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2008 North

Coast Chapter Calendar of Events

December 11th …..Holiday Party / Casino Night @ Rooster run Golf Club in Petaluma January 19th ……..Sustainable Sites Inititiative - New Rating System – Rooster Run Board of Director’s Meetings- First Tuesday of the Month @ Petaluma Community Center



PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Sebastopol. CA Permit NO. 170

December 2009 In this Issue PAGE 3 ……………President’s Message by Brigid Flagerman PAGE 4……………..A Slope as the Perfect Canvas PAGE 7….................Certified Professionals Help Cut Water Costs PAGE 8……………..Adding to Your Bottom Line PAGE 10……………Golf News – Results of the Chapter Masters PAGE 16……………A Garden Tour of Italy by Cathy Edger PAGE 18……………Growing and Installing a Green Wall by Tony Bertotti PAGE 20…………...Using CO2 to Extract Geothermal Energy This Publication’s Masthead is Printed on Recycled Paper North Coast Chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association

NORTH COAST CHAPTER BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairman of the Board – Past President Jan Gross Heritage Landscape (415) 458-8151 President Brigid Flagerman Bertotti Landscaping (415) 897-4097

CLCA 2009 State Officers

President-Elect/Secretary Charlie Thompson Cagwin & Dorward (415) 892-7710

Heath Bedal JPH Group LLC Phone: (916) 457-5925

Treasurer Lisa Stratton Cagwin & Dorward (415) 892-7710


Associate Member Chair Russ Clarke Park Ave Turf (707) 217-9669 Resource Chair David Anderson Monarch Gardens (415) 491-1425 CLT State Committee Liaison Dave Iribarne City of Petaluma (707) 778-4591 Programs Chair David Gross Heritage Landscapes CLT Training Chair Luis Lua Integrated Design Studio

Chapter General Board Members Gary Ronconi Sonoma Landscapes (707) Henry Buder Henry Buder Landscape Restoration (415) 686-9228 Jose Moreno Gardeners’ Guild

Lesther Saquelares Gardeners’ Guild

Tyler Doherty Cal West Rentals (707) 763-5665 Owen Mitchell Mitchell Landscapes (415) 717-6214 Dave Phelps, CLT, ASLA Gardens & Gables (415) 499-0331 Chris Zaim Akita Landscape (707) 486-2548


William Schnetz, CLP Schnetz Landscape, Inc Phone: (760) 591-3453

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Peter Dufau, CLT Dufau Landscape Inc. Phone: (805) 985-2421

SECRETARY/TREASURER Eric Watanabe Majestic Pools & Landscape Phone: (818) 831-1390 DIRECTOR OF CHAPTER SERVICES Andrew Simpson Quillen Enterprises (916) 721-1635

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Sharon McGuire Phone: (800) 448-2522, ext. 13 FAX: (916) 446-7692

North Coast CLCA Executive Director Journal Editor Connie Salinas P.O. Box 1621 Sebastopol, CA 95473 Phone 707-829-5487 Fax 707-829-5487

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE from Brigid Flagerman North Coast Wins Again! Please give a high five to employees and owners of these four local companies who brought home awards from the state convention. Awards were presented at the CLCA Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, November 13th 2009. THE STATE TROPHY AWARD WINNERS WERE: Dibble Landscaping, First Place – Residential Estate Unlimited Installation Elder Creek Landscapes, First Place – Small Landscape Renovation Cagwin & Dorward, Achievement Award – Xeriscape Coast Landscape, First Place – Small Commercial Maintenance Coast Landscape, First Place – Apartment Ground Maintenance WELL DONE EVERYONE! As this year’s president of the North Coast Chapter, I feel like it has gone by way too quickly. I was just getting the hang of it around May and the next thing I know it’s nearly time to hand over the reins to Charlie Thompson, our president elect for 2010 It has been an honor and privilege to be your president this year. I feel fortunate to join the 34 past presidents who have serviced this chapter since 1972. My main goals this year have been to help the chapter become more organized, update job descriptions and begin a strategic planning session for the next year 2010 in August or September. And then there is the way things actually turn out. The awards take an enormous amount of focus, time and commitment so some of my grand plans had to be delayed. Then a very welcome, unexpected turn of events: Michael O’Connell volunteered his time and talents to get a web site up for our chapter. This brand new web site was launched at our October dinner meeting and is doing much to help take our chapter into the 21st century. Soooo, now it is November and it’s nearly time to pass the touch. My friend and colleague Charlie Thompson will lead the charge in 2010 and continue to professionalize and upgrade our organization and take us further then I have been able to. I’m really looking forward to his leadership, talent and enthusiasm. I strongly encourage you to join the board and get involved with CLCA. We have board and committee positions looking for people like you. Yes, you! Please join us in 2010. We welcome new ideas and points of view. All opinions are welcome, plus, I can guarantee that Charlie Thompson’s leadership will keep us all on track and continue to keep our tradition of being one of the very best chapters in the state. I’d like to thank my friends and colleges at the Chapters Presidents Council, especially; Kevin Fairchild, CPC Chair from the Orange County Chapter, representing southern California, Ted Sandrowski, CPC Chair from the North Valley Chapter, representing northern California; Maria Abero, member accounts manager, Michael Mitchell current president of the Sacramento Chapter, and Sandra Grow, current president of the San Diego Chapter who is a particular taskmaster and someone I am glad to call my friend. And so I bid adieu to the position of president but I am still here and still thrilled to be a member of this unique and supportive chapter.

Thanks for a great year Brigid!! Your tireless service and dedication is much appreciated!

A SLOPE AS THE PERFECT CANVAS Using hardwood cuttings or whips is another way to reinforce the soil. They do not rot but remain alive due to root development, thus ensuring the durability of the structure. In spring, the parts of the plants growing above ground produce new foliage that not only protects the slope against erosion due to wind and precipitation, but also prevent desiccation of the soil.

Imagine Van Gogh's painting ''Starry Night'', but, instead of canvas painted in a swirl and swarm of those original colors, make it a slope ''painted'' in a subtle array of intertwining greens -- gray green, brown greens, olive greens, blue greens with sparkling yellow green dots. A slope is the perfect canvas. Landscaping flat ground is exquisite, but it may be that the design is best seen from above -- which might be difficult at best. A slope however can be viewed from anywhere. How about landscaping a slope as an Ellsworth Kelly with bands of green -- each a different color, a collection of minimalist strips of paving, water features and plantings -- or a Josef Albers with three concentric squares laid on top of one another -- all green, and each with a slightly different height of plant? Envision a Louise Nevelson bas relief, except instead of being made of wooden spools, knobs, handles and blocks, it is a slope covered with native shrubs of varying heights in a cascade of different shapes. Jasper Johns expanded the boundaries of painting by combining collage and sculpture on the painted surface. Combining different plantings such as Quail bush or Indian hawthorn along with a loose painterly edging, a feeling of energy would be added to a landscape composition which will be viewed on the much grander scale of a slope.

Light and Shadow - One could also think primarily in terms of light and shadow. If you have a slope, the slope itself could be a canvas for the shadows of trees planted at the base, or cast from buildings and trees across the road. As the sun moves and lowers toward the horizon, the shadows get longer and the painting changes slowly every minute, creating a plane for contemplation and meditation. Form and Function - Landscapes and seasonal color changes have been a favorite form for thousands of years. The ancient Romans painted landscapes framed in views (also painted) on the walls of their houses to form the illusion of windows onto a perfect outdoors. Now, people buy paintings of trees and streams and meadows, when they could look out their own windows instead. But they'll only do that if what they're gazing at has the energy and power of a painting. Grass is nice, but with help, it could become the most powerful imagery. Why not, as the landscape architect, create a piece of art at the same time as you are stabilizing the hill. A natural microorganism community is underground, living in cooperation with the plant community aboveground. Grass and other non native plants do not have the natural enzymes and structures to bond with the soil, so it is critical to plant native plants in a spaced plant community to control erosion on a slope.

Native Plant Communities - A mature tree captures at least 80 percent of all the precipitation that falls on it. What trickles through is captured by under-story plantings and ground cover. This combination minimizes the flow of stormwater, and what happens to fall to the ground is slowed to a trickle, percolating into the earth over a period of days and then seeping into wetlands and streams. A holistic watershed policy is greatly needed, but at the same time, the landscape architect can use this forward thinking policy to make yet another leap -- into pure art. Continued on next page

Planting grass on a slope does not stop erosion. Erosion studies have consistently shown that slopes that were seeded with grass erode more quickly than anything else other than bare ground. Seeding slopes after a fire or grading does nothing but destroy the ecosystem. Bare, grass-covered soil or ice plant-covered slopes commonly load up to field capacity while slopes covered with a mix of native shrubs, trees and perennials rarely do that. In residential landscaping, seeding with grass makes a weedy slope that is very hard to stabilize and reestablish plants on. That creates a different plant community, i.e., weeds, which are a sign of the slope trying to heal and protect itself. Bare soil or grass-covered slopes experience enormous erosion through mudslides and surface gullies when compared to the minor erosion of slopes planted with a community of native plants. Some places use concrete as erosion control even though on the West Coast, sage scrub is beautiful and stable. But often the brush is cleared and grass is planted. After heavy rains, the grass can’t hold the soil. Its roots are too shallow, and the hillside slides. They cover it with cement, which costs a fortune, looks horrible and eventually cracks. After twenty years, the concrete falls off of the slope. When comparing the performance of the two, a trace of runoff is seen in native plant covered slopes, yet 30-75 percent of all rainfall in grasscovered slopes runs off. So bare soil or grass-covered slopes experience extensive erosion through mudslides and surface gullies when compared to the minimal erosion of slopes planted in a community of native plants. A mixture of deep-rooted native shrubs, and trees mixed with shallow-rooted shrubs, and perennials, mulched (and consequently with no weeds) will control erosion on the slope.

A mixture of deep-rooted native shrubs and trees mixed with shallow-rooted shrubs and perennials, mulched (and consequently with no weeds) will control erosion on the slope. A Conversation Between Soil and Roots - Native plants connect with each other underground, and the microorganisms that live in association with them produce tiny threads that broadcast through the soil, coiling around particles of sand and clay and holding them while also producing glue-like compounds to hold the soil particles. This interconnection is a natural microorganism community underground, living in cooperation with the plant community aboveground. Grass and other non native plants do not have the natural enzymes and structures to bond with the soil, so it is critical to plant native plants in a spaced plant community to control erosion on a slope. According to Bernard Schuppener in his article, ''The Design of a Slope Stabilization Using Plants,'' another method of stabilizing slopes is by means of hardwood cuttings or hardwood whips that create a retaining structure by using plant material to reinforce soil. ''Such retaining structures ensure that steep slopes remain stable. The twigs and branches that act as reinforcement are taken from plants capable of growing adventive roots - usually willows; they do not rot but remain alive due to root development, thus ensuring the durability of the structure. In spring, the parts of the plants growing above ground produce new foliage that not only protects the slope against erosion due to wind and precipitation, but also prevent desiccation of the soil. ''This method of stabilization was used successfully in the construction of fortifications as long ago as the 17th century and is now used primarily to stabilize slopes in mountainous areas. By comparison, this is a very economical and environmentally friendly method of construction, which is rarely used in lowland areas even though it is an ideal way of stabilizing slopes beside canals and rivers. In many cases, a slope stabilized by plants is an effective alternative to sheet pile walls or concrete retaining walls, which often are not acceptable to the public. “Investigations have demonstrated that it is the pull-out resistance of the plants and the strength of the bond between the plants and the soil that govern slope design, not the strength of the plant material. The bond strength between plants and soil prior to root development is determined first and foremost by the soil density. It varies quite considerably owing to the irregular geometry of the plants, thus masking the influence of the normal stress on it.�

A Symphony of Color and Form - If the goal is to control runoff and slow down the corrosive effects of water, then native plants are best suited to the job, obviously. But what about color? What about form? What about the

natural interaction and interplay of different textures—all the things that a painter brings to the canvas? When planning the design, take into consideration the emergence of seasonal blossoms. When they appear, this will again change the nature of the “painting.” What started out as a combination of pale gray green, blue green and yellow green, can suddenly, when in blossom, become gray green, blue green and hot pink—or brilliant crimson and deep lavender. The calculation model for installing plantings such as Junipers, Dwarf coyote bush, and acacias that reinforce the soil assumes a constant bond strength in root development. This results in a four-to five-fold increase in the bond strength over several years. This increase in the resistance is a useful reserve in case some of the installed plants die in the course of time.

Landscaping Joins Artistic Expression in the Age of Anxiety - Isamu Noguchi used a mixture of the organic and the geometric as he combined western modernist forms with traditional Japanese beliefs. His work fuses east and west with the influences of Brancusi, Zen, surrealist sculpture and Japanese calligraphy. He said, “Sculpture is the perception of space, the continuum of our existence.” His gardens evoke the duality of his thought process. Josef Albers’ painting “Homage to the Square” is part of an enormous series that was more concerned with the meditative potential offered by the interplay of the colors than with color theory alone. He used blues on greens, blues on reds, reds on oranges, whites on white. It is the interaction of the colors that is disorienting. After a long viewing one has the illusion that the squares are moving in and out of the picture Native plants connect with and other underground and the microorganisms that live in association with them produce tiny threads that broadcast through the soil, coiling around particles of sand and clay and holding them while also producing glue-like compounds to hold the soil particles.

plane. It is an experiment with perception, which can also be carried out using shrubs and flowering groundcover that will change with the seasons—in other words one slope, over the course of a year, can be the equal of three or four canvases. Ellsworth Kelly’s work enters the realm of wall based sculpture, unconstrained by the rectangular frame of traditional paintings. By using more than one canvas linked and mounted together, his use of color and his suggestion of depth creates an intense optical experience without expression or symbolism. As the bridge between Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism, Jasper Johns used imagery from everyday life and popular culture as the basis of his art. With his choice of mundane and straight forward subject matter, Johns expanded the boundaries of painting by combining collage and sculpture on the painted surface. Laszlo Moholy-Nagy explores space, light and movement in a highly experimental way. Using a Constructivist methodology, he worked with both primary colors and subtler combinations along with geometric shapes to experiment with two and three dimensions appearing on the same flat surface at the same time.

Frank Stella is able to transform smoke into phantasmagoric images and forms. These virtual and schematic elements he pictorially combines into intense optical fields ordered by their materiality and their sensuousness, or he makes them into 3-D elements for his wall relief’s and sculptures. Transformation Becomes Healing - Stella’s work is just that, the real work of the artist who uses whatever is at hand to create art. Just as Stella and many of the artists discussed here transform perception, so does the landscape architect. Their vision can also engulf the viewer with a sense of passion, or tragedy or the sublime. The landscape architect has the same power and that is combined with a much broader brush. Not only can one transform the viewer, one can also transform and heal the planet at the same time. By Leslie Mc Guire, managing editor – Landscape Online W eekly

Certified professionals help cut water costs with high-efficiency techniques CLCA Water Management Certification Program – 11-20-09

The price of water is rising all over California, due to our state's rapidly increasing population putting more demands on our existing water supplies. Local water districts and the California Legislature are cracking down, issuing new laws and regulations intended to maximize the water we have available. And consumers are facing tiered pricing and fines for water waste more than ever before. The California Landscape Contractors Association's Water Management Certification Program assists landscape contractors and other green industry professionals in helping their customers to cut water use and save money. CLCA-certified water managers must pass a written test to become provisionally certified, and demonstrate proficiency at required levels for one year on actual landscape sites prior to achieving full certification status. Many Californians overwater their landscapes by more than 50 percent. Effective water management is not only good for the pocketbook; it enhances landscapes for greater enjoyment and contributes to higher property values.

Benefits of Water Management 1. Improved landscapes: over-watering leads to weeds, pests, and plant disease 2. Preserves hardscaping: fences, concrete, asphalt, etc. erode faster when subjected to over-spray and runoff 3. Saves money: Water districts have begun charging higher prices when consumers exceed predetermined usage levels — in some areas, as much as $14 per 100 cubic feet. o

Certified Water Managers: Individuals


Firms Employing Certified Water Managers


Firms Employing Participants In Water Management Performance Program


Founding Partners

Charter Partner

Adding to Your Bottom Line Different niches offer profitable opportunities for landscape contractors to grow their businesses. With the tough economic times, adding new services to landscape contractors’ repertoires can help them expand into different businesses and gain more clients. Here are some potential markets that can give contractors an edge on the competition. Synthetic turf’s durability is excellent for high traffic places that face a lot of wear-and-tear, such as sports fields and school campuses. Construction costs of synthetic fields can vary dramatically depending on field size, geographic location, amount of site work required, etc. Some important things to consider are costs of turf materials (measured by sq. ft or sq. yd), infill materials (determined by lbs per sq. ft), seaming tape (by linear foot), seaming adhesives (by liquid measure), stabilizing fabric materials (by sq. ft or sq. yd), to provide clients a proper estimate. Photo courtesy of American Sports Builders Association

Synthetic Turf Another option that landscape contractors can include in their list of services is synthetic turf installation. Over the past four years, installation of synthetic turf for landscape and sports purposes has grown 35-40 percent annually. With regular turf, clients have to spend a significant amount of time maintaining it, but synthetic turf gives the benefits of regular turf minus the headaches associated with maintenance. Capable of handling severe weather conditions, synthetic turf’s durability is particularly valuable for high traffic places that experience a lot of wear-and-tear, such as sports fields and school campuses. An example of how having synthetic turf installation in a contractor’s service inventory can be worthwhile is the case of ATG Sports Industries, Inc. This company was awarded a $714,000 contract to install artificial turf on the football field of Bishop Carroll High School in Wichita, Kans., a project that accounts for 3 percent of the company’s 2009 work. How did it get this lucrative contract? It is the only local company that installs artificial turf.

Outdoor Kitchens Many homeowners enjoy bringing the designs and comfort of the indoors to the outdoors. Installing and designing outdoor kitchens is a way that landscape contractors can take advantage of this popular trend. “The NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) is saying that demand for outdoor kitchens in upscale new homes is predicted to rise steadily over the next ten years,” said Chris Mordi of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet. And since installing outdoor kitchens can involve a number of different design and product elements, landscape contractors should look to contact professionals from a broad range of backgrounds and disciplines. “Contractors should start cultivating relationships with interior designers and bath designers,” said Mordi.

Since people love the beauty of holiday lights but not the hassle of putting them up, holiday lighting installation can be a very profitable market for contractors. The net profit average for one company’s franchises is 28 percent, and a 3-man crew can produce almost $2700 per day (which breaks down to about $755 net profit per day per crew). Photo courtesy of Christmas Decor

Holiday Lighting The moneymaking possibilities of this niche market can put any landscape contractor in a jolly mood. Since many people like the beautiful effect of strings of lights on homes, stores, buildings, and so on, but don’t want to put in the time and effort installing and decorating, outsourcing holiday lighting to professionals is a logical train-ofthought.

The holiday lighting installation company Christmas Decor, Inc. has many stats that back up the potential profits of holiday lighting installation. The net profit average for the company’s franchises is 28%, and a 3-man crew can produce almost $2700 per day (which breaks down to about $755 net profit per day for the crew). “Depending primarily on production, you can do as little or as much as you would like—our franchises range from $20,000 in sales for a small operation, up to large operations doing north of $2 million,” said Jack Bush of Christmas Decor. Bush also estimated that the average amount for a contractor’s first-season sales could be more than $52,000. With figures like these, even Scrooge would think of installing holiday lights.

New Technology For landscape contractors, getting the most out of their labor force is a huge money-saving factor. But keeping track of labor and hours can be a difficult undertaking. New developments in technology, however, are contributing to workforce efficiency by enabling contractors to stay on top of labor and labor hours. The company AboutTime Technologies understands the need for landscape contractors to monitor their work force and provides software that makes doing so easy. Uploading the software onto the cell phones of a contractor’s work force turns those cell phones into mobile time clocks, allowing workers to clock in and out with accurate on-the-spot time stamps. Once the stamps are collected, all the data is beamed back wirelessly to the company’s accounting and payroll systems. Because of the software’s precise measurement of worker hours, it has been shown to enable 15-30 percent or more in payroll reductions. Another advantage of this software is that each time stamp carries the GPS location of the stamper, thus preventing workers from punching in for their buddies. These are just a few of the possible services that landscape contractors can use to their advantage. Creative, enterprising landscape contractors can always find more ways to carve out their own unique niches. With time management software like that from AboutTime Technologies, employee time stamps are transferred directly to computers at the company office. Because of the software’s precise measurement of worker hours, it has been shown to enable 15-30 percent or more in payroll reductions. Photo courtesy of AboutTime Technologies

Another service that landscape contractors can add is the installation of splash pads. Splash pads appeal to people who want the beauty of a water feature in their backyard, but who don’t want to deal with a feature that requires a lot of maintenance (such as a pool). S.R. Smith, a company that provides pool and water features and equipment, provides a splash pad line called WetDek. “A contractor can stand out from the competition and attract new and existing customers with additional options, such as including the WetDek as a patio extension, giving the homeowner a hidden water feature,” said Hilary Winfield of S.R. Smith. Photo courtesy of S.R. Smith

By A shley Harbaug h, assi stant edi tor Landscape Onli ne Weekly

GOLF NEWS Chapter Championship Report On Wednesday, six of Leaf’s staunches supporters, and two new-comers, teed off at Adobe Creek Golf Club to play for the North Coast Chapter championship, and to support our scholarship program. The first foursome consisted of Gil Gonzales, area representative for Landscape Contractors Insurance Service, AKA LCIS, Gil Martinez, retired from Wyatt Irrigation, Michael O’Connell of O’Connell Landscape, and Gil Martinez guest Steve Williams. The second foursome included Jeff Calhoun , sales representative of F X Luminere, Kevin Kohl, San Rafael store manager of Ewing Irrigation, Christian Forrer of Forrer Landscape and son of Life Member Hans Forrer, and myself of Henry Buder’s Landscape Restoration in Mill Valley. The group was small but the comraderie was appreciated by all, and the competition was sharp. I personally want to thank these individuals for their time and support of our tournament and our scholarship program. Every year LEAF gives thousands of dollars to students in the field of horticulture, supporting the future of our Industry. 2009 Master’s Champion Henry Buder After the match was over, I called a meeting to discuss the future of our golf and scholarship program. For the last couple of years attendance was down with this year falling to an all time low. I brought up the notion that we rest it for a while. However, the rest of the players did not agree. Some ideas that came out were to change the spring format to a scramble instead of match play. The idea was that some people were intimidated by shooting straight up golf, and would have more fun if we played best ball. We also discussed having a dinner or some form of food after the round. Several players offered to help recruit next year’s supporters, and thought our Associate members would chip in for raffle prizes at the food event. This would go towards our donation to LEAF, as well as a portion of our green fees. So next year we are going to try something new. Hats off to our staunchest supporters of LEAF, who refuse to give up on a good idea. Not only was the Chapter championship at stake, so were two cash prizes of $100 each, for longest drive, and closest to the pin. Kevin Kohl of Ewing Irrigation donated for longest drive, and Jeff Calhoun of FX Luminare donated for closest to the hole. Believe it or not, Kevin Kohl won his own donation by out-driving everyone with a long one right down the middle. A little later, I hit one just inside Gil Martinez on a par 3, to win closest to the hole. Competition and sportsmanship, that’s the name of the game. So when we added up the score cards, and deducted the handicaps, it was a close match. Jeff Calhoun and Michael O’Connell shot a respectable 75 each, but the winner was two strokes lower. For the first time we have a two time Masters winner, me! Since our attendance was low, and the size of our donation was what was left of the greens fees after we paid the golf course, and after we paid the cost of the Green jacket with Chapter embroidery, we decided to forgo a second Green jacket, and add the numeral 2009 under my 2005 in gold embroidery on my original jacket. This was Jeff Calhoun’s idea, and I thought it was brilliant. So that is what we are going to do. I love associating with hard working, smart, kind and generous people, like the ones I know in CLCA. Don’t you? Hope you can join us next spring for the North Coast Chapter’s Spring Fling. Henry Buder

CLCA North

Page 12

Coast Journal

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Donating Materials Your contributions are welcomed and needed. Each donation helps Habitat provide decent and safe housing to our county’s low income working families as well as redirecting useable materials and supplies from the landfill!!! ReStore is located at 24 Tenth Street at Cleveland Avenue, just north of Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square. Store Hours are: Thursday’s, Fridays and Saturday’s between 9am and 5pm or by appointment.

Call (707) 568-3228

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Donations can include: irrigation, roofing, windows, doors, tiles, sinks, water heaters, mantles, columns, flooring, lighting, hardware, cabinets, appliances

CLCA North Coast Chapter November Dinner Meeting Welcome New Members & Students Plus Green Wall Presentation* . *See page 18 for a distillation of Tony Bertotti’s presentation on Green Walls

Our esteemed panel of landscapers and designers this year consisted of Jan Gross - Heritage Landscapes/Chairman of the NCC board, Charlie Thompson – Cagwin & Dorward /2010 Chapter President, Michael O’Connell – O’Connell Landscape/NCC Webmaster, Kate Anchordoguy – Kate Anchordoguy Landscaping, and Cynthia Sumner – Equinox Landscape/President APLD. Thanks for sharing your expertise with us!! We were joined by several new members who have joined our chapter in the past year… Lynette Scolari – Bellefeuille Garden Design, Zach Wilder – Sonoma Marin Arborists, Michelle Bellefeuille – Bellefeuille Garden Design, Cynthia Egger – Cynthia Egger Landscape Design, Gelacio Herrera – Sonoma Valley Wholesale Nursery and Lynn Bernstein – Garden of Eden. Not pictured….Andy Bledsoe – Wick Landscape, Paul Martinez – Sonoma Valley Nursery

CLASIIFIED AD – Employment Opportunity Sweet Lane Nursery, a beautiful 10 acre wholesale nursery sitting on 48 acres at the base of Sonoma Mountain, is looking to hire a company manager experienced in the day-to-day operations. With a staff of 12 people, Sweet Lane specializes in specimen plant material and we are looking for a talented individual with nursery and managerial experience of 5-10 years to take charge of the nursery and help formulate future growth. Being bilingual (Spanish & English) is essential. Marketing and sales experience are also required. Please send resumes to We are looking to fill this position by the first of the year. Salary is negotiable and will involve incentives based on future growth.

North Bay District

APLD Holiday Party Wednesday, December 16th 6:30 – 9:00 PM Wild Fox Restaurant 225 Alameda Del Prado - Novato

$25 Buffet

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RSVP by December 10th To: or call Cynthia Sumner for info @ (707) 480-8642

A Garden Tour of Italy from Cathy Edger Last September I took the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) 20th Anniversary Tour of Italian Gardens. I went because both Marin and Sonoma Counties have a Mediterranean climate, as does Italy. Plus many of my clients want to create Mediterranean gardens for their homes patterned after what they have seen in Italy. We all had a fabulous time touring some of the grandest villas in the country. This month I’ll share a few shots of gardens from the Renaissance era. In the next few months I will share photos from the Baroque and Romantic eras. The Renaissance ran roughly from 1400 to 1600 and is the era when gardens shifted from sites where they were enclosed by walls or a cloister to a location where an outward view was allowed, and even encouraged. Photo #1 Here we see Villa Medici at Fiesole constructed between 1451 and 1457. Many consider it to be the first true renaissance garden. There were no agrarian activities associated with this villa as there were at other Medici Villas. This is where Lorenzo de’ Medici came to get away from it all… He would have guests here to discuss classical ideas and philosophy. The design is very simple with a large terrace in front of the villa that has some rectangles of turf defined by gravel and pots of citrus trees. A Magnolia and some Paulonia trees prevent an unobstructed view of the villa. A low wall allows a panoramic view of Florence. The retaining wall is 40’ high and is considered not to have budged an inch since it was installed! Photo #2 There is another terrace on the other side of the villa with simple parterre beds of turf rimmed with boxwood that were planted with Magnolia trees in 1911. The blue door in the back is where visitors originally entered the garden and villa. Photo #3 The lowest terrace, also constructed in 1911, emulates Renaissance style though the parterre design is more complex than the simple grid of most Renaissance gardens. A pergola paralels it along another narrower terrace and provides summer shade under the banksia roses that cover it. In 1550 Boboli, another Medici Villa, overlooking Florence was originally laid out on a grid imposed upon a natural amphitheater. It is where some of the first Italian grottoes were constructed.Grottoes employed the passive cooling properties of the earth. Built into an embankment they had natural insulation, and were constructed to look like caves. They were one place that Villa owners and their guests could go to escape the summer heat. Photo #4 The Great Grotto was one of the first and most impressive. It has recently undergone restoration. The opening at the rear leads to additional chambers. Photo #5 The occulus, at the top of the domed ceiling helped with air circulation and provided light.I visited Villa d’Este outside of Rome after the APLD tour was over. Its initial design was laid out in a grid imposed on a steep hillside and installed from 1560 to 1569. Simple rectilinear designs are a hallmark of Renaissance gardens.

Photo #6 In September of 1572 the Dragon Fountain, shown here along the main entrance axis in front of the villa, was completed in honor of the visit of Pope Gregory XIII. The villa is known for its numerous and impressive gravity fed water features. It is easy to spend most of a full day here and not see it all.

Photo #7 Here the Fish Ponds, Fountain of Neptune and the Water Organ are lined up at various levels along a single cross axis. The ponds allowed Cardinal Ippolito to have fresh fish available as needed.

Photo 8 An Afternoon in Italy

Next month I’ll show some shots of Baroque gardens and highlight their features.

To see these photos in color see the new North Coast Journal online at:

A Marin County native, Landscape Designer Cathy Edger lives in Novato. She is glad to have finally had a chance to visit some of the gardens that she studied during her design classes. She works hard to supplement her knowledge of landscape design by attending seminars, touring gardens, and reading to create designs that fulfill her client’s garden vision for their homes. She is currently organizing the photos from her trip into a slide show. 415.328.7772

Quotes from Italy “We

do not remember days, we remember moments.”

Cesare Pavese quotes (Italian Poet, Critic, Novelist and Translator, who introduced many modern US and English writers to Italy. 1908-1950) “Poetry

is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal, but which the reader recognizes as his own” Salvatore Quasimodo quotes (Italian Poet, Critic and Translator. Nobel Prize for Literature in 1959. 1901-1968)

Growing and Installing a Green Wall At our November dinner meeting, Tony Bertotti gave a presentation on a project his company recently completed. The 200 square foot Green Wall (also known as a living wall, biowall or vertical garden) was grown at Buckeye Ranch in Petaluma and transported to and installed in Los Angeles. Tony worked in conjunction with an Australian company called Fytowall on this project and below is his description of the process. Tony Bertotti of Bertotti Landscaping

Fytowall is a vertical planted wall system that is composed of a open celled hardboard foam that has the ability to retain 60% of it’s weight in water. The material wicks very consistently on the horizontal and vertical planes. This soil-less matrix has been developed to allow enough air and water for optimum growing conditions for most plants. Plant material choices are currently limited to a list that Fytogreen has tested and successfully used. We are currently testing more varieties of plants to see how they will do. Some of the plants we will be trying will be California natives, grasses and succulents. The moisture level is controlled by the application of water through a netafim tech line with six inch spacing which is a custom run spacing. The process, like all landscape, starts with design. The walls can be installed indoors or outdoors. It is important to go through all the requirements for a successful wall. These are, but not limited to the following: -

An existing structure or one to be built that the wall can be attached to (including waterproofing as needed. There is no limit to the size of the green wall other than budget. The standard modules are 20X40 inches. Custom modules can be made to fit the space as turn corners and wrap a window or door opening. Sufficient lighting for plant growth. Drainage, power and water supply. Type of finish surround to be used.

Once it is determined all the above will work, the rest of the process can begin. The panels are labeled in a grid from the plan and marked with the planting pattern on them. The fabric wrapped around the foam is cut to the size of the planting hole, foam is cored out to fit the plant size, the plant is bare-rooted (not all plants will take it but as much as possible is removed and 4 inch pots or smaller are best to start with. A small amount of osmocote is placed in the bottom and the plant is then put in with the crown 1-2 inches above the foam. Then, if needed, crushed foam from the panel is used to fill any voids. Once the panels are planted, they will then be grown out in a greenhouse or shade structure (depending on time of year

and plant type). Sixty to ninety days is required to achieve and 85-90% coverage and root mass in the foam. We had some roots coming through the back by the end of 90 days. The air space will effectively prune any roots. Now we are ready to install the wall. On new construction it is important that all work where the wall is going is complete so the plants will not be effected by construction dust and the usual battering of plant material we have all experienced on jobs planted too soon. Assuming the wall we are attaching to is ready, we will mount the stainless steel hanging brackets for the modules on the layout of the plan. The install starts from the bottom. When the first row on the tech line is attached to the top of the hog wire frame (that covers the back, top and bottom of the module) the foam module is clipped to the frame on the top. A plastic strip is placed between the foam and wire at the bottom to divert excess water out the back so as not to over water panels below and keep it from dripping in front of the wall. The remaining rows are installed till you are at the top. The irrigation system is contained in an enclosure which includes a y strainer, pressure regulator, master valve, Dosatron fertilizer injector, control valves and time clock. Each time the system waters, it is giving the plants some food from the fertilizer injector. The irrigation run times can be adjusted to minimize or eliminate run off as the foam retains water very efficiently. Eight weeks of establishment is included with installation. Maintenance will vary depending on the condition and type of plants, but at a minimum once per month is required for the best ongoing success of the wall. We currently have only the research & development panels growing at Buckeye Nurseery, but we will be planting some new walls to be installed after the first of the year. Please feel free to come by and check out the walls or call or e-mail any questions you have. Go to for more details. Tony Bertotti –Bertotti Landscaping & Buckeye Ranch Completed & installed - Green wall in place

Vertical, space saving, environmentally friendly and low maintenance. Fytowall is designed to be sustainable, water efficient and robust in all growing conditions.

Using CO2 to Extract Geothermal Energy Cleantechnica – 11-17-09 by Susan Kraemer

As part of developing new energy resources that don't emit carbon dioxide, the DOE is funding 9 trials that use supercritical CO2 to extract more geothermal energy. The idea started in 2000 at Los Alamos National Laboratory; when physicist Donald Brown thought of pumping geothermal fluid using supercritical CO2 - a pressurized form that is part gas, part liquid; instead of water. Theoretically this should flow more freely through rock than water, because it is less viscous than water. Then, six years later; in modeling the technology Lawrence Berkeley hydrogeologist Karsten Pruess projected that not only should it perform as expected but that it would also yield a 50% hotter geothermal resource. Now the DOE is funding this promising research with $16 million in nine trials to see if this will work in the real world. The funding is to be shared by nine carbon dioxide-related projects led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and other national labs and universities, and the Californian combinatorial chemistry firm Symyx Technologies that screens about a million potential materials a year using advanced computer modeling. Brown's idea was that the density difference between the supercritical CO2 pumped down and the hotter gas coming up would make the gas cycle better by a siphoning action, so the pumping process would use less energy. Symyx project leader and materials scientist Miroslav Petro wants to make sure that supercritical carbon dioxide plays nicely with rock and minerals. It could form a super-dissolving "acidic soda water" that dissolves minerals from rocks. Sequestering the carbon would be the big bonus. It could be a large amount: 70 years worth of CO2 emissions from a 500 megawatt coal power plant.


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Steven Wright (again) I used to be a waiter, but I was fired for clearing tables. I was clearing them for take off. I had them all lined up outside. People thought it was an outdoor cafe. I said, "No, these are leaving at 3." They were going to fire me anyway, because I told them I thought they should put the wrapper on the inside of the straw since that's the part you don't want to get dirty. I went to a general store. They wouldn't let me buy anything specifically. I was in the grocery store. I saw a sign that said "pet supplies." So I did. Then I went outside and saw a sign that said "compact cars"... I went down the street to the 24-hour grocery. When I got there, the guy was locking the front door. I said, "Hey, the sign says you're open 24 hours." He said, "Yes, but not in a row." I love to go shopping. I love to freak out salespeople. They ask me if they can help me, and I say, "Have you got anything I'd like?" Then they ask me what size I need, and I say, "Extra medium." I went into a clothes store the other day and a salesman walked up to me and said, "Can I help you?" And I said "Yeah, do you got anything I like?" He said, "What do you mean do we have anything you like?" I said, "You started this." I saw a small bottle of cologne and asked if it was for sale. She said, "It's free with purchase." I asked her if anyone bought anything today. There was a power outage at a department store yesterday. Twenty people were trapped on the escalators. I bought my brother some gift-wrap for Christmas. I took it to the Gift Wrap Department and told them to wrap it, but in a different print so he would know when to stop unwrapping. For my birthday I got a humidifier and a dehumidifier... I put them in the same room and let them fight it out. Then I filled my humidifier with wax, and now my room is all shiny. I have the oldest typewriter in the world. It types in pencil. I couldn't find the remote control to the remote control. I invented the cordless extension cord. Under my bed I have shoe box full of telephone rings. Whenever I get lonely I open it up just a bit and I get a call. One time I dropped the box all over the floor and the phone wouldn't stop ringing, so I had it disconnected. I bought a new phone though. I didn't have much money so I had to buy an irregular phone-it had no number 5 on it. I saw a close friend of mine the other day... He said, "Steven, why haven't you called me?" I said, "I can't call everyone I want. My new phone has no five on it." He said, "How long have you had it?" I said, "I don't know . . . My calendar has no sevens on it."