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MNLa Foundation. . . . . . . . . . 2, 22-24, 32 From the President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-9 Business Management. . . . . . . . 10-11, 31 Plant Something Campaign . . . . . . . . . 12 Certification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14-16 Garden Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Irrigation Contractors . . . . . . . . . . . . 18-19 Membership Renewal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Landscape Contractors. . . . . . . . . . . 20-21 arbor Day Poster Contest. . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26-30 Government affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34, 44 Expo New Plant Forum . . . . 36, 38, 41-42 Recycling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Greenhouse & Herbaceous Growers . 43 Plant of the Month . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46-47

ADVERTISER INDEX Baker Lake Nursery ...................................4 Belgard Hardscapes - Northfield...............29 Borgert Products, Inc...............................11 Bullis Insurance Agency ...........................28 Carlin Horticultural Supplies/ ProGreen Plus.....................................42 Casualty Assurance ..................................34 Central Landscape Supply ........................30 Crysteel Truck Equipment.........................10 Cushman Motor Co. Inc ..............................9 D. Hill Nursery Co. ....................................11 Evergreen Nursery Co., Inc........................20 Farber Bag & Supply Co. ...........................18 Gardenworld Inc......................................44 Gopher State One-Call..............................21 Great Northern Equipment Distributing, Inc. ................................33 Haag Companies, Inc. ................................5 Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supplies ...14 Jeff Belzer Chevrolet................................39 Johnson's Nursery, Inc..............................15

Kage Innovation......................................16 Kubota Dealers .........................................7 Landscape Alternatives............................10 Maguire Agency ........................................4 MN Equipment Solutions, Inc. ..................22 Out Back Nursery.....................................30 Pine Products Inc. .....................................8 Plaisted Companies .................................23 Prairie Restorations, Inc...........................28 RDO Equipment Co...................................43 RDO Integrated Controls ............................9 Rock Hard Landscape Supply division of Brian's Lawn & Landscaping, Inc..........31 Synthetic Turf Solutions of MN .................17 The Mulch Store.......................................37 Titan Machinery ................................13, 48 Tri-State Bobcat, Inc...........................21, 35 Vermeer Sales & Service...........................19 Wheeler Landscape Supply ......................27 Ziegler Cat ................................................3 11/6/06

9:18 PM

and Nationwide Agribusiness

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Upcoming Events May 8-10 - Minnesota Health and Safety Conference. Minneapolis Convention Center. More information available online at

June 20 -

MNLA Foundation Garden Party. Gordie Bailey’s home. For more information, see page 2 and 32-33 or visit 20-23 - 15th Annual Snow and Ice Symposium. Buffalo, New York. For more information, see

July 4-10 - Perennial Plant Symposium. Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, Mass. For more information, see 14-17 - Ohio Shortcourse. Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio. For more information, see 24 22nd Annual Widmer Golf Tournament. University of Minnesota Golf Course, Roseville. For more information, see page 2 or visit 26 MNLA Landscape Design Tour. Southwest Twin Cities Metro Area. For more information, see page 26 or visit 26 MNLA Rolling Retail Experience. St. Paul. For more information, see page 26 or visit

August 9-

MNLA Foundation Girls Night Out. Minneapolis. For more information, see page 2 or visit 92012 Wisconsin Nursery Field Day. Wayside Nurseries, Mequon, Wisc. More information available online at 23 - Sept 3 - MNLA Garden at the Minnesota State Fair. For more information, visit

September 19 -

MNLA Sporting Clays Shootout. South St. Paul Rod and Gun Club. Watch for more information, see page 2 or visit

January 8-

Super Tuesday. Minneapolis Convention Center. More information coming soon! 9-11 - Northern Green Expo. Minneapolis Convention Center. Exhibit contracts available online at or call 651-633-4987. If interested in sponsoring, please call Betsy Pierre, 763-295-5420 / MNLA Events - Visit for registration and details for these and other programs!

Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association 1813 Lexington Ave. N. Roseville, MN 55113 651-633-4987, fax 651-633-4986 Outside the metro area, toll free: 888-886-MNLA, fax 888-266-4986

MNLA Mission The mission of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association is to help nursery and landscape related companies in Minnesota and the surrounding region operate their businesses more successfully.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Debbie Lonnee, MNLA-CP, President Bailey Nurseries, Inc. 651-768-3375 Heidi Heiland, MNLA-CP, Vice-President Heidi's Lifestyle Gardens 612-366-7766 • Herman Roerick, Secretary-Treasurer Central Landscape Supply 320-252-1601 Bert Swanson, MNLA-CP, Past President Swanson’s Nursery Consulting, Inc. 218-732-3579 • Randy Berg, MNLA-CP Berg’s Nursery, Landscape/Garden Center 507-433-2823 Scott Frampton Landscape Renovations 651-769-0010 Tim Malooly, CID, CLIA, CIC Irrigation By Design Inc. 763-559-7771 • Mike McNamara Hoffman & McNamara Nursery & Landscaping (651) 437-9463 mike.mcnamara@ Bill Mielke Waconia Tree Farms LLC 952-442-2616 Bob Fitch MNLa Executive Director 651-633-4987 • all original works, articles or formats published in The Scoop are © Minnesota Nursery & Landscape association, 2012, and may not be used without written permission of MNLa. The Scoop is published 12 times per year by MNLa, 1813 Lexington ave N., Roseville MN 55113. address corrections should be sent to the above address. News and advertising deadlines are the first of the month preceding publication.

6 | May 2012


We Were In Your Shoes Once! By Debbie Lonnee, Bailey Nurseries aving worked in the nursery industry for 30+ years, I guess I can now categorize myself as an ‘old timer.’ And, after participating in some recent strategic Debbie Lonnee planning sessions, I can see how some of our younger MNLA members may see that as a negative – that perhaps some of us ‘old timers’ are set in our ways, unapproachable, and can’t change with the times.


We’ve been discussing that a lot in our sessions, and it has gotten me to thinking

8 | May 2012

about how I got involved in the MNLA many, many moons ago. When I first started out in this industry, I got a job as assistant garden center manager at The Park Nursery in Stillwater. Our owner, Ed Reid, was an active member of the MNLA, and encouraged me to get to the convention every year (yes, back then we called it a convention, not a Green Expo). As a young 20-something year old, I was pretty shy around all the ‘old timers,’ such as Ray Sackter and Jerry Theis from Dundee Nursery, Gordie Bailey, Keith Law, and Clarence Seefert. I certainly wasn’t bold enough to approach them and try to pick their brains.

But, one day I was at a luncheon, and ended up at a table with Len Busch, of Len Busch Roses in Plymouth. He asked me a lot of questions about my hort degree and where I was going with my career. He encouraged me to step up and get active in the MNLA. He was just a great guy to talk to and I learned a lot during that luncheon. He inspired me to participate! I joined a number of committees, including the Convention Committee, the Garden Center Committee and I think at one point an education committee. It was amazing to sit down with other nursery folks and share information about plants, the industry, the weather, and I learned a ton from

sitting on those committees. I’ve continued to participate all these years, and have really enjoyed it. I ended up chairing the Garden Center Committee for a while, but when I moved here to Baileys, I got conned into chairing the Publications Committee by my then boss, Don Selinger. Been working on catalogs, posters, and more ever since! OK, I have to tell you a funny story about the Convention Committee. Many years ago, they used to have a fancy ‘banquet’ during the convention. Somehow I got recruited to help find entertainment. One year we booked the famous singer Michael Johnson – now that was a hit. The next year, though, we booked a small group of singers who sang a lot of Motown hits (think Smokey Robinson and the Miracles kind of songs). (Yes, I was the one who found them and watched them at a local bar.) Oh, my gosh, during that banquet, when the singers took a quick intermission break, all the ‘old timers’ and their wives left and went home! I was so embarrassed. But, I remember Tim Power from Law’s Nursery stayed, and we danced the evening away during their second set! So what’s the point of this old timer rambling on? Don’t be shy, don’t ever be afraid to come up to any of us old folks and ask questions, voice an opinion, or ask for help with something! We were in your shoes once! We are just older and perhaps wiser. We want to interact with the younger generation! And, I think, just like me, if you participate on a committee or task team, you’ll find you gain far more from working with others than you will ever give. q ________________________________ Debbie Lonnee is the president of the MNLA and can be reached at

May 2012 |



Timelines to Remember This Season By Patrick McGuiness, Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC he busy season is in full swing! In fact, if you are reading this article I am impressed, thank you for reading! The information which follows could save you a lot of money, or help you collect money which you are owed. Here is a short list of important timeframes to keep in mind as the season continues.


Patrick McGuiness

Mechanic’s Liens In order to be able to put a lien on a residential property, the owner must have received a “pre lien notice.” The law is very specific in what the notice must say, and the time frames are strict as well. If you are not a subcontractor and you want to have lien rights, you must provide proper pre lien notice to the homeowner within 10 days of agreeing to do the work. The best way to do this is by simply making the pre lien notice a part of the written contract you use. If you do not get paid for your work, you have 120 days to file a lien on the property from the last date of substantial work. This means the day you finished the project, not the date you last visited the project, or the last date you were there to fix something small that the homeowner complained about, otherwise known as the “punchlist.” Once again, it is important to note that in order to file a mechanic’s lien you must have given the homeowner the proper prelien notice or your lien will not be valid. I know how busy the season gets and how things can quickly fall by the wayside with the intention of figuring it all out later. Don’t lose your mechanic’s lien rights just because you kept putting it off until things slowed down. If you install a project in late April, your lien rights will expire in late August, so keep an eye on who owes you money and don’t give up your lien rights even if the homeowner says “the check is in the mail.” Statute of Limitations for Breach of Contract If you are not paid for the work you did, then the property owner has breached the contract you had with them. A contract can be oral or written, but enforcing a written contract is much easier because it has the specifics of the project on it and hopefully a date too. If you want to sue a homeowner for breach of contract, you have 6 years from the date of the breach. I know, 6 years seems like a really long time, but every year I am amazed when a 10 | May 2012

client comes into my office and only has a couple of months left before the statute of limitations runs out. Besides, the longer you wait, the less likely you are to get paid. If the homeowner owes you money, chances are that they owe other people money as well. In this situation, the sooner you get in line to get paid, the better. Also, keep in mind that the property owner may say that you didn’t do the work properly, which would constitute an earlier breach of contract than non payment would. Keep these timelines in mind this season as you begin work. Don’t give up your lien rights simply because you forgot about them! q ________________________________________________ This article provides general legal information on business matters and should not be relied upon as legal advice. A qualified attorney must analyze all relevant facts and apply the applicable law to any matter before legal advice can be given. If you would like more information regarding anything here, please contact Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC at 651-206-3203 Patrick McGuiness is one of the founding partners of Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC. His law practice focuses on assisting contractors & other business owners. He is also part owner of One Call Property Care, LLC a Minneapolis landscaping & property management company. He can be reached at

May 2012 |


PLANT SOMETHING CAMPAIGN RAMPS UP NLA is ramping up a new the MNLA member directory. consumer marketing campaign Our message is also being distributed that promotes the lifevia the January, April/May, June/July, enriching power of plants. It's called the August and September/October issues of "Plant Something" campaign, and it’s Midwest Home Magazine, the annual not just happening in Minnesota. Garden Minnesota Yearbook and Arizona, Massachusetts, Colorado, Minnesota Grown Directory, and on Washington, and Idaho are all running and the Plant Something campaign and five other states are close to launching the Plus, for MNLA Garden Centers, promotion as well. Each state is the trademarked message and materials customizing the delivery of the message are available for use in promoting in a way that fits their association and plant and landscaping sales at your market well. The campaign is designed to store. If you're interested, email communicate the benefits of planting for the files and guidelines trees, plants, flowers and vegetables. By for usage. adopting the Plant Something philosophy, residents can improve their home, their community Want to improve your quality of life? and their quality of life. The goal of this Seriously. campaign will be to How’s a plant or tree possibly going to make my life better, you ask? By lowering your heart inspire customers to rate, providing beauty and shade, improving invest time and your property value, lowering your energy AND CALL US IN THE MORNING costs, cleaning the air and water, and creamoney in planting ting a more inviting yard and community. something in their TRY NAMING SOMETHING AS EASY AND INEXPENSIVE own landscape. As THAT CAN PULL ALL THAT OFF. such, the retail companies within MNLA should Plant Something Funding benefit most directly, but as the message A USDA Specialty Crop Grant and a of the value of landscaping seeps into marketing grant from the Minnesota consciousness, demand for professional Department of Agriculture Minnesota landscaping should also increase. Grown program are funding MNLA's campaign. In addition, MNLA is How is the message being spread in leveraging an investment made over the Minnesota? past two years by the Arizona Nursery is the region's #1 Association, which hired a professional source of online news. Plant Something marketing agency to develop the look ads will run from April 9 through June and messages of the Plant Something 16, and a mobile campaign will run from campaign. April 16 through May 26. Readers clicking on the ad will be taken to a Core Messages Plant Something landing page on Consumers may start to reference the where they can messages in the campaign as they visit learn more about the value of plants, as with you, so take a minute to review the well as then follow the links through to campaign’s core messages.



12 | May 2012

Don’t just stand there – Plant Something!

Grow a richer lifestyle by putting down some roots.

Want to improve your quality of life? Plant something. at’s right, putting trees, flowers or shrubs in the ground doesn’t just provide you with beauty and shade, it can also improve your property value, lower your energy costs, clean the air and water – even lower your heart rate.

Chill out. Plants are cool. Just three properly placed trees can save an average household between $100 and $250 in annual heating and cooling costs. (U.S. Department of Energy)

Cleans, Freshens & Deodorizes. One tree can remove up to 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually. at’s equal to 11,000 miles of car emissions. (Virginia Cooperative Extension)

When you plant you get plenty more than just pretty flowers and leaves. While standing there looking gorgeous, flowers, trees and grasses are also busy doing janitorial service on the environment. In urban and suburban settings, vegetation helps reduce stormwater runoff, decreases pollutants and suspended solids in surface water runoff, and reduces sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter from the air.

Admit it, You’re Feeling Better Already. Put some new life in the ground and experience what a little green can do. Head to your nearest neighborhood garden center for plants to spruce up your yard, your life and your community.



Certification Training: Magic From the Manual By Ed Plaster, Retired DCTC Instructor he Certification Manual is an important study tool in preparation for taking the MNLA Certified Professional Examination. The following excerpt is from Chapter 44, Landscape Design, in a section concerning sustainable design. Read the excerpt, then answer the questions that follow.


Ed Plaster

Creating a sustainable landscape requires that the design process should be considered first. Plant selection, implementation, and maintenance build on the design process, each having sustainability as a major consideration. By utilizing these concepts, homeowners, business owners, and related industry personnel will be able to create outdoor spaces that are functional, maintainable, environmentally sound, cost effective and aesthetically or visually pleasing. The sustainable design process is based on, and affected by, the order of these five main objectives. Having a visually pleasing landscape is usually the most important objective and is addressed first in the design process. This is understandable since it is the primary concern for most clients. Similar or equal importance to a client is cost. Often, functionality, maintenance and the environment receive less attention or are neglected altogether until a problem arises in the completed landscape. The visually pleasing and cost effectiveness objectives should be the last to be evaluated. This in no way diminishes the importance of a "good looking" or cost effective landscape, but it does challenge the designer to create that beauty from a more sustainable approach. These five key Design Objectives are described below. Functionality – Sustainable designs need to be functional. A functional landscape allows for the easy accomplishment of movement, work, recreation and leisure that occurs in and around the landscape. These functions are related to the actual activities associated with a family, a business, or a public setting. Maintainability – The functional and maintainable objectives are closely related. A functional design has more to do with the users of the landscape, while a maintainable landscape is critical to landscape managers that care for the landscape. However, a landscape should be functional from 14 | May 2012

2. (TF) If a landscape provides privacy for a patio, we would say its main sustainable objective is environmental soundness.

5. According to the excerpt, which of these objectives should be among the last to be evaluated in a sustainable design? a. functionality b. aesthetics c. environmental soundness d. maintainability e. c and d

3. (TF) Cost should not determine if a landscape is sustainable or not.

And a bonus question, not in the article but worth thinking about when discussing a sustainable design:

4. e axiom about putting the “right plant in the right place for the right purpose” improves a design’s a. functionality b. maintainability c. environmental soundness d. long range cost e. all of the above.

6. (TF) A sustainable landscape could be thought of as a primary tool for preserving soil and water resources in an urban area.

Having read the excerpt, now answer these five questions: 1. (TF) A sustainable landscape eliminates the need for inputs to maintain the landscape.

both the user and the maintenance standpoint. A maintainable landscape lowers labor costs and makes maintenance operations easier. It also reduces the need for fertilizers, pesticides, equipment, water and other inputs. A sustainable landscape only reduces the amount of input needed; it does not eliminate it. Environmental Soundness – An environmentally sound landscape design must first be functional and maintainable. In addition, the proper design of plants and related hardscaping or features such as walks, fences and retaining walls, greatly affect the quality of any landscape over its entire life. For example, a philosophy of "right plant, right place" as well as "right plant, right purpose" will ameliorate the amount of environmental, disease, and insect stress that a plant must tolerate. A plant continually in stress will require more maintenance, which means more labor, fertilizer, pesticides, and ultimately cost.

Answers: 1. F, 2. F, 3. T, 4. E, 5. B, 6. T

none of these objectives are mutually exclusive in the design process. The development of any design requires that each piece be revisited several times relative to the others before the best solution can be reached. q ________________________________________________ Ed Plaster, CP, is a member of the MNLA Certification Committee and a retired instructor from Dakota County Technical College.

Cost Effective – Cost effectiveness is impacted by the processes, plants, and hardgoods used in the implementation of a landscape design, and by the quality of each of these factors. Cost should not dictate whether the landscape is functional, maintainable, or environmentally sound; rather, these requirements should be met regardless of the budget. A simple, low cost landscape should be just as sustainable as an extensive high-cost landscape. In many cases, the installation cost of a sustainable landscape may be less. Also, the ongoing maintenance costs of a functional, maintainable, and environmentally sound landscape is usually lower, which can mean considerable savings throughout the life of the landscape. Visually Pleasing – A Visually Pleasing landscape is what everyone strives for. The objectives of functionality, maintainability, environmental soundness, and cost effectiveness provide the framework needed to create a visually pleasing landscape. Designing a sustainable landscape requires the integration of more variables, but should not affect the aesthetic value of the landscape. It is important to note that May 2012 |



Publicize Your Professionalism By Ed Plaster, Retired DCTC Instructor ear Owners, Managers, and Webmasters: Are you proud of your Certified Professionals? Do you proudly point them out on your web site?


To the last question, probably not. A few months ago I sampled a couple dozen web sites of firms that have certified employees, and found mostly silence on their presence. Here is a major way that firms connect with the public, and for most of the websites I visited, the public isn’t going to see a word about it. Some mentioned it in passing, often several clicks away from the home page. Some mentioned it in designer bios. None of the sites I saw let the public know on the home page. It seems to me there are benefits to bragging about your CP’s on your website: It lets your prospective customer know that you hire people who have been tested and found not wanting in the knowledge of our business; in short, a professional. Your customer will know that your

16 | May 2012

firm and your employees care enough about quality and excellence to pursue certification. And that they care enough to keep updating their knowledge. It publicizes certification, so the public becomes more aware of it. If that happens, certification becomes more valuable. It lets the employees know you value certification enough to brag about it, and that public recognition is a reward for becoming certified. It costs little to make such minor modifications to a website. I am no webmaster, but I can suggest some ways to feature certification on your website: On the home page, state reasonably prominently that you hire Certified Professionals. Link the words to an explanation either on some secondary page or to MNLA material. Create a secondary page about certification listing your certified professionals and explaining their worth. By the way, encourage those people to renew their certification as required and keep the list updated.

If you have a “news” section on your webpage, announce your people that pass the exam when they do. Create some fanfare. Old “news” can be archived so people can read about past successes of your employees. If you don’t already, feature certification in bios that are on the website. Make liberal use of the certification logo in all these efforts. I think we all benefit from featuring certification on our websites. Your firm, the certified employee, the certification program itself, and the MNLA. At minimal cost and effort. I thank you for your consideration. And have a successful season! q ________________________________ Ed Plaster, CP, is a member of the MNLA Certification Committee and a retired instructor from Dakota County Technical College. When still teaching, he CERTIFIED managed the Professional program’s website.


Game On! By Craig Corby, Linder's Greenhouses, Garden Center, Flower Marts & Landscaping s this article goes to press we should be in the throes of our best start to spring in a decade. (If the weather holds!)


Were you prepared? Did you react quickly enough to the changing conditions and maximize your potential for sales? Did you call in your team, select your players and run onto the field knowing you have a good chance of winning the first quarter. (This is a 4 quarter game) I hope so because the opposition had and were taking advantage of the ideal playing conditions! The big boys were on the field early and they were making winning plays; early set ups, products arriving early, colorful jerseys, and lots of support from the sidelines via marketing. And the crowds responded. First quarter ended. How did you fare? Still in the game I hope! Second Quarter Regroup, analyze, make some team changes and back out on the field, fresh

approach, and new strategy; play hard, play to win, get back to basics, execute and score. During a game you need to understand and use the opposing team’s strategies to match their plays and gain control of the game. Today their strategy is the “the value play” and they are promoting it heavily! We are now mid-way thru the second quarter and playing hard. Have you adapted to the “value rule,” has the team manager promoted value to the crowds? Has the coach engrained value in the players and have the players executed value on the field and in their positions and; in the face of the opposition? Do your supporters see the “value” you are exhibiting on the field? Have you created the excitement for them to stay loyal, band together and not just sing but shout your team song? What value does your team exhibit? Is it price, selection, quality, convenience, presentation or performance? A combination of these plays will always be a recipe for success. Value is not price alone! Price cannot be your champion player. A team does not win with one player. It is the combination of players that make a team, and a champion team

will always beat a team of champions! We are now half way thru the second term, how is your team doing? Are they executing all levels of the value play throughout the game? Are you getting scores on the board? As in any team sport, if players are getting beaten, make some changes, put a different value in the face of the opposition and see the results. You might be surprised! Late in the Second Quarter How does your team look? Tired, or just building momentum for the crucial part of the game, the third quarter. June in our game! A lot of games are won or lost in the crucial third term. Stay focused, make the changes you need to win, and be ready for the unexpected. It will happen. This is where the coach’s determination, enthusiasm, skill and player placement are crucial to the success of the team. May your coaches attack on all value fronts and may you come home successful. q ________________________________ Craig Corby is a member of the MNLA Garden Center Committee and can be reached at

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May 2012 |



What is Your Company Worth? By Rick Walters, Northway Irrigation don’t know if you have heard, but there is a big issue going on in Illinois right now about the irrigation contractors having to have a plumbing license to Rick Walters install an irrigation system. Not only does the company have to have a plumbing contractors license, but everybody on the install crew has to be signed up as an apprentice plumber. That means that even if you have employees that only dig holes, they have to be registered. The service people have to also be registered. There has to be a master plumber on site during an install.


That also means you have to pay them plumbers wages. Think about that for a moment. Did it sink in? You might remember that 10 years ago the Illinois state legislature passed this. The irrigation contractors in the state did not have a working organization to fight this. They scrambled together and formed the IGIA, Illinois Green Industry Association. They fought it and basically got a 10 year reprieve. (there might be a different political word for it but you get the idea). When this bill was addressed 10 years ago a lot of the contractors got their plumbing license and now might not care what happens. The remaining contractors are again scrambling to keep their business alive; if this does not get stopped again, it is

going to put a big hurt on the Illinois irrigation contractors. In other words, unless you become a plumbing contractor you will not install or service an irrigation system. Do you want this to happen in Minnesota? Did all of you get the e-mail the MNLA sent out about a license from the DNR, Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)? If you get paid to take out or put back anything into our lakes and streams you have to have this license? This includes docks, boats, rafts, and irrigation pump lines. This means that the irrigation contractors that service lake systems will have to have one person go to a one day school and pass a test. The company than has to have the employees take an online course and also pass a test. There

TIME to RENEW your MEMBERSHIP! You will soon receive an email asking you to renew your MNLA membership for 2012-2013. Renew Online by June 8 to be entered in a drawing for 2 Expo registrations and a hotel stay! 18 | May 2012

has to be a permit on the trucks and each employee has to have a card. The DNR will be policing this. Is this another law that will not be enforced, time will tell? I wonder if there is another industry in this state that has to have all these licenses. We are licensed electrical contractors, licensed plumbing contractors, Backflow certified, DNR water licensed, DOT regulated, Water Sense Partners, and IA certified CLIA, CIC, CID. I wonder if some day this will be all one big license!

have time to respond to the survey.

We (the irrigation committee of the h MNLA) will be sending out a questionnaire soon regarding what your thoughts are on licensing in Minnesota. We want to get your input on whether we should, as an organization (MNLA) that represents you, peruse licensing in our state. We need your input on whether we should start our own ideas of licensing or wait for the state to implement their own. Do you want to be blindsided and be in the same situation that Illinois is in? Hopefully, you will

contracts. When h I contacted d these h companies about a price, I found out they were charging very (shall I say inexpensive) prices on their installs and winterizations. You know it is the American dream to work for yourself and build a company and sell it for a profit. The companies for sale were not worth what the owners thought they were worth because of the prices they were charging. The systems were installed at a low price and have a large service issue, thus their customers were not very loyal.

On another subject: This winter there were some irrigation companies up for sale. If you inquired to them, you found out they were companies without service

Will becoming a licensed irrigation contractor in the State of Minnesota make your business more valuable when you want to retire or pass the business on to your family? Think about this.. There are some states that license llandscaping companies as well as IIrrigation companies. It is my tthought and others that we should aas an industry go together with the ggreen industry to get licensing for tthe whole industry. Why not have a ggreen industry license to cover it all, w with divisions. The states that have l licensing protect the people from shoddy work that does not meet the standards of the industry. What is wrong with protecting the homeowner and making your contraction business worth something? q ________________________________ Rick Walters is a member of the MNLA Irrigation Contractors Committee and can be reached at

I wonder if there is another industry in this state that has to have all these licenses.

May 2012 |



Performance Reviews By John Mickman, Mickman Brothers, Inc. ome evening as you sit in your office, working late, after everyone else has gone home, reflect upon how quiet and lonely it is. During these times you may be reminded that your company is not your trucks, your buildings or your customers. Your company is your people. John Mickman What your company offers to your customers and clients is all delivered by your employees. Without them you do not have a company. So, if your company is your people, what do the people look like that you are offering to your customers as the providers of your professional products and services? Your probable answer is that you hire and hope to retain the best trained, dependable people that you can find. The reason we all hire these individuals is that most of us in this industry have found that good people don’t cost money they make money. So, the more good people you have working in your company, the more successful your company will be. Right? The correct answer is; maybe. Improperly managed, even the best employees will not live up to your expectations and their productivity will decline. Besides having a clear cut Job Description for each of the positions in your company, establishing a Performance Review Policy and following through on it is one of the best ways to drive employees to work to their full potential.


20 | May 2012

There are many trains of thought regarding performance reviews, however many companies include the following aspects into their Performance Review Policies: Standardize the format as much as possible. Having 2 different standardized formats, one for managers and one for production people may work for your company. Do a full blown performance review at least once per year, and abbreviated, interim reviews as necessary to make certain you and your report are on track with established developmental goals. Challenged employees may require interim review more often than higher performers. Spread the joy! If you do not work directly with some of your staff members, have their manager perform the review – after you’ve trained them on how to do so. Include a rating system such as 1 – 5, unsatisfactory to outstanding, to rate an employee’s performance with room for a written explanation supporting the rating. Give the employee a couple of days to fill out the review from their perspective. You will do the same using the same form as your employee to rate them. During the actual review, have the employee give each of their answers first, then you do yours. Discussion after each item will follow, and you may or may not change your rating. At the end of this stage, average the scores so both of you can see where the employee’s rating is, unsatisfactory to outstanding.

Then, work with the employee to write up Performance Related Strengths and Developmental Plans. ‘Where’s the beef?’ There are opposing opinions on this, but after a good review, many believe one needs to provide a monetary reward to the employee. A wage/salary increase, performance bonus, gift cards. Something. Otherwise the employee is likely to be let down that they are doing a good job and making money for the company, but what about them? Does the company really value their contributions? Done correctly, you will find your staff more exuberant and productive than ever after a well done Performance Review. They now know how well you perceive their value to the company, they have had a chance to give input into that perception and they have a developmental plan for the future. You will both leave the meeting with a clear understanding of how you both will work together in a way to maximize results for the individual and for the company. Everyone wins. The employee, the company and the customers. Your company is your people. You owe it to them, and to you, to do all you can to maximize their value while they are working for you. Right? q ________________________________________________ John Mickman is past MNLA president and a member of the MNLA Landscape Professional Advancement Committee and can be reached at

May 2012 |



Energized Focus on Research and Education! By Bob Fitch, MNLA Executive Director he MNLA Foundation has energized its programs and fundraising efforts to increase the investment in research and Bob Fitch education to build a brighter future for companies like yours. The MNLA Foundation is focused on three key areas:


1. Research for the Real World. You need knowledge to improve your business and operations – and in turn increase your profitability. We’ve contracted with an

22 | May 2012

experienced scientist, Dr. Jim Calkins, to search environmental horticulture and landscape research literature world-wide and then provide that information to you in a concise, usable format. “Research for the Real World” articles are featured in e Scoop and MNLA eNews and are being archived on 2. Career Development and Promotion. Industry businesses like yours are facing a crisis because so few young people are choosing green industry careers. e MNLA Foundation has created an elementary curriculum and is customizing a high school curriculum focused on nursery and

landscape careers and products. We’re informing teachers, guidance counselors, parents, and students about the legitimate career paths available in the green industry. MNLA and the MNLA Foundation have been national leaders in this effort! 3. Scholarships. e MNLA Foundation Academic Awards Scholarship Program rewards outstanding college students who have made horticulture or landscaping their career choice. In its 17-year history, more than $300,000 has been invested in quality students through this program.

All of these efforts require a significant amount of time and dollars. Contributions large and small are needed to continue these programs which will help both the environment and businesses like yours. You are encouraged to invest in these programs by participating in one or more of the following: •

Partners Fund: Contribute ¼ of 1% on purchases at the following suppliers: Bachman’s Wholesale; BFG Supply; Bailey Nurseries; and Wilson’s Nursery. On a purchase of $1,000, your individual contribution is only $2.50 – but collectively these contributions add up to a substantial amount of resources. Proceeds from the Partners Fund support all three focus areas as well as the building of the Foundation’s endowment. Garden Party: Join your colleagues on Wednesday, June 20, at Gordie Bailey’s home for an evening of food, fellowship and fundraising to

celebrate scholars, donors, and the future of our industry. Proceeds benefit the Career Development & Promotion Fund.

Golf Tournament: Always a great time, this year’s event is Tuesday, July 24, at the University of Minnesota Golf Course in St. Paul. Proceeds benefit the Research for the Real World Fund.

If you’re interested in playing a role in any of these programs within the newly re-energized MNLA Foundation, contact one of the foundation’s trustees:

Girls Night Out: Network with other women from all segments of the green industry during this evening boat cruise on the Mississippi on ursday, August 9. Proceeds benefit the Scholarship Fund.

Shootout: e sporting clays tournament has quickly become an anticipated tradition after just a few short years. It will be at the South St. Paul Gun Club on Wednesday, Sept. 19. Proceeds benefit the Scholarship Fund.

Direct Contributions: Direct contributions to any of the dedicated funds or to the endowment are always welcome.

Bert Swanson. . . . . . . . . . 218-732-3579 Dale Bachman . . . . . . . . . 612-861-7600 Van Cooley . . . . . . . . . . . 763-535-4695 Dean Engelmann. . . . . . . 612-822-4769 Roger Landsburg . . . . . . . 218-829-5519 Mike McNamara . . . . . . . 651-437-9463 Mary Meyer. . . . . . . . . . . 952-443-1447 John Mickman. . . . . . . . . 763-413-8260 Jay Siedschlaw . . . . . . . . . 763-488-2555 You can also contact: MNLA Executive Director Bob Fitch or MNLA Foundation Program Director Jodi Larson at 651-633-4987.

May 2012 |



Chaska Fifth-Grader Selected as 2012 Arbor Day Poster Contest Winner arah Costello, a fifth-grade student at Chaska Elementary School, is the Minnesota winner of the 2012 Arbor Day Poster Contest. Her poster is featured o on the cover of this month's Scoop. This is ell t s o the 10th year that MNLA has been the hC a state coordinator for the Arbor Day Poster r Sa Contest.


Watch for the top three posters to be on display at the MNLA Garden at the 2012 Minnesota State Fair! q

To celebrate Sarah's winning poster, an official tree planting ceremony will take place at Chaska Elementary School on Arbor Day, April 27th. Watch for pictures of the planting ceremony in the June issue of the Scoop. Every September, all Minnesota's elementary schools are provided with a tree activities guide and information about the poster contest for Minnesota fifth-graders. They are invited to create posters reflecting a particular theme. This year's theme was "Trees are Terrific Inside and Out." This theme is designed to increase the students' understanding of how trees grow and h Mi function. Over 190 fifth-grade students throughout Minnesota participated in the 2012 competition. Ellie Bradbury, Rush Creek Elementary in Maple Grove, received second place. The third place winner was Titus Gustafson, Lincoln Center Elementary School in South St. Paul. ur

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May a 2012 | www ay MNLA biz i iz


July 26, 2012 | 8:30am—4:00pm | Southwest Twin Cities Metro Area

Looking for design inspiration? Join your colleagues to tour nine design sites in the southwest metro area. The stops are sure to inspire and the event will provide great networking opportunities. Bring back ideas to implement in your own designs and share your ideas with your peers! Tour stops will include (in no particular order): • • • • • • • • •

Ankeny-Lang Memorial Garden, Chanhassen—Designed by Landscape Renovations Brunn Residence, Edina—Designed by Corduroy Studio, Inc. Reynolds/Miller Residence, Minnetonka—Designed by Creative Habitats, Inc. Berman Residence, Deephaven—Designed by Dirtflower LLC Benson Residence, Minnetonka—Designed by Creative Habitats, Inc. Shelby Residence—Designed/Installed by multiple companies including Irrigation by Design and McGuire Landscaping, Inc. Cargill Corporate Headquarters, Minnetonka—Designed by Damon Farber Associates, Inc. Schramm Residence, Plymouth—Designed by Prairie Restorations Christianson Residence, Eden Prairie—Designed by Bachman’s Landscape Department

July 26, 2012 | 9:00am—1:00pm | St. Paul

Calling all garden center owners and employees! Join your colleagues to tour two urban garden centers in St. Paul— Linder’s and Highland Nursery. Following these two stops, the group will gather to virtually tour garden centers from outstate Minnesota featuring interviews with owners and managers, videos and photos. The event will provide great networking opportunities. Beg, borrow and steal ideas to implement at your own garden center and share your ideas with your peers without having to spend hours on a bus! The event will feature a catered lunch from Famous Dave’s. Visit for registration and details for these and other programs! Questions? Call 651.633.4987. Sponsorships are available for these seminars. Call Betsy at 952-903-0505 or e-mail 26 | May 2012


May Events at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum ere's a list of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum events and classes in May 2012. Call 952-443-1422 or visit for more information and to register.


CREATIVE CONTAINER GARDENING Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., $35 member/$45 non-member Create colorful designs by using unexpected combinations of color, texture, height, form, seasonal interest, and color progression in your containers. Instructor is Larry Cipolla. Call 952443-1422 or visit

HOSTA & GRASSES SALE Saturday & Sunday, May 5 & 6, building hours, Arboretum Gift Store Purchase hard-to-find and new hosta varieties and ornamental grasses. BUD BREAK 5K & DAFFODIL DASH Sunday, May 6, start time 9 a.m. for run; 10 a.m. for Daodil Dash Put down your trowel and lace up your sneakers! It's time for the Arboretum's Bud Break 5K run/walk on Three-Mile Drive winding through scenic spring landscapes. Kids ages 5-12 can join in the one-mile Youth Daffodil Dash Run/Walk. $20-$30. Visit or call 952-443-1423 or 952-443-1515.

WEEKEND FAMILY FUN: SUNFLOWER SMASH Saturdays & Sundays in May, noon-4 p.m. Learning Center Learn all about these amazing plants! Try your hand at pounding toasted sunflower seeds into a sunflower butter treat. Select sunflower seeds to plant and other fun activities. Free with gate admission. NATIONAL PUBLIC GARDENS DAY Friday, May 11, all day Celebrate the Arboretum with special activities and fun!

Continued on page 28

11151 Chaparrel Ave. 4105 85th Ave. North Shakopee, MN 55379 Brooklyn Park, MN 55443 (800) 831-4891 (763) 493-5150 (952) 496-1043 ext. 214 May 2012 |


Continued from page 27 ARBORETUM AUXILIARY PLANT SALE Saturday & Sunday, May 12 & 13 Purchase hard-to-find perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees at this popular Twin Cities sale. MOTHER'S DAY BRUNCH Saturday & Sunday, May 12 & 13, 10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m. MacMillan Auditorium, Oswald Visitor Center Celebrate mom and spring at this delicious buffet brunch. Call 612-6263951 for information. THE JAPANESE GARDEN Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., $35 member/$45 non-member Learn about the elements of the Japanese garden and which varietals work best in your landscape. Instructor Mary Bigelow is an Arboretum landscaper and curator of the Japanese garden. Call 952443-1422 or visit

28 | May 2012

INSIDE THE COLLECTION: LICORICE ROOTS AND MORE Wednesday, May 16, noon-1 p.m., $7.50 member/$10 non-member Andersen Horticultural Library head Kathy Allen will take you on a journey through these wonderfully illustrated rare books on herbal medicine. SUMMERHOUSE OPENING Friday, May 18, Rolling Acres Rd. & State Hwy. 5 Arboretum's market featuring fresh produce & gardening supplies opens for the season! GROWING DAHLIAS Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., $35 member/$45 non-member Learn about the origin and history of this popular flower and get growing tips. Instructor: Gary Unger. Call 952-4431422 or visit

SAFE PLANT PEST CONTROL: IPM Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., $35 member/ $45 non-member Oswald Visitor Center Learn the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) by understanding pesticide use, biological and nonchemical use, chemical approaches, insect identification and preventive measures that every gardener can and should take. Instructor: Dan Miller, the Arboretum's IPM expert. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is located 9 miles west of Interstate 494 on Highway 5 in Chanhassen. The largest public garden in the Upper Midwest and a premier northern arboretum, it is part of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota and developed as a community and national resource for horticultural and environmental information, research, and public education. Open 363 days a year. Admission: $12 adults; free for ages 12 & younger, free for members.


Minnesota State Horticultural Society Classes Classes are sponsored by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society, but are held at various locations, as noted. Enrollment is limited, and pre-registration is requested. To register, call 651-643-3601 or 800-676-6747, ext 211. Make a Trough Garden Container Tuesday, May 8, 6:30 to 8 p.m. $45 MSHS members, $55 nonmembers Location: Harriet Alexander Nature Center, 2520 North Dale St., Roseville. Made with Styrofoam, these troughs are lighter than concrete and undamaged by freezing. While the trough can be planted with any small annual or perennial, we will show you how to grow alpine plants in the trough. Bring gloves and dress for mess. Also, bring a wire brush and hot air gun if you have them. Class will be held in a classroom. Workshop fee includes all supplies and a few plants for your container. Instructor: Shirley Friberg has been an active member of the Rock Garden of Minnesota for many years and has made a variety of troughs.

Container Ideas for Sun and Shade Tuesday, May 15, 6:30 to 8 p.m. $15 members, $20 nonmembers Location: Muriel Sahlin Arboretum, Roseville Central Park, 2525 North Dale St., Roseville. Container gardening is a great way to play with colors and textures and take advantage of new and exciting varieties found at your favorite garden center. You can also create container gardens with vegetables and display on your deck, patio or porch as a focal point. Join us for a demonstration in the garden where Mark Armstead will show us how to create a variety of containers for both sun and shade and with vegetables. Instructor: Mark Armstead is the Assistant Retail Manager and Grower at Linder’s Garden Center. He has been in this industry over 20 years as a grower and retailer, and has a degree in Botany. Continued on page 30

May 2012 |


A Deeper Shade of Green Local Genetic Origins


Native Minnesota Woody & Herbaceous (651) 438-2771 • Fax (651) 438-3816

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Continued from page 29 LITERATURE INTO ART: Books at Changed the Way We Garden with Cole Burrell Monday, May 21, 7:25 p.m. $15; Free for Garden Club of Ramsey County members— contact Club for more information. Location: Hillcrest Community Recreation Center, 1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul. In today’s fast-paced information age, it is hard to imagine a time when gardeners relied on books rather than YouTube videos for inspiration and practical advice. is lecture examines the shifting roles that gardens have played in our culture, from Victorian bedding schemes to richly planted borders and outdoor living rooms. Join author and landscape designer C. Colston Burrell as he profiles influential garden and nature writers and highlights some seminal books, from William Robinson's Wild Garden to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and Doug Tallamy's Bringing Nature Home, that changed the way we envision, design, plant, and maintain outdoor spaces. Enrollment is limited, and pre-registration is required. Cole's books will be available for purchase. Join us after the presentation for a book signing. Also available: a private garden reception preceding his presentation. Contact the Garden Club of Ramsey County for more information. This event is cosponsored by the Garden Club of Ramsey County and the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. Presenter C. Colston Burrell is an acclaimed lecturer, garden designer and photographer. The author of 12 gardening books, Cole has twice won the American Horticulture Society Book Award. Succulents from Southern Africa Wednesday, June 6, 6:30 to 8 p.m. $20 members, $25 nonmembers Location: Harriet Alexander Nature Center, 2520 North Dale St., Roseville. Several commonly grown succulent groups are from the deserts of Southern Africa. In this class, we will cover basic care and propagation of the Aloaceae (Aloe, Haworthia and Gasteria) and the Crassulaceae (jade plant family). A range of exemplars will be in demonstration, and each attendee will get 2 plants to take home. Instructor: Dr. William Cook is a biology professor and teaches ecology, wildlife and environmental issues. He is also a Stearns County University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener.

30 | May 2012


Improving the Audit Process: We Are Listening By Jack Mansun, Minnesota Department of Revenue ome of you have expressed concerns to the Department of Revenue about sales tax audits. Please know that we take your comments seriously. In fact, we're improving our process based on your feedback.


e main concerns seem to be: • ere has been no easy way to discuss the performance of our auditors with anyone else at the department. • e scope and the amount of documentation being requested at the start of the audit. We now include a supervisor's name and contact information on our appointment letters so you have that information upfront. We encourage you to call the supervisor and voice your concerns about the auditor or our audit process.

We've also reinstated and revised our audit survey, and we encourage you to provide both positive and negative feedback on our auditor's communication skills, time management, professionalism and follow-up. Your responses will help us pinpoint any issues by linking them to a specific auditor or audit so, we can provide coaching or make changes if necessary. The Sales Tax Division also is doing more two-person audits. New auditors won't be allowed to do independent audits until their lead workers are satisfied they are ready. We're also revamping our training to emphasize soft people skills so taxpayers are treated appropriately - before, during and after the audit. To address the second concern, the department is customizing our requests to better identify the information we need. We hope this reduces the time and energy needed to Audit continued on page 33

May 2012 |


MNLA Foundation GARDEN PARTY Who will help you build your business in 5 – 10 years and beyond?

The Social Event of the Season! By John Mickman & Jodi Larson

Your Future Success

ark your calendars for June 20th. This is the date for the MNLA Foundation’s Garden Party Fundraiser, an event that promises to be fun, entertaining and an investment into the future of our industries. The goal is to raise $20,000 to recruit, engage and educate the next generation of green industry professionals.

With the world of business changing seemingly at the speed of light, how are we going to keep up? Who is going to work in each of our businesses to keep up with the rapidly changing world? Each of our businesses needs good people that are smart, educated and dedicated to stay ahead of the curve. None of us can afford to glide; we need to adapt to our rapidly changing industries, new trends in sustaining our natural resources and of course growing consumer sophistication.


The Fundraising Garden Party is being graciously hosted by Gordie and Jo Bailey at their wonderful home near Bailey Nurseries in Newport. Events for the evening will include: •

A fabulous dinner from Tinucci’s Restaurant

e program is being MC’d by our own Heidi Heiland of Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens

Guest Speaker Belinda Jenson, from KARE 11.

Belinda will also be broadcasting her KARE 11 Weather Report that evening from the Garden Party for both her 5 and 6 o’clock weather spots. •

Poolside lounging. Gordie and Jo will have seating around their pool to enjoy a cool beverage during storytelling by your compatriots.

A silent auction for lots of cool stuff and an auctioning off of a number of fabulous vacation opportunities.

A great chance to network with many of Minnesota’s green industry leaders. e guest register is awesome. (e Garden Party is already over 75% sold out!)

A presentation by Dr. Terry Ferris from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. Terry will speak about the great promise for our businesses of the upcoming talent from our technical colleges and universities.

Tickets for the Garden Party are only $50. This is a great opportunity to share the excitement you have for your business with your significant other. This evening truly will be the ‘Social Event of the Season’ for those of us that have passion for our businesses. There are a limited number of tickets still available. If you want to attend, we encourage you to contact the MNLA office at your earliest convenience. 32 | May 2012

The future leaders in our industries are our young people! Your MNLA Foundation recognizes this and is dedicated to promoting a career choice in our industries to these many promising young people. Some of the MNLA Foundation successes with respect to Career Development include: •

Funding over $300,000 in scholarships over the past 17 Years.

Development of lesson plans which are being used in Minnesota grade schools to educate these youngsters in topics relating to landscape gardening, hardscaping and irrigation.

Introduction this July of a high school curriculum which focuses on horticulture and landscaping. is curriculum focuses on horticultural education programs to build foundational knowledge and skills to encourage students to pursue careers in the Green Industry.

Participation in many events to ‘get the word out’ regarding the opportunities in the Green Industries. To name a few, these events include the annual FFA Convention; presentations in grade school and high school career fairs; and workshops such as “Out on a Limb- Tree Climbing to Care for Nature's Largest Plants.” Garden continued on page 33

Garden continued from page 32

Audit continued from page 31

We need your help!

gather that information.

The MNLA Foundation’s ‘Garden Party’ is a fundraiser to help you and your business prosper. How can you help?

Finally, we're redesigning our website to be more userfriendly. This includes new videos and other content to educate small business taxpayers and remove some of the uncertainty associated with a first-time audit. View the test version at and tell us what you think. The site goes live in May.

• •

Attend the ‘Social Event of the Season’ this June 20th Help sponsor the Garden Party. We are looking for industry leaders like you to help sponsor this event with pledges ranging from $250 to $1,000. A small sum to help the long range goals of your business. For more information, please contact Scott Frampton (Landscape Renovations) 651.248.4021, Jodi Larson (MNLA) 651.633.4987 or John Mickman (Mickman Brothers) 763.413.8260. •

Donate auction items to be auctioned off at the Garden Party. • Share this news with others in the industry. e more the merrier! For more information regarding the Career Development efforts of the MNLA Foundation, please visit and click on the Schoolhouse icon.

The department really appreciates your feedback, which is crucial to our ongoing efforts to improve how state government works and to deliver the best services for our customers. q ________________________________________________ Jack Mansun is the assistant commissioner for business taxes at the Minnesota Department of Revenue. For general audit related questions, business may contact Pam Evans, sales and use tax director, at Reprinted from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

We all hope to see you on June 20th at 6:30 pm at the MNLA Foundation Garden Party - an evening that truly promises to be, for those of us in the Green Industry, the Social Event of the Season!

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Our goal is to exceed your expectations.

Gov’t Affairs Pays Our Dues Back Again and Again By Terri McEnaney, Bailey Nurseries Inc.

or our agency, and Auto-Owners Insurance, 99.9% just isn’t good enough...we want to provide our customers with 100% service! Contact our agency about our “Super Outstanding Service” today—we’ll work hard to exceed your expectations!

We have coverage for growing stock!

Dan Greene, Commercial Specialist 952/448-3800

Casualty Assurance of Chaska, LLC 101 West 3rd Street Chaska, MN 55318 34 | May 2012

recently joined the MNLA Government Affairs Committee and attended my first meeting in March. Politics has never been one of my favorite Terri McEnaney things. However, through my involvement with MNLA and ANLA and their organized visits to Washington, D.C. and the State Capitol, I have grown to appreciate the importance of being engaged with our representatives that pass the laws that can benefit or be a detriment to our businesses.


is very active along with our lobbyists and many members who actively participate in the political process by attending Day on the Hill, making direct contact with their representatives, and inviting them to visit our operations and get to know our issues as they arise. A past success story was aligning nursery and greenhouse operations with other agriculture producers. Ensuring that horticulture is classified as agriculture provides sales tax exemptions when purchasing equipment and production inputs. Currently, MNLA sstaff and vvolunteers are w working on u updating sales ttax guidelines ffor landscape iinstallation and m management. T The goal is to p provide greater l i to the h state’s’ fact f sheets h clarity so members can be more easily in compliance and avoid nasty shocks in sales tax audits.

"We are fortunate to have passionate people unite for common causes."

We are fortunate have ate to hav a e strong av representation in Washington on issues such as immigration. The staff at the American Nursery & Landscape Association has been a great resource for us in utilizing the H2A guest worker program in recent years. This spring their efforts along with the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association and grassroots member businesses joined forces to overturn rulings that would have left nursery growers with a severe shortage of workers to ship, plant, maintain, and harvest their plants. Across the country collaboration and shared experiences are helping businesses to understand how to use the program and unite to lobby for reform. In Minnesota we are fortunate to have an excellent system in place to lobby for causes that affect MNLA member businesses. Executive Director Bob Fitch

We are fortunate to have such informed and passionate people in our industry that unite for common causes under the umbrella of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association. So even though politics may not be my favorite pastime, I am happy to be involved in the collaboration and successful efforts that have been made and will be made on our behalf going forward. This is a great example of how our dues pay back again and again. q ________________________________ Terri McEnaney is a member of the MNLA Government Affairs Committee. She can be reached at

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The Scoop | EXPO


Expo New Plant Forum Editor’s Note: is is the final installment of photos from the New Plant Forum held at the 2012 Northern Green Expo. anks to MNLA President Debbie Lonnee, Bailey Nurseries, for organizing this session with presenters from around the world. e New Plant Forum is an educational session that was developed for the Northern Green Expo to highlight and bring to attention new plant cultivars for landscapes and gardens in the Upper Midwest. e person who presented the plant is listed just prior to the plant name.

Bob Cashman, Ball Horticultural Co.

Salvia nemorosa Lyrical™ series Lyrical™ ‘Blues’ PPAF Lyrical™ ‘Silvertone’ PPAF Origin: introduced by Darwin Plants USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4-9 Height and Spread: 22-24” X 22-24” Availability: Ball Darwin liners, Fast Finish™ Propagation method: softwood cuttings Excellent branching on a strong robust plant, the Lyrical™ series has two cultivars available. With some reblooming ability, these will be blooming in the garden from May through July.

JJonathan Pedersen, Bailey Nurseries, Inc.

H Hydrangea arborescens ‘PIIHA-I’ PP21,227 E Endless Summer® Bella Anna® hydrangea O Origin: bred by Dr Michael Dirr, Plant Introductions, Inc., Georgia U USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 3-9 H Height and Spread: 3’ X 3’ A Availability: Bailey Nurseries and all Endless Summer network growers P Propagation method: softwood cuttings B Bella Anna is a reblooming pink arborescens type with beautiful magenta-pink blooms that aare constant from summer til fall.

Jonathan Pedersen, Bailey Nurseries, Inc.

Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blauer Splatz’ First Editions® Sapphire Surf™ bluebeard Origin: bred at Kordes Nursery, Germany USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 5-9 (still in test in zone 4) Height and Spread: 2’ X 24-30” Availability: Bailey Nurseries, other First Editions network growers Propagation method: softwood cuttings When in bloom, lovely dark blue flowers completely cover this low mounded, spreading plant. Can be used in mass plantings as a ground cover, and combines beautifully with anything with silver foliage.

Continued on page 38 36 | May 2012

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JJonathan Pedersen, Bailey Nurseries, Inc.

T Thuja occidentalis ‘Congabe’ PP19,009 F Fire Chief™ arborvitae Origin: introduced by e Conard-Pyle Co O U USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 3-9 H Height and Spread: 3-5’ X 3-4’ A Availability: Bailey Nurseries P Propagation method: winter hardwood cuttings A soft and lacy fine-textured plant, Fire Chief forms a perfect round bball. Sage-green foliage is topped with red tips, offering a distinctive llook in foundation plantings, as a low hedge, or in borders. R Reaching just over 3-4’ in height, it requires little to no pruning.

Dr. Neil Anderson, University of Minnesota

Gomphrena pulchella ‘Fireworks’ Fireworks globe amaranth Origin: bred by INTA USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: annual in Midwest Height and Spread: 36-48” X 36-48” Availability: seed from PanAm Seed Co Propagation method: seed A superb garden and cut flower, ‘Fireworks’ is a welcome heat and drought tolerant architectural addition to large containers or as a textural hedge. Bred from tough Argentine spread Scruffy ff ffy stock by INTA and introduced by PanAmerican Seed Co, this plant can be expected to reach 36-48” in height and spread. appearance should be accented with large-sized, spectacular foliage and flowers. Dr. Neil Anderson, University of Minnesota

Penny Aguirre, Biological Patent Services

Brassica oleracea ‘Glamour Red’ Glamour Red F1 ornamental kale

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Little Goldstar’ PPAF Little Goldstar rudbeckia

Origin: bred at Takii USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: annual in Midwest Height and Spread: Availability: seed companies and plug suppliers Propagation method: seed A 2011 AAS winner from American Takii, this edible and ornamental kale sports rings of three different colored, frilly leaves. It is a natural Biedermeier floral design you can plant and enjoy all summer and fall. is was so popular, it was planted p all over NYC this p past yyear, still in flower in early December! D A great cool c season kale with waxless w leaves that provide p more intense coloration, particularly c after an early frost. a ‘Flower head’ sizes ‘ range from 10-12” and r will w start showing color as a soon as 90 days after sowing! s

Origin:: bred by Georg Ubelhardt of Jelitto Seeds USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8 Height and Spread: 10” X 20” Availability: Walters Gardens, Ball, Skagit, Gardenworld, ItSaul Plants, Pioneer Gardens Propagation method: division, tissue culture An extremely dwarf form of rudbeckia, with healthy disease free foliage and loads of flowers in mid to late summer. Only 10” in height, this rudbeckia will be great in the front of the sunny perennial border. Continued on page 41

38 | May 2012



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Nico Rijnbeek, Rijnbeek and Sons, Boskoop, e Netherlands

Echinacea ‘Summer Breeze’ PPAF Summer Breeze® coneflower Origin: bred by Marco van Noort in e Netherlands USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4-8 Height and Spread: 28” X 30” Availability: plugs from AG3, bareroot from Rijnbeek & Son Propagation method: tissue culture or bareroot A beautiful dark yellow coneflower that blooms for much of the summer. Flowers are 3 ½” wide, and are excellent for cut flowers. e flowers have a wonderful fragrance.

Penny Aguirre, Biological Patent Services P

B Baptisia ‘Lemon Meringue’ PPAF D DECADENCE™ Lemon Meringue false indigo O Origin: bred by Hans Hansen USDA U Cold Hardiness Zones: 4-8 Height and Spread: 36” X 36” H Availability: Walters Gardens, Proven Winners network A Propagation method: stem cuttings, tissue culture P  vigorous yellow Baptisia forms an upright, vase-shaped mound of is a attractive blue-green foliage topped with long, charcoal stems carrying ccharcoal buds and lemon yellow flowers – the color really pops!

Nico Rijnbeek, Rijnbeek and Sons, Boskoop, e Netherlands

Geranium ‘Rise & Shine’ PPAF Rise & Shine® hardy geranium Origin: bred by Marco van Noort, e Netherlands USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 6-9 Height and Spread: 6-7” tall X Availability: plugs from AG3, Propagation method: tissue culture or division e blooms are an intense blue, with purple veins and a pale white center on this petite plant with green foliage. Great for groundcover, sunny or woodland gardens.

Nico Rijnbeek, Rijnbeek and Sons, Boskoop, e Netherlands N

E Echinacea ‘Meditation’ Meditation® coneflower M O Origin: bred by Marco van Noort, e Netherlands USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4-9 U Height H and Spread: 14” X 15” Availability: A plugs from AG3, bareroot from Rijnbeek and Sons Propagation P method: tissue culture or division A very short, compact variety that has a long bloom season, from June until the end of September. e cone c turns into a red-brown pineapple shape which looks interesting all winter long. Continued on page 42 May 2012 |


Penny Aguirre, Biological Patent Services P

B Baptisia ‘Dutch Chocolate’ PPAF DECADENCE™ Dutch Chocolate false indigo D Origin: bred by Hans Hansen O U USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9 H Height and Spread: 33” X 23” A Availability: Walters Gardens, Proven Winners network P Propagation method: stem cuttings, tissue culture R Rich velvety chocolate purple flowers are held on upright stems above the densely compact, d deep blue-green foliage. Foliage starts lower on the stems, covering the base. Vigorous grower.

Steve McNamara, University of Minnesota

Wisteria macrostachys ‘Betty Matthews’ First Editions® Summer Cascade® wisteria Origin: original plant was discovered near Cairo, Illinois in 1934 by Betty Matthews father USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4-9 Height and Spread: 15-25’ height Availability: Bailey Nurseries Inc in summer 2012 Propagation method: softwood cuttings or root pieces e original plant was discovered near Cairo, Illinois in 1934 by the father of Betty Matthews. Betty’s mother first grew the plant in Minnesota in her garden in Mahtomedi. Betty moved the plant as a root oot cutting to her home in Wh W White ite Bear Lake Lake, Minnesota Minnesota, in 1955. She eventually gave cuttings of her plant to Mike Zins, a U of M Extension horticulturist based at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Mike grew the plant on the exterior wall of a Laundromat he owned in downtown Waconia in the 1980’s. He brought plants to the Arboretum in the early 90’s where it grows today. It is a vigorous twining vine that requires a pergola, fence or other sturdy structure for support. Soft green spring foliage is followed by lavender-blue flowers borne in 8-12” long racemes in June 46” long seed pots develop in late summer and persist into winter, adding additional interest.

42 | May 2012


All-America Selections Trial Grounds By Diane Blazek, All-America Selections ince 1990 the West Central Research and Outreach Center Horticultural Display Gardens has been an (AAS) All-America Selections Display Garden. An AAS Display Garden provides the public an opportunity to view new AAS flower or vegetable winners in an attractive well-maintained setting. AAS is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1932. AAS winners have proven superior garden performance judged in impartial trials throughout North America. Additionally, Display Gardens provide educational AAS programs during "open house" or "field day" events during the peak season for garden flowers and vegetables.


All-America Selections Announces New Trial Judges All-America Selections, a non-profit association that trials and promotes new garden seed varieties, met recently to approve new judge applications. To become an official AAS trial judge, applicants must have prior trialing experience, have a broad knowledge of flower and vegetable varieties and have a history of careful, methodical trial work. Applications are reviewed by the Combined Judges Committee who makes their recommendation to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors then votes to approve the Committee’s recommendation. All-America Selections is pleased to welcome Steven R. Poppe, Horticulture Scientist from the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris, Minnesota to the family of AAS Judges. This location is now an AAS flower trialing site. The total number of AAS judges is now sixty-seven, located in thirty U.S. states and Canadian provinces. Before an AAS Winner is introduced, it is tested at independent test sites across North America. We call these test sites trial grounds. Each trial ground has, at minimum, one official AAS Judge. The Judge supervises the trial and evaluates entries for AAS as a volunteer. None of the Judges are paid for their efforts as an AAS Judge. Executive Director Diane Blazek explains, “Typically, an AAS Judge is a horticultural professional and the trial site is part of a seed company trial ground, university or other horticultural institution. All judges and trial sites must be approved by the AAS Board of Directors with the objective of having well managed sites in different parts of North America that represent various climatic conditions.”

The Judge is responsible for conducting the trial of entries and the closest comparisons on the market. The Judge evaluates entries looking for desirable qualities such as novel flower forms, flower colors, flower show above foliage, fragrance, length of flowering season, and disease or pest tolerances or resistance. Vegetables are judged for such traits as earliness to harvest, total yield, fruit taste, fruit quality, ease of harvest, plant habit, and disease and pest resistance. The Judges evaluate the AAS trials all season then scores each entry. Only the entries with the highest average score are considered worthy of an AAS Award. If a flower or vegetable receives an AAS award these varieties are available for immediate sale and distribution. Commercial growers and retailers can contact their favorite seed supplier and request AAS Winner tags from tag and label suppliers. Home gardeners will find seeds and plants available in time for their gardening season. For a complete list of trial ground locations, click on the AAS Trials tab at q ________________________________ For further information contact: Diane Blazek, All-America Selections, at or StevenPoppe, University of MN WCROC, at

May 2012 |



Irrigation Contractors Need Permit for Lake Pumps By Bob Fitch, MNLA Executive Director new permit and training is required for all those who install/remove water related equipment from lakes. Unfortunately, the irrigation industry was not notified in a timely fashion to allow contractors to get the necessary permit and training prior to the start of the spring season. MNLA is working with the DNR and Minnesota Waters to add extra training opportunities, plus the association has received assurances from lawmakers and DNR officials that there will be flexibility and warnings on the enforcement towards the irrigation community who only recently learned of this applicability. According the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, irrigation contractors who install and or remove lake pump equipment and pond aeration equipment are considered “Lake Service Providers” – along with those who install/remove other water-related equipment (docks, boats, etc.) that is capable of containing or transporting Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS),


44 | May 2012

aquatic plants, or water from Minnesota lakes, streams and rivers. Lake Service Providers (LSP) are required by law to attend AIS training and obtain the permit prior to working in waters of the state. LSPs should act now and be sure to attend a training session and obtain a permit before performing work this spring. State laws passed in 2011 aim to help prevent the spread of AIS between waters in the state. They also require service providers to apply for a permit, pay the $50 application fee, attend training in person and pass a test. Upon completion of all the above- mentioned tasks, a permit will be issued to the service provider. Through a partnership with the DNR, Minnesota Waters is conducting statewide trainings. The schedule of training locations and dates are being updated periodically and service providers should check the DNR’s website at for the current list of scheduled training sessions and future additions. The trainings are free of charge and pre-registration is not required. Information about the service provider training and permitting can be found on the DNR website at The online permit application for service provider businesses is available on the DNR website. The service provider permit, which will be valid for three years, must be in possession while providing any services. Persons who work for a permitted service provider must take an online training prior to working in waters of the state. The online training for the employees is also available on the DNR website. q

Chuck Levine and Blaine High School Honored by MSHS laine High School's (BHS) Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) and Chuck Levine, an instructor at BHS and Anoka High School (AHS) were recently honored for their work by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society.


The GSA received the "Youth and the Environment Award" for its Rainbow Garden Project. The award was created for an organization, school or youth group that has organized and implemented the most notable youth project in environmental education involving community greening. The Rainbow Garden Project was started in 2010 with a grant from the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP). The grant funded the design and installation of a sustainable food garden that was intended to promote good health and nutrition in the schools. Levine, who guided the garden project and works with the students in the garden, said the Rainbow Garden is an example to other student groups on how they can make an impact on their campus by doing something positive. A long-time member of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society, Levine received the Bruce Beresford Educator's Award, named for a man who taught horticulture at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. A student of Beresford, Levine said it's an achievement to be recognized by the horticulture community. "It's important to me because I really am a horticulturist," Levine said. " I manifest horticulture through education and my own gardens." q

STAFF DIRECTORY 651-633-4987 Executive Director Bob Fitch • associate Director Cassie Larson, CAE • Membership Director & Trade Show Manager Mary Dunn, CEM • Communications Director Jon Horsman • Executive assistant Susan Flynn • accountant Norman Liston • Receptionist Jessica Pratt • MNLa Foundation Program Director Jodi Larson • advertising & Sponsorship Sales Pierre Productions & Promotions 952-903-0505 Betsy Pierre, Advertising Manager, Erica Nelson, Advertising Sales, Government affairs Consultants Doug Carnival, Legislative Affairs Tim Power, Regulatory Affairs

Order forms or links for many of the services listed below can be found at Companies endorsed by MNLA:

Credit Card Processing (THE CREDIT CaRD DR./ Better Business Solutions) 651-207-6867 877-272-0741 (Toll Free) dan@the Business Legal Services (Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC) 651-331-6500 Fuel Savings (Holiday Stationstores) 952-830-8889 Workers Compensation Insurance (The Builders Group) 651-203-6793 Contact the MNLA office at or 651-633-4987 or toll-free 888-886-6652 for information on the following products or services.

Catalogs/Outdoor Living publication series Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge Fleet Program Educational Programs/MNLa academy Employee Recruiting/ On-Line Job Board Garden Center Plant Posters Garden Center Carryout Trays Northern Green Expo Trade Show Booths MNLa Certified Professional manuals, exam Sales Tax Rules / Nursery-GreenhouseLandscape ( Spanish Pocket Reference Guide

Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association 1813 Lexington Ave. N. Roseville MN 55113 651-633-4987, fax 651-633-4986 Outside the metro area, toll free: 888-886-MNLA, fax 888-266-4986

May 2012 |




Plant of the Month

By Stan Hokanson, Department of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota his Beauty you want to behold! Looking for something unique in the landscape? Looking for something to add some snap and pizzazz to the fall landscape? How about Beautyberry? Callicarpa (Beautyberry) is a genus of shrubs and trees in the Verbenaceae family that are rarely seen in northern landscapes. e genus is comprised of 40-150 species (depending on your expert) which are mainly distributed in Asia. One species, C. americana, a loose 3-8’ coarse shrub found in the southeastern U.S., is hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 6. Callicarpa japonica, C. bodinieri and C. dichotoma are the more commonly cultivated species in the genus with the latter, Purple beautyberry, typically cited as being the most widely grown of the species in North America. Lucky for us Purple beautyberry is also cited as being “the most graceful and refined of the species” and it is the hardiest, capable of growing in USDA Zone 5 sites.


Oh I can hear it now, “Wait a minute! Just because it was warm this winter, and we have a new USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map, doesn’t mean we should be off chasing after exotic Zone 5 landscape plants!” Well yes and no. Callicarpa dichotoma is a relatively unique and somewhat exotic plant for us in the Twin Cities. However, it also presents a completely different and exploitable paradigm. Beautyberry represents a class of plants we might refer to as ‘Zone-Proof.’ The plant can be considered (and treated) in a manner analogous to crownhardy shrub roses. While the wood is tender and will freeze to the snow line (or crown in an open winter) in our climate, (Zone 5 hardy), the plant will vigorously re-grow from the crown and bloom on new wood in July (essentially Zone 4 hardy). Purple beautyberry is typically a 3-4’ x 4-6’ loose, rounded shrub. The bright medium green leaves are borne oppositely in a planier fashion. The small, lavender-pink flowers cluster in 0.75” cymes borne on a pedicle above the leaves in August. The flowers result in masses of 1/8” violet colored fruits which are clustered around the nodal regions of the stems. The fruits begin to be showy in September and can last into October on plants growing at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Importantly, C. dichotoma will routinely produce a large crop of showy fruits on isolated plants, meaning there is no need to consider the sex of the plant or providing pollinator plants. Beautyberry is a relatively easy plant to grow in the garden. They transplant well, preferring a well-drained soil with only moderate fertility in full sun to partial shade. Because the

plants flower on new wood, they can be pruned fairly hard each spring which keeps them in a nice compact form.

Fig. 3. C. dichotoma ‘Issai’ flowering August 11, 2011.

A number of named cultivars exist in the trade that have been derived from the four species mentioned above. From C. dichotoma several cultivars have been selected, including ‘Albifructus’ (white fruited), ‘Dark Star’ (darker colored fruits), ‘Early Amethyst’ (smaller early ripening fruit), Issai’ (heavy consistent fruit producer) and ‘Duet’ (a variegated sport found on ‘Albifructus’). All are considered Zone 5 hardy and would be worthy of trial as ‘burn-down’ or ‘zone-proof ’ plants in Zone 4 regions of Minnesota. However, I have only seen ‘Issai’ growing in the Twin Cities area. We are currently conducting a performance trial of three species, Callicarpa americana, C. dichotoma, and C. japonica at the Horticultural Research Center in Chanhassen, Minnesota. The objective of the trial is to evaluate their horticultural merit in a USDA Zone 4 location and to determine the range of variation for various traits in our environment. q ________________________________________________ Stan Hokanson is a member of the MNLA Nursery Committee and can be reached at Fig. 1. Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Issai’ May 10, 2011, dead to the crown.

Fig. 2. C. dichotoma ‘Issai’ pruned to the crown, with regrowth g Mayy 31, 2011.

Inspire your customers with MNLA’s Outdoor Living Catalogs! Titles include Trees & Shrubs, Perennials, and Ideas for Outdoor Living (a hardscapes-focused catalog). Visit or call Sue at 651-633-4987.

Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association 1813 Lexington Avenue North Roseville, MN 55113-0003


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The Scoop Online – May 2012  

The official publication of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association featuring insights and information for green industry professional...

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