DESIGN + BUILD + MAINTAIN TEXAS TRIFECTA
LET’S HEAR IT FROM
A modern design is beautiful, functional and sustainable
Jiake Liu revolutionizes the outdoor furniture business
Eco-friendly products, ideas and next steps for your business
Virginia and North Carolina botanical gardens lead the way
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM US Brilliance is leading the industry to energy efficiency with high-quality LED lamps, American-made fixtures, and easyto-operate smart products and controls. We provide superior customer service to our distributor network, and that extends to contractors and homeowners who use our products. We look for ways to make your job easier and to provide the innovative LED lighting products your designs need.
CHAMELEON SMART LAMPS • Control lamps via Brilliance Smart individually or in a group • RGB colors and Kelvin temps from 2200 to 5700 • Set astronomical timers for sunrise/sunset • Create schedules and timers
CHAMELEON SMART LAMPS
BRILLIANCE METAL WORKS • Engineered for performance and built to last • Highest levels of craftsmanship and tooling • Majority are American made, with American materials • Designed with function, durability, and purpose of application in mind
BRILLIANCE METAL WORKS OLYMPIC
Brilliance | brillianceled.com | 800.867.2108
Follow us on social media:
Brilliance LED, LLC
W E LCO M E water bottles, and public gardens in Virginia and South Carolina lead the way in eco-friendly practices. A Louisiana crawfish farmer converts waste into compost and a husband-wife team in North Carolina designs and installs beautiful living rooftops. Florida grower John Conroy discusses the importance of right plant, right place and a Texas company saves giant, historic trees by moving them. Plus, many contributing experts and professionals share how they’ve made their businesses more environmentally friendly. See how being sustainable is more attainable than you think. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our weekly newsletter and share your ideas and stories with us. We would love to hear from you!
ANGELIQUE & LAURA
ANGELIQUE AND LAURA
Angelique Robb Managing director firstname.lastname@example.org Laura Lee Editor email@example.com
©Bionova Natural Pools
ur inaugural issue in January/ February was a big success, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of so many in the industry. Whether you advertised with us, sent us story ideas and projects, or simply expressed interest in our mission to unite the industry, we are truly grateful. Although our readers come from different backgrounds, the design, build and maintain sectors across the South have much in common. When we share ideas and challenges, we make the entire profession better. Our March/April publication is dedicated to sustainability. While we’ll highlight sustainable projects and products year-round, we felt the topic deserved its own publication. Earth Day falls in April, after all! Inside, landscape architect Eric King in Atlanta discusses his simple backyard solutions for children, and Angelica Norton takes us through a contemporary residence in Austin. An Alabama engineer creates outdoor furniture from plastic
AQUATIC PLANTS IN A BIONOVA NATURAL POOL
COVERING: TEXAS, OKLAHOMA, LOUISIANA, ARK ANSAS, MISSISSIPPI, TENNESSEE, ALABAMA, GEORGIA, FLORIDA, NORTH CAROLINA, SOUTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA AND KENTUCKY
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
INSPIRE 24 26 28 32
11 13 14 16 18
News The industry’s biggest news and events
The Case for Photography Deborah Cole Rooftops Reimagined Emilio Ancaya, Living Roofs Inc. Texas Trifecta Open Envelope Studio Landscape Architect’s Journal Eric King, King Landscaping Au Naturel BioNova’s natural swimming pools
Agenda How organizations are addressing sustainability
Planting the Seed Brooke Inzerella, Horticare Landscape
39 40 42
Company Profile Environmental Design Inc., Texas Future Projects Natural History Museum, London Let’s Hear it From Jiake Liu, Outer
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
Soil Remediation Dr. Anna Paltseva Crawfish Compost Jimbo Hundley, Louisiana Avant Garden South Carolina Botanical Garden and Norfolk Botanical Garden Industry Insights With John Conroy Right Plant, Right Place
M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1 E D U C AT E 50 54 56
12 Ways to Be Sustainable Actions to take right now 10 Simple Steps to Saving Water Rick Hall, K-Rain Sustainable Products Make the switch to these eco-friendly products
50 26 56
PEOPLE 62 64 66
Executive Profile Ralph Spencer, Mulch Manufacturing A New Normal Timothee Sallin, IMG Enterprises Little Interviews Five voices of the industry
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
CO N T R I B U TO R S P13
Brooke Inzerella is a licensed landscape horticulturist and owner of Horticare Landscape Company in Louisiana. As one of the area’s leading landscape companies, Horticare Landscape Company is known for superior service, swimming pools, landscaping and outdoor living spaces.
As the founder and president of a successful commercial landscape firm with multiple locations throughout Texas, Deborah Cole has learned the importance of communication through images as well as words. She now devotes herself full time to photography, writing, marketing and training.
Dr . Anna Paltseva
Emilio Ancaya, GRP (Green Roof Professional), is the cofounder of Living Roofs Inc., a green-roof company based in Asheville, North Carolina. He has designed, supervised and installed green roof projects across the country. His article was originally written for Green Built Alliance.
Anna Paltseva, PhD, is an international urban soil scientist, author and assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s School of Geosciences. Anna’s expertise is in urban soil contamination and remediation of urban gardens, educating communities on the value of soil health.
John Conroy is president, founder and owner of Fish Branch Tree Farm, a family-run company. In 2019, FNGLA awarded him Educator of the Year for his work on the state’s grading process, dynamic curriculum for landscape architects and contribution to the Department of Transportation.
Rick Hall, CIC, CID, CLIA, is the market development director at K-Rain Manufacturing and has over 30 years of industry experience including 16 years at K-Rain. Besides driving product quality initiatives, Rick is also an authorized Irrigation Association instructor and conducts irrigation training.
CONTACT Pro Landscaper USA South 109 S. Lemans St. Lafayette, LA 70503
Managing director Angelique Robb firstname.lastname@example.org (337) 852-6318 Editor Laura Lee email@example.com (850) 266-3996 Printed by LSC Communications www.lsccom.com Published by ©Eljays44 LLC USA
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
P54 Pro Landscaper is a trademark of Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 570 eljays44.com UK directors Jamie Wilkinson firstname.lastname@example.org
Pro Landscaper USA South is published six times a year and distributed to 5,000 qualified members of the green industry. Postmaster: Send address changes to 109 S. Lemans St., Lafayette, LA 70503. Pro Landscaper USA South verifies information as much as possible. The views expressed by editorial contributors and the products advertised herein are not necessarily endorsements of the publishers. Reproduction of any part of this magazine is strictly forbidden.
Jim Wilkinson email@example.com Head of content Nina Mason Designer Kara Thomas Subeditors Sam Seaton Katrina Roy
Cover image ©Open Envelope Studio
Cold Hardy Mule Palms!
A tropical look for the cooler regions! CONTACT US: www.fishbranchtreefarm.com firstname.lastname@example.org We ship across the Southern US from Florida to Texas and north to the Carolinas!!! Follow us on Instagram @fishbranchtreefarm
he International High School of New Orleans received an award in December for its work to create Legacy Park. The Louisiana Association of
©Downtown Development District New Orleans
A VOICE IN WASHINGTON
he American Society of Landscape Architects released a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for the new Biden-Harris administration titled “Landscape Architects Design Vibrant, Resilient, and Just Communities for All– Recommendations for the BidenHarris Administration.” “Our climate is in crisis. Social and racial injustice issues continue to go unaddressed. The pandemic is forcing us to rethink public space,” said Torey Carter-Conneen, ASLA CEO. “Landscape architects aren’t just designing resilient, sustainable solutions for all these
Public Charter Schools honored the IHSNO with the 2020 Community Roots Award, which recognizes a Louisiana charter school that demonstrates community engagement through partnerships with outside organizations and individuals. The high school partnered with the Downtown Development District, NOLA Public Schools, Groundwork New Orleans, American Society of Landscape Architects and other partners to transform a portion of its parking lot into a new public greenspace in the Lafayette Square neighborhood in Downtown New Orleans. downtownnola.com
problems—they’re designing the public policies necessary to support that vital work.” The report makes specific, actionable policy recommendations in four major areas: • Applying STEM-related design principles to protect communities. • Addressing climate change through sustainable, resilient design. • Supporting green community infrastructure solutions.
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
©James Ewing, OTTO
LEAVING A LEGACY
he North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association announced its officers for the 2021 board of directors during its annual meeting in January. • President Leslie Herndon, Greenscape • Vice president, secretary and treasurer Kevin Cagle, Greenthumb Nursery • Past president Hugh Crump, Greenline Design • Educational advisors Anthony LeBude, NC State, Justin Snyder, Alamance Community College • Board of directors Dana Massey, Plantworks Nursery Ariel Montanez, Pender Nursery Trey Warrick, Scottree and Shelby Nursery Tim Johnson, II, Tim Johnson Landscaping William “Bill” Bynum, SiteOne Landscape Supply, John Clark, Pro Green, Inc. The North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association is a 501(c)5 non-profit membership organization of firms interested in the welfare of the state’s green industry. Members include growers, landscape firms, retail garden centers, industry suppliers, students and educators. asla.org
• Promoting racial, social and environmental justice in design. “Landscape architects play a vital and irreplaceable role in the design of the built environment—it’s time their recommendations for how that design is governed are heard and implemented,” Carter-Conneen added. “ASLA urges the Biden-Harris administration and the new Congress to review these recommendations and begin the process of implementing them.” ASLA’s policy recommendations are supported by BlackLAN, Landscape Architecture Foundation, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board, Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards and the McHarg Center. View the full report at: www.asla.org/BidenRecommendations
H O U STO N , W E H AV E A G A R D E N !
SAVE THE DATE National Association of Landscape Professionals Presents National Collegiate Landscape Competition March 15-19 Virtual landscapeprofessionals.org
©Houston Botanic Garden
Mississippi Nursery and Landscape Association Presents Garden Extravaganza March 19-21 Jackson, MS msnla.org
ouston has it all: professional sports, a space center and incredible museums. And now The Bayou City can add a botanical garden to its crown. The Houston Botanic Garden opened in the fall of 2020. Phase one of the 132-acre project cost $35m and includes horticultural displays, natural ecosystems and walking trails mainly centered on a natural island. International firm West 8 was the prime consultant over the masterplan to convert an underutilized city golf course into the
botanical gardens. Local partners include Clark Condon Associates, Overland Partners, Walter P. Moore Engineers and many others. The garden features tropical, subtropical and arid plants from every continent but Antarctica. Attractions include a Global Collection Garden, Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden, Culinary Garden, Stormwater Wetlands, Coastal Prairie, Pine Grove, Community Garden and Woodland Glade. hbg.org
H E L P I N G FA M I L I E S B LO O M
idsGardening and National Garden Bureau have created a new initiative to help grow and sustain an interest in gardening among families. The two organizations will create a quarterly blog on gardening with children for the NGB Inspirations blog as well as promote grants and photo contests. KidsGardening, founded in 1982, is a national nonprofit organization reaching more than 2.6 million kids across the country.
Celebrating 100 years, the National Garden Bureau is known for such programs as “Year of the,” New Plants and the Therapeutic Garden Grant, which connect garden industry members with consumers all across the world. kidsgardening.org, ngb.org
AmericanHort Presents CULTIVATE ’21 July 10-13 Columbus, OH cultivateevent.org 2021 APLD International Design Conference July 22-26 Chicago, IL apld.org Texas Nursery/Landscape EXPO August 5-7 San Antonio, TX nurserylandscapeexpo.org
WORLD LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MONTH Join the month-long international celebration of landscape architecture and designed public and private spaces. People and communities around the world have deep, long-standing personal connections to the spaces landscape architects create—they’re just not aware of it. During WLAM, ASLA and landscape architects around the world aim to demonstrate that connection by highlighting landscape architect-designed spaces. asla.org
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
MIAMI BEACH FACE LIFT
he Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge has opened at San Antonio’s Phil Hardberger Park after two years of construction. The crossing over Wurzbach Parkway cost $23 million and is designed for both wildlife and pedestrians. This is the first land bridge of a significant scale to be conceived and built in the United States. The bridge’s location helps reclaim natural habitat and allows wildlife to move safely between the two portions of the park divided by the six-lane highway. The park has dedicated 75% of the site to preservation and restoration of the native landscape and the rest to low-impact recreation. “We join the Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy in celebrating the opening of the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “The Land Bridge connects people with nature in the heart of San Antonio. I look forward to watching the landscape grow and mature with native trees and plants and observing wildlife through viewing blinds designed by local artists. The bridge is an amazing achievement.” The project was funded through private donations and the voter-approved City of San Antonio 2017-2022 Bond Program. Collaborators included STIMPSON Studio, Rialto Studio, Inc., Arup, D.I.R.T. studio, Cade Bradshaw and Ashley Mireles. “Civil engineering only played a small part in defining the parameters for design of the Land Bridge,” said Homer Garcia III, San Antonio director of parks and recreation. “The bridge was designed for use by both humans
and animals with each in mind. Winding curves accommodate pedestrian accessibility and keep people in the center of the trail while raised outer edges of the structure prevent animals from getting too close to the edges of the bridge. These careful design elements protect wildlife and humans’ flow across the bridge. Regarding the bridge’s landscape, soil varies in depth across the bridge in order to accommodate the native plantings and their root system which ensures their viability. A catchment system at the base of the bridge will provide a water source that promotes conservation and provides sustainability to the landscape.” Garcia said native trees and plants such as live oak, mountain laurel, persimmon, evergreen sumac and prickly pear cactus will create a natural ecosystem and offer food and shelter to wildlife. A 250,000-gallon rainwater catchment system captures rainwater runoff, providing irrigation for the bridge and surrounding area. “Drainage generally flows from the apex of the bridge outward toward the abutments,” said Garcia. “Additionally, there are a number of earth berms that run parallel to girders of the bridge. These berms separate the trail system from the dedicated wildlife corridor. Design of the drainage system provides a waterproofed barrier system that keeps the concrete deck of the bridge dry and sheds any water that percolates that deep into the soil into a French drain system that is taken away from the bridge.” philhardbergerpark.org/land-bridge
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
©City of San Antonio
EST 8 has completed a series of landscapes to complement Renzo Piano’s Eighty Seven Park in Miami Beach. Floating above a tropical nature park, the scheme creates a fresh dialogue with the vibrant community of North Beach. The design carefully preserves and enhances the natural dune system and urban conditions of the coastline. The scheme offers unobstructed views towards the ocean from Collins Avenue, aided by sinking the parking underground. Two public connections provide access to the coast and South Beach and include a series of benches and shady native planting. In the two-acre private oasis on the property’s north side, two water channels and minimalist footpaths guide the viewer from the urban Biscayne Bay out to the Atlantic Ocean. The Miami Beach experience was brought into the building’s lobby, which floats above a reflective pool and offers views towards the ocean across the pool deck. As a nod to Art Basel, the design also includes the careful curation of world-class art within the landscape.
From the restored dunes, clusters of wind-bent Coconut Palms give way to a grove of dancing Sea Grapes, specially pruned to enhance the distinct silhouettes of each tree. Upland, a collection of specimen Gumbo Limbos, with unique red bark and flaky texture, comprises the heart of the garden and creates a transition zone between the native coastal species and the sub-tropical planting. eightysevenpark.com
Dr . Jeb Fields ASSISTANT PROFESSOR & EXTENSION SPECIALIST, LSU AGCENTER We like to promote how the landscape can benefit the ecosystem. This can include plantings or management styles that support native plant populations and beneficial insect populations. Water management, cleaning water and air, and regenerating soil health are also wonderful ways that landscapes can become more functional and benefit the community.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MAKE YOUR ORGANIZATION/INDUSTRY MORE SUSTAINABLE? Jeff McManus DIRECTOR OF LANDSCAPE SERVICES, OLE MISS We use biodiesel when we can. We recycle all of our wood on campus and keep our leaves here. We strive for very little waste.
HORTICULTURE MANAGER, HOUSTON BOTANIC GARDEN
OWNER /LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT, OPEN ENVELOPE STUDIO, TEX AS
DIRECTOR OF TRAILS AND GROUNDS, CRYSTAL BRIDGES, ARK ANSAS
We are really committed to sustainable and environmentally responsible practices, from using organic fertilizers to protecting our bayou that runs into Galveston Bay and the Gulf to using semi-aquatic plants to slow and clean stormwater.
At UT Austin, it was drilled in my head from day one about using plants that are better for the area. They really focus on sustainability. We like to use native plants, and if not native, adaptable. We want to attract local wildlife for food and habitat.
We make our own compost for all of our fertilization needs. Our grounds consist mainly of Ozark hardwood forest, so we have an abundance of ingredients. Other components come from our landscapes and museum restaurant. We make about 70 cubic yards twice a year.
C O M I N G U P : W H AT A R E T H E H OT T E ST T R E N D S FO R O U T D O O R L I V I N G ? E- M A I L O U R E D I T O R L A U R A L E E AT L A U R A . L E E @ E L J AYS 4 4 .C O M T O B E I N C LU D E D I N O U R N E X T I S S U E
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
AN INNOVATIVE LINE OF
TURF MANAGEMENT PRODUCTS
ADDING TO THE EXMARK LEGACY. New to the Exmark family of products, the Z Turf Equipment brand has significantly expanded its product line, with a number of new models based on legacy Exmark designs. First, well-known for its rich history in the lawn care industry, are the Z-Spray spreader-sprayers. The complete line-up includes: the Z-Spray LTS, Z-Spray Junior, Z-Spray Mid and Z-Spray Max stand-on models. Next, the Z-Aerate line will expand in 2021 from one model to three including stand-on aerators in 40-, 30- and 24-inch widths. Other new 2021 Z Turf Equipment includes the versatile 20-inch Z-Seed slicer seeder, which performs three jobs with each pass: verticutting, dethatching and overseeding. Z Turf Equipment has also added more than 700 North American dealers, making it easier than ever for customers to get the parts and service support they need to keep their machines running at peak productivity.
BROOKE INZERELLA PLANTING THE SEED
BROOKE INZERELLA LOOKS AT HOW HE CAN MAKE HIS BUSINESS MORE SUSTAINABLE, STARTING WITH THE USE OF NATIVE PLANTS
ike a lot of you reading this, I am grateful for the excitement and rush of activity that spring brings. Although we did well last year and were able to stay productive and steady despite the pandemic, I did end 2020 with a nagging feeling that as the owner/operator of a landscape and pool company, I could and should be doing more in the area of sustainability. One key way to achieve this is through the use of native plants. As the architects and designers of outdoor environments, we can become the catalysts for increasing interest and usage of native plants for the overall health and benefit of our ecosystems. I knew the best way to really implement this type of change was first to identify a few doable, actionable items for me and my team. I’m aware there are challenges with using native plants in our projects; supply is often weak and our clients usually know what they want and it’s not necessarily natives—it’s generally something they’ve seen on Pinterest or in their own neighborhood. Rarely is it a native fringe tree. That said, we’re going to take small baby steps and move forward. First, I am recommitting to research and learning. We all have a general understanding of the benefits of native plants: they’re adapted to the local environment, they require less water, pesticides and fertilizers. We know they provide a vital habitat for birds and many other species of wildlife that rely on each other to thrive—and survive. But I admit there
is so much more I need to learn to be able to educate our clients with confidence and get them excited about including some native plants in their own green spaces. This year,
AS THE OWNER/OPERATOR OF A LANDSCAPE + POOL COMPANY, I COULD AND SHOULD BE DOING MORE IN THE AREA OF SUSTAINABILITY
in your client’s zip code, and it will give you a detailed listing of the natives for your area, photographs of the plant, as well as the wildlife it’s known to attract. It also includes a directory of other local and regional resources, as well as nurseries offering native plants. • We have a great local native plants society in Louisiana (greauxnative.org), that is managed by a group of dedicated and passionate volunteers whose only mission is to promote a healthy environment through the adoption of native plants and landscapes. You likely have one in your area, too, and they are generally the nicest people and willing to teach you everything you need to know. Secondly, I vow to continue what we started and grow upon the momentum. Last year, we implemented more natives than ever. So, this actionable item is to always consider implementing some native plants into our designs. I’ll be the first to admit that a shift like this will not be easy. But at press time, we have already designed our first native butterfly garden of the year, and its success makes it so worthwhile.
ABOUT BROOKE INZERELLA I’m committing to more research, learning and overall networking with native plants experts—and there are lots of them! • The National Audubon Society has a Native Plants Database on its website. You can type
Brooke Inzerella is a licensed landscape horticulturist and owner of Horticare Landscape Company in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 13
TAKE ROOT E N V I R O N M E N TA L D E S I G N
ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN INC. IS IN THE BUSINESS OF SAVING TREES – BY MOVING AND REPLANTING THEM
ince its inception 40 years ago in Tomball, Texas, Environmental Design Inc. (EDI) has saved countless trees from being chopped down. Over the decades, the company has moved and replanted trees small and large, young and old. EDI has worked on such prestigious projects as installing hundreds of trees for the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan to relocating a 1,000-year-old sycamore fig tree in Israel. EDI has served a plethora of clients over the years, including private residents, hotels and resorts, museums, universities, governments and golf courses. Ellen Lewis, spokeswoman for EDI, says clients need trees to be moved for a number of reasons. “There are an increasing number of tree ordinances being adopted throughout the U.S.,” says Ellen. “Austin and D.C. are examples of municipalities
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA EDI has transplanted many key trees on the prestigious Pebble Beach Golf Course, replacing dying Monterey pines with more hardy Monterey cypresses. When the course opened in 1919, a majestic Monterey pine guarded the 18th hole. When pine pitch canker killed the tree, the play of the hole changed dramatically. Pebble Beach Resorts asked EDI to find a healthy tree to put in its place. EDI discovered a 200-year-old Monterey cypress on the side of the first fairway to relocate. Over six months, EDI root-pruned the tree, encapsulated the rootball, and installed a lifting platform in preparation for the transplant. The tree transplant was accomplished in just five days, and golf operations were never shut down. The 18th hole has returned to its former glory!
LOUISIANA LIVE OAK
PEBBLE BEACH 18 TH HOLE
Mr. Al is a 150-year-old, 175 ton live oak tree in New Iberia, Louisiana. The Louisiana Department of Transportation was going to cut down Mr. Al in order to expand US 90. Concerned residents stepped in to save the tree, and the state hired EDI to help. EDI moved the tree about two miles from the original spot, and Mr. Al is still thriving today.
MR. AL IS A CHERISHED OAK TREE IN NEW IBERIA, LOUISIANA
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
requiring trees of a certain diameter be saved from destruction during development. We also have moved historic trees, trees that have a significant history with the community and trees with sentimental value to families.”
EDI TAKES GREAT CARE WITH THE ROOT SYSTEMS, PREPARING ITS TREES FOR TRANSPLANT BY PRUNING THE ROOTS IN ADVANCE OF THE MOVE BY AS MUCH AS A YEAR EDI takes great care with the root systems, preparing its trees for transplant by pruning the roots in advance of the move by as much as a year. Ellen says the process allows time for the root system to regenerate to get back into balance with the canopy.
9/11 MEMORIAL EDI transported and planted 416 trees for the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York City. The company procured 500 trees in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia—states that were impacted by terrorist acts of September 11, 2001. They brought the trees to a nursery within 50 miles of the Memorial site to care for the
C O N TA C T Environmental Design Inc. Tomball, Texas (281) 376-4260
AERIAL VIEW OF THE 9/11 MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM IN 2018 ©JIN S. LEE
root systems, then began installing the trees from 2010 to 2015 as sections of the $16 billion construction project were completed. Among the trees is the “Survivor Tree,” a Callery pear tree that was damaged at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Initially, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation removed the tree from the rubble and took it under its care. EDI moved and replanted the tree back in its proper home in 2010. Today, the Survivor Tree is a symbol of resilience, survival and rebirth.
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 15
The Urban Nature Project NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON, UK THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM IS REDEVELOPING FIVE ACRES OF GARDENS TO NOT ONLY TO IMPROVE ITS BIODIVERSITY BUT TO ALSO CREATE AN URBAN NATURE MOVEMENT
n the heart of London, The Natural History Museum is creating a biodiversity hub. Already, in just a small part of the five-acre gardens, examples of woodland, grassland, scrub, heath, fen, aquatic, reedbed, hedgerow and urban UK habitat can all be found. In fact, around 3,400 species have been recorded over the years, some for the first time. Throughout the redevelopment of
5 ACRES REACH
6,000 A YEAR
THE URBAN NATURE PROJECT OPENS THE DOOR FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO FALL IN LOVE WITH THE NATURE ON THEIR DOORSTEPS
PRESENT & FUTURE
PRESENT & FUTURE
these gardens for the Urban Nature Project, scientists will be working carefully to ensure this current biodiversity is protected and enhanced. The new gardens will be fully accessible, allowing everyone to take a journey through the changing world and the diversity of life on Earth. The East Gardens will tell the story of the Earth’s history, with plants and fossils reflecting each geographical era giving visitors a chance to 7
learn about the profound impact humans forward evidence-based nature conservation, have caused in such a short time. At its pilot a range of innovative, cost effective center, a cast of Dippy—the Natural History technologies and continue to research Museum’s iconic diplodocus—will and tackle some key challenges. overlook the gardens. With the natural world under The West Gardens will be a model threat like never before, this project for urban nature, showcasing the is not only responding to the urgent abundance of biodiversity which can need to both monitor and record be found in the UK’s habitats. This changes to the UK’s urban nature space will feature an outdoor learning STUDENTS but to a desperate need to reengage center which will be a platform for the people with the natural world. museum’s national program. Finally, A powerful quote from Sir David the South Kensington gardens will Attenborough will be featured in host a living lab. Here, scientists, bronze lettering, encapsulating the CURRENT essence of this project: “The future visitors and volunteers can study VOLUNTEERS the changes in urban nature and 30 TO 100 of the natural world, on which we all witness an exemplar for sustainable depend, is in your hands.” urban nature. Sir David Attenborough has also “Working in close collaboration commented on the project: “The with Landscape Architects J & L Urban Nature Project opens the door RECORDED IN THE Gibbons, we have enjoyed the for young people to fall in love with the EXISTING nature on their doorsteps and develop challenge of bringing to life a walk through over 500 million years of the a lifelong concern for the world’s wild Earth’s history,” director of Feilden places. Nature isn’t just nice to have, DELIVER ONE NEW TRAINEESHIP Fowles, Edmund Fowles tells us. “From it’s the linchpin of our very existence AND TWO NEW the pre-Cambrian era to the present and ventures like the Urban Nature APPRENTICESHIPS day, translating vital messages about Project help the next generation COMPLETION IN human’s impact on nature and the develop the strong connection with role we all have to play in revitalizing nature that is needed to protect it.” urban biodiversity today.” Focusing on engaging diverse A huge part of the Urban Nature audiences who are least likely or Project will be about continuing the scientific able to access nature, volunteer opportunities work the museum is already undertaking. The will be increased threefold via an outreach project aims to develop the scientific tools to program to neighboring and diverse monitor and protect boroughs. There will also be online, urban nature, drive onsite and national monitoring programs including an onsite education center, a range of citizen science programs and a scientific living lab where the museum’s existing scientific work will continue. 1
1. East Gardens
1. East Gardens
5. Wildlife Garden
2. Garden Cafe Building
2. Garden Cafe Building
6. Learning and Activity Centre 6. Learning and Activity Centre
3. Central Courtyard
3. Central Courtyard
7. DC Courtyard
4. West Lawn
4. West Lawn
5. Wildlife Garden MAIN ENTRANCE
7. DC Courtyard
PRESENT & FUTURE
KEY 1. East Gardens
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 5. Wildlife Garden
2. Garden Cafe Building
6. Learning and Activity Centre
3. Central Courtyard
7. DC Courtyard
4. West Lawn
P R OJ ECT D E TA I L S Landscape architects J & L Gibbons Architects Feilden Fowles Design consultants Gitta Gschwendtner Engineers HRW and Max Fordham
DIPPY IN THE EAST GARDEN
DARWIN CENTRE COURT YARD LODGE Images ©Feilden Fowles and J & L Gibbons
Learning and volunteer programs will provide opportunities for people to learn the skills to engage with and protect urban nature, tackle the UK skills shortage in understanding and identifying UK wildlife— in partnership with The Prince’s Trust—to create training for youth workers and programs for young people, and develop a new summer training program, one new traineeship and two new apprenticeships. By helping people learn its value, the Natural History Museum hopes it can empower them to understand and protect the natural world. “We have suffered decades of decline in the abundance and distribution of many UK species, and in urban areas especially. By 2030, nine of out ten of us will live in urban areas, meaning nature is quite literally backed into a corner as concrete cities expand,” explains Clare Matterson, the Natural History Museum’s executive director of engagement. “We want to trigger a movement that will ultimately help reverse this decline.”
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
Let ’s Hear it From
JIAKE LIU OUTER
ALABAMA NATIVE JIAKE LIU REVOLUTIONIZES THE OUTDOOR FURNITURE BUSINESS
o-founders of Outer, Terry Lin and Jiake Liu, seem to have thought of everything. From a quality product and an innovative sales model to $4.3m in seed funding and an episode on “Shark Tank,” the outdoor furniture company is ready for take-off. The Pro Landscaper team recently talked with Jiake Liu about the new generation of sustainable outdoor furniture that’s shaking up the industry.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
Why did you want to create outdoor furniture? I grew up in the South in Huntsville, Alabama. Even when it’s really cold, we hang out outside. Outdoor living is a way of life. But I’ve noticed some of the challenges of outdoor furniture and have seen that nobody is really solving the problem.
It’s coincidental that I have relatives who have a patio furniture factory who have done some e-commerce with Wayfair and Amazon. They have a good business, but customers complain about the same thing: outdoor furniture is hard to take care of. Cushions are moldy. They’re wet and dirty, and they’re hard to replace.
WE WANTED SOMETHING SOFT, DURABLE AND ECO-FRIENDLY. WE CALL THAT THE ‘GOLDEN TRIANGLE’
How did you get started on your own? In 2017, I met my co-founder Terry Lin. I’m an engineer, but Terry has worked for the mattress brand Casper and was the lead furniture designer for Pottery Barn. He had the same observations and saw the same opportunity, but really had the knowledge of the market.
So, what are some of the problems with existing outdoor furniture? I’ve noticed that a lot of outdoor furniture is broken. In the cheaper patio furniture from big-box retailers and mass-market websites, the material is very low quality. Even with name-brand retailers that might be $10,000 for an outdoor sofa, you’re still dealing with maintenance issues. And they’re not eco-friendly because you have to use a lot of synthetic materials.
What qualities were important to you in the end product? We wanted something soft, durable and eco-friendly. We call that the “golden triangle.” We couldn’t compromise on any of those. We really look up to Patagonia and their 1% for the Planet project. We want to be part of that. From the very get-go, the environment was extremely important. We both have young families and want to leave the world a better place for the next generation. We’ve taken the longer and harder route to fully understand
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 19
the material and all the details. As a result, our cushions are 100% recyclable. Thirty percent of our sofas come from ocean plastic bottles and we use about 100 plastic bottles per chair. How do you protect your furniture from weather? It doesn’t matter if you buy the $1,000 set or the $20,000 set, outdoor cushions face the same problem. We call it the “wet-bottom” issue. We weren’t happy with a rain cover that takes two people to try and stretch and fit. And nobody wants to carry the cushions like pizza boxes in and out of the house every time they want to use them. With Outer, you can use one hand to open up the outer shell and close it right up with a handle. Because we’ve taken away the hassle, most of our customers are using the furniture every day. It’s their favorite place to spend the day. Their outdoor space has truly become an extension of their home.
Tell us about your experience on “Shark Tank.” We launched in May of 2019, and we were on “Shark Tank” the following November. One of the editors saw us on Instagram and invited us to audition. It was pure luck and really life-changing in a personal way. The acceptance rate is extremely low; I think they have 45,000 each year who audition. We were just one of 80 companies who made it to airing. We had a big viewing party and our web traffic spiked—our Google analytics looked like a shark fin. What is the neighborhood commerce concept? We were a young company. We didn’t have a lot of money to build a showroom or a brick-andmortar. We needed a good way to demonstrate our product where customers could touch and feel it. As a computer engineer myself, I love to solve these problems with technology. I’ve been an Airbnb host, and the community aspect is so great. So, I thought, why not just use a back yard? Customers set up
20 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
FROM THE VERY GET-GO, THE ENVIRONMENT WAS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. WE BOTH HAVE YOUNG FAMILIES AND WANT TO LEAVE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION
THE AVERAGE PERSON DISPOSES OF 100 PLASTIC BOTTLES INTO NATURE EVERY YEAR
an appointment through the website, and we run background checks on all the hosts. Right now, we have hosts in 120 locations. They are real customers who bought the product. They are compensated a little bit, but they do it because they love sharing the product. They enjoy meeting their neighbors. Our customers don’t have to go to a stuffy showroom and talk
to a pushy salesperson. They just go to someone’s back yard. We’re on track to build 1,000 showrooms across the country in 12 months. Do you offer an incentive for professionals in the industry? We are a direct-to-consumer product, but we do offer a 15% discount and some other incentives for landscape architects, interior designers and contractors. Do you have advice for other entrepreneurs? Whatever problem you are solving, you have to be passionate about sticking with it. Making money is just one of many things that drives you to get through the challenges. I would also say talk to others going through the same thing. So many people helped me when I moved from Huntsville to LA with no expectations for anything in return, and I want to pay it forward.
WHATEVER PROBLEM YOU ARE SOLVING, YOU HAVE TO BE PASSIONATE ABOUT STICKING WITH IT What are your plans for the future? We want to continue to grow our outdoor furniture line and invest in more product innovation. We recently released our new outdoor rug called 1188. It’s made with 1,188 plastic bottles. They’re the most beautiful outdoor rugs—we are very excited. For more information on purchasing Outer for your clients, visit: liveouter.com/trade-program
When DESIGN matters as much as the AUTHENTICITY of the WOOD FIRED food you create AT HOME The Award Winning USA
Wood Fired Ovens H a n d C r a f t e d i n Yo r k s h i r e , U . K .
w w w . D E L I V I T A U S . c o m
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 21
A PROUD MEMBER OF GLOBAL MEDIA FAMILY ELJAYS44
ELJAYS44 IS A TRUSTED MEDIA BUSINESS, KNOWN FOR ITS LANDSCAPINGFOCUSED MAGAZINES, EVENTS, AWARDS AND RESEARCH PROJECTS. IT WAS ESTABLISHED IN 2011 AND IS VERY PROUD OF ITS BRANDS, WHICH IT IS COMMITTED TO CONTINUALLY ADDING TO AND IMPROVING WHILE BUILDING ON THE EXCELLENT INDUSTRY RELATIONSHIPS THAT IT TREASURES.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT’S JOURNAL KING LANDSCAPING
I N S I D E I N S P I R E T H I S M O N T H PAG E 24 D E B O R A H C O L E : T H E C A S E FO R P H OTO G R A P H Y, PAG E 2 6 L I V I N G R O O F S : R O O F TO P S R E I M AG I N E D, PAG E 2 8 P O R T FO L I O : O P E N E N V E LO P E ’ S T E X A S T R I F EC TA , PAG E 3 2 L A N D S C A P E A R C H I T EC T ’ S J O U R N A L : K I N G L A N D S C A P I N G , PAG E 3 4 B I O N OVA P O O L S : A U N AT U R E L
THE CASE FOR
PHOTOGRAPHY DEBORAH COLE EXPLAINS WHY LANDSCAPING FIRMS SHOULD BE CAPTURING PHOTOS AT ANY GIVEN OPPORTUNITY
s landscape professionals, we are visual people. We are almost hard-wired for imagination; but give us a clearly drawn landscape plan or detailed specifications with pictures, and we have hit the jackpot. We know that 65% of the population understands information best when it’s presented visually. Because this is true, our messaging through images needs to be exceptional. It’s also true that a picture is worth a thousand words. For this reason, it’s important to create superior visual documentation of the work we produce on a regular basis. Just as we schedule tasks on any project, we must also consistently photograph all projects and activities within the company. Photos taken with our phone are quick and easy, but what also needs to be included in every landscape company’s toolbox is either a small digital camera (and someone tasked with using it!), or an ongoing relationship with a photographer who can help document the activities and outcomes of all work. The uses of images are limitless; however, a few are: • Marketing Professional images of work that the company has completed can be used in print materials, on banners for trade shows, on signage for vehicles and trailers (rather than stock photos). • Social media for outreach Smartphones work great for this. Regular postings on the company Facebook or Instagram accounts are easy, inexpensive and effectively communicate with the world telling all just how great you are. Photos should always be in a square format. Use free and easy editing apps to ensure quality and size. • Social media for inreach Staff and crews may appear to be camerashy, but there is pride in being featured in company communications. And if there are multiple locations, sharing what each is doing builds a sense of community.
24 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
DOCUMENTING PROJECT PROGRESS
• Newsletters/blogs Photos in newsletters and blogs can provide information about what is currently “hot” leading to informed clients as well as new sales opportunities. • National and/or state environmental improvement awards What better way to acknowledge wellexecuted projects and honor those who produced them than to enter (and win) industry competitions? • Training How-to videos are useful as are still images of the preferred way to perform specialty tasks, equipment maintenance, and even sharing boo-boos. • Recruiting Images of productive, happy staff can be used in all information provided in recruiting booths and on websites. • Website Every website should be filled with photos of projects and especially with people— your people doing what they do so well. • Education of clients and potential clients Giving presentations through lunch ’n’ learns to current and potential clients positions you as an industry leader and allows your company to be the go-to for information. Our markets are hungry for information on how we do what we do.
Like all initiatives, there must be a plan and consistent execution. Ownership of a camera which lives in a drawer won’t get the results desired. Make smartphone captures a part of everyone’s mindset and either assign someone to be the company photographer or find someone who knows what you need and how to deliver it.
ABOUT DEBORAH COLE Deborah Cole is the founder of a commercial landscape firm with multiple locations throughout Texas. She now devotes herself full-time to photography, writing, marketing and training.
IRRIGATION INSTALLATION PROCESS
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 25
R O O F TO P S R E I M AG I N E D EMILIO ANCAYA EXPLORES HOW A GREEN ROOF IN NORTH CAROLINA PROMOTES BIODIVERSITY, COMBATS RISING TEMPERATURES, AND REDUCES STORMWATER RUNOFF
SPRINGTIME ON THE GREEN ROOF IN DOWNTOWN ASHEVILLE
THE GREEN ROOF ON AN APARTMENT BUILDING IN ASHEVILLE
estled on Lexington Avenue in the heart of downtown Asheville is an apartment building that offers a unique and distinguishable feature. Situated on top of the building is a beautiful 8,200 sq ft green roof that can be seen and enjoyed by surrounding buildings, guests at a neighboring hotel pool deck, and people walking the city’s hilly streets. The roof is a meadow supporting a diverse plant community focused on pollinator habitat and food sources. It seems only appropriate since Asheville was the first city in the United States to be certified as a Bee City USA. Native plant species with high pollinator value – such as Asclepias tuberosa, Eryngium yuccifolium, Pycnanthemum muticum, and Rudbeckia fulgida – were selected to promote biodiversity and a thriving urban habitat for pollinators such as bees, moths, butterflies and birds. Beginning in the spring and continuing through fall, the roof teems with different species of
26 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
LIATRIS, SOLIDAGO AND RUDBECKIA BLOOM IN LATE SPRING AND INTO SUMMER
THE GREEN ROOF HELPS SERVE AS AN IMPORTANT COUNTERWEIGHT TO RISING TEMPERATURES IN DOWNTOWN ASHEVILLE BY KEEPING THE APARTMENT’S ROOFTOP TEMPERATURE COOLER DURING THE HOTTEST MONTHS From providing breathtaking views and access to nature in an atypical locale, this green roof features an array of benefits. Asheville faces climate challenges related to increasing temperatures associated with the urban heat-island effect and a documented reduction in the city’s urban tree canopy. The green roof helps serve as an important counterweight to rising temperatures in downtown Asheville by keeping the apartment’s rooftop temperature cooler during the hottest months. The roof also serves as an extraordinary stormwater management tool. A stormwater
BEE BALM AND MOUNTAIN MINT SUPPORT A WIDE VARIETY OF NATIVE POLLINATORS
analysis for this green roof modeled the total stormwater retained and detained at peak flow levels using historical rainfall data. The study found that this green roof retains all rainfall up to one inch of rain and annually prevents over 100,000 gallons of stormwater from entering public storm drains. Rainwater is absorbed by the plants, then released into the atmosphere through evapotranspiration. Even for a 10-year storm and a 25-year storm, the roof reduces total runoff volume by 69% and 59%, respectively. This can have a major effect in reducing the amount of water rushing into our stormwater system during historical weather events, thereby reducing the potential for damaging flooding and overburdening our stormwater infrastructure. Green roofs like this one can have a dramatic effect on preventing pollutants and sediments from rushing into storm drains and ultimately making their way to creeks, streams and rivers. Because of their ability to retain and detain stormwater, green roofs serve as a useful tool for meeting municipal stormwater requirements. They also can afford more flexibility to designers who may no longer need an underground cistern or retention pond to meet city stormwater management requirements. In addition to the environmental benefits of promoting biodiversity, combating rising downtown temperatures, improving air quality and helping reduce stormwater runoff, green roofs provide compelling economic benefits. Green roofs extend the lifespan of a traditional roof by at least three times, significantly reducing the costs of maintaining a roof over time. By helping control temperatures during the city’s hotter
months, the roof also reduces costs for cooling the apartment building. As property owners continue to adopt green roof technology, we can envision a future where the city’s rooftops provide crucial habitat with newly created biological corridors. And we can imagine a day when green roofs can help Asheville become a more resilient city in facing emerging climate challenges.
A B O U T E M I L I O A N C AYA Emilio Ancaya, GRP (Green Roof Professional), is the cofounder of Living Roofs Inc., a green-roof company based in Asheville. He has designed, supervised and installed green roof projects across the country.
ABOUT GREEN BUILDING ALLIANCE This article originally appeared in the 2020 issue of the Green Building Directory, published annually by the nonprofit Green Built Alliance in Asheville. Green Built Alliance has a 20-year history of advancing sustainability in the built environment by administering green-building certifications such as Green Built Homes.
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 27
All images ©Living Roofs Inc
pollinators doing important work. During the winter, seed heads and old flower stalks provide food and habitat for permanent bird residents. Installed in tandem with the building’s construction in 2017, the green roof system begins above the roof membrane. It includes a roof protection layer (a fleece fabric made from recycled materials), a drainage layer, filter fabric and green roof growing media. The growing media is composed of a blend of expanded slate, compost and fines (such as sand). The growing media depth is six inches to support a diversity of plant species. Toward the end of the building’s construction, a crane lifted the materials to the roof for the crew to install. Once the growing media was prepared, an irrigation system was installed. Then the plants were arranged according to the planting plan, planted, and watered in. The roof continues to be maintained with monthly visits during the growing season.
TRIFECTA OPEN ENVELOPE STUDIO SUSTAINABLE, FUNCTIONAL, BEAUTIFUL— OPEN ENVELOPE STUDIO ACHIEVED ALL THREE ON A WEST LAKE HILLS RESIDENCE
hen well-known architect firm Dick Clark & Associates was hired to design a new residence outside Austin, it knew just who to call for the landscape architecture. Angelica and Matt Norton at Open Envelope Studio are known for their modern landscape architecture, custom steel work and customer service. Clark called on OES to design the entry sequence to the front door, provide a beautiful view from the inside living areas, and create an outdoor space to complement his contemporary home design. “For all of our projects, we want more than curb appeal but to activate spaces that draw our clients outside,” says Angelica. “We create outdoor living spaces that are scalable and functional.”
PROJECT D E TA I L S Project value $200k Build time 14 months Size of project 2 acres
28 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
Local materials To match the contemporary style of the home as well as use locally sourced material, Angelica selected washed Colorado River Stone, Texas basalt and limestone pavers. An exterior wall encloses portions of the garden, creating an intimate courtyard just outside the home’s floor-to-ceiling windows. Running through it is a raised cantilevered limestone boardwalk over the stone and gravel beds. The boardwalk framework is hidden for a clean look. “One of our biggest challenges was drainage—the property is on an incredibly steep slope,” says Angelica. “We worked with a civil engineer and incorporated the gutter into a rain chain that lands into the fountain, and then a large drain from there. We wanted to create very functional features.” Angelica used mulch on one part of the driveway that is level but selected riverstone in other sloped areas. “Riverstone is a larger material that allows water to move through it without moving,” she says. “A lot of
FOR ALL OF OUR PROJECTS, WE WANT MORE THAN CURB APPEAL BUT TO ACTIVATE SPACES THAT DRAW OUR CLIENTS OUTSIDE landscapers put in decomposed granite, but it can spread and become a mess.” Angelica says she designs with maintenance in mind, so that her projects look better and better, not just at install. Angelica likes using steel for its delicacy and flexibility. She creatively used stacked steel tube to create a wall that juts out behind the fountain. At first glance, it appears to be concrete since it has the same horizontal striations. “I love the patina. The composition seemed right to go between the riverstone and the basalt.”
1 Fountain and courtyard view outside main living area 2 Landscaping complements the contemporary style of Dick Clark 3 The custom-designed fountain is a functional focal point 4 Outside the West Lake Hills residence
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 29
Native plantings Angelica replaced trees and added plants to make the area both private and lush while following city code. “We knew ahead of time that some of the natural plantings were going to get demolished or damaged during the construction process, and we would need to adhere to the tree caliper replacement laws,” says Angelica. She selected river ferns, clumping bamboo, meadow sedge, woolly stemodia, inland sea grass, bicolor irises, red yucca, purple trailing lantana, and Texas Mountain Laurel. Her team planted more than 20 trees including live oaks, Monterrey oaks, cedar elms, Texas red oaks and bur oak.
MOST OF OUR PLANTS WERE NATIVE AND IF NOT NATIVE, ADAPTABLE. WE WANTED THEM TO BE DROUGHT-TOLERANT AND ATTRACT LOCAL WILDLIFE FOR FOOD AND HABITAT “Most of our plants were native and if not native, adaptable,” she says. “We wanted them to be drought-tolerant and attract local wildlife for food and habitat.” Angelica was part of the second graduating class for UT Austin’s landscape
architecture program. “It was drilled in my head from day one about using plants that are better for the area,” she says. “They really focus on sustainability.” Another challenge they faced was with the property’s natural limestone shelves underground. “It was hard to dig holes for plantings,” she says. “We thought we could do it with rock hammer, but we ended up renting an auger attachment to bore holes into the ground to install the trees.” All of that hard work and thoughtful design paid off, and the final space is modern yet natural, and sculptural yet inviting— a perfect balance.
5 Limestone bridge walkway through the courtyard 6 West Lake Hills Residence outside of Austin 7 Sloped driveway to the main entrance
ABOUT OPEN ENVELOPE STUDIO Open Envelope Studio is a boutique design and build studio based in Austin, Texas. The firm specializes in modern landscape architecture, custom steel work and unique furniture.
30 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
Portfolio Open Envelope Studio.indd 30
PA R T N E R S & S U P P L I E R S Plants Austin Plant Supply austinplantsupply.com Native Texas Nursery nativetx.com Mike Lung Wholesale Landscape Supply
Irrigation Elements Group elementslawn.com Concrete Abel Rodriguez Limestone boardwalk Supplied by Aguado Stone, installed by OES aguadostone.com Steel Supplied by Westbrook Metals, Inc., installed by OES westbrookmetals.com
Fountain Custom design and installation by OES www.oes.design
Elegant Solutions for Luxurious Outdoor Spaces. Create your very own personal retreat featuring elegant fire bowls to beautiful outdoor kitchens. Kindred Outdoors & Surrounds seamlessly marries design and functionality making it easier than ever to create your memorable space.
Photo: © 2021 Phil Kean Design Group Photography by Uneek Luxury Tours
south.prolandscaperusa.com Kindred ProLandscaper HlfPg 021021.indd 1
Featured: Two Tuya™ Artisan Fire Bowls in Black Sand Honed
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 31 2/11/21 10:44 AM
LANDSCAPE A R C H I T EC T ’S JOURNAL KING LANDSCAPING ATLANTA LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT ERIC KING GIVES FAMILIES A MORE CREATIVE—AND SUSTAINABLE—WAY TO PLAY as plants, trees, varying terrain and water to encourage climbing, balancing and building while using creativity and imagination. “You can buy a play fort anywhere, but we can get them something truly unique,” says Eric. “When there’s a slope we can install an in-ground slide. If we find downed trees, we create balance beams or use stumps as steppingstones. We’ve installed a lot of horizontal climbing walls with ninja lines or we may take a spot under a shady tree and create a secret hideout.”
THE LOWER THE MAINTENANCE, THE LESS THE CARBON FOOTPRINT AND THE MORE SUSTAINABLE IT IS
or many homeowners, green grass is what makes the picture-perfect American lawn. But for his clients, Eric King is trying to change the needle just slightly. “This is America, and we will never get rid of our lawns,” he says. “But we need to have less—lawns are completely unsustainable. Green grass means chemicals and mowing, things that aren’t good for the environment.” King Landscaping has been introducing its clients to more natural spaces, from butterfly gardens and stone patios with firepits to play areas for children. Eric integrates the natural components of his clients’ backyards into a place to play and learn. His spaces take advantage of physical components such
Not only are the spaces creative, more eco-friendly and require less maintenance, they cost about half the price of a formal landscape and are much faster to install. According to Eric, renovating a natural woodland area can cost $10,000 to $20,000 in a suburban area like Atlanta while some of his formal landscapes cost from $25,000 to $50,000. His natural play areas have ranged from 5,000 sq ft to 20,000 sq ft.
32 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
for salamanders,” he says. “When we’re done, we step back and let nature do the rest.” King Landscaping tries using materials that are as close in nature as possible. “We’ll bring in big natural boulders, ideal for small animals and insects,” he says. “We like using pieces of flagstone that we lay on a sand bed, with crushed slate to form the joints. Worms can move in and around it. Over time, moss forms between the stones so it looks great. It’s less expensive than concrete pavers, mortared flagstone or bluestone. And it’s more permeable for water to go through to the ground.”
WHEN WE’RE DONE, WE STEP BACK AND LET NATURE DO THE REST
As a child Eric loved playing with blocks, and he gets the same thrill today when he builds something new. He not only designs landscapes, but he plays an active role in the entire project installation. “I have really talented people who can make my design even better than what was in my head,” he says. King Landscaping employs around 15 people. The company had a banner year in 2020 as more clients requested green spaces for their families during the quarantine. “They think they want more green grass with a prefabricated play set, because that’s all they know,” he says. “When we start discussing options and unlocking the potential of their backyard, they get excited and are open to new ideas.” Eric says it’s a been a great way to get kids back to nature. “We’ve designed woodland paths that lead through a forest or little rain gardens where kids can search under rocks
Eric typically likes to design more formal areas close to the house and then get more organic from there. “The farther you get from the house, plants can get a bit more loose and you can incorporate more native plants,” he says. “I love native plants, but they don’t do well in a sterile landscape which is typically what you have close to a home.” Eric says he likes using Oakleaf hydrangeas, Christmas ferns, azaleas, wild ginger, Camellia sasanquas and sweet shrubs—a diverse mix that allows for varying textures and pops of color year-round. He points out that natural areas don’t need a lot of pruning or hedging, and you don’t have to run your mower as long. “The lower the maintenance, the less the carbon footprint and the more sustainable it is,” he says. And not only is a low-maintenance lawn better for the environment, but it also means spending more time enjoying life with the family.
C O N TA C T Eric King, PLA King Landscaping Marietta, GA (678) 262-7117
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 33
AU N AT U R E L NATURAL SWIMMING POOLS USE NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS TO CREATE MINI-ECOSYSTEMS
s more consumers are looking for ways to stay off the grid and become more sustainable, they’re discovering the benefits—and beauty—of natural pools. According to Allen Schnaak, vice president of business development at BioNova Natural Pools, around 1,000 natural pools have been installed in the US in the past decade. “Americans are starting to catch on here, but the numbers are small compared to Europe where 16% of recreational water environments are naturally and biologically filtered,” says Allen. “Germanspeaking areas have been doing it for 40 years.” Natural swimming pools are said to be invented by Gottfried Kern in Austria in 1954, and his concept took off in the 80s throughout Austria and Germany. Fellow Austrian and landscape contractor Gerhard Brandlmeier started building swimming ponds in the 80s and founded BioNova. Over time, the company grew. The BioNova North America division has completed 50 projects across the US, from
34 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
INSPIRE PROJECT D E TA I L S Project values BioSwimPonds start from $100,000, BioPools start from $75,000 Construction times 6 weeks+ Size of projects undertaken 650 square feet+
AQUATIC PLANTS FILTER THE WATER NATURALLY
a 38,000 sq ft municipal pool and wetlands in Minneapolis to smaller residential projects from California to Texas to the East Coast. “We’re not here to replace the chemical pool industry, we’re simply offering a viable option for those looking to make environmentally sustainable lifestyle choices,” says Allen.
WEBBER PARK, MINNEAPOLIS
Natural pools are designed and constructed in much of the same way as traditional pools. BioNova partners with local builders and landscape designers to integrate its biological filter designs into the construction process. Traditional
BIONOVA DESIGN IN EUROPE
swimming pools can also be converted into natural swimming pools.
WE’RE NOT HERE TO REPLACE THE CHEMICAL POOL INDUSTRY, WE’RE SIMPLY OFFERING A VIABLE OPTION FOR THOSE LOOKING TO MAKE ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE CHOICES BioNova’s products include a larger BioSwimPond with a planted regeneration zone to biologically filter the water. In the wetlands or water garden, microorganisms and aquatic plants do the work of removing
organic nutrients that feed harmful pathogens and invasive algae blooms. Another option is the company’s BioPool, which uses a biofilm filter zone instead of plants. The biofilm filter is separated from the swimming zone and draws the nutrient-rich surface water from the swimming area to nurture the biofilm growth. The circulation rate mimics the ecosystem of a river or stream. This more rapid flow encourages the healthy growth of biofilm away from the swimming zone. The rapid depletion of the nutrients by the biofilm results in clear, naturally tinted water. Some of the physical maintenance is similar to a traditional chemical pool— emptying and cleaning skimmer baskets, pump baskets and filters, and vacuuming the pool. For BioSwimPonds, water garden maintenance is necessary such as removing unwanted plants and debris, trimming, and maintaining existing plants, and cutting them back at the end of the season.
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 35
CASE STUDY: PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY While BioNova designs and builds pools of all sizes, the company recently completed its largest residential project to date. The pool, located in Princeton, New Jersey, is 1,600 sq ft with a 5,000 sq ft regeneration zone. While the specific project costs were not disclosed, BioNova estimates natural swimming pools cost from $100 to $125 per square foot.
The foundation was laid with composite walls and a Portland cement floor was poured for a waterproof membrane. Besides expanding the pool’s footprint with a regeneration zone of aquatic plants, the team installed a state-of-the-art BF4 Biofilm filter.
Anthony Archer-Wills, a pond and stream master, helped create a narrative on the property, incorporating flowing water features and intricate landscaping. The design includes stone formations and boulders, meandering brooks, a natural grain mahogany bridge, and a millstone table, common in the area at the time of the first European settlers. The regeneration zone includes several raised planting pockets that enable aquatic plants to break through the surface. The construction team used the same paving material on the deck to build a series of pots for water lilies and lotuses. Due to the project size, the Princeton project took several years to complete all phases and faced its fair share of challenges. The property had a lower grade than required, so the team had to bring in 100 truckloads of fill dirt to level out the foundation for property drainage. Due to extreme winter weather, the team’s work
36 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
was stalled for several months. To solve the problem of a cold westerly wind, larger 8-foot stones were installed to create a buffer. The project was complete just in time for a summertime party, and the clients wowed their guests with their natural backyard oasis.
C O N TA C T Bionova Natural Pools (800) 929-7968 email@example.com
N U RT U R E
AVANT GARDEN: NORFOLK BOTANICAL GARDEN AND SOUTH CAROLINA BOTANICAL GARDEN
I N S I D E N U R T U R E T H I S M O N T H PAG E 3 9 S O I L R E M E D I AT I O N , D R . A N N A PA LTS E VA , PAG E 4 0 C R AW F I S H C O M P O ST, PAG E 4 2 AVA N T G A R D E N : B OTA N I C A L G A R D E N S , PAG E 4 6 I N D U ST R Y I N S I G H TS W I T H J O H N C O N R OY
Follow Us on Instagram @fishbranchtreefarm Contact Us: 863-735-2242
Mule Palms! Cold Hardy Easily Transplanted Intergeneric Hybrid Tropical Appearance Reaches Heights of 30’ ± Drought & Heat Resistant Prefers Well Drained Areas Zones 8b-10
S I M P L E ST E P S TO
SOI L R E M E D I AT I ON ANNA PALTSEVA, PHD, SHARES WHAT LANDSCAPERS CAN DO ABOUT SOIL CONTAMINATION
ll the goodness of food comes from the soil. However, soil in urban and suburban environments can be contaminated due to past industrial activities, lead paint, gasoline emissions and pesticide. Some legacy pollutants like lead, mercury and chromium stay in the environment for a long time, making their fate and transport unknown. With climate change, more frequent and severe weather events can cause soil erosion as well as a redistribution of contaminants. With more rainfall, more contaminants may redistribute laterally over larger areas. Present metals in soils may move downward, which might be beneficial for healthy gardening and farming in topsoil but cause an increase of groundwater contaminants. On the other hand, fertilizers and amendments may wash away or leach out more rapidly in
farms and gardens resulting in the need for a more frequent application and inability to form stable lead phosphate minerals in soils. Dr. Howard Mielke, a researcher at Tulane University, found that children’s blood lead levels increase during droughty periods when
soil is dry and dusty and decrease when soil is wet, and dust is settled. The effect of climate change on soil pollution is an emerging topic that needs further research. So, what can a professional landscaper do? If your job site was built before 1978, is next to a highway, or within one mile of an industry site, it’s a good idea to get the soil tested. Landscape professionals as well as
ANY LANDSCAPE PROFESSIONAL CAN BE THEIR OWN SOIL DOCTOR. TEST, DIAGNOSE AND TREAT YOUR SOIL FOR BETTER, HEALTHIER RESULTS residents need to protect themselves from toxic soil. Homeowners are often unaware of potential risks associated with soil contamination and how to help fix this. But the good news is, there are some simple ways you can help remediate the soil without digging too much into science. Start with testing the soil. There are multiple labs around the country that measure heavy metals in soil. Here at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, we are currently building the Delta Urban Soil Lab where anyone can submit soils to find out the pH, organic matter contents, salt levels, heavy metals and texture.
One way to improve soil quality is to use local compost and sediment resources. Compost dilutes contaminants and forms a stable environment to help organic matter bind with lead, making it less harmful for plants and people. You can also build a layer
of clean material on top of your current soil. Dr. Mielke took alluvium derived from river sediment deposited in the lower Mississippi River Delta to successfully remediate soil in community gardens and play areas in New Orleans. If you think the soil at your job site could be contaminated, you can also build a raised bed for your planting filled with clean sediment and compost, separated from the contaminated layer by a landscape fabric. Any landscape professional can be their own soil doctor. Test, diagnose and treat your soil for better, healthier results.
A B O U T D R . A N N A PA LTS E VA Dr. Anna Paltseva is an international urban soil scientist and assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s School of Geosciences.
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 39
CRAWFISH FARM AT PAPA’S PLACE IN LOUISIANA
C R AW F I S H C O M P O ST
INNOVATIVE LOUISIANA CRAWFISH FARMER CREATES NUTRIENT-RICH COMPOST FROM SHELLFISH WASTE
pring is crawfish season in Louisiana. Here in Cajun Country, locals eat crawfish a variety of ways—boiled and spiced, in étouffée over rice, stuffed in pastry pies, or in gumbo and casseroles. Crawfish farmer Jimbo Hundley has discovered another use for the mudbugs— as nutrient-rich compost.
WE’RE VERY FORTUNATE TO LIVE HERE IN SOUTH LOUISIANA—NOBODY ELSE CAN RAISE CRAWFISH IN THE UNITED STATES FRESHLY CAUGHT CRAWFISH
40 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
Louisiana farmers are resourceful and have been reusing and recycling long before the concepts became buzz words. Jimbo is a third generation rice farmer and got into the crawfish
JIMBO SHOWS OFF HIS CRAWFISH
business about 15 years ago on his 500-acre farm known fondly as “Papa’s Place.” Every fall after the rice harvest, he floods his fields to create crawfish ponds, and the crawfish emerge from their underground burrows. By early June, at the end of crawfish season, he drains the water and prepares his fields for rice again. “Crawfish and rice are the perfect marriage,” he says. “We’re very fortunate to live here in South Louisiana—nobody else can raise crawfish in the United States.” The rotation gives the land a chance to take a break and feeds the soil in beneficial ways. In 2019, Jimbo decided to take discarded crawfish shells and experiment with making compost. His first batch was ready in the spring of 2020. “A farmer friend of mine had a crawfish peeling plant, and they’d pile them up and let them rot and throw them back in the field,” says Jimbo. “Otherwise, you have to take it all to a landfill.” Jimbo combines the discarded crawfish shells with rice hulls, a byproduct of his fall harvest. Then with water, air and heat, he gets perfect compost in a matter of months. “You have to get it in an isolated spot because if the wind blows in the wrong direction, you can smell it,” he advises. But over time, the smell fades and he’s left with a fine dust of nutrient-rich and odorless compost he bags for $15. “Everyone wants MiracleGro but my product kicks their butt all over the place,” he says. Jimbo sent off soil samples to Waypoint Analytical in Memphis, the nation’s largest agricultural and environmental laboratory network. The first batch of soil had been fertilized with MiracleGro and the second
CRAWFISH COMPOST BAGGED AND READY
NOT ONLY DOES CRAWFISH COMPOST REDUCE WASTE AT HIS FARM AND IMPROVE THE SOIL IN HIS GARDEN, JIMBO SAYS HE’S PROUD TO DO HIS PART TO IMPROVE SUSTAINABILITY sample was fertilized with his Crawfish Compost. Both samples yielded the highest ratings of phosphorus and sulfur, but Crawfish Compost had slightly higher levels of potassium and magnesium and significantly higher levels of calcium, copper and zinc.
Crawfish Compost is also valued for its high levels of chitin. Chitin is a nitrogen-containing compound found in crustacean shells. When added to the soil, it slowly releases nitrogen, helping plants to grow strong structures and produce a deep-green color. Chitin helps plants to grow robustly as well as fight off root rot, blight and powdery mildew. Not only does Crawfish Compost reduce waste at his farm and improve the soil in his garden, Jimbo says he’s proud to do his part to improve sustainability. He hopes more studies will be done about the effectiveness and benefits of composting agricultural byproducts and that more people will catch on to the concept. But until he strikes it big with Crawfish Compost, he’s happy at Papa’s Place, farming rice and crawfish and sharing his invention with friends and fellow farmers.
A B O U T C R AW F I S H COMPOST Price $15/bag Location Mowata, Louisiana papasplacemowata.com
COMPOST PILE MADE FROM DECOMPOSED CRAWFISH SHELLS
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 41
AVA N T
otanical gardens have long been a place for plant lovers to seek respite, inspiration and knowledge. Now, they’re at the epicenter of sustainable practices. Norfolk Botanical Garden and South Carolina Botanical Garden are two organizations in the South leading by example, showing visitors and professionals how environmentally responsible practices are not only possible, they’re beautiful too.
PUBLIC GARDENS LEAD THE WAY ON SUSTAINABILIT Y
42 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
SOUTH CAROLINA BOTANICAL GARDEN When Dr. Patrick McMillan began working at South Carolina Botanical Garden at Clemson University in 2010, he was faced with a big task: creating a world-class attraction with just four groundsmen and a shoestring budget.
Since then, South Carolina Botanical Garden has gone from 200,000 visitors a year to 750,000. The garden has grown from 6,000 mostly woody plants to some 12,000 diverse species. The property is now home to one of the densest bird populations in the world, with more than 200 species on the 295-acre property.
At the centerpiece of it all is the Natural Heritage Garden, the brainchild of Dr. Patrick McMillan. An ecologist by trade, Patrick converted more than 60 acres of the property, which were mostly grass, into living habitats representing the biodiversity of South Carolina. Along a half-mile walk, visitors, students, horticulturists and landscape professionals can experience South Carolina’s mountain habitats down to the maritime forests and coastal wetlands. “Most gardens feature a collection of plants, but we’ve created a collection of habitats,” says Patrick. “We got rid of all these invasive exotics and started building micro-climates, duplicating what we see in the wild, from the hydrology to the soil to the geology. It’s really amazing—no other garden in North America has anything like it.” Clemson University is located in the state’s Piedmont region, and Patrick says the soil was already in prime condition for mountain habitats. Other areas were more challenging. For the coastal areas, for instance, his team completely re-engineered the landscape. They brought in loads of sand, manipulated
the soil and lined beds to hold water. “By creating new habitats, we’ve seen such an increase of life,” Patrick explains. “We’ve generated insects and seeds and small mammals and therefore attracted a lot more birds as well as a lot more pollinators. We’ve seen 4,000 monarchs in one bed at one time. It’s stunning.”
WE ARE BREAKING THE STEREOTYPE OF A 1950S STYLE OF LANDSCAPING TO CREATING A HEALTHY HABITAT FOR ANIMALS AND PLANTS
Patrick says the project is a testament to creating gardens for life and not just for beauty. “Instead of traditional gardens where there is separation, we have completely filled spaces so that there is overlap and interaction,” he says. “We are redefining beauty to be the intersection of life rather than the division of life. We are breaking the stereotype of a 1950s style of landscaping to creating a healthy habitat for animals and plants.” Patrick, who teaches forest biology and plant taxonomy at Clemson, says the gardens are an important lesson for landscape architects as well as homeowners to reconsider what is beautiful. “Landscaping is more than design and flow,” he says. “It’s about plants and the relationships with plants to the environment. Our gardens aren’t what people expect, but people end up being blown away. We are operating on the fringe, and it’s really neat to have CARNIVOROUS PLANTS these new ideas start right here in South Carolina.”
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 43
NORFOLK BOTANICAL GARDEN The largest garden in Virginia, the Norfolk Botanical Garden encompasses a 175-acre peninsula on Lake Whitehurst near Chesapeake Bay. The gardens were one of just a few in the country built during the Great Depression as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). While the organization honors the past, it’s ever-mindful of the future. With a background in horticulture and historic preservation, President and CEO Michael Desplaines is also passionate about the environment. “We’re trying to do all we can to address the climate crisis and reduce waste,” says Michael. Two years ago, the garden banned all plastic water bottles, and last year they banned all single-use plastic. All plates, cups and utensils must be reusable or compostable. “Drinking water in most municipalities is clean and affordable,” says Michael. “Water
bottles are so bad for the environment, from the packaging to the transporting to the energy used for cooling. HVAC is the number-one contributor of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Norfolk Botanical Garden is powered by 100% renewable energy through an innovative Green Power program through its local power company. Dominion Energy replaces the energy generated from non-renewable sources on their power grid with energy generated from renewable sources.
WE’RE TRYING TO DO ALL WE CAN TO ADDRESS THE CLIMATE CRISIS AND REDUCE WASTE
NORFOLK BOTANICAL GARDEN FEATURED ON THE US STAMP
44 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
Michael says it’s increased their monthly power bill about 10%, but it’s well worth it in order to offset their carbon footprint and support wind, solar and geothermal energy. For those living outside Dominion’s coverage, he recommends partnering with Arcadia (arcadia.com), to connect with clean energy options on the open market. Additionally, in 2018, Norfolk Botanical Garden installed 120 solar panels, generating enough energy to power its propagation greenhouse.
This year, Norfolk Botanical Garden will break ground on “Garden of Tomorrow” in partnership with Dills Architect. Innovative new features include a parking lot with pervious pavement, which will filter
NORFOLK BOTANICAL GARDEN IS POWERED BY 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY THROUGH AN INNOVATIVE GREEN POWER PROGRAM
will make a meaningful impact on the environment through practicing and promoting conservation and reaching school-aged children. No matter what changes come, Norfolk Botanical Garden’s mission will remain the same: Immerse visitors in a world of beauty, lead through environmental action and inspire through education and connection to nature.
C O N TA C T South Carolina Botanical Garden 150 Discovery Lane Clemson, SC
NORFOLK BOTANICAL GARDEN
rainwater and nourish the garden. A new state-of-the-art Conservatory will focus on conservation and will include some of the most threatened species in the world. A water education and rowing center
POWER UP YOUR SOIL.
Take your Lawns to the Level
Norfolk Botanical Garden 6700 Azalea Garden Road Norfolk, VA
Restoring the native landscape
MAKE YOUR LANDSCAPES SHINE!
High Performance Plant Nutrients Fertilizers ▪ Specialty Products Soil Amendments Fertility Forward® DIRECT TO CONSUMER MFR/HQ: Greensboro, GA Orlando, FL • Salt Lake City, UT
MFR BUY/SHIP DIRECT GreeneCountyFert.com
Distributor of professional Lawn and Ornamental pest control products
ernstseed.com firstname.lastname@example.org 800-873-3321
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 45
CHW PROFESSIONAL CONSULTANTS IS A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY DESIGN FIRM OFFERING LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN, PLANNING, CIVIL ENGINEERING, SURVEY AND CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING SERVICES THROUGHOUT PROJECTS IN THE SOUTHERN US
INDUSTRY INSIGHTS WITH
John Conroy is president, founder and owner of Fish Branch Tree Farm, a familyrun company with 40 employees. In 2019, FNGLA awarded him Educator of the Year for his work on the state’s grading process, his dynamic curriculum for landscape architects and his contribution to the Department of Transportation. In this article, John interviews Laurie F. Hall about the importance of planting the right tree in the right place. Laurie is director of landscape architecture for CHW Professional Consultants in Alachua, Florida, where over the last 15 years she has been involved in a wide range of commercial, multi-family residential, community planning, and campus projects throughout the South.
LAURIE F. HALL, PLA, ASLA
John: How do you navigate codes and ordinances for each job site? Laurie: Codes and ordinances play an important role in the design process, especially when working on urban design projects such as streetscape projects or urban infill projects. Not only do codes help ensure the health, safety and welfare of the public, they should also reflect the goals and vision for the local community. As a landscape architect, it is critical to be able to interpret how these codes translate into the built environment and understand our role in ensuring the community’s goals are met, especially relating to the urban forest. Code language can have a dramatic impact on the quantity, location, types and the overall success of the trees we plant and the projects we design, so we start each project with a thorough understanding of both the owner’s goals for their project as well as the applicable codes and site conditions. Sometimes the need to meet other requirements can make planting trees difficult, site constraints can stifle design, and/or existing conditions can leave us with limited options to
46 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
UF HEALTH GARDEN OF HOPE ©KEVIN RUCK
SW 14TH STREET STREETSCAPE, GAINESVILLE
meet the municipality’s requirements. Thus, it is important throughout the design process to coordinate and engage with the other design consultants, project stakeholders, and city/county staff to ensure there is proper coordination and communication. With communication comes understanding, compromise, and a greater likelihood of long-term success of our urban forest.
is being proposed, it will be difficult to achieve long-term success. Street trees also play a critical role in the design of our urban spaces. Besides the many important environmental benefits they provide, they help define our streetscapes and other urban spaces. They serve an important role to create a sense of community, increase property values, and provide numerous health benefits.
WITH COMMUNICATION COMES UNDERSTANDING, COMPROMISE, AND A GREATER LIKELIHOOD OF LONG-TERM SUCCESS OF OUR URBAN FOREST
John: How do you accommodate for root systems? Laurie: Accommodating for root systems should always start with planting quality trees. It is encouraging to see more municipalities requiring higher standards for plant material and requiring inspections during the installation of projects. If we start with poorly grown trees, we will encounter problems that can be difficult to overcome. With quality trees, and quality root systems, there are many options, or technologies, that allow for trees roots in urban applications. The use of structural cell systems, suspended sidewalks, and/or structural soils can often be beneficial by providing greater space for a trees root system to spread out while also providing necessary support for adjacent hardscapes and infrastructure. Instead of trees simply being planted in small openings surrounded by poor, compacted soils, these types of systems allow for more soil volume, less soil compaction and a more favorable environment for our urban forest.
John: What considerations are critical for the economic and social values of the proposed landscape? Laurie: There are many considerations that impact the economic and social values of a landscape. As we all know, our landscapes are living—and constantly changing— components of our communities. One important consideration is understanding the community’s ability to establish and care for the landscape over the long term. If a community has limited resources and is unable to maintain the level of landscape that
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 47
John: What is involved in planning for utilities? Laurie: Often the things you do not see create the most challenging constraints on a project. Most people don’t fully understand just how much utility infrastructure is located below ground in an urban environment. Just because we can’t see this infrastructure, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Our public streetscapes are often a maze of utilities that crisscross each other beneath our community’s streets and sidewalks. These utilities may be existing or proposed, above or below ground, and may require regular or emergency maintenance.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO FIND CREATIVE WAYS FOR TREES AND UTILITIES TO CO-EXIST Some municipalities have strict setbacks for specific species that are allowed—or not allowed—adjacent to their infrastructure. It is often difficult to find locations to plant street trees and meet the required setbacks from utilities. As with some code requirements, it is important to find creative ways for trees and utilities to co-exist, starting with a shared understanding that both are important and valuable assets of our communities. Where utilities are new, they should be designed with the trees in mind to allow adequate space for
UF INNOVATION HUB POCKET PARK
THE HUB AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
both. Where utilities are existing or space is limiting, appropriate tree species should be selected and placed to provide proper separation but not sacrificing the urban forest. John: How does biodiversity affect your decision making? Laurie: Biodiversity is important for both the health of our urban forests as well as the aesthetics of the spaces we design. An urban forest must be resilient to new pests and diseases, and one of the best ways to accomplish this is through diversity. We cannot just rely on one or two genera or species, but we must thoughtfully include a variety of tree species. Depending on the design goals of the project, a diverse plant palette can also provide interest through fall or spring color, deciduous or evergreen, and different sizes, colors and shapes of trees. That said, it is also critically important to select species that are hardy enough to thrive in the somewhat hostile environment of an urban landscape. These trees need to be able to adapt to the limited space, compacted soils and unfavorable microclimates often encountered in an urban landscape. John: How do you accommodate for pedestrian and vehicular traffic in your design? Laurie: Particularly in urban areas, streetscapes should be designed as vibrant, multi-modal corridors that accommodate pedestrians, bikes, public transit and cars. The addition of street trees, enhanced paving and site furniture can help to define the pedestrian zones, slow traffic and beautify
48 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
U N I V E R S I T Y O F F LO R I DA CIVIC SPACES CONCEPTS
OUR LANDSCAPES ARE LIVING—AND CONSTANTLY CHANGING—COMPONENTS OF OUR COMMUNITIES a corridor. Trees specifically play a very important role in providing shade and softening the built environment, which increases use and comfort for pedestrians. Trees bring value and beauty to our urban streetscapes but planting trees along roadways must be done safely and in accordance with all applicable design standards and regulations to ensure the safety of all users.
E D U C AT E
I N S I D E E D U C AT E T H I S M O N T H PAG E 5 0 1 2 WAYS TO B E S U STA I N A B L E , PAG E 5 4 1 0 S I M P L E ST E P S TO S AV I N G WAT E R , PAG E 5 6 S U STA I N A B L E P R O D U C TS
1 2 WAYS TO B E A
SUSTA I N ABLE FROM DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE TO GROWERS AND SUPPLIERS, WE ALL CAN MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE PLANET
1. UNDERSTAND HOW DESIGN AFFECTS MAINTENANCE Design the site, plantings and hardscaping by optimizing maintenance, and educate your clients on the maintenance requirements at the time of design. Can you reduce manpower and machinerun time? Design planting under trees so that leaves can be left onsite. This minimizes maintenance while allowing the leaves to enrich the soil and removing the need for fertilizer.
s members of the green industry, we have the privilege of making our world a greener, more beautiful place. Often in our jobs, we literally have Mother Earth in our hands. There are so many ways we can be more sustainable from how we design, how we work, and how we liaise with our clients. Sustainability shouldn’t create an additional burden—in fact, it can actually lessen our work. From climate change to water shortages to the quality of our air and water, we have the power to make a difference. Small changes we make today help back yards, communities and ultimately the world become a better place for the next generation.
3. CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLANT FOR THE RIGHT PLACE The spacing and specifying of plants can affect the amount of pruning that is required in the future. Choose plants that are well-suited to the location and will perform well with limited additional input.
The combination of clever design and construction planning can minimize waste. If you excavate a site and find boulders, you might incorporate them into the design instead of an off-site disposal. In Moncus Park in Louisiana, the construction team dug a pond and used the excess soil to build a hill—which happened to be the highest point in the city! This not only made the landscape more interesting and created an asset; it saved on disposal, trucking and costs.
2. CREATE A WASTE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
50 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
5. ENCOURAGE WILDLIFE Native plants are essential to feed native species and will help beneficial insects, birds, and wildlife stay in balance with nature. Design plantings that will attract dragonflies to eat mosquitoes or that will attract pollinators like butterflies and bees.
4. USE ORGANIC PRODUCTS 6. KNOW YOUR SOIL
Look for organic alternatives to weedkillers like EcoMIGHT. Weedkillers not only kill the weeds, but they destroy beneficial microorganisms too by seeping into our soil—and they can contaminate our water.
Test the soil prior to creating the planting design to ensure a planting palette that is matched to the soil and doesn’t require excavating, replacing with a non-native soil, or treating with chemicals in order for the plants to thrive. Extension services in your state often offer soil testing as a service to landscape companies.
7. IMPLEMENT STORMWATER MANAGEMENT Implementing only hard drainage or diverting water offsite only moves the problem to another area. Consider rainwater gardens, green rooftops and permeable paving. Permeable paving can reduce the load on drainage systems and can mitigate flooding as areas get more built up. Design planting that aids the onsite soaking away of water. Sponge Cities are being designed around the world to cope with excess water. JEWEL CHANGI AIRPORT, SINGAPORE
8. CONSERVE WATER Be mindful of water use, from the planting design to the mechanics of irrigation systems. Plants in a soggy area should have deep roots to soak up the water, and for dry areas, select drought-tolerant plants. You can also collect rainwater for use in the garden and use a rain sensor to ensure plants aren’t being over-watered.
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 51
10. CHOOSE QUALITY MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS
9. REDUCE LAWN-SIZE Lawns are hard on the environment. The Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program created by the University of Florida showed the amount of labor required for lawn care operators is the same if front gardens are 100% turf or 50% turf and 50% planting. Therefore, operators would not lose work or income if they encourage their clients to reduce lawns and increase native planting. Lawns do require feeding but this can be achieved sustainably. Use mulching mowers that cut the grass and provide nutrients to the grass while reducing the amount of waste that has to be carted offsite. Reducing the lawn and adding more native planting can increase the water absorbed by the garden and encourage wildlife.
Educate your clients that the cheaper route may come with hidden costs. For instance, cheap materials won’t last as long and will need to be replaced—at a cost. Build with materials that will last a long time; high-quality materials can withstand the outdoor elements better and longer. Use upcycled materials for containers and outdoor furniture.
11. ELIMINATE SINGLE-USE PLASTICS Plastic pots in the growing industry now can be replaced with other options. Leaf Burrito reusable bags can replace single-use black garbage bags. Bring a thermos of water to your job sites rather than using plastic bottles. Even at your office, you can provide your staff with re-usable cups.
12. USE GREEN POWER
Change out gas-powered tools for battery-powered when possible. Battery-powered equipment can now compete with gas-powered equipment in run times. Batterypowered is also quieter which is beneficial for businesses and residents. Give your clients the option of a robotic mower service from companies like MowBot.
52 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
Do you have other ideas for helping the landscaping industry become more sustainable? Send them to email@example.com. We are planning to feature sustainability in every issue, as it isn’t one extra part of our jobs, but an integrated part of everything we do.
JA NU AR Y/
FE BR UA RY
S INSBAY LNUCEASPLOAGOOLONS
M A IN TA IN B U IL D + D E S IG N + ’S PA RK LA ND LAW OF TH E
nt rtw rig ht we g Wh y Jeff Ca lan ds ca pin fro m law to
SE ED S OF SU
CC ES S
re Azale a How En co d ma jor bran grew to a
PE OP LE
n uis ian a tow A sm all Lo -cl as s pa rk rld bu ild s a wo
IN DU ST RY
NE W S
nt even ts Fro m cu rre rev iews nt to eq uip me
6 ISSUES EACH YEAR • WEEKLY NEWSLETTER We are delighted to offer qualified members of the green industry a free subscription to our magazine as well as our digital newsletter
For more information south.prolandscaperusa.com (337) 852-6318
10 S I M P L E ST E P S TO
S AV I N G WAT E R RICK HALL EXPLAINS HOW SMART IRRIGATION CAN BE A SUSTAINABLE OPTION
ut smart irrigation to the test to save money as well as conserve our most precious resource—water. Make sure you have the newest bluetooth/WiFi technology Bluetooth/WiFi devices allow programming of your irrigation system with easy-tounderstand apps on your smart device. This helps eliminate common programming errors that lead to incorrect watering of the landscape. Look for products with sensors that can shut off a sprinkler system to prevent overwatering during periods of heavy rainfall or freezing temperatures. Track the amount of rainfall you get in one week Most lawns only require one to two inches of water per week. Subtract rainfall from that amount and set the system accordingly. Reset timers for each season of the year Landscape watering needs vary during the seasons depending upon your climate. Most timers today have a special programming feature (water budget/seasonal adjust, for example), that allows for quick and uniform run time changes (10% to 200%), to all watering zones at the same time. This prevents mistakes by overlooking any single watering zone. Reset a sprinkler system timer at each change of the season: spring, summer, fall, and winter. For colder states, you will need to adjust the sprinklers two to three times per growing season.
Divide the property into hydrozones By separating the lawn and gardens into hydrozones, you can tailor the irrigation system to run at different intervals based on each area’s watering needs. A shaded backyard area will not need as much water as sun-loving grass due to less evaporation from the sun; the same goes for landscaped beds.
MOST LAWNS ONLY REQUIRE ONE TO TWO INCHES OF WATER PER WEEK. SUBTRACT RAINFALL FROM THAT AMOUNT AND SET THE SYSTEM ACCORDINGLY Get the right sprinkler heads for the zone Different sprinkler heads and nozzles deliver different amounts of water for their zone. You want the right sprinkler heads for each zone; but be careful mixing different types of heads on the same zone which will cause uneven watering to the zone. Set efficient zone run times/ programs on irrigation controllers Did you know that some zone run times may need to occur several times in a day because
54 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
the ground can only absorb so much water at one time? Set the programs to avoid water run-off—excess water running outside of the intended area of coverage due to over-watering. Adjust sprinkler heads so there is no water waste Set up the system with head-to-head spacing to ensure proper water coverage. And when you align the sprinkler heads, position them so they’re only watering the lawn and not your driveway, walkways or other hardscaped areas. Install low-flow nozzles Low-flow nozzles better match the soil’s ability to intake irrigation and reduce unwanted runoff. Upgrade older lawn sprinklers Replace older, less efficient sprinkler system components with new, more efficient ones. Practice smart irrigation Schedule early morning run times to eliminate evaporation by the sun. Also, remember that deep, infrequent watering benefits plants better than a shallow, daily sprinkle.
ABOUT RICK HALL Rick Hall, CIC, CID, CLIA, is the market development director at K-Rain Manufacturing and has more than 30 years of industry experience including 16 years at K-Rain.
COWPOTS Three generations of dairy farmers are behind CowPots. At Freund’s Farm Inc.—part of the coop for Cabot cheese—pretty much everything they do is sustainable: no-till corn fields, solar energy, recycled water and eco-friendly management plans. CowPots are American made, biodegradable, plastic-free, seed starting pots using composted cow manure. Put the entire potted plant in the ground, and CowPots break down in the first growing season, adding value to gardens just like manure. Plants suffer no transplant shock and establish themselves immediately. Tender, young roots easily penetrate the sides and bottoms of CowPots, and secondary root development throughout the pot grow into dense, healthy root systems. www.cowpots.com
S U STA I N A B L E P R O D U C TS FROM BATTERY-POWERED EQUIPMENT TO BIODEGRADABLE POTS, HERE IS OUR CURATED LIST OF PRODUCTS THAT ARE BOTH ECO-FRIENDLY AND EFFECTIVE
ECOMIGHT WEED KILLER All of the strength of a weed killer, with none of the guilt—that’s the company motto. Not only is EcoMIGHT non-toxic and organic, but it has been tested time and again on common, invasive and nearly impossible-to-control weed growth. EcoMIGHT is a systemic, killing weeds all the way to the roots. That’s why professional landscaping companies, parks, exclusive golf clubs, municipalities and school districts around the country are using EcoMIGHT. There is no re-entry period, so the area is safe for pets and kids immediately after application. Customers are not only satisfied with the results, but many have become passionate advocates. www.ecomight.com
56 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
TREEDIAPER Based in Virginia, the TreeDiaper is a patented technology—similar to a baby diaper—with a big capacity for holding water. TreeDiaper cuts down on watering and labor costs by keeping plants moist for weeks at a time. While the water release rate varies depending upon temperature, sunlight, air flow and humidity, in one test, the TreeDiaper mat continued to release water for a full two months. The mat recharges after rainfall or irrigation, then slowly releases the water. Installed on top of the soil and under a layer of mulch, the TreeDiaper also serves as weed control, root protection and soil erosion protection. The product works for all types of soils (from sand to clay), and when used properly, it promotes healthy outward root growth that facilitates establishment of newly planted trees and shrubs and enhances long-term health. www.treediaper.com
LEAF BURRITO YARD BAGS The revolutionary Leaf Burrito Year Round Yard Bag is made in America. This innovative product helps solve a world-wide crisis with single-use plastic film and short-lived poly tarps that are all unnecessarily going into landfills, storm drains, rivers and oceans. Leaf Burrito replaces dirty plastic film and tarps with durable, versatile and reusable Burrito Brands Incorporated products. Landscapers, universities and neighborhood associations have already made the switch. The Leaf Burrito is also customizable with your company logo and fits easily onto golf carts and maintenance vehicles. www.leafburrito.com
WunderCovers™ seamlessly blend manhole, drain, or utility access covers and vaults
Custom covers, built to order, low volume, any size or configuration
Our covers are made to fit a wide variety of uses
Simply input the surrounding hardscape into the cover
Seamlessly blend into the surrounding landscape
Tel. 775-400-2883 firstname.lastname@example.org
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 57
TOURNESOL GREENROOF TRAYS Tournesol Siteworks has more than 30 years of creating landscape solutions for urban environments and the green building industry. Tournesol GRT3 greenroof trays are a modular product consisting of a series of trays, which hold engineered soil and plants. The trays can go directly on existing roofs, assuming necessary support exists. The product provides storm water retention, insulation and membrane protection. Tournesol GRT3 greenroof trays are made of extremely durable high-density polyethylene (HDPE), with 60% recycled content. Unlike injection molded trays, the material resists cracking and splitting. They are available for either 4” extensive and 8” intensive applications. Raised drain holes at the corners and along channels allow for 3/4” of storm water retention after rainfall. www.tournesol.com
PLATIPUS TREE ANCHORS
Part of the new STIHL 135 professional battery platform, the FSA 135 and FSA 135 R battery-powered trimmers are assembled in America and are game changers for professional landscapers. The trimmers feature an on-board battery slot that can support both an on-board battery or a backpack battery for even longer run times. Paired with a brushless motor and the same drive and cutting components used in proven STIHL professional gas trimmers, these units deliver professional cutting performance comparable to STIHL gas units with zero exhaust emissions and low noise. These trimmers are versatile for different cutting applications, including trimming, cutting and weed clearing. www.stihlusa.com
58 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
Since first pioneering the concept of underground tree anchoring in 1983, Platipus has designed, manufactured and supplied systems to secure, stabilize and irrigate trees on projects all over the world. Platipus tree anchoring systems allow for fast and easy installation and quick root development with low environmental impact. Below ground anchoring eliminates public hazards such as unsightly guy wires and stakes. www.platipus.us
TRUEGRID PAVERS 100% permeable paving. TRUEGRID permeable pavers are a good alternative to concrete and asphalt. The pavers absorb stormwater with zero runoff and can eliminate the need for a detention pond. They are porous yet strong for heavy use, loads and traffic. The modular pavers are easy to install and are naturally attractive with gravel or grass fill. Millions of square feet of TRUEGRID pavers have been successfully installed by Google, AutoNation, Whole Foods Markets, NASCAR, the U.S. Military, local governments, universities and private residents. A bonus: The pavers are made in the USA using recycled consumables. www.truegridpaver.com
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 59
PEACOCK PAVERS Based in Alabama, Peacock Pavers is one of the country’s leading concrete paver manufacturers. Peacock Pavers specializes in manufacturing architectural-grade, handcrafted concrete pavers that emulate the beauty and texture of ancient stone—at a surprisingly affordable price. Peacock Pavers offers a variety of handcrafted concrete pavers for many different design applications, from interior flooring to exterior landscaping and driveway paving. Made from recyclable architectural-grade concrete, Peacock Pavers are friendly to the environment, require minimal fuel to produce and qualify for many LEED-certified projects. www.peacockpavers.com
MOWBOT POWERED BY HUSQVARNA Headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, Mowbot launched in 2017 giving landscaping companies the opportunity to own a franchise. The monthly commercial and residential lawn service uses Husqvarna robotic lawn mowers and battery-powered hand-held equipment resulting in fewer emissions, less energy consumption and less noise. Robotic mowers also result in a healthier, more resilient and much greener lawn requiring less fertilizer and less irrigation. www.mowbot.com
TRI-CORP’S AMBOOO DECKING Tri-Corp’s decking, siding and fencing products are a beautiful and sustainable alternative to wood. The company’s aMbooo terraces and fences are made of bamboo that’s harder than hardwood and thermally treated to increase durability. Perfect for the South’s heat, aMbooo products are UV resistant and don’t gray. Plus, there’s very low swelling and shrinkage. Natural looks come in Canyon Brown, White Oak, Granite Grey and Midnight Black. www.tricorpcoating.com
60 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
P EO P L E
TIMOTHEE SALLIN IMG ENTERPRISES AND OUTSIDE COLLAB
I N S I D E P E O P L E T H I S M O N T H PAG E 6 2 R A L P H S P E N C E R O F M U LC H M A N U FAC T U R I N G , PAG E 6 4 T I M OT H E E S A L L I N , C H E R RY L A K E A N D I M G C I T R U S , PAG E 6 6 L I T T L E I N T E R V I E WS
FOLLOWING ITS RECENT MERGER, WE SPOKE TO MULCH MANUFACTURING’S CEO
62 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
ulch Manufacturing and National Storm Recovery have come together to create Sustainable Green Team (SGTM). Based in Florida, the publicly traded company is a leading provider of environmentally beneficial solutions for tree and storm waste disposal. The company provides tree services, debris hauling, removal and bio-mass recycling, manufacturing, packaging and sales of next-generation mulch products. Last year, Mulch Manufacturing received its certification from the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) to begin recycling tree and storm waste into playground surfacing material. We recently chatted with Ralph Spencer, CEO of Mulch Manufacturing about his company and the merger.
How did you get into landscaping? When I was 12, I started a lawn service. In my neighborhood I would mow grass and do landscaping. I started specializing in mulch installation. When I graduated high school, I started a retail store, Ohio Mulch. It grew to a chain of 26 stores. Then I ended up moving to Florida and got into lumber and mulch manufacturing.
WE ARE CONVERTING OUR TRUCKING FLEET INTO ELECTRIC VEHICLES. ELECTRIC CARS AND TRUCKS ARE THE FUTURE Where do you distribute your mulch? Landscapers can buy from us direct or they can find our products in the big-box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Our Softscape products can be found at high-end garden centers. Tell us about your next-generation mulch products? We are pioneers and one of the country’s leaders in mulch manufacturing. We invented colored mulch—Nature’s Reflection is our paint division—and Softscape. Softscape is the best mulch there is. It’s made out of pure cypress. It’s bug resistant and manufactured in a way that looks like pine straw and then colored, and the color lasts four years, rather than a few months for traditional mulch. The bags are also light, so even grandma can lift them. And they are free from contaminants and safe for people and pets.
and it’s growing faster than it’s being harvested. We never harvest cypress out of Louisiana. We do everything with sustainability in mind.
Batmobile and the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” car were always on my wish list and I got those. I pursued them hard. I later lent out the Batmobile for the movie “Rock Star” with Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston. I’d been trying to buy the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” car for years, but the owner wouldn’t sell. I finally got it at an auction. I restored it, and it’s worth a lot of money now.
What are some of your other initiatives for sustainability? We are decreasing the volume of material that would otherwise continue to fill our nation’s landfills. We are converting our trucking fleet into electric vehicles. Electric cars and trucks are the future.
What challenges have you faced in your career? I almost went broke twice. I made it by hanging on by the skin of my teeth to not go bankrupt in the early days. But now we’re incredibly successful. What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs? If you don’t try, you’ll never succeed. So many people say they will do it one day and never do because they’re chicken. But you have to try. Never give up.
Do you have a favorite mulch? Softscape in chestnut. It’s the same color as longleaf pine straw. What’s the source of your mulch? We get our trees and debris from a variety of different places. Our Arbor Care division has crews that trim or cut down trees. Then when a hurricane or storm hits, our partner National Storm Recovery can take trees that are down and bring them back to convert to mulch. We get our cypress from plantations put there for the purpose of selling cypress,
We hear you collect cars? Yes. I’ve always been infatuated with cars. I bought a Lamborghini and Ferrari in my early 20s. I have a 1968 Shelby 500, a 1970 Dodge Challenger dragster, an amphicar that’s a boat and a car, and a few Rolls Royces. But the
C O N TA C T Mulch Manufacturing 1-800-860-9898 email@example.com
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 63
A NEW NORMAL IMG ENTERPRISES CO-CEO TIMOTHEE SALLIN MAKES MEANINGFUL CHANGE THROUGH THE OUTSIDE COLLAB INITIATIVE
64 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
s a young boy in Central Florida, Timothee Sallin grew up on a citrus farm. He spent his summers working in greenhouses and loading trucks to ship off his family’s produce. But he recalls bad years where devastating freezes ruined their crop and threatened their livelihood. “When you work in agriculture, you have to be resilient in order to overcome adversity,” he says. “We grew from a citrus farm to an ornamental nursery to a full-service landscape company. That diversification has allowed us to survive hurricanes, hailstorms and economic recession.” Today, IMG Enterprises owns and operates Cherrylake and IMG Citrus. The company employs 520 workers and farms over 10,000 acres. It is not only Florida’s largest producer of grapefruit, but it has also become one of the largest nurseries in the Southeast. Its ornamental business, which it operates on 1,200 acres, is among the largest in the Southeast and serves the Gulf States as well as the Mid-Atlantic.
But a successful business isn’t enough for Timothee; he has a higher cause. “Increasingly over the years I’ve become more interested in environmental sustainability as I’ve learned more about the industry,” he says. “The ornamental landscape industry is not as sustainable as it could be. A lot of our landscaping is contributing to environmental challenges and is a drain on our resources—the amount of water we consume, the amount of input.”
IF WE LANDSCAPE USING MORE SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES, WE WILL USE LESS WATER, CREATE BETTER HABITATS FOR POLLINATORS, IMPROVE AIR AND WATER QUALITY AND REDUCE OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT So, in 2020, he started OUTSIDE COLLAB, a state-wide initiative that encourages the landscaping industry to collaborate about better practices. “If we landscape using more sustainable practices, we will use less water, create better habitats for pollinators, improve air and water quality and reduce our carbon footprint,” says Timothee. “There are a large number of positive outcomes we can achieve.”
Timothee believes one of the biggest challenges is changing social perspectives and redefining what homeowners consider beautiful. Perfectly manicured green lawns require a lot of water, fertilizer and maintenance. Timothee admits change is difficult, especially when people have thought one way for so long. “For generations, land developers and marketers have presented this image of Florida to people out-of-state—a paradise of tropical plants and palms that isn’t the real Florida landscape,” he says. “The transition won’t happen overnight, but we need to move toward a new paradigm,” he continues. “We have to show beautiful examples of sustainable landscapes and educate people on their benefits. We need to help them make the connection between the big issues they care about, like global
warming and climate change, to their own landscapes.” The goal of OUTSIDE COLLAB is for like-minded professionals across the state to network and discuss important issues. Timothee says sharing ideas is important, whether that’s irrigation technology, new ways of composting, or rethinking the way work is done. “When we prune everything and put it on a trailer to dump it somewhere, we’re breaking up the cycle,” he says. “When you start thinking about closing the loop and reusing waste, there are some interesting solutions. We’ll reduce our carbon footprint while creating better soil health.” Timothee has been coordinating and involving professionals from different segments of the industry as well as the academic and government worlds. COVID-19 spoiled plans for the inaugural conference but OUTSIDE COLLAB went forward with a virtual program and is planning more events this year. While the initiative is only in Florida, it’s a model other states in the South can adopt. “The idea of collaborating and the basic goals of sustainable landscapes can apply anywhere,” says Timothee.
C O N TA C T Cherrylake 7836 Cherry Lake Road Groveland, FL (352) 429-2171
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 65
T H E L I T T L E I N T E RV I E W
PEOPLE PRO LANDSCAPER ASKS QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS TO GAIN A SMALL INSIGHT INTO THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE UP OUR INDUSTRY. TO TAKE PART, EMAIL LAURA.LEE@ELJAYS44.COM
66 Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021
LORNA ALLEN, PLA
M AT T C O O K
Senior urban designer and project planner, Charlotte Urban Design Center
Landscape designer/salesman, Purple Care, Fort Worth
How did you get involved in the industry? I come from a family of growers in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
What’s the best part of your job? Being outside in the fall and spring.
What’s the key to good design? I’d have to say accessibility. If it’s not accessible and can’t be enjoyed by the people, then it’s falling flat. Our work is so focused on making sure there is buy-in and leadership within each community. Whatever we bring to fruition is theirs and it’s something the people are proud of. How do you give back? Charlotte has one of the first designated Placemaking programs in the Southeast. We are helping communities improve underutilized public spaces by providing technical design assistance through grants. What’s your ideal Saturday? I love hitting up the local places— the restaurants and breweries. Formal or casual? I’m a happy eclectic blend. I like order and structure, so I lean formal, but I like easy and casual as far as livability. How are you practicing sustainability? We just formed an Office of Sustainability and Resiliency for the City of Charlotte to incorporate sustainable practices into our 2040 master plan. We want to continue to invest in public transportation and reduce our carbon footprint.
How did you get into the industry? I was teaching science and had an after-school outdoor landscaping club. We designed and implemented an Outdoor Learning Center to instruct students about natural cycles and the importance of water conservation and a love for the outdoors. What’s the key to great design? Creating a space that the client enjoys seeing every day, a space that invites them to come have their coffee outside. What’s the best place you’ve visited? Yosemite. If you have never driven through the tunnel and stopped to take in the view of Bridal Veil Falls and El Capitan, you have not lived. Where’s your happy place? I live on a free-range sheep farm on a dead-end, country road. When I turn down my wooded driveway and see my house, everything is right in the world and my blood pressure drops. What are you most proud of? My kids. We have been blessed with three children who think for themselves and are not afraid to go against the tide. What’s the best advice you’ve received? My boss Justin Berg said, “Matt, shut up and listen to the client.”
C A R I TA K O E N
Chief marketing officer, Green Magic Landscape, Mobile
Owner/operator, King Lawn and Landscape, Baton Rouge
Grounds superintendent, Georgia Southern University-Armstrong Campus, Savannah
How have you grown your business? We do a lot of work with the Chamber of Commerce and participate in marketing and networking groups. They offer a lot of programs that help with everything from legal issues to getting you connected and finding partners.
What’s been your biggest professional challenge? Staying on top of everything! And weather is always an issue.
How did you get started in the industry? I was interested in plants even in high school. I studied horticulture at the University of Georgia and became focused in public gardens.
How do you give back? I help minority businesses grow, and I try to inspire other women. Often, we wear many hats—mothers, wives, businesswomen—we need to depend on each other and support each other. How can we make the world a greener place? We specialize in area beautification. When spaces are run down, there are safety hazards and crime. We help people take pride in where they live, work and play and inspire our clients to take responsibility for their neighborhood. What’s been your biggest professional challenge? Being a woman in a male-dominated industry. There have been times where I reached out to potential clients and they ignored me. I had to bring my husband along with me on our first meetings. What do you like most about your job? This is more than a job for us. It’s a ministry. God created the land before He created people. We enjoy every opportunity to make the space in which we live better.
What would make the industry better? Finding good laborers. However, I’ve never met anyone in this industry that wouldn’t help me. People are very supportive. Whom do you most admire? Mr. Tom Fennell, the business owner of Clegg’s Nursery. I really learned a lot from him and his business before I started my company. Also, Dr. Jeff Beasley at LSU. I’m currently working on my master’s in landscape architecture. Where’s your happy place? The beach, or on a landscape project that is ahead of schedule. What’s the key to great design? Being practical but also incorporating diversity in plant selection. What’s your ideal Saturday? Doing my own landscaping and spending time with family. My wife is pregnant with our first child! What’s your advice for start-up companies? Detail out as much as possible in quotes and communicate as much as possible with clients from the start. Don’t quit! Seek advice and information from those with experience—don’t be afraid to ask!
What are the biggest industry challenges? In times, it’s not a very well-paying profession, so retaining good people interested in plants who don’t mind the hard work can be challenging. What are you most proud of? Our diversity. We have around 4,000 species of plants on 80 acres. What’s the key to good design? On campus, it’s different. It focuses on being able to display plants that are along the easiest path for students. What’s your favorite plant? It’s hard to choose just one, but I do have a favorite camellia, the crapnelliana. It has a cinnamon-colored felty bark and large glossy evergreen leaves with eight-inch white flowers in October. How are you practicing sustainability? Because we have a lot of stuff to take care of with a small staff, we have to make things low maintenance. We hardly fertilize anything—plants do very well on their own once they’re established. We also use centipede grass that requires very little fertilizer.
Pro Landscaper USA South March/April 2021 67
SMART. SLEEK. SAFE. DRAINAGE THAT COMPLEMENTS YOUR HARDSCAPE Your landscape drainage shouldn’t overshadow the beautiful space you’ve created. That’s why Slot Drain Systems are designed to work with your landscape design. Looking for an elegant accent to your modern space? Slot Drain. Looking for an invisible, ADA-compliant way to eliminate standing water? Slot Drain. The questions may change, but the answer is always the same: Slot Drain.
How can we solve your drainage needs? Call today to speak with a landscape drainage expert!