together to Improve Pest Management in British Columbia Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the British Columbia provincial government are investing a total of $311,500 in BCLNA and Kwantlen University College pest management projects. Funding of $288,500 to the BCLNA will initiate a province-wide pest management accreditation and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) training program. An additional $23,000 will be provided for a series of biocontrol seminars conducted by the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture, Kwantlen University College, to further support the use of biological approaches to pest management. Other project partners include members of the Western Canada Turfgrass Association and the B.C. Recreation and Parks Association, a variety of community groups, and the Bullitt Foundation through the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture. For more information, please visit: Investment Agriculture Foundation at www.iafbc.ca; the Agricultural Environment Initiative at www.bcac.bc.ca; and ACAAF at www.agr.gc.ca/acaaf.
GardenWiseOnline.ca Launched GardenWise Magazine, in partnership with BCLNA, has launched a refreshed GardenWise website. Canada Wide Media, publisher of GardenWise Magazine, will maintain the site regularly, and market it extensively through its afﬁliate publications, bringing far more BC visitors than BCLNA would generate
on its own. This is a huge beneﬁt for landscape and retail members who will have exclusive listings on this site — for free! However, work still needs to be done on the website to help visitors search for BCLNA landscapers and retailers. At this
time, clicking the BCLNA logo found near the bottom of each page is the only means of accessing the database. Retail and landscape members are asked to provide updated company information for the database. Contact Ina Chang for an info adjustment form; email@example.com. ■
Nursery Commodity Christmas Party November 29 • Ledgeview Golf Course • Abbotsford
Landscape Commodity Christmas Party December 5 • Executive Plaza Hotel • Coquitlam
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Erica Enterprises Wholesale Nursery Ltd. Going concern facility, growing nursery stock in rural Pitt Meadows on quiet no thru road. Sale includes: 3,800 sq. ft. 3 year old residence, 19.49 acres of level land, warehouse, greenhouses, delivery truck and all machinery. Asking price $4,064,000 Canadian. Plant inventory is not included in sale and can be negotiated separately.
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Erica Enterprises Ltd. 14021 Rippington Road, Pitt Meadows, BC V3Y 1Z1 Phone: (604) 465-6732; Fax: (604) 465-2307, Email: email@example.com
Happy Hollow Nurseries Ltd. Turn key operating nursery on 10 park-like acres on Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford, BC. Established wholesale customer base. Newly renovated Whistler-style home is 1,720 sq. ft. plus full basement. 16 greenhouses and propagating greenhouses, in-ground pool, shop, horse barn, spring-fed ponds and more! Over $500,000 in nursery stock and equipment included. Property is not in the ALR! Call today for a complete package. $1,800,000 For more info call Greg Walton at BC Farm and Ranch Realty Corp. Toll Free 1-888-852-AGRI (2474)
Research Snippets Postharvest Moisture Loss from Bare-root Roses Affects Performance of Containerized Plants (HortScience 42(3):622-625) Two-year-old roses were dug bare-root and were put in wet storage within an hour of uprooting. Plants were air dried for 0, 1, 3, 5, or 7 hours and shortly after were rehydrated by spraying with water for 1 minute. The plants were then grown in containers at a nursery in Texas. The moisture content of well-hydrated roses was between 51– 56%. Moisture loss of 4 – 6% occurred during the ﬁrst hour of drying, and –1% per hour thereafter. A sharp increase in plant mortality occurred at moisture contents below 43%, which occurred after 4 hours of drying for ‘Mister Lincoln’ and after 6 hours for the cultivars ‘Angel Face,’ ‘Blue Girl’ and ‘Peace.’ The ﬁfth cultivar studied (‘First Prize’) had a moisture content just above 44% after 7 hours of drying. Moisture loss delayed growth and ﬂowering, increased cane dieback, and reduced the number of ﬂowering shoots. As the drying time increased, there was a linear increase in the time to bloom and a linear decrease in the overall plant performance rating. The study also determined that the moisture content of the canes accurately reﬂects moisture content of the whole-plant. Effect of Substrate Depth on Initial Growth, Coverage, and Survival of 25 Succulent Green Roof Plant Taxa (HortScience 42(3):588-594) Substrate depths of 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5 cm were tested. Deeper substrates were determined to promote greater growth and survival. Recommended species for the depths tested and climates similar to southern Michigan include Phedimus spurious ‘Leningrad White,’ Sedum acre, S. album ‘Bella d’Inverno,’ S. middendorfﬁanum, S. reﬂexum, S. sediforme, and S. spurium ‘Summer Glory.’ S. dasyphyllum ‘Burnatii,’ S. dasyphyllum ‘Lilac Mound,’ S. diffusum, S. hispanicum, and S. kamtschaticum were
suggested as subsidiary species that may not be able to cover large areas or survive with shallow substrates (2.5 cm). Effect of Substrate Depth and Planting Season on Sedum Plug Survival on Green Roofs (J. Environ. Hort. 25(2):95-99) The study evaluated 9 Sedum species planted on raised roof platforms at Michigan State University. Depth of the substrate (4, 7, or 10 cm) did not signiﬁcantly inﬂuence survival, whereas season of planting did. Spring planting (June 8th) resulted in 81% survival and fall planting (September 20th) had only 23% survival. The poor survival with fall planting may have been due to the short period of establishment time (at most 5 weeks) before the ﬁrst frost. Although survival was not signiﬁcantly reduced by substrate depth, plant survival in the 4 cm substrate (82.3%) was lower than for the 7 cm substrate (96.9%) when averaged across all taxa tested, except Sedum cauticola ‘Lidakense.’ S. cauticola ‘Lidakense’ barely survived at any substrate depth or either planting season. S. ﬂoriferum and S. sexangulare had virtually 100% survival at both planting seasons.
Physical and Chemical Characteristics of a Commercial Potting Substrate Amended with Vermicompost Produced from Two Different Manure Sources (HortTechnology 17(3):336-340) The study measured the effect on physical and chemical properties of amending a commercial peat-based substrate (Metro Mix 360) with vermicompost derived from either pig (PVC) or beef cattle (BVC) manure. Amending Metro Mix with vermicompost increased the percentage of small particles (<1 mm in diameter) in the substrate. As the quantity of vermicompost increased, there was an increase in the dry bulk density and the water holding capacity, and a decrease in the air volume and porosity (Table 1). The addition of vermicompost substantially increased the concentration of macronutrients in the substrate (Table 2). The magnitude of the effect varied between the pig and beef cattle vermicomposts. Vermicompost amendments resulted in little change in substrate pH, regardless of volume or source. ■
The effects of vermicompost (VC) amendments on substrate physical properties Concentration Dry Bulk Water Holding Air Volume Porosity of VC Density Capacity 10%
The effects of vermicompost (VC) amendments on substrate chemical properties. Conc. NO3-N P K Ca EC VC PVC BVC PVC BVC PVC BVC PVC BVC PVC BVC 10%
+48% +245% +144%
+73% +202% +336% +400%
+70% +238% +35%
+270% +309% +336% +466%
Warming Winter Sales
Attract Cool Season Shoppers with the Promise of Spring By Joanne E. Betzler, CHT One universal challenge for garden centres is generating strong sales during the winter months. The demand for seasonal merchandise in December supplies a robust customer ﬂow, but when January rolls around, sales drop dramatically. While it is not realistic to expect winter sales to match those in springtime, there are simple ways for enthusiastic garden centres to encourage an increase in sales during the slow winter months. At the same time, the implementation of those ideas is within everyone’s reach and need not be daunting. First and foremost, give people a reason to come in. Most people shop for bargains post Christmas and a January sidewalk sale with sharp prices offering great value for merchandise that was over purchased last season is a tactic that can drive sales while making space for merchandised booked for the coming season. Feature the nicest product available during the winter months. A tropical promotion of fresh specimens at the sharpest prices is a good post Christmas move. Capitalize on available winter colour such as primulas, pansies, potted daffodils, and other forced bulbs by offering special pricing on multiples. For example charging $2.99 for a single 4-inch pot but offering 5 for $12.99 will promote a signiﬁcant increase in sales. Displaying merchandise with colour and fragrance interest such as forsythia, sarcococca, hellebores, heathers, camelia at the entrance encourages impulse purchases. February is a bleak month when many people are receptive to seminars that extend the promise of springtime. Offering information on topics such as seed
starting, planting begonia bulbs, winter blooming beauties and moss control for lawns are just a few ideas. Children’s workshops will bring mom and dad in to shop while junior is entertained for an hour or two. Ask your customers what they would like to see and build a timetable based on the feedback you get. “This is all well and good” you might comment, “but how do I let my customers know about these great opportunities when my budget does not include winter advertising?” Start planning NOW. Indeed, thinking ahead is critical to effective execution of your plans. Communicate your plans during the Christmas trafﬁc ﬂow. Prepare a winter calendar of upcoming events and hand it out to customers as they enter the store or at the till. Staple dollar value discount or percentage discount coupons to your calendar for purchases made in January to March, ideally a different coupon for each month or even each week. Your staff is your greatest asset. Engaging them in the planning, communication, and execution of events will help to instill their enthusiasm. The more knowledgeable your staff is, the more they will convey a sense of excitement that your customers will ﬁnd irresistible.
What are BCLNA Members Doing to Generate Winter Sales? Fall Displays: Brian Russell, Russell Nursery, North Saanich – With so many fall blooming perennials, Russell Nursery capitalizes on creating fabulous displays while also showcasing any shrubs/ ground cover with berries. The displays inspire customers for additional fall and container plantings.
Ladies Night: Brenda & Arnold Falk, Tanglebank Country Gardens, Abbotsford – This is an exclusive event where ladies are treated to an evening of sampling appetizers and learning new recipes from a local chef, while the latest in seasonal décor from place settings and centre pieces to mantles and front doors are presented. This creates a fun and social atmosphere for customers to buy all their holiday gifts and décor for their homes.
Open House: Nico’s Nurseryland Ltd., Nico van der Pauw, Salmon Arm – In midNovember, a full day event takes place at the garden centre from 9:00 am – 8:00 pm. The local radio station is on site promoting the event, treats and hot apple cider are provided to customers who take advantage of many ‘one day only’ specials.
Christmas Containers: Cable Baker RCB Garden Service – When Cable and his staff are not hanging up Christmas lights, de-icing pavements or cleaning up winter storm debris for clients, they offer the service of refreshing containers with Christmas inspired plantings.
Full Service Christmas Tree Selection: Use your reader board. If you don’t have one, put big colourful signs in the window — feature something every week. Let people know you value their business. Ideas for sales growth and the means to implement them are at everyone’s ﬁngertips and preplanning and communication are key components to success. ■
Lonnie van der Zalm, Art Knapp Nursery & Garden Centre, Surrey – While sipping complimentary hot apple cider, customers can take their time checking out a wide selection of trees that are hung under a covered area, allowing them to spin the tree for full inspection. Staff provides the added service of wrapping and tying the tree to the roofs of customers’ vehicles.
Safety Check Terri Holizki, WorkSafeBC Industry & Labour Services Manager for Small Business
Your Annual Health and Safety Program Review An annual review of your health and safety program helps identify its strengths and weaknesses and focus on areas that need improvement. This checklist may help organize your review and identify issues. Involve your employees in the process to hear their concerns and suggestions. 1. Check your written program. Is it up to date? Posted in a handy location? 2. Review written safe work procedures. Are they up to date? Posted near hazardous equipment or machinery? 3. Check whether your process for identifying hazards and assessing risks is working well. 4. Conﬁrm that new worker orientation includes instruction on your H&S program and safe work procedures. Does anyone need refresher training? Did you provide training for new procedures or equipment?
5. Conﬁrm that safety inspections are conducted regularly: • How are hazards reported between inspections? • Are inspections discussed at monthly H&S meetings and followed up? • Does equipment need repair or replacement? 6. Review hazardous materials procedures: • Is there a written inventory of controlled products, and a corresponding MSDS? • Are new controlled products checked for supplier labels and MSDSs? • Do workers understand MSDSs and know where to ﬁnd them? • Are decanted products labeled, and are the labels legible? • Do workers know how to safely handle, store, and dispose of hazardous materials? 7. Review your accident investigation process: • Are accidents and near misses reported and investigated? • Do you focus on ﬁnding the root cause of the accident and taking corrective action?
8. Review your ﬁrst aid procedures: • Do workers know the location of ﬁrst aid kits, how to contact ﬁrst aid, and how to obtain assistance in an emergency? • Are workers instructed to report all injuries? • Are all injuries recorded? 9. Check that you are recording:
• Orientation and safety training sessions
• Accidents and injuries • Inspection, accident and investigation reports
• Monthly H&S meetings • Do you review accident statistics to identify trends? 10. Review your monthly safety meeting plan: • Do you hold monthly safety meetings? • Do workers attend most of these meetings? For more information contact the Prevention Information Line at 604-276-3100 (Lower Mainland) or toll-free 1-888-621-SAFE (7233).
Sumas Gro–Media Ltd.
• Raw materials purchased in advance helps to ensure product consistency and availability.
Sumas Gro–Media specializes in the production of specialty crop mixes for the nursery, bedding plants, perennial and blueberry crops. We also have seedling and propagation soils.
• Multiple computers control the dosing equipment, increasing accuracy and speed. This makes it easier to offer competitively priced products. • Non-invasive mixing equipment protects the structure and consistency of the media.
Premium raw ingredients produce a consistent end product every time.
• Fast, reliable delivery.
42481 Industrial Way, Chilliwack, B.C.
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