Page 1

May 2013

VOL. 35, NO. 4

Make project management work for you Proactive steps on debt collection Learn from a pro’s sales blunders

Recognition and respect Canadian landscape award portfolio


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contents MAY 2013 VOL. 35, NO. 4

Landscape Trades is published by Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association 7856 Fifth Line South, Milton, ON L9T 2X8 Phone: (905)875-1805 Email: Fax: (905)875-0183 Web site: LANDSCAPE ONTARIO STAFF Shawna Barrett, Darryl Bond, Rachel Cerelli, Tony DiGiovanni CHT, Denis Flanagan CLD, Sally Harvey CLT CLP, Helen Hassard, Jane Leworthy, Heather MacRae, Kristen McIntyre CHT, Kathy McLean, Linda Nodello, Kathleen Pugliese, Paul Ronan, Ian Service, Tom Somerville, Martha Walsh

Landscape Trades is published nine times a year: January, March, April, May, June, July/August, September, October and November/December.


PUBLISHER Lee Ann Knudsen CLP | Editorial Director Sarah Willis | Art Director Kim Burton | Editor Allan Dennis | Web editor Robert Ellidge | Graphic Designer Mike Wasilewski | Accountant Joe Sabatino | Sales Manager, PUBLICATIONS Steve Moyer | COMMUNICATIONS assistant Angela Lindsay | Advisory Committee Gerald Boot CLP, Laura Catalano, Hank Gelderman CHT, Jan Laurin, Warren Patterson, Gregg Salivan, Bob Tubby CLP

6 FEATURES 6 Recognition and respect A portfolio of landscape award winners across Canada

14 My top three landscape sales blunders Learn from the mistakes of a pro BY JODY SHILAN


18 MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS | Overhead can make or break your profit margin BY MARK BRADLEY

Subscription rates: One year – $46.90, two years – $84.74; three years – $118.64, HST included. U.S. and international please add $20.00 per year for postage and handling. Subscribe at

22 ROAD TO SUCCESS | Profit through proper pricing

Copyright 2013. All rights are reserved. Material may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. Landscape Trades assumes no responsibility for, and does not endorse the contents of, any advertisements herein. All representations or warranties made are those of the advertiser and not the publication. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the association or its members, but are those of the writer concerned.



26 LEGAL MATTERS | Managing debt collection during construction 28 SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPING | The ‘burbs and the bees: Creating pollinator habitats BY BEN O’HARA AND KAREN LANDMAN

30 LANDSCAPE DESIGNER’S NOTEBOOK | Manage landscape design with a project management model BY CHRISTENE LeVATTE



4 32 34 36


38,40 41 41 42

On the cover: Para Space Landscaping




Revisiting the end goal of marketing:

Eyeballs or loonies? M

arketing seems to be an espe-

cially painful aspect of running a business. Nobody questions that promotion works, is perhaps even essential. But assigning value to marketing dollars seems to get tougher every year. Current conventional wisdom dictates every business, no matter how small, must market electronically or eat dust. Online venues promise huge exposure — crudely but commonly called “eyeballs” — at rock-bottom cost. On top of cheap eyeballs, everybody assumes electronic marketing reaches a younger, hipper audience. And wouldn’t the green industry love to touch a younger demographic? Amid the chatter, it might be helpful to take a deep breath, step back, and reconsider the purpose of marketing: to generate market response. Stated more simply, to make sales. Most Landscape Trades readers operate in local markets. Does worldwide exposure to millions of prospects generate more sales than targeted efforts in local media? Rates for online advertising started off low, and are going down. How many Landscape Trades readers believe in discounting products? Or do you think that prices charged support a product’s claimed value? But back to ROI; can anybody point to research, or even anecdotal evidence, that online pitches actually drive sales from younger customers?

By Lee Ann Knudsen


No doubt you have heard buzz about retail giant Target entering Canada. The brand is known for its size, progressive strategies and eye for design. A recent news story covered the launch of Target’s first Canadian advertising flyer. The story cited research by Toronto agency BrandSpark International; 75 per cent of Canadians look at weekly flyers. How interesting. Target is investing in flyers, the identical marketing strategy used by many of our garden centre readers. Our November Landscape Trades reader survey shone some light on electronic marketing, specific to Canada’s green industry. While 60 per cent of Landscape Trades readers do not promote their businesses through social media, a significant 40 per cent do. Of those, just 17 per cent saw a return on their investment. The question addressed a new medium, and readers are certainly still feeling their way — nearly half of those investing effort in social were not sure if they were getting any return at all. The point is, marketing exists to attract customers and drive sales. The medium, whatever it may be, should serve that goal. Local and traditional may well be what works best for your business. Internet Grinch? I only wish; I spend far too many waking hours on the web as is. If new media produce results, great. My modest purpose is to suggest the promise of free intergalactic electronic exposure is getting way too much play. Horticulture industry marketers might be better advised to plan strategies geared toward response. As in, sales. Which is better for your business: millions of eyeballs, or dollars deposited in your operating account? LT

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he following pages are a portfolio of excellence — provincial landscape award winners from across Canada. The companies represented have all enhanced their staff morale, acquired a priceless marketing hook, and earned valuable content for their social media portfolio. Winning an Award of Excellence for landscape or maintenance work provides more than a plaque for your wall of fame. It is a tribute to the hard and creative work of an entire company; but pos-


sibly the biggest benefit is the recognition by your peers of a job well done. Industry judges volunteer their time each year to evaluate entries and declare the best of the best. It’s a difficult job, but the judges tackle the task seriously and appreciate each and every entry they see. We’ve featured a small selection of this year’s winning entries here, but all were celebrated and appreciated at gala ceremonies from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia. Congratulations to all the award winners across the country.

Ontario Cedar Springs Landscape Group, Ancaster

New Brunswick Wanamaker’s Horticultural Services, Bathurst Newfoundland and Labrador Daisy Design, St. Philips

Quebec Paysagistes Northland, Mont Tremblant MAY 2013 | LANDSCAPE TRADES |


Ontario Landscapes By Lucin, Etobicoke Nova Scotia Joe Bidermann Landscape Design, Fall River

Manitoba 3 Seasons Landscaping, Winnipeg

British Columbia Allgreen, Burnaby 8 | MAY 2013 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

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New Brunswick Scholten’s Landscape Ltd., Saint John

Newfoundland and Labrador Interlock by Design, St. John’s

Saskatchewan G&S Landscape & Excavation Services, Saskatoon

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British Columbia Anderson Garden Services, Vancouver

Quebec Les aménagements paysagers l’Artisan, Longueuil


Manitoba Lemkey Landscape Design, East St. Paul

Alberta Peter Hughes Landscape, Calgary

Nova Scotia Elmsdale Landscaping, Elmsdale MAY 2013 | LANDSCAPE TRADES |





Top Sales Blunders BY JODY SHILAN

Now that we’re into the spring season I thought this would be a great time to create a top three list of landscape/ design build sales mistakes to avoid. Although the reality is I probably could make a top 300 list, I am just going to focus on the basic blunders that are so easy to make.


Whether you are going out on your very first sales call or have been doing this for 20 years or more, a quick review of these three common errors can help avoid turning a good sale into no sale or even a lawsuit. If you avoid these blunders, you are bound to increase your sales and profits this year. But if you make these blunders, prepare yourself for another lackluster season, whining about how low-ballers are taking away your sales. Although we all think of “the sale” as the actual signing of the contract and giving of the deposit, this step is really just a legal formality. The true sales work is the millions of big and little things you do that help form a bond between you and a client, building trust so they will ultimately pay you to do the work. You might be surprised to learn that sometimes the

simplest thing can trip you up. Here are three to watch for: #1 Not listening The number one mistake you can make is simply not listening to your customers. So, before you start rattling off your marketing spiel, grab a pen and pad and ask your customers some good questions. For those of you that are trying to be technologically efficient by taking notes on your smart phone, don’t. It just looks like you’re texting. Sorry, guys! #2 Bad communication Communicating is as simple as returning a phone call or sending a text or email as a follow up. If you keep your clients in the loop, you will have fewer problems before, during and after the installation. There is nothing more infuriating and at times frightening for your clients than not knowing what is going on, especially when substantial amounts of money are involved or you just finished doing their “rip-out.” #3 Poor documentation I doubt any of us are literary professors or attorneys. Which means that, as an industry we don’t like to write and we are certainly not known for crossing our “Ts” or dotting our “Is.” Most contractors that I know actually find sitting at a desk hard work and lifting two-ton boulders fun. The number one reason why contractors get involved in lawsuits is not because of their work but because of their sloppy paperwork. One of the biggest and most costly mistakes that I made involved all three of these blunders on one project. Ironically, it was a very simple mistake, but one that caused me

to lose my largest sale ever — all because of a spelling error. I had been working with these particular clients for more than two months, designing their entire property. It was a complete landscape renovation, including a new pool and pool house, an outdoor kitchen, retaining walls and steps, paver driveway and courtyard, mature plantings, a complete lighting and irrigation system and even a regulation bocce ball court. Pretty much anything that could be included in a residential landscape was included the design. I was doing everything right. I had a great rapport with both the husband and wife (even the kids and dog liked me). We had worked and reworked the layout until it was exactly what they wanted. We selected all of the materials, colours and finishes. Walked around the nursery and tagged all the plants. Essentially, everything was done, now all I needed was a signature and a deposit for the installation and we were good to go. It was a slam dunk. In hindsight I should have seen it coming. There were many signs along the way but I just ignored them. I was so caught up in the project and its dollar value that I completely lost sight of the one thing that was most important to my clients. It was their last name. When they first called to schedule an appointment, my office manager never asked for the correct spelling of their last name, so it was entered into our system incorrectly. It was an easy mistake to make. Their name was Smithe but we had spelled it Smith. No big deal. I met with the clients several times before the subject ever came up. It wasn’t until I presented them with a preliminary budget, which included their name and ad-

dress, that we became aware of the error. The problem was we never corrected it, not in our system, not on our proposals, not even in the title block on the drawings which read “Smith Residence.” Each meeting it was wrong and for a while they asked me to correct it, but I never did. So now here we are at the “sign the contract, get the deposit meeting” and Mr. Smithe looks me in the eye and says, “Look Jody. We really like you and think that you are an incredibly talented designer. We love your ideas and appreciate all your hard work, but I have to tell you that we have asked you half a dozen times to spell our name correctly and even today it is spelled wrong on the proposal. How can we expect your company to provide us with a proper installation on a project as involved as this when after two months of working together you cannot even spell our last name correctly? I’m sorry, but as much as we want to work with you we just can’t. Thank you again for your time and efforts and please feel free to come back and take photos for your portfolio when we have the project installed.” Needless to say, this was one very expensive lesson, but one I hope you can all learn from. So listen to your clients, communicate with them often and be sure to always, always, always spell their name correctly. LT Jody Shilan, MLA is an award-winning designer and former design/build landscape contractor. He now uses his 35+ years of experience to help other contractors learn from his mistakes. In addition, Shilan is the executive director of the New Jersey Landscape Contractors, and hosts FD2B “talk” radio, a weekly live internet radio show, where he interviews green industry members.




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Understanding overhead: Stop the stealth attack BY MARK BRADLEY

Overhead is always a fascinating topic in our business management workshops because everyone has a different definition of what overhead truly is. And those different definitions can lead to confusion or, worse, indifference. Most landscape contractors have nothing but hope that their overhead is being recovered. This is absolutely true. Many I’ve met over the years are pretty open about the fact that they don’t know whether or not their job prices are recovering their overhead, or even what their overhead spending actually is. It’s no wonder Charles Vander Kooi calls it “the bill in the night.” It sneaks up and bites them when it’s too late — when it’s time to pay themselves. There are two reasons overhead sneaks up on so many contractors. First, it’s not a cost you can specifically calculate for any one job. Second, there are so many different definitions of overhead and so few accountants who explain and set up overhead in a way that’s useful to their clients. If you took 10 different landscape contractors, put them in a room and compared their books, it’s easy to see why overhead gets overlooked. Overhead is called different things by different people

Allocating equipment costs is a grey area. The cost of equipment used on the jobsite should be built into your estimates, however sales vehicles, owner's truck and yard equipment must be categorized as overhead.


and different accounting packages. Other names that mean the same thing include general and/or administrative expenses, indirect expenses, operating expenses and fixed expenses. You’ll also find that different accountants have different ideas of what should be included in overhead. Some lump all payroll under overhead. Others, more correctly, split payroll into two types: field payroll and office/overhead wages. Some count equipment as overhead, some don’t. Equipment rental, subcontractors, fuel and workers’ compensation insurance are other examples. I’ve seen all these in different sections, depending on whose books you’re looking at. Industry benchmarks for overhead are great — but they’re only good if your definition of overhead and the benchmark definition of overhead are the same. Unfortunately, for most companies, they aren’t. So what’s correct? What is really overhead and what isn’t? What is “the standard”? If defining overhead was as simple as determining a standard, we wouldn’t have to call overhead the “bill in the night.” It would all be much clearer. However, there’s a very good reason why overhead is different from company to company and it all comes down to how you estimate. Why is overhead different? Let’s use the widget example. Acme Widget Co. produces widgets. To do so, it assembles three different parts: Part A, which costs $10; Part B, which costs $20; and Part C, which costs $30. Each widget therefore costs Acme $60 in direct costs: the raw costs of the materials necessary to produce the widget. But Acme needs money to power the factory, to pay the owners, to advertise, to pay the insurance, etc. If Acme’s indirect or overhead costs are $5,000 month, and the factory builds 1,000 widgets a month, you can easily figure that Acme needs to add $5 per widget (that’s $5,000 of overhead divided by 1,000 widgets) to pay the overhead or indirect costs. Acme now knows it needs to sell each widget for at least $65 just to break even: $60 to cover the costs of producing the widget and $5 per unit to cover overhead costs. In order to make a profit, Acme will have to sell it’s widgets for more than $65. Simple stuff. But what about a landscape company that

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managementsolutions doesn’t sell widgets? We sell labour (our crews), equipment, materials, subcontractors, and it’s a lot more complicated than the Acme Widget example. That said, understanding your overhead isn’t so hard that you should leave it to chance. Keep it simple Costs you estimate on your jobs are direct costs. Costs you don’t include on your estimates are overhead costs. That’s it. If you can get your head around that, you can calculate your overhead. That’s also why there’s not one clear standard for overhead. It depends on how you estimate your costs. If you recover the cost directly on your estimate, it’s not overhead. If you don’t calculate the cost on your estimate, then it is an overhead cost. The costs you estimate on your jobs are like Acme Widgets’ parts A, B and C. You recover those costs directly in the price of the job. All other costs have to be included in your overhead — they aren’t calculated into the estimate, but they absolutely must be considered in your selling price. Because companies differ in what they include in their estimates, overhead can vary from company to company. Some companies build the costs of equipment into their estimates, while others consider equipment costs as overhead. This is the reason there’s not one clear standard for overhead. Following is a summary of what is generally considered overhead: Labour: A company’s labour costs are mixed between direct and indirect overhead. When you’re estimating the hours and costs of labour on a job, you are calculating your crews’ costs as a direct (not overhead) cost. The cost of your field crews’ wages are factored into your estimates, in the cost of the job. Payroll costs for crews should not be considered overhead. On the other hand, costs for office or shop staff such as your office manager, bookkeeper, mechanic or owner’s salary aren’t calculated in your estimate. These payroll costs need to be considered overhead. Note: Not every hour of your crews’ time is factored into an estimate. There are many hours we pay our staff when they aren’t physically on a job. Instead of splitting 20 | MAY 2013 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

paycheques between direct and overhead costs, I believe it’s easier to add a mark-up to their wages when you calculate their costs, typically between 15 and 30 per cent, to cover unbilled time. Equipment: There’s lots of debate here. Some argue that equipment should be an overhead cost because many equipment costs, such as lease payments, are fixed, whether or not the equipment actually works. While that’s a valid point, I think the counter argument is stronger. If you count your equipment as overhead, you get an average cost to apply across your jobs. If equipment is overhead, then every job pays an average cost for equipment, whether it needs a lot of equipment or no equipment. It’s easy to see why this average doesn’t work in real life. Imagine a snow operation with a $100,000 loader and pusher as an overhead cost. All jobs then end up sharing a portion of that equipment’s cost as part of the overhead mark-up. The billable rate for a man and a shovel would be identical to the billable rate for a man operating the loader, since equipment costs aren’t calculated directly for a job. That kind of pricing is going to put you out of business in a hurry. By averaging costs, the rates for the man and a shovel will be far too expensive, while rates for the loader operator won’t be enough to cover the real costs of the loader. Instead, you should calculate the cost and a rate per hour or per day for your equipment, and build these costs and prices into your estimates. Note: There’s a good chance some of your equipment is overhead. Equipment that doesn’t get billed to jobs (owner’s truck, sales vehicles, yard equipment) doesn’t get itemized as a cost on an estimate and therefore needs to be categorized as overhead. Materials: Almost all your materials will be direct costs, i.e., costs you estimate to your jobs. However, you should have a consumable materials account in your overhead to recover materials costs that are too small to be estimated directly to jobs (garbage bags, string line, saw blades,

etc.). You may also need an overhead account to cover material purchases made for shop and yard Improvements, since these costs are not charged on any estimate to a customer. Subcontractors and equipment rentals: Both subcontractor and equipment rental costs should be built into your estimate as a direct cost to a job and therefore should not be considered overhead. Almost every other cost is part of your overhead. Advertising, insurance, accounting, rent, heat, hydro — none is priced directly into your estimates and therefore they are overhead. Stick to the rules and you’ll make money The rules are pretty simple if you stick to them. If you include the cost on your estimates, it’s a direct cost. If you can’t (or don’t) calculate the cost on your estimates, then it must be overhead. Stick to that rule and you won’t go wrong. How important are these details? If you don’t know your overhead, you can’t possibly know if you’re making or losing money on a job. Most contractors make money on some jobs, lose money on others and hope it all comes out in the wash at the end of the year. But, in a competitive market, you stand a good chance of winning the jobs you’ve underpriced and losing the jobs you’ve overpriced! Guessing at your overhead doesn’t “come out in the wash.” You are far more likely to come up short, winning more of the jobs that aren’t making you any money and perhaps missing out on the ones where your pricing could have been more competitive. Now, in prime season for sales, the success of your business depends on knowing your overhead and using an accurate estimating system. There’s absolutely no good LT reason to put it off any longer. Mark Bradley is president of The Beach Gardener and the Landscape Management Network (LMN) in Ontario.



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Price it right Pricing products and services is one of the most misunderstood aspects of business today. There are so many myths and much misinformation out there, that confusion reigns supreme. BY ROD McDONALD

A friend of mine asked his father, a nursery owner in Manitoba, “How do we determine our prices?” His dad’s answer was, “I look at what they are charging in Winnipeg and I know I have to be a bit lower than those prices. Then I look at the prices down the road and I know I have to be a bit higher than those, because we are better than they are. So, our prices are always somewhere in between those two.” My friend asked his father, “What if the Winnipeg prices are too low for a plant and then we go ahead and price it lower than what they charge? What if the fellow down the road is too high on a plant and we charge even more? Why don’t we determine our actual costs of production before we set our prices?” Great question! Why doesn’t every business determine its pricing, based on the cost of offering that product or service? Why do so many businesses choose pricing based on what others charge, and then hope for the best? Here are two basic rules of pricing. Rule one: Pricing must be high enough to ensure a profit on the product or service being sold. If there is no profit, why are you selling it? Rule two: Pricing must be low enough so the product or service will sell. There is no sense in having a product or service that no one will purchase because the price is too high. Better not to carry that item, unless there are compelling circumstances to do so. When I started out in business in 1977, I didn’t know what prices to charge for my landscaping services. What to do? I phoned two of the top landscape companies and asked both of them what to charge. They both gave me a number that was high, but I didn’t know that it was high. They somehow thought this was a great practical joke to play on the new kid. I went with their suggested price, firmly believing that I was within the ball park of other estimates. Ignorance was bliss. Instead of forcing me out of business because my prices were 22 | MAY 2013 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

too high, it had the opposite effect. I made money. Good money. It turns out that while I suffered from naiveté, I was a good salesperson. As the Chinese adage goes, it was a “happy mistake.” That was my introduction to the world of pricing. As a form of poetic justice, both companies that mislead me went bankrupt in the next 15 years, whereas I never have had a losing year, ever. In my first year or two in the business, I ran into a landscape contractor who had a reputation for pricing his jobs low. I asked him why? How did he calculate his estimates? He didn’t charge for his truck, “because you need a vehicle to drive around in anyways.” He didn’t charge for his phone, “because you need a phone anyways.” He didn’t charge for the work his wife did, “because she doesn’t have a regular job.” And so on. You get the direction this conversation was going. Do I have to tell you how soon it was that he was no longer in business? He only made it another two years until it just did not pay for him to keep working. He had lots of work, but very little left for him, his truck, his phone and his “unemployed” wife at the end of the season. Big, big mistake. Now, I am the first to admit that every retailer and contractor has to be aware of what the competition is charging; it would be foolish not to be. But be realistic when sizing up who your competition really is. I was never in competition with Wal-Mart. They were there, down the street from me, but if you think for one moment that I was after their customer base, think again. If I had been after Wal-Mart’s customer base, I would have never been a success. If you build your business on low price, you will lose it on low price. The first rule everyone must learn about Wal-Mart’s customer base (or similar discount chains) is that they will never allow you to make money. It is against their DNA. They will badger you to lower your prices, while milking every service you have, until the receiver hangs out the bankruptcy auction sign. I don’t apologize



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roadtosuccess for my negative view of this group. They are the most vicious group of consumers you will encounter. You will never win them over by explaining that your products or services are better and worth the additional dollar. They will not believe you. Hans DeJongh of Paridon Horticultural, in Delta, B.C., told me this story. Hans visits many different garden centres, from the ones with the finest of service, to those that offer next to none. He has a good overview of the trade. One garden centre he visited offers no service at all, but they do offer low prices. A customer will walk in, looking for a particular tree; staff will shout to him, “It’s down there at the end. Keep walking and you will find it.” That is their idea of service. He asked them what their biggest customer complaint was and in spite of their very aggressive pricing, they said it was, “Your prices are too high!” If you cater to the low price seekers, expect them never to be satisfied. Now that I have that off my chest, who do you want for your customer base? You want the approximately 20 per cent of the population who see a value in shopping with you, those people who understand that the service you provide is worth the higher price. If a customer cannot see the value-added service you offer, that your plants are superior, your place is better organized and cleaner, then they will head off to find a lower price. This is why I have preached, nonstop, that your place must offer the three basics: quality, service and selection.

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Price is not everything to everyone. That is a mantra that every garden centre owner and landscape contractor needs to repeat, again and again. Here is a story that is not from our trade, but it does hammer home my point. There is a local pizza parlour that we order from every two weeks or so. It costs us 30 bucks for a pie and we get eight slices: three for me, two for my beloved and three for the fridge for the next day. It is tasty and they treat us well at the pizza joint. A few weeks back, a coupon arrived in the mail from Pizza Pizza. We have never been there. The coupon said that we could get the same pizza for fifteen bucks or half the price of our regular joint. We are rarely tempted by a coupon, but we decided to give it a try. I made the call. The number was not to our local franchise, rather, to a central dispatch that looks after all of Canada. No personal service. The order goes through and I head down to pick it up. Okay. Where do I begin? The card board box had as much flavour as our pie (and I am being polite). The weight was one half of what our regular pizza would have weighed, so you know they skimped on their toppings to get the price down. The moral of this story is that we tried the low price but found it was not worth any penny of those dollars spent, so we returned to our neighbourhood pizza joint with its personal service and good tasting pie. Lesson learned. Setting prices can only occur after you have determined your real costs of doing business. For me, I needed the cost of the goods sold, 20 per cent for overhead, 20 per cent for labour and 10 per cent for myself. A simple formula, but one that was based on my actual costs, not arbitrary numbers. You need to examine your books to see what your real costs are rather than take mine as gospel. Here is one final story on the subject: In 1984, I had a wise guy come into my garden centre and tell me, “If you cut your prices in half, then you will double your sales.” I couldn’t resist. I responded, “I make 10 per cent after all the bills are paid. If I cut my prices in half, I will lose 40 per cent on every sale. If I am going to lose that much money on everything I sell, why would I want to sell more of it? Wouldn’t I just be incurring debt at a faster rate?” The know-it-all shook his head and said, “You don’t know anything about business.” I guess not, according to him. Ignore the stupid people and check your books before determining your prices, to see what you need to turn a profit. That will help LT you to stay on the road to success.

Rod McDonald owned and operated Lakeview Gardens, a successful garden centre/landscape firm in Regina, Sask., for 28 years. He now works full-time in the world of fine arts, writing, acting and producing in film, television and stage.

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Managing debt collection as construction progresses BY ROBERT KENNALEY

In my last column, I discussed ways contractors, subcontractors and suppliers might address debt collection, to better protect themselves if accounts become overdue during the pre-construction, bidding and negotiation phases of a contract. Now I will discuss the steps contractors, subcontractors and suppliers can take to protect themselves against overdue accounts as construction on a project progresses. If you are a subcontractor or supplier on a commercial or institutional project, find out if the contractor has posted a labour and material payment bond for the project. If so, you should obtain a copy. The bond will outline any time limitations imposed on a claim under it and provide particulars for giving notice in the event of non-payment. While owners and contractors will generally be cooperative in providing you with a copy of the bond, construction lien legislation in many jurisdictions requires them to provide you with said copy, upon request, from the moment you commence your supply of services or materials. I recommend keeping your contracts and subcontracts at hand during the life of a project and either highlighting or summarizing the various notice requirements under those documents. Then, in the event of non-payment or a dispute, you will have easy access to the particulars of the form a notice should take, along with how it should be presented. This way, you can hope to avoid an argument over whether or not you failed to meet a key notice provision under the contract. To the extent subcontractors are bound by the provisions of the prime contract, i.e., between the owner and contractor, I would recommend keeping a 26 | MAY 2013 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

copy of that contract as well, with highlights or summaries. It is important to understand what role, if any, the owner’s consultant will play on the project. The prime contract generally spells this out. Its provisions will determine the extent to which and how the consultant will approve shop drawings, change orders and payment certificates, as well as his or her involvement in inspections, deficiency correction and dispute resolution. In each case, having a clear understanding of who is to do what will help you follow the contract provisions, and remove any excuse your client might have for not paying you. Another good piece of advice for subcontractors and suppliers is to simply pay attention to what is happening on a job — beyond your own work. In many cases there are warning signs that something has gone wrong. Delay in a project is one example, although not in every circumstance. Sometimes, however, delays will result in a cash crunch and, ultimately, claims. So what should you look for? If a project is significantly behind schedule, subcontractors and suppliers might ask around (at trade meetings or the coffee truck) to try to find out why. If the delay is attributable to the contractor or its forces, there might be a problem. If it is arguably the owner’s fault, you might find out if the contractor has made a claim for additional compensation and, if so, whether or not that claim has been approved or settled. All too often, an unresolved delay claim is a sign the contractor’s costs will escalate, creating a cash crunch. Where the contractor is arguably at fault, the owner may assess back

charges against the contractor; this can only exacerbate the situation. Suppliers and subcontractors should also be concerned if one or more trades do not appear to have enough workers on site. Where many trades are under-resourced, it may be that no one is getting paid on time. Where one trade is under-resourced, this trade might be the cause of significant delay. It is a particularly bad sign if the contractor who owes you the money is under-resourced. So what should you do when you see, or hear, that problems are developing on a site? First, you should become more reluctant than you otherwise might be to perform extra work without the necessary approvals in place. The approvals should apply to both the change and the price of the change, if possible. Second, remember that by continuing to provide services or materials when you have not been paid, you are becoming a creditor of the person who owes you the money. When problems develop on site, you should be less willing to advance such credit. Often, the person who owes you money on a job will promise it is coming from the person above him. You may be asked to keep working, so as not to slow down the project. You can do a couple of things in response. Lien legislation often allows you to ask the owner about the status of the account between the owner and the contractor, so that you can determine if the contractor is telling you the truth about what is owed to him or her. We may find the contractor is really only hoping that a disputed claim will be approved. (Similar statutory requests can often be made of contractors and subcontractors, in addition to owners).

You can also insist that the person who owes you the money provide a direction that you be paid first. For example, the contactor could provide the owner with an irrevocable direction that the owner pay you monies owed to the contractor, until you have been paid in full. However, such a direction will only help you if the owner agrees money is owed. If you are to use this option, you should ensure the owner is willing to honour the direction before you agree to provide additional services or materials. Finally, during the life of the project, you might also consider using the written notice of lien, if available under applicable legislation, to put pressure for payment on those above you in the pyramid. This can have the same impact as the claim for lien itself. Of course, the claim for lien can give you both security and leverage, in the event you determine such a remedy is necessary. In the next issue: Collection issues when LT our work is done!

Robert Kennaley has a background in construction and now practises construction law in Toronto and Simcoe, Ontario. He speaks and writes regularly on construction law issues, including on his blog: Rob can be reached for comment at 416-3682522, at, or on LinkedIn. This material is for information purposes and is not intended to provide legal advice in relation to any particular situation. Readers who have concerns about any particular circumstance are encouraged to seek independent legal advice in that regard. MAY 2013 | LANDSCAPE TRADES |


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As warm spring days begin to outcompete the dreary days of winter, Canadians are united in their anticipation of the arrival of spring. With the return of the warmer weather comes the return of our native bees. From early spring until late fall they can be seen darting from flower to flower, collecting nectar and pollen to feed their offspring. It is through this act of pollination that bees provide an invaluable service to the natural order of an ecosystem.

The ’burbs and the bees BY BEN O’HARA AND KAREN LANDMAN

In Ontario there are about of 400 species of native bees, ranging from the familiar bumble bee to the lesser known sweat bees, mason bees and plasterer bees. Pollination is a vitally important process, for both our food security and the health and proliferation of our natural world; the collapse of pollinators will result in the collapse of food systems. Scientific research has largely focused on the decline of the honey bee, Apis maliferia, a non-native bee that is controlled and managed by beekeepers around the world. Native bees, on the other hand, are suited to our climate and our plants, and are essential to the health of native ecosystems. In some cases, native bees are better at pollinating certain agricultural crops such as tomatoes, cranberries and blueberries. We need native pollinators and now native pollinators need us. The abundance and diversity of native bee populations in both urban and rural environments has exhibited an alarming decline in recent years, requiring a shift in the way gardens across these residential landscapes are constructed and maintained. The suburban landscape is largely characterized by single residences where individuals plan, install and maintain their garden environments based on an image of what they feel their space should look like. It is time for a shift in our perception of what a residential yard 28 | MAY 2013 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

should look like, to a focus on how we must design and maintain our residential landscapes in order to sustain and improve native bee populations. Creating gardens that attract pollinators such as birds and butterflies are an easy sell to homeowners, but bees are a bit more difficult. It would be easy for garden centres, or landscape contractors to offer plants or create landscapes that draw birds and butterflies and hope the bees can find space in the improved landscape, but native bees have much different and varied habitat requirements. The landscape and horticultural industry can play a large and vital role in helping bring back native bee populations by supporting widespread and effective changes to the way individuals design their landscapes. When designing or retrofitting a garden that will be beneficial to the habitat and provide forage opportunities for native bees, there are some simple recommendations to follow. Select the right plants It is important to choose a variety of perennials that bloom throughout the growing season; avoid highly cultivated and double-petal varieties; choose plants in the blue, purple, or yellow spectrum; and, when possible, use species that are native to your region. The location of plants is also important; plants of the same

species grouped together are more attractive to bees, and bees prefer to visit flowers located in warm and sheltered locations. There are online resources available to help homeowners and professionals create an ecosystem that will welcome and support pollinators. The Pollinator Partnership, is a good place to begin. Pollination Canada’s website, has concise information on common types of native bees as well as habitat suggestions. The Pollinator Partnership created a smartphone app, Bee-Smart, that enables the user to search for native plants that benefit pollinators in a specific area. And, the National Wildlife Federation has a simple Garden for Wildlife certification program that can be applied to balconies and schools as well as home gardens. Provide nesting opportunities Most native bees, unlike honey bees, are solitary, meaning the female bee maintains a nest on her own, rather than living socially in a hive. These solitary nests are generally found in holes in dead wood or in dry, undisturbed soil. By leaving some dead wood on our properties and areas of our gardens mulch-free, we will provide native bees with much-needed nesting locations within the suburban landscape.

The landscape and horticultural industry has an opportunity to create real and lasting change that will help build healthy forage and habitat for native bees. Many of the changes that need to occur will come from greater advocacy and education about native bees and pollinators in general. But small changes, such as providing information to homeowners about how their gardens can support wildlife and thereby

benefit the greater ecologic good, can help in LT dramatic ways. More information is available from Ben O’Hara,, or Karen Landman, School of Environmental Design & Rural Development, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont. or Pollination Guelph,

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Mulch-free soil (above) or holes drilled in dead wood provide nesting places. MAY 2013 | LANDSCAPE TRADES |





View landscape design through a project management lens BY CHRISTENE LeVATTE, CLP

After a recent visit to Canada Blooms and a few of Toronto’s opulent garden centres and outdoor stores, I returned to my office with my annual dose of spring inspiration. I have learned that to do my job well, it is crucial to pay attention to each new season’s trends and the latest consumer shows and magazines. A girl needs to be prepared when a client hands over a picture from a magazine or an on-line site and says, “I want it to look like that!” There sure is a lot to know, and clients are long on wants while we are short on time. The actual decision maker, who according to -to-women-quick-facts is now likely to be a woman, is informed and impatient, with high expectations for delivery and performance of all goods and services, and equally high expectations for her purchasing power. The landscape design process is by its very nature integrated and interactive; so if our time is their money, how efficiently can we maximize our time and their money to deliver a successful, sustainable and profitable project? I am an advocate of a project management model. While most definitely a nontraditional approach to the traditional landscape design process, there are a number of advantages to taking a page from what has been typically a construction purview and customizing it to what works best for your business. Project management can be as big or as small as it needs to be for you. What is important to take away is the concept and its intrinsic benefits to doing business. There are oodles of short courses, volumes of reading and endless variations on the theme. But for our purposes, how project management translates for your client is turn-key, and if you have the appetite for the risk and responsibilities, you can reap the rewards. 30 | MAY 2013 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

Organization It is critical to be organized when taking a project management approach, and there are vast technologies, tools and software options available to help us with that. Choose what works best for you. From the initial meeting with your client to the project completion and close-out, you must put in place the tracking tools and documentation you need to ensure both you and your client are very clear on the project’s process, responsibilities, deliverables, costs and close-out. Following are some basic tracking tools: A new client questionnaire will focus clients’ wants and expectations and align these with your design and management fees and their budgets; this process usually sets the tone for a project, in writing; A project schedule that includes your project’s milestones and deliverables is especially useful for progress invoicing; Microsoft Excel offers a very easy to use Gantt Chart template; A project log sheet to track all project-related encounters whether with the client, suppliers or contractors/sub contractors, including dates, time and project targets or milestones met. You can include documentation on which the client signs off. There are software and smart phone apps available if you prefer digital to paper; A client file, organized however best works for you. The key is the paper trail. Plan on keeping it for at least five to 10 years. This file should include all project-related documentation and drawings (e.g., the New Client Questionnaire and as-built drawings), specifications and supplier/product information and warranties. A picture file, whether hard copy or digital, which documents before, during and completion shots, is a must and will be especially useful for an entry in your provincial Awards of Excellence program.

Networks, connections and relationships If 20 years from now I am asked to look back and name the single most important contributor to a successful landscape horticulture business, I would say, without hesitation, being involved as a volunteer in my industry. The power of the collective is especially important in a project management approach. In this industry, designers at the top of their game will make sure they are current with their industry so they are able to bring the very best product and service choices to their clients. We are spoiled for choice these days, and with the depth and breadth of product choice come as many logistics to designing, organizing and building best fit. It’s hard to be innovative when you have to stick with what you know is safe. Case in point, the Spiraea – tried and true and never disappoints! Time is money. So as a designer, is your time better spent deciding which shrub will work best, which outdoor kitchen configuration best fits on the patio or which retaining wall system best handles the grade? In short, no! Your time is better spent reaching into your network and bringing your contacts and connections into the discussion on how best to problem solve and deliver product and solutions to get the project sold and built. And be sure to share the responsibility for the sale with your suppliers; it is a symbiotic relationship. Sharing should include everything from product information to manufacturer construction or installation specifications and product details for your drawings. The key to project management is management, not do-everything-myself. It has been my experience that we as an industry underutilize the brainpower of our industry network, a deficit we ought to correct.

Your fiduciary responsibility Fiduciary is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “held or founded in trust or confidence.” With any project you undertake for a client, whether you use a project management approach or not, as a designer you are entrusted with a power and a confidence from three sources: your company, your client and your industry. If the weight of that doesn’t send you running for the hills, perhaps project management is for you. So, what is available to you to ensure your legal and ethical ducks are in a row? A signed contract and project deposit typically satisfies the three basic requirements for legal and binding contracts, which are a valid offer, acceptance of the offer and consideration. Typically, companies will use a contract template or standard form. Lawyer and Landscape Trades Columnist Robert Kennaley writes regularly on the nuances of a well-written contract. In addition, the Canadian Construction Association is an excellent resource for construction contract templates and best-practice documents, www. Always consult your lawyer before entering into any contract. Industry standards are industry-accepted benchmarks or best practices for products or services and are generally developed for industry, by industry. Two standards that are very useful are the Canadian Standards for Nursery Stock, which is available for download from the CNLA at, and the BC Landscape Standard, a joint effort between the BCNLA and the BCSLA and available from BCNLA at Project specifications are specific definitions and instructions describing the goods and services for a project; as such, the project specifications ensure expectations are aligned with deliverables. Referencing a specification can remove performance and payment ambiguities and misunderstandings, by providing a set of tangible project documents that both the contractor and client can use to define goods and services expectations, costs, deliverables and warranties. Specifications can come from many sources including product manufacturers, your provincial industry trades association, the National Master Specification or the Standard Specification for Municipal Services. As a designer, you can choose the specification that best suits your projects. If you haven’t already done so, get a copy of a MAY 2013 | LANDSCAPE TRADES |


landscape specification and become intimate with the document in order to truly appreciate its value. The project management approach inherently contains the elements of good business. It has to or it simply doesn’t work. That said, whether you choose this approach or not for your business. You will benefit if you take away the principle values of being organized, keeping your paperwork in good order, becoming part of your industry collective, and always keeping your responsibilities to yourself and your client top of mind. LT

Christene LeVatte, CLP is a landscape designer and LEED Green Associate from Sydney, N.S. Her family business, Highland Landscapes for Lifestyle, which she operates with her brother, David Stenhouse, CLT, has won several Landscape Nova Scotia Awards of Excellence and the 2012 National Award for Excellence in Landscape Design. Christene is currently working toward her CLD designation.

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industrynews Be aware of new regulations if importing product with bamboo stakes All growers importing plant material with bamboo stakes into Canada from the U.S. should be aware of new regulations now being enforced by CFIA. Product manufactured from bamboo is exempt, as are split bamboo stakes. Bamboo stakes (imported in bulk or associated with plant material) must be treated with methyl bromide and must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate that includes the following information: temperature, dosage, time of treatment/ exposure. A copy of the fumigation certificate in lieu of the phyto is not allowed. If plant shipments are stopped at the border without the appropriate documentation, CFIA advises it might be possible to have the stakes removed to allow entry of the shipment. This alternative would depend on a variety of factors including inspection of the plants and stakes, species of associated plants, time of year (i.e., emergence of potential pests), etc. Plants that are refused entry may be detained


(pending receipt of an amended phyto), or destroyed. For more detailed information, refer to D-0212: Import requirements for non-processed wood and other non-propagative wood products, except solid wood packaging material, from all areas other than the continental United States, available at

Online training videos help retail sales staff prepare for spring Garden centres across Canada have a new online tool to train employees. The Landscape Ontario Garden Centre sector group worked with LS Training System to create an online training video. LO joined with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association to share 50 per cent of the costs, while LS Training System took on the remaining 50 per cent. Sector group Chair Michael Van Dongen, CHT, says the training program offers a three-tier approach to training. “It provides education for staff, safety compliance training and knowledge about the business of garden centres.� Costs are in the range of $199. To learn more

about the system, sample some of the video or sign-up for the training system, go to www.

The Asian long-horned beetle (ALHB) has been successfully eradicated from Ontario after nearly a decade of collaborative efforts between federal, provincial and municipal authorities. As a result, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Natural Resources recently announced that tree materials susceptible to the Asian long-horned beetle, including nursery stock, logs, lumber, wood, and wood and bark chips from tree species, may once again be freely moved out of, or through, the formerly ALHB-regulated area. The Asian long-horned beetle is not native to Canada and was first detected in the cities of

Vaughan and Toronto in 2003. Following the detection, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducted visual surveys to determine how widely the pest had spread, and the extent of the damage it had caused to many broadleaf trees, such as maple, birch, elm, poplar and willow. A Ministerial Order — the Asian LongHorned Beetle Infested Place Order — was established by CFIA around the southern part of the City of Vaughan and the northeast part of the City of Toronto, to prevent further spread. ALHB was last detected inside the regulated area in December 2007. It has never been detected elsewhere in Canada. As part of the eradication effort, nearly 30,000 trees were also removed from the area. The Ministerial Order has now been repealed.

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Green industry tour to visit Australia Visit Australia from Oct. 21 to Nov. 2 with John and Kelly Schroeder of Valleybrook Gardens. The Schroeders have been leading tours for nursery industry travellers for over a decade. Their trips are fun and educational, with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the interesting countries and places they visit.  The two-week tour includes beautiful gardens, great garden centres and innovative nurseries. Sydney, Melbourne, the Blue Mountains, Tasmania and the Yarra wine region are just some of the places you’ll visit. There are lots of opportunities to add some private holiday time before or after, perhaps for a visit to the Great Barrier Reef or Ayer’s Rock. Contact the Schroeders at LT for more details.

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cnlanews Matching gardens and tourism for success In March, CNLA president Christene LeVatte, PR chair Bill Hardy, and staff Victor Santacruz and Rebecca Doutre attended the 2013 Garden Tourism Conference at the Delta Chelsea Hotel in Toronto, as a presenting sponsor. The conference theme was Gardens & Tourism: A Match for Success. It was well attended by tourism groups, botanical gardens, festival organizers and educators from across Canada and six other countries. As part of CNLA’s sponsorship, Bill Hardy helped present a number of awards, recognizing excellence within the garden tourism industry. A two-year project, titled Cultivating Our Market: Growing Awareness of and Visitorship at Canada’s Botanical Gardens, was announced at the conference. Made possible by a $595,000 grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Cultural Investment Fund, this project will support the creation of marketing tools to assist participants in finding better ways to increase engagement with the public. Participants include 19 botanical gardens and arboreta across Canada who will collaborate to make this project a success.

Government funding for horticulture industry marketing opportunities Earlier this spring, the federal government announced an investment to aid CNLA in increasing international demand for Canada’s hardy and diverse horticulture exports. The announcement was

made at the Canada Blooms show by Member of Parliament Ted Opitz, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. The $53,000 investment will help CNLA continue to explore possible growth markets such as Germany, Russia and China. It will also help increase the Canadian horticulture sector’s recognition and reputation by building on work done at previous international shows.

USDA NAPPRA requirements to go into effect soon The CFIA have advised CNLA and its members that, despite the numerous delays of the past two years, they anticipate the USDA’s NAPPRA (Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis) regulations will go into effect very soon. USDA will grant an implementation period (probably of 30 days) after the new regulation is posted. Although it seems likely the busiest part of the 2013 spring shipping season will be completed before these regulations go into effect, it is expected the new NAPPRA regulations will have significant impacts on the nursery sector and CFIA inspection staff alike for exported products. A list of the genera that are currently included on the US NAPPRA list can be found on the CNLA website at Please note this is a preliminary list only and it is expected that at least three more genera will be added to the list prior to its official publication. Questions should be addressed to your local CFIA inspector or

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New Green for Life Community Award CNLA, along with our 10 provincial associations, has recently launched the Green for Life Community Award. The award will recognize projects or geographic segments within a community, region or municipality that have specific benefit to the public through the development and/or maintenance of green spaces. In January, at the National Awards of Landscape Excellence, CNLA recognized the efforts of the Friends of St. James Park and the St. Lawrence Market BIA in Toronto for their efforts to restore their park after the Occupy Toronto movement. This first award winner leads the way for other exceptional projects like it across the country. Projects can be nominated by anyone within the community or by the respective community, community association or school championing the project, in partnership with a CNLA provincial association office. Participation is easy. Simply submit five digital photographs along with a completed project description form. Projects will be judged on a defined set of criteria including community spirit, innovative ideas, environmental sustainability and community impact. The overall winner will receive a trip for two to attend CNLA’s National Awards of Landscape Excellence ceremony, January 2014 in LT St. John’s, Newfoundland. The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association is the federation of Canada’s provincial horticultural trade associations. Visit for more information.

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britishcolumbiaupdate Landscape Trades devotes space in each issue to provincial association news. This month features the British Columbia Landscape and Nursery Association (BCLNA), as well as the New Brunswick Horticultural Trades Association and Landscape PEI. Membership activity remains steady at the BCLNA, and the list of benefits for members continues to increase and adapt to the needs of the people who make up the green industry on the west coast. It has been a challenging year at BCLNA with program revenues falling as a result of severe government cutbacks. However, our dedicated members continue to volunteer their time to sit with their peers and solve the issues that arise at commodity meetings, with support and coordination help from BCLNA staff. A survey of members showed the important benefits they value are networking opportunities and the CanWest show, as well as information passed on through our email communiqués, the Friday Files and Retail Ready. Our HortWest magazine is now published six times a year, combining eversions with four printings. The B.C. Landscape StanGrowing – at the heart of what we do. dards have been revised and reformatted thanks to the excellent work of a joint steering committee between BCLNA and the B.C. Society of Landscape Architects. The new format for the 8th edition features a binder with section dividers, to make it easier when new sections are introduced. The partners are pleased to announce that the publication received national recognition by the Canadian Association of Landscape Architects. Invasive plants have been in the news, and BCLNA has worked with the Invasive Species Council of B.C. to develop and expanded the Grow Me Instead booklet. The new version offers more alternatives than are commonly available and is relevant to areas outside the lower mainland. This updated edition is used as a template beyond B.C.’s borders, as other provinces try to reduce the environmental impact of invasive plants. BCLNA’s equipment field day has evolved from an activity in conjunction with CanWest to a stand-alone event. It was held October 11, 2012, at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. This location is more accessible to people in the Metro

Certification candidates really dig to the bottom of things. George Kato at CanWest 2012.


area and has greater green space and play areas for the machines. Contractors took advantage of the opportunity to test drive large and small equipment before purchasing or leasing, and certification candidates were able to try out the equipment they would be tested on during our certification event October 14. Landscape Industry Certification continues, with the support of industry partners, volunteers and Kwantlen Landscape Commodity Chair, Anne Kulla, test driving at the equipment field day. Polytechnic University, as well as the Horticulture College of the Pacific, where the first certification tests were offered on Vancouver Island last year. BCLNA promoted the benefits of using a professional member of the trade in its booth at the Home and Garden Show in BC Place. Art’s Nursery donated plants that set off a lovely hardscape created by Gemstone Masonry & Landscape Supply. Members were invited to take a shift in the booth where they could promote their businesses as well as answer questions about B.C.’s green industry. The 25th annual fundraising auction, held February 7 at United Flower Growers in Burnaby, raised nearly $27,500. After expense allocations, almost $18,000 was split between marketing and education initiatives, with another $3,000 going toward the Jane Stock Horticultural Foundation. The board of directors of the Jane Stock Horticultural Foundation is pleased to report the foundation has received full charitable status and is now able to provide tax receipts to donors. To date, the foundation has received more than $18,000 in donations. Plans are to award up to three, $1,000 scholarships annually for a qualifying BCLNA member, their child or grandchild, who is pursing post-secondary education. Before she passed away in 2009, Stock was executive director of the B.C. Landscape and Nursery Association for 13 years. The foundation was set up to honour her commitment and dedication to B.C.’s horticulture industry. Joining any group can be daunting, so in 2012, BCLNA introduced new member breakfasts, where new members are invited to break bread and network with association staff and commodity chairs. Seventy-five per cent of our members do business with each other, so making connections between new LT and established members is to everyone’s advantage.

Future arborist practicing with a friend during National Tree Day event in Surrey, B.C.

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4.02.08 updated


Winners of the Awards of Landscape Excellence program were recognized for their successes in our industry.

Since we spoke last time, a lot has been going on down here in New Brunswick and P.E.I.

midnight. You could tell by the hearty laughs that our members were having a good time.

The training trail

Ask the Expert

We pride ourselves on striving hard to meet the training needs of our members. Winter training workshops are generally full, and the diverse topics seem to be moving toward improving the skills of our members. Let’s begin the journey by following the training trail from the budgeting workshop (hosted by the Landscape Management Network), through the two-day All Commodity Education Sessions (ACES), past the IPM Symposium (boasting 100 participants this year), between the first annual Boot Camp (more on that in a moment), and various safety and pruning workshops. Then, with the sessions on soils and water features in the rearview mirror and the plant ID and Quality Grounds Maintenance on the horizon, we end up where we are now, tired from the trip, our heads bursting with the power of knowledge. At the same time, our Landscape Horticulture Training Institute was delivering (figuratively) its apprenticeship baby. This was the first year for training in all three blocks. At the end of March, our block three toddlers were the first to challenge the Red Seal interprovincial exam.

We have had quite a few Islanders cross over (the bridge) for various workshops through the winter months. Landscape PEI held an “Ask the Expert” event April 4, drawing a good number of the general public and providing exposure both to our expertise and our brand.

More important, we want our members to see value in co-branding and to get on board willingly. Landscape NB/PEI wants to stand for professionalism on all levels. Landscape Industry Certification is part of that brand, as is Red Seal Landscape Horticulture and the Awards of Landscape Excellence Program. It’s a journey we are talking about, not a destination. Together, by association, we can get that wonderful Green For Life brand working for the benefit of all parties.

Boot Camp

Honorary Lifetime Member

The education committee organized a boot camp for the hardscaping commodity this winter. It was a full week of training aimed at people setting their sights on Landscape Industry Certification. Those who attended Boot Camp claimed it was some of the most relevant training they had taken so far, and it was delivered in a fun and engaging format. To get a visual idea of what the camp looked like, visit http://www.landscapenbmember. com/lnb-training-certification-vid/.

It’s always special when we can celebrate our own. For the second time LNB has presented an industry volunteer with our Honorary Lifetime Member award. Michelle Gillespie of Sun Nurseries, Sussex, was an easy and unanimous choice this year. Michelle has been an indefatigable soldier in the landscape industry volunteer army for well over a decade, always marching at the front and waving the flag of our association’s sustainability. LT

Awards of Landscape Excellence There were 40 submissions to our Awards of Landscape Excellence program, in this our 10th year. The gala event we hosted on March 23, to dish out the awards, was a lot of fun. We had 100 revelers out to witness the event and there was a great band to top things off. It was the first year in 10 that I can recall people hanging on until after 40 | MAY 2013 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

HortEast Everyone is looking forward to HortEast returning to New Brunswick in the fall. The Moncton Coliseum is a wonderful, large facility that allows for many demonstrations and hands-on activities. As someone who has attended this conference every year since it began 20 years ago or so, I feel qualified to state that every year the quality and calibre of the presenters improves.

Co-branding The consensus of our board is that we would like our membership to co-brand with Landscape PEI.

CONGRATULATIONS TO JIM LANDRY CAE Recently Landscape New Brunswick executive director, Jim Landry completed the Certified Association Executive (CAE) program. Landscape New Brunswick would like to extend congratulations to Jim on his dedication to continuing education. The CAE program is the only comprehensive not-for-profit educational program in Canada that leads to a professional designation, the CAE. Offered since 1972 by Canadian Society of Association Executives, this program is delivered online and available 24/7. The CAE designation is built on 44 competencies that describe the skills essential for efficient and effective not-for-profit management, and consists of five online courses and an exam.

comingevents May 21-22, Grey to Green Conference, Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto, Ont. www. June 19-22, 15th Annual Snow and Ice Symposium, Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, Minn. July 13-16, OFA Short Course, Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio. July 21-27, 31st Annual Perennial Plant Symposium, Vancouver, B.C. July 22-25, Turfgrass Producers International Summer Convention and Field Days, Chicago, Ill. July 31-August 1, Penn Atlantic Nursery Trades Show (PANTS), Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, Penn.

August 3-7, ISA Annual Conference and Trade Show, Toronto, Ont.

September 8-10, SPOGA GAFA 2013, Cologne, Germany,

August 11-14, CGTA Fall Gift Show, International Centre and Congress Centre, Toronto, Ont.

September 16-18, GLEE, Birmingham, U.K.

August 18-21, Fall Alberta Gift Show, Northlands, Edmonton EXPO Centre, Edmonton, Alta. August 20-22, Independent Garden Center Show, Navy Pier, Chicago, Ill. August 20-23, Canadian Fertilizer Institute 68th Annual Conference, Banff, Alta. August 21-24, Plantarium, International Trade Centre, Boskoop, Holland. August 22-24, Farwest Show, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Ore.

September 18-19, CanWest Hort Show, Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, Vancouver, B.C. September 26-27, IIDEX/NeoCon Canada, Direct Energy Centre, Toronto. October 6-11, IGCA Congress, Melbourne, Australia. October 8-11, IPPS Eastern Region Meeting, Chicago, Ill. October 9-10, Canadian Greenhouse Conference, Scotiabank Convention Centre, Niagara Falls, Ont. LT

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