Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021

RISE OF TECHNOLOGY UTILIZING NEW TOOLS IN BUSINESS

DESIGN + BUILD + MAINTAIN INSPIRED BY NATURE

TV DEBUT

MINI AND MODERN

LEGAL CONSEQUENCES

Reducing carbon emissions by improving a century-old formula

Arkansas landscapers use their skills on the silver screen

Designer transforms patio that is only 480sq. ft

Expert landscaping consultant explains ways to avoid legal issues


DESIGN TANK PHOTO MATTEO GASTEL

Berg & Buzz Produced in

Warranty

Project

Scandinavia

Lifetime anti-rust warranty

Plus X Brighton

vestre.com

Designer

Espen Voll, Tore Borgersen & Michael Olofsson


WELCOME

W E LCO M E is something you may not expect. There are new tech developments, though, to help protect ecosystems in outdoor spaces. Apart from our spotlight on technology, check out a new Florida development that uses the elaborate entryway landscape to draw in new residents. And no space is too small—see how a Louisiana landscaper transformed a small, 480 sq ft patio with just a few materials. Then we head north, where a Kentucky couple created an outdoor sanctuary that gathered national attention. John Conroy joins us again, explaining what to do if you have a run in with the law. Read what mistakes can send a landscaper to the courtroom. 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

ANGELIQUE

MARY KATE

Angelique Robb Managing director angelique.robb@eljays44.com Mary Kate Carson Production editor marykate.carson@eljays44.com

©Jenny Eslick

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t’s everywhere. In our homes, in our schools, even in our pockets. Now, it is creeping its way into the green industry. Technology is deeply integrated into our society, and in this issue of Pro Landscaper USA magazine, we explore ways to embrace the new era. Technology can help make your business operate smoother and elevate the service you provide. Several industry leaders will explain what is working for their business and organizations. We know that many landscapers like to keep things old school, though. Deborah Cole talks about why they are slower to accept technology and advises ways to gracefully introduce these new ideas. Along with this, GoMaterials CEO Marc Elliot outlines the tech trends that we can anticipate for the future. Plus, technology is not just meant to improve business operations. Landscapers are adding to the carbon emissions in the atmosphere by using toxic materials and chemicals—but one of the biggest contributors

MIDTOWN RESIDENCE BY ALABACK DESIGN

COVERING: TEXAS, OKLAHOMA, LOUISIANA, ARK ANSAS, MISSISSIPPI, TENNESSEE, ALABAMA, GEORGIA, FLORIDA, NORTH CAROLINA, SOUTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA AND KENTUCKY

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Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

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CONTENTS

S INSPIRE

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INFORM 08 10 12 13 14 15 19

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22 26 28

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First Impressions Foster Conant & Associates Mini & Modern Megan Montgomery Design A Natural Sanctuary Inside Out Landscape Design

News The industry’s biggest news and events Agenda How does technology help your business or organization?

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Incorporating Technology Bailey Counts, SingleOps Welcoming Changes in Business Deborah Cole, Deborah Cole Connections

NURTURE

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Technology in the Field Brooke Inzerella, Horticare Landscape

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Let’s Hear it From Dan Alabak, Alaback Designs Company Profile Ground Effects Landscaping, Bella Vista, Arkansas

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Nursery Focus Native Forest Nursery Chatsworth, Georgia alterNATIVE Dangers of Ilex Cassine Industry Insights With John Conroy Contracts, Court Cases & Consequences: A conversation with Joe Samnick

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CONTENTS

SEPTEMBER /OCTOBER 2021 E D U C AT E 41 42 44 47 49

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Paving the Way Surfaces to add to your designs Proactive Solutions Biomason’s “growing” cement Becoming Climate Positive App launches to reduce industry’s carbon footprint Landscape Management Technology Trends Marc Elliot, GoMaterials Using 3D Rendering to Market Your Business Lori Hawkins, Hawkins Landscape Architecture

28 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021

RISE OF TECHNOLOGY

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UTILIZING NEW TOOLS IN BUSINESS

50 49

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PEOPLE 50

DESIGN + BUILD + MAINTAIN

Little Interviews Five voices of the industry

INSPIRED BY NATURE

TV DEBUT

MINI AND MODERN

LEGAL CONSEQUENCES

Reducing carbon emissions by improving a century-old formula

Arkansas landscapers use their skills on the silver screen

Designer transforms patio that is only 480sq. ft

Expert landscaping consultant explains ways to avoid legal issues

Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

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WELCOME

CO N T R I B U TO R S P12

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BAILEY COUNTS

DEBORAH COLE

Bailey Counts is a technology consultant with SingleOps, one of the fastest growing green industry softwares. He helps streamline businesses with the adoption of technology. Bailey is based in Atlanta, Georgia, but works with hundreds of landscape professionals all over the United States.

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.

SINGLEOPS.COM

DEBORAHCOLEPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

BROOKE INZERELLA

JOHN CONROY

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.

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.

HORTICARELANDSCAPE.COM

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FISHBRANCHTREEFARM.COM

MarC Elliot

Lori Hawkins

Marc Elliott is the CEO and co-founder of GoMaterials, an online marketplace for sourcing plant materials for landscaping professionals. Marc has experience in industry operations, finance, sales, management, strategic planning and customer service.

Lori Hawkins, RLA, ASLA, is the owner and principal of Hawkins Landscape Architecture. With over 30 years of experience, she specializes in high-end residential landscape architecture and offers 3D landscape design to allow customers to a unique view of their landscape before installation.

GOMATERIALS.COM

CONTACT Pro Landscaper USA South 109 S. Lemans St. Lafayette, LA 70503

Managing director Angelique Robb angelique.robb@eljays44.com (337) 852-6318 Production Editor Mary Kate Carson marykate.carson@eljays44.com (903) 283-0513 Printed by LSC Communications www.lsccom.com Published by ©Eljays44 LLC USA

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P13

P49 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 jamie.wilkinson@eljays44.com

HAWKINSLA.COM

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 jim.wilkinson@eljays44.com Head of content Nina Mason Designer Kara Thomas Subeditors Sam Seaton Katrina Roy

Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

Cover image: Redesigned OneOK Plaza, Tulsa OK ©Alaback Design

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INFORM

INDUSTRY

NEWS GLOBAL LESSONS

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retired U.S. Navy Four-Star Admiral James Stavridis will be the keynote speaker of the 2021 GIE+EXPO. Stavridis is the longest-serving global combatant commander in recent American military history. GIE+EXPO Event organizers announced that the keynote will be called “Leadership and a New World Order: The Need for Resilience”, and Stavridis will offer answers and strategies to global challenges. James led NATO Alliance operations from 2009 to 2013 and commanded all military operations in Latin America early in his career. He holds more than 50 medals from countries around the world. He also served as a dean of

law and diplomacy at Tufts University, has published nine books and has been a regular contributor for TIME Magazine and NBC nightly news. Admission to the keynote is included in the trade show registration. www.gie-expo.com

WINNING DESIGNS

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he American Society of Landscape Architects’ Florida Chapter picked the AMLI MidTown Miami project as a 2021 award winner. Early this year, Landscape Design Workshop revealed a 6.6-acre oasis around a new luxury apartment development in the heart of the city. The outdoor amenities are one of the main attractions for the 700 residents signing new leases. The landscape uses lush foliage, hardscape and water features, and entertainment spaces to connect three separate, multi-level buildings. Pro Landscaper USA featured AMLI Midtown Miami in the summer issue. The national ASLA chapter is still choosing the 2021 professional award winners. www.asla.org

HEAT STRESS PREVENTION

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new resource will help outdoor workers stay safe and healthy during the hot summer months. Researchers with the University of Connecticut established the National Heat Safety Coalition (NHSC) this summer, hoping to be the nation’s authority for heat stress prevention. They were largely inspired by the death of 27-year-old Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman, Korey Stringer. The UConn alumni died of heat stroke in 2001. Now, the NHSC wants to educate people about what causes heat-related health issues, how to prevent

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them, and how to help those in danger. The group will also host nationwide awareness initiatives, and discussions with outdoor business leaders and workers throughout the country. They will even evaluate individual companies and recommend safety protocol improvements. The NHSC hopes their effort can lead to new heat-safety standards to keep people safe and drive productivity in the workplace. www.heatsafetycoalition.com

Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

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INFORM

PL ANT SHORTAGE IMPACT

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he 2021 plant shortage caused material prices to rise by 20% this summer. GoMaterials shared this in a report studying the severity of the impact of consumer demand, COVID-19 and the February freeze. The group used data from thousands of landscaping jobs, and cites information on specific sizes, plant species, and pricing trends. Landscaping companies can use the report to learn more details on

INTERNATIONAL HONORS

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ro Landscaper USA contributor K-Rain earned international recognition for its RPS Select rotor. The irrigation company announced in July that the rotor won the Product Innovation Award. The rotor was one of many irrigation products from around the world on display at the International Sustainable Irrigation Expo in Queretaro, Mexico. K-Rain’s RPS Select rotor won thanks to its four-nozzle design. The nozzles can be easily changed, and users never have to replace them. www.krain.com

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which items and sizes are in short supply, what alternatives can be used, and predict more price changes. Wholesale nurseries may also use the report to benchmark their prices. GoMaterials says 60% of industry partners who contributed to the study expect shortages to continue for at least two more years. resources.gomaterials.com/2021-plantshortage-report

BAYER CHANGES PRODUCT FORMULAS

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ayer will stop using glyphosatebased products in the U.S. Lawn and Garden market by 2023. The company plans to develop new product formulas that rely solely on alternative active ingredients and are reviewed by the EPA and state health leaders. The company will also work with the EPA to develop more thorough warning labels on Roundup products. These decisions come after months of litigation tied to safety concerns that glyphosate in Roundup products can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Bayer has already settled or resolved nearly 100,000 lawsuits, but another 30,000 claims remain. The case is being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Bayer hopes to end the U.S. Roundup litigation by the beginning of next year but might still have to pay nearly $4.5bn in case settlements. www.bayer.com

DEFEND THE CITY

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iami leaders hope to reduce the risk of flooding by restoring parts of the city’s ecosystem and improving its base infrastructure. They updated their “Stormwater Master Plan” this summer, which outlines what actions could improve the city’s stormwater system if taken during the next 40 years. Among these actions are restoring and rebuilding existing wetlands, which the city calls the first line of defense. City leaders are also considering building stronger seawalls and breakwalls. Leaders evaluated the stormwater system this summer. It manages the drainage structure that protects the city’s roads, buildings, parking lots, and water quality. They identified one main problem – a higher groundwater table and sea level. This creates flood prone areas, saltwater intrusion, higher tides and backflow, and gives wildlife easier access to key structures. www.miamigov.com

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INFORM

AGENDA

HOW HAVE YOU USED TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS OR ORGANIZATION?

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Brent Moon, CPRP

Hanna Bass

HORTICULTURE MANAGER, HOUSTON BOTANICAL GARDEN, HOUSTON, TX

OWNER AND LEAD DESIGNER, HAPPY GARDENS OF AUSTIN, AUSTIN, TX

I think technology helps in a number of ways. Take drones, for example, that can monitor things like field crops and nursery stock; drones have really been game changers. Everyone from farmers to nursery managers to agricultural researchers to conservationists use drone technology to monitor plants in a fraction of the time it would take a person to walk these fields. Of course, nothing takes the place of a physical, human inspection but drones can be quickly used to spot potential problems, and then a person will be dispatched to investigate further.

I am a big fan of technology, and of course I understand that despite the image of a pastoral idyll the word garden evokes, a manmade landscape is as much a product of technology as it is of nature. For me, the main focus in landscape technologies is always on ergonomics, environmental sustainability of materials, and a mindful use of resources such as water and electric power, which is also the focus of design innovation. For example, sand pools which are imitating beaches. I would always invest in solutions that help my designs bring people and nature together.

Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

Charles King Sadler ASLA, ISA, TRAQ

FOUNDER, KING GARDEN LANDSCAPE DESIGN FIRM, K AT Y, TX We use technology extensively in our consulting, design and education practice. Leads come in through our website often. We have many specialty web pages such as “Boxwood Experts” and “Horticultural Consulting”, which garner top SEO results. The lead is sent out automatically to our service/sales team and the appropriate team member responds. We qualify the lead in advance as feasible with software to locate property, location, size, estimate scope of work. We call or email the lead, with their Google Earth address open to discuss details. To schedule a consultation or service we utilize an online invoicing service for payments and tracking. To source skilled and reputable contractors and vendors for our projects we utilize our networks in BBB, ASLA and ISA. These organizations have databases searchable by location. To source plants and materials we often use online availability lists from our preferred vendors. Once work is completed, we stay in touch with clients and B2B vendors with a regular email mailing list. We use targeted advertising/marketing on most social media channels. We find Instagram is particularly effective for new leads for our practice. We produce a Podcast - In the Landscape®. This also garners new high value leads and cultivates good relations and awareness of our Education and Pruning Training for Professionals.

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INFORM

Diane Blazek

Lex Mason

Caitlin Clineff

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALL-AMERICA SELECTIONS/NATIONAL GARDEN BUREAU, DUPAGE COUNTY, IL

PRESIDENT OF WEATHERMATIC, DALLAS, TX

COMPANY AMBASSADOR, MYATT LANDSCAPING CONCEPTS, FUQUAY-VARINA, NC

For us, the Mercado app has put us into modern times! All-America Selections trials never-before-sold flowers and plants. In 2020, we rolled out the use of the Mercado app for our judges to enter their scores for the AAS Trials. They simply download the app, set up their own information, then enter their scores and comments at various times throughout the trial season. No more paper in the field! Everything automatically syncs when they are back in a Wi-Fi hotspot so we get immediate results. Then it’s easy to download the data into PowerBI reports that we send to the entering breeders at the end of the trial season.

I grew up in the business and have had exposure from a very young age. If I look back 15 to 20 years, the speed at which technology was entering the industry 20 years ago versus the speed at which technology is entering the business in the past three years -- it is unrecognizable. Technology is coming fast, not just coming to the coasts and not just to the big metropolitan cities. It’s coming everywhere because things like labor challenges and the cost of water are industry wide. I’m encouraged by the automower technology and business operating systems that are coming out. There are more tech tools focused on the landscape industry and that’s really exciting to see.

The first thing anyone does when they want to hire a landscaper is go on Google and start searching. It’s important to show up in those results, and to have a website that is up to date and looking fresh, complete with social media. We also implemented a big landscape software a couple of years ago that organizes our estimating and contracts and client lists. The central software can also generate invoices, and that’s been really helpful from an efficiency standpoint. We just manage everything from one place now instead of using different programs to do scheduling or billing or find client details. A software to hold and manage all of that information really helps.

Jeffrey Scott PRESIDENT OF JEFFREY SCOTT COACHING AND CONSULTING, NEW ORLEANS, LA The landscape industry is ripe for process and client service improvement through technology—like every other business, the green industry will become underpinned and driven by tech and those who understand it and implement it best. There are many tech platforms to choose from; the key is to get the most you can from your current (or next) platform—be it an operational software, or a standard like Google or Microsoft, or even just Quickbooks. Most companies scratch the surface and don’t dig into the features of what they have. Look to assign “super” users of your tech, with the role of the super user to become an internal expert and resource to others in your organization, to ensure you gain the most value from your investments. “High tech high touch” means that the personal touch can’t be forgotten, however. Integrate the two and you have a recipe for success.

COMING UP: WHAT MEASURES DO YOU TAKE TO KEEP YOUR TEAM SAFE AND HEALTHY? E-MAIL OUR EDITOR MARY K ATE CARSON AT MARYK ATE.CARSON@EL JAYS44.COM TO BE INCLUDED IN OUR NE XT ISSUE

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Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

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INFORM

BAILEY COUNTS TECHNOLOGY IN THE GREEN INDUSTRY

UTILIZING TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP TO PUT YOU AHEAD OF YOUR COMPETITION, SAYS BAILEY COUNTS

Now, how does technology help? Firstly, a management software can save you hours on small tasks, like taking down client information or sending out an invoice. Client information is accessed by typing in a name, or an invoice is sent with one click.

Secondly, software can help you beat competition. Studies show that 80% of customers will choose the first proposal

THE GREEN INDUSTRY IS RAPIDLY GROWING AND THE BEST WAY TO OVERCOME OBSTACLES AND STAND OUT IS THE ADOPTION OF TECHNOLOGY they receive, so if you take all day to get your proposal to your customer, your competitor will have already sent one. Software can build a proposal on the property and send it before you leave the driveway. Thirdly, software helps you stay organized. The problem I hear the most is that people have “lost business due to leads and old proposals falling through the cracks”. Business on a piece of paper is easily misplaced, but

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Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

customer and job history on a management software is nearly impossible to lose. I’d like to end with tips to evaluate green industry software. First, it needs to be cloud based. This simply means that you will be able to communicate between the office and the field without skipping a beat. Next, make sure that you never have to do anything twice. Avoid software companies that require you to enter information multiple times. And last, choose a software that is customizable. This will make software much easier to implement into your landscaping business.

©Cienpies Design&Communication

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pring and summer bring the headaches and obstacles often forgotten during the winter season. Now is the time to plan for next year, developing solutions to those obstacles seen during the past few months. In my experience working with green industry professionals, these common obstacles plaguing businesses include spending too much time doing minute tasks (e.g. creating leads or sending out invoices), losing to competitors, and staying organized in a business that runs on pen and paper. The green industry is rapidly growing and the best way to overcome obstacles and stand out is the adoption of technology. The days of using a pen and carbon copy paper are in the past, and you must have an “out with the old and in with the new” mentality.

ABOUT BAILEY COUNTS Bailey Counts is a technology consultant with SingleOps, one of the fastest growing green industry softwares. To date, Bailey has worked with hundreds of landscape professionals all over the United States to help streamline their businesses with the adoption of technology.

singleops.com

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INFORM

DEBORAH COLE EMBRACING CHANGE

DEBORAH COLE ASKS WHY THE LANDSCAPING INDUSTRY IS SLOW TO INCORPORATE TECHNOLOGY

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o you feel that within your business you are a classic early adopter drowning in a sea of laggards? The terms “early adopter” and “laggard” come from a book by Everett M. Rogers, titled, Diffusion of Innovations (1962) in which he discusses the five types of adopter stages for new and innovative products or changes. As leaders, we know we are tasked with uncovering, implementing and supporting change. Many who own and/or lead within companies in the green industry wear the badge of “early adopter” with pride. We may be the first to include cutting edge technology in our back-office operations, record keeping, efficiency and operations. We are the ones who prowl the industry trade show floors looking for the newest and best of new products and services. We are early adopters and proud of it. We purchase clever products and begin to

implement the new and improved frequently finding that we are met with skepticism, anger and even mutiny by the staff. Why, oh why, can’t they “get it”? Why can’t we all be excited by the latest and greatest gizmo or technology when knowing all along it

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will make our businesses more profitable and life so much better? Change is what we must embrace to move our businesses along the path of growth and success. Fleet tracking, Roomba-style mowers, landscape design software, backoffice software, battery powered equipment, job site reporting, new chemicals and plant

CHANGE IS WHAT WE MUST EMBRACE TO MOVE OUR BUSINESSES ALONG THE PATH OF GROWTH AND SUCCESS materials are only a few of the innovations in the current business model with many more to come. Change is a part of our everyday life. The truth of this conundrum is that we all resist “new and improved” (i.e. change) in one way or another because of fear. But why should we fear improvement? Why did people resent the automobile when the horse-drawn wagon had worked well for centuries? Is there some reason that some people embrace change and others don’t? Understanding the basis for the fear of change and finding understanding and empathy for those who fear it most will help us in growing our businesses and coaching along those who don’t share our enthusiasm for all things new and shiny. Fear of change comes from fear of the unknown. Humans are hardwired to fear

danger and anything new. Early man was always on the alert for the next catastrophe or predator and sameness gave him/her peace of mind and ease. Safety and security are basic human needs and change (of any type) challenges this. Does a new piece of equipment challenge our safety? No. Does a new reporting device such as a tablet threaten our security? No. But change and anything new sets our early-man brains to reeling with red flags and warning signals. Danger, danger. As leaders and often early adopters, we know better, so how do we bring others along? Most fears stem from a lack of information. The fear of the unknown can make us fear the worst. We know that the main purpose of change is to improve business, humanity and the life in our society and we must convey that to others we wish to bring along with us. Training, support, mentoring, monitoring and repeating this process as many times as necessary are key to supporting our teams through change. Patience as well as understanding that there is fear behind change plus infinite amounts of training are key to turning everyone into a raving fan of all things new and improved.

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.

deborahcoleconnections.com

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INFORM

BROOKE INZERELLA SAVING SOLUTIONS

BROOKE INZERELLA ON USING TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS MORE EFFICIENT

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o be perfectly honest, I have always had a love/hate relationship with technology. I left my job as an investment advisor many years ago and took a (very) entry-level position with a landscaping company because I wanted to find my passion. I loved working with my hands, in the dirt, building and maintaining beautiful outdoor spaces. I wanted to work outside and not be tied to a computer screen. That’s what I did for three years until I decided it was time to be my own boss, opening Horticare in 2007. Back then, there was very little “technology” in the industry, and I was unaware of what was out there! Our project management, job reporting and time-tracking were all being done by hand, then hard copies turned into accounting (me) for billing and reconciliation at the end of the workday. After a few years of hard work and struggle to get the business on its feet and growing, I really started to think about ways we could be more efficient and productive. I knew that would save time and money! Around this same time, our cellphone provider representative approached us with an offer to partner on the development of a specialized software. We could tailor to suit our needs for centralized project and fleet management, and time and material tracking for a more seamless scheduling and billing

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process. I was able to customize the forms, fields and prompts for every module to satisfy exactly what we needed at that time. It was going to be a huge time-saver.

WE’VE CONTINUALLY ADAPTED OUR SOFTWARE TO GROWTH AND CHANGE IN THE BUSINESS, WHICH BENEFITED TREMENDOUSLY Back in those days, though, apps were a new thing. Plus, about 50% of my supervisors were, let’s just call them “old school” guys. Hard-working and dedicated men in their 50s and 60s, including my dad. Not one had ever used a smartphone, much less an app. The learning curve was not easy, but we stayed the course. Over time, everyone became proficient in the project management, time tracking and job reporting system. Now, daily job reports are submitted digitally to project managers and accounting with the click of a button. From clocking in, to GPS capabilities, to dispatch and many more features, the app has become the heartbeat of our operations. We have many different divisions doing different types of projects and the app helps us stay connected and organized, which saves

Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

time and money. There are two major points I’d like to make about digital tools: Be selective There are a lot of digital tools and software options out there and you can get bombarded with all that’s available. Really think about what your biggest challenges and obstacles are. Is it project management? Billing? HR management? Try to find the best solution for your biggest challenge, or one system that does it all. For example, there are some fancy digital tools for scheduling out there, but we have finessed and fine-tuned our Google calendar system and it’s easy to use and efficient. I don’t feel the need to change yet! Be patient with change When you do decide to adopt a new digital tool (and there are some great ones out there!), don’t expect it to be seamless. There will be hiccups and lost productivity along the way. The reason they call it a “learning curve” is because your productivity will certainly dip in the beginning. Keep at it and stay focused on the benefits you’ll enjoy down the road.

ABOUT BROOKE INZERELLA Brooke Inzerella is a licensed landscape horticulturist and owner of Horticare Landscape Company in Lafayette, Louisiana.

www.horticarelandscape.com

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INFORM

Let ’s Hear it From

DAN ALABACK ALABACK DESIGN

ALABACK DESIGN’S PRESIDENT AND PRINCIPAL DAN ALABACK HAS WORKED ACROSS MORE THAN 30 STATES FOR MORE THAN THREE DECADES. AND IT ALL STARTED AFTER A HUGE MILESTONE IN HIS LIFE

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day at the hospital sparked a burst of inspiration in Dan Alaback. His wife had just given birth to the couple’s first of three sons, when he decided to launch his own landscape architecture business. Dan fell in love with the profession after working in the industry for several years, but when he became a dad, he decided to move in a different direction. “I had a sense that I was ready to start,” said Dan. The new family quickly rushed home and got to work on what would become a nationwide brand. Alaback Design has designed and led projects in more than 34 states, creating outdoor spaces for cities, university campuses, commercial and multi-family

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buildings, and single-family homes. The team of seven landscape architects manages all projects from their corporate office in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They take care of the master

I AM A PEOPLE PERSON AND I LOVE WORKING WITH OTHERS. TO CREATE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING, AS LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS DO, IT IS ALWAYS SATISFYING

planning, site planning, and construction project management. Nearly all of it is done virtually, thanks to today’s technology. Despite any distance, Dan and his team have long-lasting relationships with their many clients and a strong network within the industry. Dan also works closely with other industry professionals, advising young designers across the country. “I am a people person and I love working with others. To create something out of nothing, as landscape architects do, it is always satisfying. Then to earn respect from people who you’re working for, and they love what you do, it is even more rewarding.” 1 OSU Center for Health Sciences ©Jenny Eslick

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INFORM

Dan’s interest in landscape architecture began while working with a landscape installation company in high school. He attended Oklahoma State University, starting in the forestry program. That changed in 1976. “The professor in forestry said: ‘Look to your left, look to your right. Neither of these people will have a job in forestry in four years because you have to be at the top of your class’. I decided I was not.” It took a little research, but Dan found a new career route and never looked back. Dan earned his Landscape Architecture degree from OSU and has worked in the industry for 41 years. He and his team have been honored by several landscaping

DAN ALABACK AT CENTENNIAL PARK

THESE ARE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PLACES, WHERE PEOPLE CAN ENGAGE and small business awards and will celebrate the 35th year in operation this August. Dan is even getting to leave his mark on his alma mater. One of the firm’s latest projects was to redesign the OSU Welcome Plaza in front of the Student Union and Undergraduate Office of Admissions. The school has earned the “Keep Oklahoma Beautiful” Collegiate Award. Dan says the beauty of the campus is drawing more students to Stillwater. “The plaza is the first thing potential OSU students see as they come onto campus. Staff members say they love the space because it is so welcoming. These are the most successful places, where people can engage.”

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Vintage Winter Park, Florida Midtown Residence ©Jenny Eslick Centennial Park ©Gregory Ballos OSU Center for Health Sciences ©Jenny Eslick Redesigned OneOK Plaza, Tulsa OK Welcome plaza, Sillwater, OK South Tulsa Residence Gateway pool and surroundings, Tennessee

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INFORM

Alaback Design’s impact goes far beyond the firm’s home state though. The landscape architects obtained licenses to maintain and relationships with clients who expanded outside of Oklahoma. Right now, the firm can work in 24 states. This does pose some unique challenges.

THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE I SEE BETWEEN STATES IS THE WATER CONSERVATION ISSUES “When we are doing work in California, we need far different material than what we’re using in Tulsa. The same is true for Colorado, Georgia, South Carolina, etc. The biggest difference I see between states is the water conservation issues. “For example, we can look at Oklahoma, which has an abundance of water. When we work in Colorado, everyone is concerned about sustainable plant materials and low water consumption.” Along with climate challenges, architects must also stay up to date on codes in each city. “We talk with a lot of the city planners or the zoning officers to be sure we are clear. We’ve built a great repertoire with them. Many of the planners and health department officers even know us by name.” And Dan’s wife Robin still works with the business three decades after helping it to launch. At the moment, Alaback Design is working in 10 states, bringing new ideas and spaces to life. “That is the beauty of doing any of these projects. You’re doing something special.”

C O N TA C T Alaback Design 3202 East 21st Street, Suite 100 Tulsa, OK 74114 Tel: 918-742-1463

alabackdesign.com

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ADVERTORIAL

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rilliance is known for high-quality, energy efficient LED lamps and handcrafted metal fixtures. The new fixture, called Brilliance Organics, is an MR16 directional light made from a composite blend of 40% natural bamboo material and 60% polypropylene. The sustainable blend reduces the use of carbon, and other forest and fossil resources. This makes it a socially responsible fixture option that is also an economical alternative to traditional plastic. Plus, Brilliance Organics includes a lifetime warranty and is suitable for recycling. The fixture uses the same toolless design as the Metal Works line, and features multiple points of articulation in the fixture knuckle for adjustability. The material also offers superior Wi-Fi signal propagation, so it is a perfect choice for Chameleon RGBW lamps.

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This organic product shows the Brilliance team’s commitment to sustainability and use of natural resources. The company is not simply manufacturing landscape lighting products. It is using innovative technology to bring sustainable solutions to the green industry.

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Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

O ganics ics

Our mission Brilliance is passionate about leading the landscape lighting industry into a fully energy efficient LED market with only the highest quality products at the most cost-effective prices. We strive to provide honest and exemplary customer service to our network of distributors, contractors, and end users. At the forefront of all that we do is the mission of preserving our planet through sustainable goals. What you can expect from Brilliance • Superior customer service to our distributor network that extends to contractors and homeowners. • The finest in-house engineering, craftsmanship, quality control, customer service, technical support, and product warranty. • Innovative landscape lighting products your designs need that make your job easier.

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INFORM

COMPANY PROFILE

AN ARK ANSAS L ANDSCAPING COMPANY MAKES ITS ON-SCREEN DEBUT

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landscaper’s work is always on display. Whether it’s a large commercial site with thousands of visitors, or it’s a backyard family barbeque, the spaces draw crowds. An Arkansas landscaping company is getting eyes from a more unique audience though: the TV audience. Ground Effects Landscaping is the key outdoor contractor for the HGTV show “Fixer to Fabulous”. The show is set in Northwest Arkansas, where Ground Effects has been working for about 25 years. Owner and president Tyler Burns launched the company through a lawn-mowing gig while he was in high school. The Northwest Arkansas area

TYLER BURNS

housing market boomed during that time and Tyler connected to many new homeowners and construction companies to grow his clientele. He quickly found himself busy with work through area referrals, and Ground Effects was born. The group manages large and small residential properties. Tyler is an old-school

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GROUND EFFECTS LANDSCAPING designer, typically hand drawing ideas alongside a client to help them brainstorm and develop their vision. He often incorporates custom welding, metal, and stonework details. “I try to put as many little touches to a project as I can,” said Tyler.

WE TYPICALLY KNOCK OUT THE PROJECT IN TWO DAYS. IT CAN BE STRESSFUL SOMETIMES, IT’S SOMETHING WE WERE NOT USED TO INITIALLY. WE GOT COMFORTABLE WITH IT THOUGH AS WE CONNECTED WITH THE PRODUCERS AND FILM CREW

the Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. Despite the team’s long project history, it has never tackled something quite like Fixer to Fabulous. The show is similar to HGTV’s Fixer-Upper, featuring people who want to redesign the common spaces and exteriors of an older home. The project’s minimal budget is always $100,000. Fixer to Fabulous found Ground Effects Landscaping online in 2020. By the end of 2021, the group will have

Tyler leads an effective close-knit team that often build backyards with on-trend outdoor living features like patios and fire pits. They are also certified paver installers who build driveways and pool decks. Ground Effects even installed a courtyard inside of

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INFORM

completed more than a dozen episodes. Tyler says the toughest part of the show is the turnaround time. “We typically knock out the project in two days. It can be stressful sometimes, it’s something we were not used to initially. We got comfortable with it though as we

connected with the producers and film crew.” Tyler says the show takes a tremendous amount of coordination. Professionals from other trades, like painters and interior contractors, are working as Ground Effects crews are landscaping. They also have to design with filming aspects in mind, like weather, lighting, and camera angles. “For example, sometimes they want to film as the sun is setting or rising. A lot of the finishing shots of the home take seven or eight hours to film and edit, so we have to finish several days before the reveal.” These aspects can change what materials are used for a project and where the materials are placed. “So, a shrub might be put in front

of a window so you can see it from the inside of the living room. I’ve never had to paint grass before working with the show! Sometimes things get torn up during construction, so we will paint the grass to make it pop on camera. Last season we had to cover the brands on all of our shovels and the planting pots.” Producers often ask for these small adjustments, but for the most part Tyler takes the lead on the outdoor designs. He works closely with the show’s lead contractors to develop his plans. Fixer to Fabulous has brought more coordination within Ground Effects as well. Tyler used to split employees up into several different crews, but now everyone works together to meet the show’s deadlines. “The stress of the show has definitely brought us closer as a company. Being able to work together, all on one crew, and coordinate something really quickly really brings camaraderie. We realize that when we work together, we can accomplish a lot.” The team has also gotten used to having a camera filming their work. Film crews will place GoPros or drones around the outside of

BEING ABLE TO WORK TOGETHER, ALL ON ONE CREW, AND COORDINATE SOMETHING REALLY QUICKLY REALLY BRINGS CAMARADERIE. WE REALIZE THAT WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER, WE CAN ACCOMPLISH A LOT

the home; sometimes an actual camera operator will get close and personal. “Even if we’re doing something basic like planting a shrub. It is a little weird, we’re getting used to it though!” Despite these challenges and adjustments, Tyler calls the show a fun experience. He even hopes to get more camera time with show hosts Dave and Jenny Marrs this season. Keep an eye out for his speaking debut this season on HGTV’s Fixer to Fabulous.

C O N TA C T Ground Effects Landscaping geffects@yahoo.com Tel: (479) 633-8985

www.nwageffects.com

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INSPIRE

FIRST IMPRESSIONS FO ST E R C O N A N T & AS S O C I AT E S A FLORIDA LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE TEAM HAS USED INTRICATE DESIGNS TO DRAW IN NEW RESIDENTS TO A LARGE ORLANDO DEVELOPMENT

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PROJECT D E TA I L S Build time Project design started 2017; construction began in 2019. Phase One construction (main entrance and sales center) was completed spring 2020 Size of project 700 acres

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he south is booming with new residents who want to enjoy warmer weather and southern hospitality. The residential market grows more competitive with each new wave of people, especially in larger cities. So, developers must make a strong first impression to attract renters and buyers and to stand out among their competition. Arguably, nothing does that better than an impressive outdoor space. A new living community is under construction on the southeast side of Orlando, called Del Webb Sunbridge. The residential community, for “active seniors” aged 55 and older, will have roughly 1,300 single family homes on 700 acres. The property is just west of the St. Johns River basin, and homes back up to wetland conservation areas. Construction on the project launched in 2017, and crews completed Phase 1 in spring 2020. The developer, PulteGroup, invested in the community’s outdoor aesthetics early in the project, hoping to draw in new buyers as the community grows. It asked landscape architects from Foster Conant & Associates, Inc. to create a powerful statement that visitors will see as soon as they arrive. Partners Richard Conant and Matthew Allen led the team to design a multi-level waterfall feature that greets guests at the property entrance. “The residential growth that we are experiencing in Florida right now is phenomenal, and home builders have stepped up their projects to keep up with the

market,” said Rick Conant. “On this project, developers spent a lot of money to create an impressive entrance and sales center. This is the first thing a prospective buyer will see when they visit the new community.” The waterfall feature flows north, a tribute to the St, Johns River which is the only river in North America to flow in this direction. The design team replicated and protected the natural environment throughout the property. They kept as many trees as possible that were

THIS IS THE FIRST THING A PROSPECTIVE BUYER WILL SEE WHEN THEY VISIT THE NEW COMMUNITY growing before construction began, and even saved one of the largest sand live oaks Rick has seen in years. “To save trees in this area of Florida is a tremendous challenge on most projects,” said Rick. “As a landscape architect, we see acres of beautiful trees go down for developments all the time. “Usually, new property contains some wetlands, so engineers have to elevate the

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Water feature at the east entrance Palm line view at the Visitor Center Park A vista by the Model Center Office The guardhouse lighting at night time Del Webb Blvd. walkway with seating

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land for drainage by two to three feet for buildings and all the trees have to come down. Remarkably, we were able to save a large patch of existing trees at the main entrance.” The team planted hundreds of palms, supplied by Fish Branch Tree Farm and Griffin Tree Farm in Florida. Live oak trees line the main boulevard that goes through the center of the property. “It feels nice and full, already looking better than when it was just a big cleared site.” Foster Conant & Associates, Inc. has worked on many large residential developments during its 50 years in business.

TO SAVE TREES IN THIS AREA OF FLORIDA IS A TREMENDOUS CHALLENGE ON MOST PROJECTS

The team has a wide portfolio, though, serving public, private and even federal groups in the United States and the Caribbean. The team of seven professionals say their goal is to inspire people, provide function, and create memorable places. The Del Webb Sunbridge will certainly be a place to make memories. When construction wraps up, the property will feature a number of amenities, including a large community center with a restaurant and bar, an outdoor

PA R T N E R S & S U P P L I E R S Landscape architect (landscape, hardscape, irrigation fountain, lighting design) Foster Conant & Associates fosterconant.com

Architect (Guardhouse) STG Design stgdesign.com

amphitheater, tennis and pickleball courts, and even an resistance pool. The water will push against the swimmers, giving a little resistance to give a lot of exercise. There will also be medical staff on site to assist older residents when necessary.

General contractor JK2 Construction jk2.com/construction/ Fountain design Freeport Fountains freeportfountains.com Precast for vertical walls and wall caps D.C. Kerckhoff kerckhoffstone.com Landscape Installation CherryLake cherrylake.com Palm supplier Griffin Tree Farms griffintrees.com

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West entrance sign with lighting Waterfall area during construction Tree save marked out during construction Aerial view of entrance during construction Full elevation water feature with signage

Palm Supplier Fish Branch Tree Farm fishbranchtreefarm.com Pavers Belgard belgard.com Lighting Street Lighting Evolve Epic by GE Palm Tree Uplights Eaton Lighting Specimen Tree Uplights RAB Lighting Irrigation Rainbird controlled by ESP-LXD Control System Rainbird heads

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INSPIRE PROJECT D E TA I L S

MINI & MODERN MEGAN MONTGOMERY DESIGN

Project value $6,000 Build time Less than a week Size of project 480 sq ft

A LOUISIANA DESIGNER USES MINIMAL TOOLS TO TRANSFORM A BACKYARD GARDEN

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he most defining feature of an outdoor project is arguably space. Each project is uniquely sized and shaped differently, and designs aim to make the most out of the space given. Megan Montgomery runs a landscape design firm in Lafayette, Louisiana. She has worked on projects worth $3,000 and ones worth $30,000, balancing her clients ideas with what the space needs. One significantly challenging project stands out though. Megan redesigned a patio that was only about 10 or 11 feet wide by roughly 60 feet long. “I want to really understand what is already there, that has to speak to me first. I want to use that to tell a cohesive story. I’m not trying

BEFORE

to go in any direction other than what fits with what they have already. What is the energy and what are they trying to get out of this? It’s them having to experience it, not me.” Megan based her design around a concrete pad coming off the back door. The pad was cemented into the home’s foundation, so

Megan symmetrically scattered similarly sized concrete pads around the area. She also used astroturf and Texas black basalt limestone. “I thought, how am I going to incorporate everything and make it balanced? How do I lay it out and get everything to fit,” Megan elaborates. “I needed all my principles in line, then the materials were really an afterthought.” The limestone comes from the Texas Hill Country to create the Austin feel. The homeowners themselves hauled the rock to Lafayette. They also helped Megan find and fill potted planters to bring some vegetation into the space. The mix of turf and pots were perfect for the homeowner who wanted a low maintenance garden. The entire project only took about 4 days and cost less than $6,000. Megan loves homeowners who seek to understand the character and design of the garden. She does offer maintenance services, but has many clients who choose to manage their new gardens on their own. Megan gives thorough instructions to those interested, always encouraging clients to engage with their garden. “It’s almost a broken record with everybody right now, that they just can’t connect with their yard. I started connecting people back to their property. It makes an impact and it helps make memories.” The memories helped launch Megan into the landscaping field. She connects to nature and people who engage with it, and Megan says that engaging with the outdoors brings her biggest inspirations.

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PA R T N E R S & S U P P L I E R S Texas black basalt limestone Provided by the client Astroturf and poured and framed concrete Horticare www.horticarelandscape.com Furniture and troughs Wayfair wayfair.com Plants Live Oak Nursery (New Iberia, LA) liveoakgardens.com 1x1 concrete pavers The Home Depot homedepot.com

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PROJECT D E TA I L S Project value Approx. $400,000 Build time 5 months (2 months for front phases, 3 months for back phases) Size of project 2 acres

NATURAL SANCTUARY INSIDE OUT LANDSCAPING DESIGN KENTUCKY LANDSCAPERS TURN A BACKYARD INTO A THRIVING ECOSYSTEM

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here are countless benefits to planting native species. One of the big selling points, though, is that they create a natural ecosystem where wildlife can thrive. Native plant species were the key factor in a Kentucky project that transformed an unruly eight-acre field into a bustling prairie. It is now a certified wildlife habitat with national recognition. Inside Out Landscaping Design redeveloped the property near Frankfort, Kentucky about a decade ago, for a couple who relocated from Fairbanks, Alaska. The couple asked for an outdoor oasis, filled with animals, insects, blooming flowers, and bubbling water features. Andrea Wilson Mueller and her team completed the project in

several phases, taking roughly five months. In the first phase, they built natural stone walls to outline the lawn area. Then they developed the front and back landscapes, installed a native pollinator garden, and planted more than 80 native and evergreen trees. A deer fence also went up, and many bed islands were placed to improve aesthetics around the home’s entryway and electrical boxes. They ripped out invasive species creeping throughout the woodline and replaced them with natives. The team developed an outdoor living space during phase two. They installed an outdoor kitchen with granite countertops, a fishpond, natural limestone fireplace, and paved stone walkways. Andrea even designed a unique water feature that meshed into a wall.

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INSPIRE The expansive patio morphs into the field, providing a beautiful view and connection to the visiting wildlife. The team dedicated the next phase to laying more vegetation, placing more than 100 native tree whips and 6,000 prairie grasses, groundcovers, and perennials throughout the property. The final phase shifted gears from planting to paving, as hardscapers laid a circular driveway, several walkways, and a stepping stone path. Inside Out continues to maintain the property, and the team loves seeing animals and insects visit the home. “Every time I go to the prairie, there’s multiple butterflies, moths, beneficial wasps, bees and so many other insects,” said Andrea Mueller. “It’s really neat to watch it grow and fill.” Andrea and her team say they love clients who value sustainability, natives and wildlife, so the homeowners were ideal. They were fairly removed from the process, though, as they were moving across the continent. They had to trust the team and give them support and creative freedom to design what fit the property and goals. The architects developed the majority of the ideas on their own, including the water feature and circle driveway.

EVERY TIME I GO TO THE PRAIRIE, THERE’S MULTIPLE BUTTERFLIES, MOTHS, BENEFICIAL WASPS, BEES AND SO MANY OTHER INSECTS. IT’S REALLY NEAT TO WATCH IT GROW AND FILL “As long as a client is communicating their goals clearly, then they can trust me and know that I’m going to do what’s best for them.“ One of the biggest challenges Andrea faced in this project was the grades. She says measuring and responding to grades is always tough, but her team never had to compact a patio 1 Foliage in front of the home 2 Beginning of prairie 3 Stone fireplace and patio

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Water feature installed into well Circle driveway Outskirts of property’s prairie Paved back patio Patio with lighting features

THE FRONT GARDEN BEFORE

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as much as this one. She says they typically use stone to fill in uneven spaces, but they used clay this time. Andrea also had the task of designing the wall water feature. It was unlike anything she had built before, and the idea sparked as she brainstormed ways to fit a water feature into the design.

DURING

PA R T N E R S & S U P P L I E R S

THE BACK GARDEN BEFORE

“It actually ended up being way cooler than the original design. At first, the water was just kind of like part of the pond and the wall was separate. Later we realized that wouldn’t work, so this idea was just an effort to correct the initial plan.” A project this size, with this many phases, took a large crew. Inside Out Landscaping Design have skilled landscaping, hardscaping, and maintenance specialists on staff, who each played their own key role in the build. Andrea and her husband have led the team since launching the company in 2007. The two met as teenagers when he began working for Andrea’s father’s landscaping company. It certainly is a family business. About 80% of Inside Out’s projects focus on residential properties, but the prairie sanctuary is one of its biggest builds. This work will continue to pay off for years to come, as the ecosystem it helped create continues to blossom and thrive.

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Lighting Vista Lighting vistapro.com Copper Moon lighting installation Red Oak Outdoor Lighting redoakoutdoorlighting.com Deck posts and underdecking Basinger Construction Custom kitchen cabinets RF Cabinetry rfhomeco.com Railings Maynard Studios maynardstudios.com Paving for front walkway/back patio Techo-Bloc techo-bloc.com

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N U R S E RY

FO C U S N AT I V E F O R E S T N U R S E R Y

Sourcing Seeds

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NURTURE

NATIVE FOREST NURSERY IS FINDING NEW WAYS TO COPE WITH AN INCRE ASE IN DEMAND

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nvironmental restoration initiatives are spreading throughout the world, led by prominent influencers, non-profit groups, and big businesses launching plans to fight climate change. A popular answer on combating carbon dioxide emissions? Plant more trees. It is the cheapest way to cut down on CO2 in the atmosphere, and dozens of tree-planting initiatives are ongoing nationwide. The trend is forcing horticulturists to make big changes. Plants and trees are in drastically short supply, and growing materials are selling at roughly 20% higher prices (compared to 2020). The aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and the winter freeze that hit the south at the beginning of 2021 have formed a recipe for trouble. But according to leaders of Native Forest Nursery in Chatsworth, Georgia, shortages have been a long time coming—especially for traditional bare root trees. Native Forest Nursery started producing trees in 2008. At the time, the plant material grown at the nursery was intended for clients within the industry. Products ranged from oak varieties, to pines, and even fruit trees, all native to the region. Today, Native Forest continues to provide more than 100 different native species in multiple forms but is shipping to clients across the country. “It’s been a drastic turn. We’re seeing demand and request for material that we had not seen these past 10 years and the annual sales continue to grow” says Native Forest Nursery’s business development manager Cole Williams.

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NURTURE

The team has worked with environmental groups including Restore the Earth Foundation and helped initiatives to plant hundreds, even thousands of trees in short time frames. The nursery has had to restructure its traditional operations to keep up with this demand and overcome seed sourcing challenges. The roughly 12 full-time and 30 part-time staffers now largely focus on creating new root development and growth tactics.

IT’S BEEN A DRASTIC TURN. WE’RE SEEING DEMAND AND REQUEST FOR MATERIAL THAT WE HAD NOT SEEN THESE PAST 10 YEARS AND THE ANNUAL SALES CONTINUE TO GROW “We don’t typically deal with people wanting to do these carbon initiatives and all these big projects,” notes Cole. “We have all these different groups starting to pop up from a variety of industries, whether in the environmental sectors like coal mining fields, or businesses joining carbon sequestration initiatives. It is becoming what we cater to.” The team is focused on developing seed orchards on the property to provide seed from which to grow their crops, and even renting space at local nurseries to start growing products years in advance. Native Forest Nursery is also researching other alternatives to the traditional seeding process, like growing container trees. This year it has potted more than 230,000

container trees, a steep climb from the 60,000 potted several years ago. It often uses container trees to fulfill cross country orders. “If you were to find a container tree up north, you pay a lot more than what you would pay down south. So, believe it or not, our target market is for people up north. Planting container trees is more successful for us than planting a bare root tree, due to more stabilized root structures.” Another, less popular practice, is using air pruning containers. These containers have large slits around the side walls, instead of being enclosed or having small openings on the bottom. Air pruning helps the trees grow stronger root systems and grow faster. The Native Forest team worked with horticulture researchers to incorporate the air pruning idea. “Many nurseries don’t like air pruning containers because you have to water the plants vigorously. They dry up a lot faster than they would in a sealed container. The containers are also more expensive, but the increased survival growth speaks for itself.”

Other challenges contributing to Native Forest’s plant shortage are lack of workers to manage the thousands of trees in the fields. Native Forest utilizes H2A and H2B migrant worker programs to help. Cole thinks the workforce is shrinking as the younger generation launches careers in other fields, like technology. “I don’t think there’s just very many people out there that are interested in selling seed. It is not a very well-known industry, nor is it always very lucrative. But it is important and helps our society grow.” Despite the labor challenges, Cole is confident that the team will continue developing solutions to the biggest challenge facing their business: seed.

C O N TA C T Native Forest Nursery 11306 Hwy 411 S., Chatsworth, GA 30705 Tel: (706) 483-3397 Email: sales@nativeforestnursery.com

www.nativeforestnursery.com

BARE ROOT SEEDLINGS

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NURTURE

WE TAKE A LOOK AT A WORTHY HARDY ALTERNATIVE TO THE CAMPHOR TREE ©CC BY-SA 2.0

AlterNATIVE choice

CAMPHOR TREE IN YARD

ILEX CASSINE, DAHOON HOLLY

CAMPHOR TREE LEAVES AND FRUIT

CINNAMOMUM CAMPHORA, CAMPHOR TREE • Invasive throughout the southeastern U.S. • This weedy tree of China and Japan quickly invades a variety of natural habitats, particularly after burns or clearing, through spread of its abundant seed. Camphor tree is displacing native plant species and disrupting ecosystem functions • Fast growing with a structure prone to branch failure in storms • Can be toxic to animals and humans if ingested

©James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Invasive plant plant

Benefits This hardy tree is tolerant of low soil oxygen and moderately tolerant of salt winds. The pretty red-orange or bright red fruits, 1/4” in diameter, are borne in dense, showy clusters on female plants during the winter months, a critical time to feed migrating songbirds and other wildlife, including small mammals, turkey and quail. The tiny white spring-blooming flowers are very attractive to bee pollinators. Foliage and fruit are cut for holiday arrangements.

SPEC IMEN TREE

FOLIAGE AND WHITE FLOWERS

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©Ralph Risch

©UF/IFAS Walton County, Florid

©David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0

©Peg Urban

a

FRUIT AND FOLIA GE

Design Dahoon holly is a great accent or specimen tree, especially in narrow places. A grouping of male and female trees assures good fruiting and makes a lovely screen. This species is also well suited to difficult sites such as road and power line rights-of-way, medians, the edges of retention ponds, and the borders of drainage swales and canal banks. Native to the southeast coast from southeastern North Carolina to Miami, Florida, and west to eastern Texas, this tree ranges from 10ft to 30ft in height on average, with larger forms sometimes occurring in Zones 10 to 11. It is moderate to slow growing and evergreen, with a generally narrow, erect form and dense foliage. Occasionally it presents a large, shrubby appearance. It can be shaped. Lichens and mosses will often colonize the bark and provide a colorful, complex, patchy appearance, and this natural relationship does not appear to be harmful to the tree. Ilex cassine hybridizes in the wild with Ilex opaca, and popular cultivars of these hybrids are available in the trade. Dahoon holly prefers moist to wet, boggy, acid to slightly acid soils with pH 3.5 to pH 6.5, in full sun to part shade. Consult local native plant resources for best selection and use information in your area.

COLOR FUL BARK FROM LICHE N GROW TH

Native Plant Horticulture Foundation www.NativePlantHort.org

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NURTURE

C O N T R AC TS , C O U RT C A S E S

& CONSEQUENCES JOE SAMNIK OF EXPERT TREE CONSULTANT SHARES WITH US INSIGHTS TO AVOID LEGAL DIFFICULTIES John: Before we begin, share with us a little about yourself. What is it that you do for the industry and who do you represent in court cases? Joe: The legal side of my practice typically reduces itself to assisting landscape installers, landscape architects and developers with issues regarding landscapes and the many mistakes made with these professionals in the marketplace. I have been established now for over 55 years and have been named as an expert witness in over 1,000 litigated matters regarding the ‘Green Industry’.

consider and realize that their landscape plans are the cornerstone of a legal and binding contract between the landscape installer and the client. For the most part, landscape architects use boilerplate language in their work products. This is often out of date and missing key components needed to protect themselves. The single biggest issue for landscape installers is not following the landscape notes. Conversely, if the landscape notes are not correct to start with, then the landscape installer is incorrect when abiding by the landscape architect’s work product. This dueling conflict between the landscape architect’s work product and the landscape installer’s performance leads to legal issues; lawsuits for breach of contract, negligence, and product liability. As to the client, they are typically left holding the proverbial bag and the only way out for them is in a court of law with you as one of the participants.

Joe Samnik

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS WITH

JOHN CONROY

This column is offered in an attempt to keep you and your employees out of the courtroom or other contentious situations. My next column will be a reach out to leaders of professional organizations and we will focus on what they mean to you, the industry and how they contribute to your professional growth.

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THE SINGLE BIGGEST ISSUE FOR LANDSCAPE INSTALLERS IS NOT FOLLOWING THE LANDSCAPE NOTES John: What are some common failures which you have seen in contract formation? Joe: Landscape architect’s notes are frequently a point of contention. This includes their specifications and illustrations. They must

John: When contracts fail to meet or are inconsistent with the standards provided by ANSI and Florida’s Grades and Standards, they often end up in court. This is a very specialized branch of law. Ignorance of these standards is no defense and attorneys may not understand the standards.

Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021 37


NURTURE

No doubt that is one of the places where your knowledge plays a key role. Joe: To be qualified as an expert witness, subject matter expertise must be demonstrated to the judge or to the trier of fact. The more and more that I know about less and less, the more successful I become. Just as the medical profession has become extremely specialized and laser focused in their areas of expertise, so too have expert witnesses. John: You have taken the witness chair on each side, representing plaintiffs and defendants. How does that help you in your practice? Joe: At the end of any given year, my case load is almost 50-50 plaintiff and defendant. The courts and jury members look more favorably upon the expert who does not always represent only one viewpoint in disputes. Both sides present and require unique approaches to comprehension and settlement. Working both sides, plaintiff and defendant, enables me to better understand the requirements demanded by each viewpoint.

John: You evaluate trees and serve as an expert witness during litigation. Please share some key points which will keep us out of the courtroom or at least how to increase our chances of prevailing. Joe: Get everything in writing, no exceptions. The written communication does not have to be fancy or on your letterhead, but it must be reduced to writing. Put a date on it. You must be able to demonstrate that which you are

WORKING BOTH SIDES, PLAINTIFF AND DEFENDANT, ENABLES ME TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE REQUIREMENTS DEMANDED BY EACH VIEWPOINT asserting. Follow the ANSI Standards, at least the parts that pertain to your practice. If you are going to specify Florida’s Grades and Standards, then you need to know what they

38 Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

say and what they mean. I have repeatedly seen landscape architects state that all specifications must comply with Florida’s Grades and Standards, but the Specification Notes differ from the Grades and Standards. Make certain that your landscape illustrations are up to date. John: What final bit of guidance can you give our readers? Joe: If you do get into any type of an issue that has the possibility of escalating, you are not going to fix anything by talking. Professionals have the notion that once they explain their side of the story everything will be okay. It will not be okay. The more you talk, the more trouble you are going to get into. If you are not qualified to opine on a particular matter, then do not. Landscape architects and fertilization specifications come immediately to mind. Their fertilization specifications are seldom, if ever correct. This is going to work heavily against you if the matter escalates into legal territory. The written mention of particular pesticides is against the law in most states unless you are certified by the state to do so. Stay out of the business you have no business being in.

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ECHO began manufacturing the backpack blowers in the 70s. They started as garden sprayers, used to disperse pesticides or insecticides. Users started removing the liquid tanks and just using the airstream to blow grass clippings and leaves to speed up clean up jobs. This inspired ECHO to develop the first backpack blower without the tank, and engineers have been improving the model ever since. The latest model answers the demand for more power. It can move debris through the

tough midwest winters, using a two-stroke engine to produce 1,110 CGM of air volume, at 220mph at the nozzle. That is about 48N of blowing performance. The power does not absorb the comfort, though. The engine fan moves air across the user’s back, letting cooling air flow freely. Plus, the straps are padded to cushion the weight of the machine, so users can carry the blower for four or five hours a day. The backpacks are reliable as well, using an air filtration system to keep any dirt or debris out of the engine. They are perfect for commercial and private use, and the company offers a two-year commercial warranty or five-year consumer warranty.

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WunderCovers™ seamlessly blend manhole, drain, or utility access covers and vaults

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Mirage Porcelain Pavers

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Mirage Porcelain Pavers are frost- and skid-resistant, durable and easy to clean. Combined with incredibly high breakage loads, they create the perfect solution for gardens, terraces, and high-traffic outdoor areas. Outdoor porcelain pavers can be dry laid on various surfaces or onto terraces and roofs, without specialized workers, making installation incredibly easy. belgard.com/porcelain

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BELGARD

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Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021 41

©Nicholas Gingold

Portugal Porcelain


BIOLITH TILES

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E

ight percent of the world’s carbon emissions come from one source. That is more than every country on the planet, apart from the United States and China, and exceeds the carbon emissions of 170 million cars. The culprit? Cement. It is in our homes, spread throughout our communities. Concrete, of which cement is a key component, is the second-most consumed substance on earth after water.

INSPIRED BY N AT U R E : BIOCEMENT BIOTECHNOLOGY COMPANY OFFERS A SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVE TO ONE OF CONSTRUCTION’S BIGGEST CARBON CONTRIBUTORS

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42 Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

APART FROM THE PRODUCTION PROCESS, MANUFACTURING CEMENT CAN CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE AREAS WHERE IT IS LAID, THROUGH ECOLOGICAL DISRUPTION AND EROSION

Portland cement has been the primary cement product since the early 1800s. Producers combine a mix of mined materials, largely crushed limestone, and heat them to high temperatures (roughly 150°F). The heat extracts calcium oxide, which is then combined with silicates. During that time, large amounts of carbon dioxide are released into the environment through the calcination process and combustion of fossil fuels. Apart from the production process, manufacturing cement can cause damage to the areas where it is laid, through ecological disruption and erosion. North Carolina-based Biomason is offering an alternative to Portland cement, called biocement. Biomason’s biocement technology uses carbon as a building block, combining carbon and calcium to create controlled, structural cement products in ambient temperatures. The patented process eliminates the need to emit carbon

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dioxide by mimicking the way coral grows in nature, harnessing carbon rather than emitting it as a byproduct. Biomason uses biotechnology to recreate this natural process in less than 72 hours; and its biocement products perform better than standard materials, including in compressive strength testing. Biomason co-founder and CEO Ginger Krieg Dosier has said her childhood vacations to the ocean helped spark the ideas and develop the research. She was fascinated by the way sand, seashells, and coral formed. Dosier started developing the concept of “growing” cement more than a decade ago while teaching architecture at a university abroad. She established Biomason in 2012 upon her return to the United States. Since then, Dosier has built a team representing more than 50 disciplines to expand biocement’s reach. A former vice president of Tesla even joined the team last year, helping lead the startup’s commercial offerings and accelerate distribution of biocement technology through manufacturing and licensing agreements. And it’s not going unnoticed. This summer, Biomason announced a partnership with retailer H&M Group to create a low-carbon flooring option for its stores, offices, and facilities. The company also works with the US Department of Defense on developing novel applications of biocement technology.

INSTEAD OF WORKING TO SIMPLY LIMIT THE IMPACT OF TRADITIONAL CEMENT PRODUCTION, BIOMASON RECREATED THE ENTIRE PROCESS Biomason describes its technology as proactive rather than reactive. Instead of working to simply limit the impact of traditional cement production, Biomason recreated the entire process. It plans to continue scaling the biocement technology platform and growing licensing partnerships around the world. The goal? Remove 25% of carbon emissions from the global concrete industry by 2030.

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C O N TA C T Biomason Tel:1-80-BIOMASON hello@biomason.com

www.biomason.com

Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021 43


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B EC O M I N G CLIMATE POSITIVE

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT PAMELA CONRAD IS REVOLUTIONISING THE WAY LANDSCAPES ARE DESIGNED WITH THE LAUNCH OF AN APP

H

ow many times have you wondered about the environmental impact of your project? Today, there seems to be an app for everything, so it’s probably not too surprising that there’s a carbon calculator app too. The Pathfinder was launched towards the end of 2019 to help create what founder Pamela Conrad calls ‘Climate Positive Design’, which is aptly the name of the organisation behind the app. “We were trying to embrace the idea of being climate positive, where we’re ultimately taking more greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere than we’re emitting through our work,” explains Pamela, principal at CLMG Landscape Architecture in San Francisco, California. “We’ve always held sustainability at the highest priority for our work. And for me personally, I grew up on a farm, playing in the dirt—I very much care about the environment, and around five years ago I just wanted to understand the carbon impact of my projects. We were looking at all kinds of other aspects like stormwater, habitats, plants, but carbon was never part of the conversation. “So, ultimately Climate Positive Design came out of frustration of not being able to measure the impact of my own projects,

which meant there were plenty of other people in the world who also didn’t know how to measure the impact of their projects. There was a gap.”

ULTIMATELY CLIMATE POSITIVE DESIGN CAME OUT OF FRUSTRATION OF NOT BEING ABLE TO MEASURE THE IMPACT OF MY OWN PROJECTS, WHICH MEANT THERE WERE PLENTY OF OTHER PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO ALSO DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO MEASURE THE IMPACT OF THEIR PROJECTS The Pathfinder app doesn’t just act as a carbon calculator, though. It also offers suggestions for reducing the project’s carbon footprint and for improving its carbon sequestration. And it comes with a challenge

44 Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

PAMELA CONRAD

too—to be climate positive by 2030. It’s a bold ambition, but it’s proven popular, not just in the US but globally. “It’s very international,” says Pamela. “I believe that climate change is a global human issue and that we should be approaching it that way. Although I’m in the US, I’ve given lectures around the world and I’m collaborating with other international organisations such as the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects and the Landscape Institute. For me, a big part of it is bringing people together to make an improvement, to have a positive impact.” In the space of just over a year, more than 1,000 projects have been submitted from more

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EDUCATE

than 100 countries. This includes academic projects, where universities are utilising the resource as a learning tool. “This is something that’s really great to get into schools early so that people are learning about the importance of it and when they go out in the world it’s just part of their toolkit, these best practices. It’s been interesting to see the other groups which are using it—it’s not just landscaping arms; it’s multidisciplinary arms, it’s government agencies. “Everybody who logs any kind of project is recognised as a contributor, which is a way of celebrating people getting involved and educating themselves and taking action. The cumulative impact of those projects is essentially how many trees those projects are planning to plant and how that relates to CO2 in a more tangible way, by understanding what the equivalent is to taking cars off the road—how many metric tonnes of CO2 doesn’t mean a lot to people, so we try to make it more relatable.” Since its launch, the Pathfinder’s reach has clearly continued to expand; but even though Pamela set out to make a difference, she didn’t quite envisage being at the forefront of change. “It was maybe more of an accident,” she says, laughing. “A lot of people see a landscape, they think ‘green’ and they don’t go beyond that. They weren’t diving into a deeper curiosity of really understanding it and measuring it and, quite frankly, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. “I’m admittedly a bit of a stubborn farm girl—it takes a lot for me to come from my upbringing and background to where I am now, so I’m a pretty determined person.

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It just seemed to so obvious to me that we needed something, and this is a gap that our profession should be filling.” The Climate Positive Design Challenge sets targets for how many years it will take for the project to offset its own carbon footprint, or it’s ‘years-to-positive’. The lower the project’s score, the better. And there are straightforward changes designers can make to reduce the years-to-positive score, which

WE’RE BEHIND AND WE NEED TO GET BACK UP TO SPEED. WHAT CAN THESE LANDSCAPES DO TO HELP ADDRESS SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT WE HAVE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW? the Pathfinder app will suggest. There are three factors in the landscape carbon footprint, says Pamela—the materials used, carbon sequestration and operational emissions, or maintenance. “Keeping it simple helps to reduce the barrier to entry for people,” she explains. “So, generally, plant more and pave less; by increasing your percentage of planting and decreasing your percentage of paving you’re likely to get your score closer to where you want it to be in meeting the challenge targets. So, that’s a really good starting point. Also, using cement substitutions. Concrete is probably our biggest offender as a landscape

industry. We get involved in a lot of paving sometimes in more urban projects, so just changing your specification to make sure you’re using the most sustainable products possible. “And make sure you’re using organic fertilisers. If you can get involved in the operations and maintenance and management plan developments, prescribe that they use electric maintenance equipment as opposed to gasoline powered. A typical, beautiful, high management lawn emits more carbon that it sequesters because of the typical use of gasoline powered equipment and fertilisers. Shifting away from a high maintenance lawn or turf into a native meadow grass could see a really big shift in improvements.” Pamela also recommends bringing those who will be maintaining the scheme on board before construction is completed, maybe even as early as the design stage, to ensure a smoother transition into maintenance. The hope of this self-confessed “stubborn farm girl” is that, through Climate Positive Design, we are only just starting to demand that our landscapes are more performative, like the way that people look at buildings. “Buildings have to be certified in energy efficiency; they need to provide all sorts of performance requirements. We started doing that with stormwater management, but we’re behind and we need to get back up to speed. What can these landscapes do to help address some of the challenges that we have in the world right now?” The answer to this, surely, is ‘more’, and Pathfinder can help.

Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021 45


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TECHNOLOGY TRENDS LANDSCAPING TECHNOLOGY HAS COME A LONG WAY FROM THE DAYS OF EXCEL SPREADSHEETS AND PEN AND PAPER INVOICING. AS WE SETTLE INTO THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT IS INCREASINGLY FOCUSED ON DATA COMPILATION AND REAL-TIME ANALYTICS. GOMATERIALS PREDICTS THE THREE TRENDS WHICH HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO RESHAPE THE LANDSCAPING INDUSTRY AS WE KNOW IT Rise of the technology-enabled outsourcing services A common pattern across industries is specialization and the rise of focused thirdparty services. Landscaping is also going through this transformation. Currently, landscapers can outsource any task from the beginning to the end of a project by leveraging various new age services. For example, Tilly, the affordable online landscape design company launched Tilly for Pros, which creates landscape designs for landscaping businesses. You can partner with them if you thrive in the execution of a project but not the designing aspect, or if you have an overflow of design work and need support during the busy season. “Tilly for Pros allows landscape contractors to streamline their work while offering quality and professional designs to their customers,” says Blythe Yost, principal landscape architect and CEO of Tilly. “We give

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contractors the option to include their logo on the final design plans so they can truly view Tilly as an extension of their team.” Another example is Takeoff Monkey, a professional takeoff service that helps reduce the time spent on takeoffs. Tommy Lather, CEO of Takeoff Monkey explains why that is so important:

LANDSCAPERS CAN OUTSOURCE ANY TASK FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END OF A PROJECT BY LEVERAGING VARIOUS NEW AGE SERVICES “It’s hard for landscapers to split their time on new business and fulfilling existing contracts. Our service takes care of takeoffs, which lets them double their bid rate,” he says.

Professional procurement services complete the design-takeoff-deliver cycle. GoMaterials helps source wholesale plants and trees for your landscaping jobs. When you don’t have the time or manpower to locate plant materials and to organize the delivery logistics, GoMaterials can help. In short, you can outsource design, takeoffs and sourcing to the experts, and focus on the elements of running a landscaping business that you excel in. Technology-enabled outsourcing brings business owners one step closer to achieving a good work-life balance without compromising the customer’s experience. From hunch to data You probably make more profit off of residential properties. You think a certain species of trees will be in high demand next year. As an industry, we’re tired of relying on hedge words and want concrete numbers to back our decisions. Accurate data is essential

Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021 47


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Software mergers and acquisitions Software interconnectivity is the next major step in the progression. Prime examples are LMN’s SiteOne connection and Aspire’s recent merger with ServiceTitan. LMN has integrated SiteOne into their software platform. Users can now order landscaping supplies from SiteOne’s

to improving landscaping and nursery business profitability. The right technology, typically in the form of management software, compiles and analyzes data relevant to your business. Arbré Technologies is one key player in the world of nursery inventory management. The revolutionary aspect to data analytics comes when a significant portion of green-industry businesses are on software. We’ll be better equipped as an industry to track and quantify major and minor patterns. The more we know, the easier it is to make decisions, the higher our profit margins.

THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY, TYPICALLY IN THE FORM OF MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE, COMPILES AND ANALYZES DATA RELEVANT TO YOUR BUSINESS catalogues and have it directly imported into their LMN profile. Aspire landscape management software has integrations with FleetSharp GPS, allowing clear

48 Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

vehicle tracking, maintenance tracking and payroll reporting. When using interconnected software, landscapers don’t need to re-enter the same information on multiple platforms and risk errors. The efficiency is remarkable.

These three trends alone greatly affect the day-to-day operations of green-industry businesses. Combined, they’ll make us more organized, more accurate, and eventually, more profitable. The only catch is whether or not we adopt these trends in large enough numbers within the industry. We have to move together to encourage the market to refine and continuously improve their offerings.

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LORI HAWKINS EXPLAINS HOW YOU CAN RISE ABOVE THE COMPETITION WITH 3D DESIGN

I

n the highly competitive world of landscape design and installation, attracting and securing new customers has always been a challenge. In increasing numbers, landscape professionals are utilizing cutting edge technology to accomplish this goal. 3D imaging technology is one in a professional’s arsenal that can really deliver on this objective, as well as making your job easier! Let’s take a look and explore five benefits and see how they can assist your business:

V I S UA LS

Visualization is a snap. Many customers have difficulty visualizing designs in 2D; 3D technology allows the customer to completely visualize the final design product. You can also explore changes

in materials and layout more easily for quicker turn around on revisions. Collaboration can also occur more easily, and you can even make design changes in real time during a meeting. The animation of the programs also allows the customer to truly feel that they are there, walking through their newly designed space. Allows identification of benefits and problems easier. Using this technology, project benefits can be maximized, and problems identified quickly and more easily during the design process. ©Southern Exposure

3D technology gives your company a competitive edge. In an increasingly difficult business environment with fierce competition, 3D technology will give you an advantage over companies using traditional 2D design. The ability to help the customers ‘see’ their project before construction is invaluable. When in a bid situation, many times all that may be needed is to send the customer a link to your 3D work portfolio. Once they see the 3D images, they are sold!

INVESTING IN

It allows greater creativity. Design ideas can be more fully explored; revisions are a snap after a client meeting. Now that I am using this technology, I am more apt to try things out and then see how they would work in 3D before making a final design decision. You also can come up with a variety of ideas for a customer and explore them together in 3D.

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Communicate, collaborate—and clients relations are maximized. Since the client can fully visualize the project, communication during the design process is made easier. When communication during a project is effective, it tends to alleviate potential problems with the client/designer relationship. 3D can spark ideas that may need to be explored during the design phase. You can also more fully show how the design meets the requirements and needs of the client. When the customers have ‘bought into’ the design, the chances of selling it are greatly enhanced.

Ready to take the plunge into 3D landscape design, check out one of these programs: • VIP3D by Structure Studios: I have used this program for more than 10 years. The graphics are great, and I would consider it moderately priced. It has great features that have been a real benefit to my business and my clients. • Dynascape: Another excellent program that has many different features that make it very desirable. Pricing is higher, requires a SketchUp plug in for 3D technology. • Lumion: A higher tech option that has incredible graphics and features. I have heard great things about this program. • Real Time Landscape Architect: A lower priced version that has many great features. The graphics are not quite as vibrant as some of the other programs discussed. • Pro Landscape: Another lower priced version that might be a great starting place for you if you are interested in trying it out.

A B O U T L O R I H AW K I N S Lori Hawkins, RLA, ASLA has been a registered landscape architect for more than 30 years. She is registered in both NC and SC and has her own private practice in the Greensboro, NC area. Instagram: @3Dlandscapearchitect

www.hawkinsla.com

Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021 49


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 MARYK ATE.CARSON@ EL JAYS44.COM

CLAIRE GOLDMAN

DR. CHARLES R. HALL

PRINCIPAL, HEAD OF DESIGN AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, R&R LANDSCAPING, AUBURN, ALABAMA

ELLISON CHAIR IN INTERNATIONAL FLORICULTURE, TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

www.rrlandscapes.com

ellisonchair.tamu.edu

Other than the USA, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? As a horticulturist, I would love to see the tulips in the Netherlands and the historic European gardens. But, as far as what gets me going from a design perspective, Australia has some pretty cool landscapes going on.

What inspired you to get into the industry? I grew up in the industry on a nursery in western NC, so it was an easy decision.

One thing that you think would make the industry better? We need to focus on parents and students and communicate the difference between a landscaper and a landscape professional. We have so much passion in our industry, and I have no doubt we could recruit more passionate talent by sharing all the exciting opportunities with incredible companies all over the country. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? The biggest challenge I’ve faced professionally is learning that you never reach a point where you don’t face obstacles. The key to success is embracing the challenges, viewing them as opportunities, and pushing forward. Best piece of trivia you know? Opossums are the only marsupials in North America. Unfortunately, I know this because my husband had to shoot one on his farm and the babies came out of the pouch. Marrying a redneck has been quite the adventure.

50 Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021

Other than the USA, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? New Zealand is perhaps the most beautiful besides the US. One thing that you think would make the industry better? For everyone of any size to understand the basics of bidding and estimating. I see way too much money left off the table and/or underpricing. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? Getting folks to fill out my surveys! We economists live and die by our data, and it is super-hard to come by! What advice you have for those starting out in the industry? Easy – do not get over-leveraged too quickly! Do emphasize your value proposition! Your most used saying or cliché People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Who would play you in a movie of your life? The Rock, of course! But he would have to bulk up a bit!

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PEOPLE

SETH HUDSON

KEITH FREEMAN

HANNA BASS

OWNER AND CEO, GROW GREEN LANDSCAPE GROUP, LLC, FORT MILL, SOUTH CAROLINA

FOUNDER AND CEO OF GREEN GROUP, RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

OWNER AND LEAD DESIGNER, HAPPY GARDENS OF AUSTIN, AUSTIN, TEXAS

www.growgreenlandscape.com

www.greengroupcompanies.com

www.happygardensaustin.com

What inspired you to get into the industry? My mother and my paternal grandmother always kept beautiful flower gardens and our family farmed edible crops on a small scale. This prompted my love for growing things and learning about them, starting around age 10.

What inspired you to get into the industry? I grew up in Asheville, NC and started mowing yards around 11. I used landscaping to earn additional money while attending UNC-Chapel Hill. Working outdoors shaping and creating beautiful landscapes is a gift that many people do not experience in their careers.

If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? I am pretty sure I would have ended up in the filmmaking industry designing breathtaking 3D landscapes for movies like Avatar or The Hobbit.

What would you blow your budget on? Creating my own botanical garden and using it to educate others about plants. One thing that you think would make the industry better? If more industry associations invested more in mass marketing to improve the public’s opinion about landscapers, educating the public of the need for greenspaces at home and abroad. Role model as a child? My daddy is the best man I know and continues to always set an example of working hard and loving my mother and their children. Best invention in recent years? Dingo Track Machine System by Toro! Hands-down the best I’ve seen to date!

Other than the USA, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Landscapes are interesting all over the world. I have been fortunate to do a lot of travelling. The consistent theme that I find whether in Greece or Thailand is the use of the landscape as an extension of the home or building. A well-done landscape evokes a feeling and becomes another room to live life. Newest gardening trend in your opinion? Technology is changing every aspect of life as we know it. Landscaping is no different. Robotics, wireless irrigation controllers, security cameras, and software connecting all of this to a provider is the future.

Your most used saying or cliché. “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right!!” – from both my parents.

Best piece of trivia you know? The Civil War was the deadliest war in our history but 66% of the deaths were due to disease.

Karaoke song of choice? “Johnny B. Good” by Chuck Berry.

Your most used saying or cliché. People respect what you inspect.

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The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? I wish I could meet Charles Alexander Jencks. He was an American cultural theorist, landscape designer, architectural historian, and co-founder of the Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres. He wrote more than 30 books, constantly writing and rewriting the history of 20th-century architecture as we know it. I have so many questions to ask him! What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? I had to face my biggest challenge so far many years ago when I had to take over the responsibilities of my partner, who unexpectedly passed away. I had to not only deal with conceptual work and design but also the actual processes of organizing the construction for our current projects. This experience made me stronger and allowed me to expand my professional horizons. Couldn’t get through the week without... Hiking! My forever loved activity. Every day, early in the morning, my doggy and I go to hike on the Barton Creek Green Belt.

Pro Landscaper USA South September/October 2021 51


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