SYNKD SOUTH September|October 2022

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Synkd Magazine September/October 20227 CONTRIBUTORS CONNECTIONS People&Projects | LUXURYEASYBIG FourOrleans’New Seasons | WORKAUTOMATING LangtonJoe | SPRINGSHEALING theforParkA People | SOLUTIONS&PROBLEMS LivableYardAMaking Sep. | 2022Oct. SOUTH

OWNER/MANAGING DIRECTOR Angelique angelique@synkd.ioRobb ADVERTISING & TRADE SHOW CORDINATOR Aimee aimee@synkd.ioAlmaguer COPY WRITER Mary Kate marykate@synkd.ioCarson GRAPHIC DESIGNER Caitlyn caitlyn@synkd.ioWallace SUBEDITOR Erin Z. erinzbass@gmail.comBass SOCIAL MEDIA/MARKETING Anne Marie annemarie@synkd.ioFruge THE TEAM NATIVE GARDEN AT THE HEALING SPRINGS PARK IN ARKANSAS OrleansNewHotelSeasons©FourofcourtesyimageCover


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W elcome to our Tbrand!newhankyou for your engagement over the last two years as we have introduced our new concept to the industry through our publication and annual conference. We are excited and proud to announce our new branding. After much consideration, along with the feedback on our previous name and the restrictions we had under the UK brand, we decided to create a brand for ALL professionals in the landscape design, build and maintain sectors. Our new name and brand better delivers the message of our ethos: To connect the divided sectors in the landscape industry, so that we can all be in sync, thus SYNKD. We believe sharing communication among decision-makers will only elevate the industry. Our industry has the ability to make a huge impact in the decisions that shape our environment and communities, but our voice is stronger when we come together. Help us make an impact by telling your story, sharing your inspiring projects, writing an opinion piece or advertising your products and services. We are always looking for new ways to do things, so please drop us a suggestion anytime. In this issue, we discuss the value of collaboration and building your network. In Angelique each discipline or sector of the industry, we know how to do our job—and we do it well. What we can’t know (without collaboration) is how our job affects another sector. We must be open to learning and adapting if we are to collaborate and learn from each other to further the quality of our projects. A great example of a successful collaboration is the project that Dana Brown Associates and Rotolo Consultants, Inc. (RCI) recently delivered in the heart of New Orleans. From a challenging design to unforgiving logistics, this is a project that will remain under the care of RCI for the life of the project. Mark your calendar for our yearly event being planned now. SYNKD LIVE will be an improvement on our FutureScape event that was held in Atlanta, Georgia, in March 2022. SYNKED LIVE will be held on February 7-8, 2023, in the COBB Galleria in Atlanta. Industry leaders are signed up to speak at this event, and we are looking forward to seeing you there. It’s THE conference of the year where we can all get SYNKD on the future of our industry! We look forward to more exciting conversations and collaboration with you.

www.synkd.ioSeptember|October 20224 our community our inspirationalcommunity works SPOTLIGHT ON J oe Langton CEO of Langton Group 1008 News Industry News and Dates to Save Q+A Making connections 2624222117 46444035 Inside LandCare Ultimate Branding Deborah Cole Deborah Cole Connections Finding Your Niche Brooke HorticareInzerellaLandscape The American Green Team David Fernandez Get to Know Fun interviews from our audience Problem Solving Shady Grove Landscaping Atlanta, Georgia A Town’s Living Room BatonCARBORouge, Louisiana Nursery Focus Pike Atlanta,NurseryGeorgia Overcoming Workforce Challenges Today Lori Hawkins SOUTH COVER STORY C omplicated in the Big Easy Dana Brown & Associates and Rotolo Consultants, Inc (RCI) have transformed this iconic building in New Orleans, Louisiana 30 13 For Latest Content, To View Digital Issues & to Find Out About Upcoming Events, Visit 40


www. synkd .io 5September|October 2022 synkd | our community @synkd.landscape @synkd_landscape @synkd-landscape 323 Polk Lafayette,StreetLouisiana 70501 OWNER/MANAGING DIRECTOR Angelique (337)angelique@synkd.ioRobb247–9497


GRAPHIC DESIGNER Caitlyn caitlyn@synkd.ioWallace SUBEDITOR Erin Z. Bass PRINTED BY Allen Press © SYNKD CONTACT raise Septemberthe | October bar 595655 alterNative Native hibiscus Light Temperature Creating a mood Green Roof Benefits What are you waiting for? FEATURE STORY 2022 S tress Survey GoMaterials CEO Marc Elliot along with SYNKD reviews the results of the 2022 Stress Survey for Landscape Professionals 6763 Stabilizing Slopes Tips for contractors using native vegetation Job Opportunities Industry related jobs that are looking to hire! @synkd_landscape SOCIAL MEDIA/MARKETING Anne Marie annemarie@synkd.ioFruge SYNKD is published six times a year and distributed to 5,000 qualified members of the green industry. Postmaster: Send address changes to 323 Polk St., Lafayette, LA 70501. SYNKD verifies information as much as possible. The views expressed by editorial contributors and the products advertised herein are not necessarily endorsements of the publishers. Reproduction of any part of this magazine is strictly forbidden. 2022 52 63

COPY Kate (903)marykate@synkd.ioCarson283–0513 (337)aimee@synkd.ioAlmaguer247–9337

Brooke Inzerella is a licensed landscape horticulturist and owner of Horticare Landscape Company in Louisiana. As one of the area’s leading landscape companies, Horticare is known for superior service, swimming pools, landscaping and outdoor living spaces. 46 22

Lori Hawkins Lori Hawkins, RLA, ASLA, has been a registered landscape architect for over 30 years. She is registered in both North Carolina and South Carolina and has her own private practice in the Greensboro area. You can follow her on Instagram @3Dlandscapearchitect.

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

Deborah Cole Brooke Inzerella Marc Elliot

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Susan Norris-Davis Angie Mims52 55 59

Angie Mims is the director of Human Resources for Sempergreen USA, an organization that wants to improve the quality of life through innovations in sustainable construction and greenery in the city.


As the founder and president of a commercial landscape firm with multiple locations throughout Texas, Deborah Cole has learned the importance of a peoplecentric leadership and communication. She now devotes herself full time to speaking, writing and consulting with a heavy dose of visual storytelling (photography) included. 21

Susan Norris-Davis is the director for the Native Plant Initiative of Greater New Orleans. For the past 25 years, she has focused on ecology in both the urban and wild environment of the Gulf Coast and southeast Louisiana in particular. In 2021, she wrote and published “The Big Easy Native Plant Guide” specifically for the Greater New Orleans home gardener.


A fter a nearly two-year wait, Exmark hosted a ribbon cutting and open house at its new corporate headquarters in the Beatrice Industrial Park. The facility was finished in late 2019, however the public celebration took place in conjunction with Exmark’s 40th anniversary. Exmark Vice President Daryn Walters said the new facility is where Exmark will develop the innovations that will drive the green industry forward today, tomorrow and in the future.


The recent Infastructure law will benefit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, allowing them to continue and enlarge upon their work. Among their projects is native seed collection, preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species and enhancing the experiences of visitors to their Wildlife Refuge System. Their work aims to safe guard wildlife and their habitats.

Increasing urbanization does not have to be a death knell for the environment. With planning, urban environments can be sus tainable and even enriching to the planet. This study examines the importance of the urban forest.

Gaylord Palms Resort and Conference Center in Orlando, Florida Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky San California.Francisco, 202220222022


www.synkd.ioSeptember|October 20228 synkd | our community INDUSTRY NEWS 18-21 18-21 11-14 SEPTEMBER OCTOBERNOVEMBERELEVATE | NALP EQUIP EXPOSITION ASLA CONFERENCE



“Exmark was incorporated 40 years ago in May, so it seems fitting that we’re unveiling our new facility today,” Walters said. “To see how this company has grown, from just a handful of innovators with a dream in 1982 to the incredible organization we have today, it’s a beautiful thing. A true American success story and I’m grateful for everyone who has had a hand in Exmark’s success.”


www. synkd .io 9September|October 2022 synkd | our community ASLA

Credit: Tom Jamieson for The New York Times


“In the face of significant ecological and social challenges today, the 2022 ASLA honorees are proving that landscape architecture is a force for positive change in the world,” adds ASLA CEO Torey Carter-Conneen, CAE.

“ We celebrate this year’s extraordinary and diverse cohort of honorees on their distinguished accomplishments and contributions to landscape architecture,” says American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) President Jeannie Martin, FASLA.

A lexandra Daisy Ginsberg planted a “Polli nator Pathmaker” flower bed in Kensing ton Gardens, London, to benefit bees and insects, many facing extinction, as part of the Serpentine Galleries’ “Back to Earth” exhibition.


T here are many scholarships available for those who would like to pursue a two- or four-year degree in the industry. Whether you or someone you know is interested in landscape architecture, horticulture, floriculture, urban gardening or any other position working with plants, there are resources available.

www.synkd.ioSeptember|October 202210 synkd | our community Q A DO YOU MAKE TIME TO NETWORK?

When starting any career, the most valuable asset you can develop is a network of people both within your field and outside of it. The connections you make every step of the way, no matter how small, no matter who they are, will provide you with some snippet of wisdom that will serve you well in due course. The best advice I gave my intern was never turn down an opportunity to talk to someone, especially when an invitation comes your way. We do not grow in a vacuum; we are the product of our environment and every person we meet.

Monarch Gardens Omaha, Nebraska


Jessica Howard

Marti Neely, FAPLD Benjamin Vogt

I prefer the term relationship building over “networking,” which can have a forced connotation. Building professional relationships facilitates the exchange of ideas, information sharing and uncovers opportunity. Doing this early in your career can yield long-term benefits. I’ve had the pleasure of reconnecting with colleagues from more than 10 years ago and have been able to develop mutual success as a result. People tend to gravitate toward relationships they’ve invested in. In fact, you’d be surprised at just how far relationship building can take you when someone you’ve connected with passes along a recommendation to another colleague of theirs.

Owner of Marti Neely Design and Associates Omaha,

Like to be featured in our next issue? Scan the QR code for more ways to be involved!

As an introvert, “networking” for me means sharing well-written articles, posting stunning images to social media and providing provocative memes that start a conversation and provoke people’s hearts and minds. When you put yourself out there, good things happen eventually.

Vice President of Marketing of The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance Alexandria, Virginia

Owner of Plants Creative Landscapes Atlanta, Georgia Designer for Gro Outdoor Living Vancouver, Washington Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Flowerwood Nursery Bushnell, Florida Sales Representative for Green Goods Direct Fairfield, New Jersey

Whenever times have been rough, whether it be a loss of a job or a slowing economy, is when I have been able to glean the most benefits out of my network. Without a network, you really are at a disadvantage and can feel quite alone even for someone with introverted tendencies like myself. The amount of talent and resources that your connections have and are willing to share may astound you.

Frank Fernicola, Jr. CNLP

For me, networking is all about learning and connecting. Having the opportunity to talk with the trailblazers in our industry, as well as those who are out in front creating solutions to problems—the innovators—inspires me. We have infinite resources at our fingertips, online places where we can find answers to any and all questions. However, it’s the gathering together within peer groups and attending industry events that creates connection. Connections I’ve made throughout the years have shaped me as a person and have also deeply influenced Plants Creative as a company! Based on my experience, networking creates opportunities for mentoring, connecting and learning from people in my field. It is also an excellent avenue for fresh ideas that can lead to personal growth and development. Lastly, networking is a great place to improve your communication skills. There have been instances where jobseeking individuals get a once-in-a-life opportunity due to networking, hence I will say NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. In your early career, networking gives you and your brand the chance to get noticed, which in turn helps your career journey and growth. I have a trusted circle of people in the industry that I regularly speak to about diverse topics such as market conditions, consumer preferences, production planning, logistics and operational practices. These relationships have been built over my 30-plus years in the industry. Every nursery has its own culture and way of doing things. These connections allow me to see another point of view and are of great value, as it gives me more perspective, insight and information than I would have thinking through these topics alone.

Pam Dooley Tiwatayo Akinboro, ASLA Todd Carnley

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I have found that people tend to do business with people they like but ultimately give more business to the people they know and trust. A network helps. As for advice, I recommend not forcing it. The best connections I have made through the years have been initiated very organically. Also, whether you realize it or not, you are always networking. It is surprising the amount of crossover between personal and professional networks you end up with. The earlier you start integrating your networking behaviors, the more your network will begin to take on a life of its own. One key thing is not only using your network for personal gain. Oftentimes, the strength with your connections comes from when you connect two people who previously were strangers.

synkd | our community SEPTEMBER 18-21, 2022 | ORLANDO, FL Presented by formerly LANDSCAPES and GIE ELEVATE is taking over the vibrant Gaylord Palms Resort & Conference Center, making it easy to meet and network with other attendees in education sessions, receptions and on the expo floor, all under one roof. Register Early & Save! To learn more and register, visit ELEVATE Expo is fully integrated into the conference experience. Just a short walk down the hall, you’ll connect with the manufacturers and technology providers that can give your business the edge. Platinum Partner: Gaylord Palms Resort & Conference Center Orlando, Florida

ne of the first things Joe Langton will tell you is that he loves building teams. For him, this goes back to an earlier love: football. As a high school lineman, Joe seemed destined to continue his football career in college but decided instead to get married right out of high school. It wasn’t long before he and his wife welcomed baby Julia, who deserves credit for having an important role in the future Langton Group even as a newborn. First, Joe Langton began providing for his family by installing car stereos and alarms at Best Buy. He instituted selling contests among his crew with lunch as a reward. Soon he was asked to do this for other locations of Best Buy and, while still a teen, was given his own key to the store. He loved assembling a team, pushing it to run effectively and winning—just like on the football field. Eventually, Best Buy sent him to college for small circuitry and analysis. Best Buy paid for college, but while there he was recruited to become a union electrician. Being an electrician for 11 years offered a respectable income to someone his

Discovering Strengths Early and Staying With Them

In 2005, he was plowing snow in a Lowe’s parking lot. His business now is still focused on big box and retail work. He walks into companies and asks, How can I get your landscapingbusiness ?

Soon he moved into also doing Lowe’s landscaping. His company was making money from both snow plowing and landscaping, but somehow his profits were slipping, and he didn’t know why. age, but even so Joe didn’t take to it because it left him working on his own.

Joe Langton

This process of asking, “How can I?” is a tenet of how Joe does business. As he says, “They come back with a response that already has you in the door.”

This didn’t feel like the team building Joe knew he was interested in though. He started his own company, Langton Snow Solutions, at 22. At first, he was a subcontractor to his former employer, but he was gaining his own employees. When his former employer challenged him to do half a million in snow removal in a year, Joe took that challenge and met it with $490,000.

On an electrical job, a client noticed his work ethic and asked him if he might want to work for him plowing snow. Joe didn’t think this sounded like an opportunity, but then one day the truck he was in broke down and the man loaned him one of his trucks with a snowplow on it (on a day that it just happened to snow). Joe couldn’t resist trying out the plow and found he liked it. He took the job and soon was managing this man’s contract plowers.

www. synkd .io 13September|October 2022 synkd | our community SPOTLIGHT ON O


He’d seen a well-run company with his dad’s construction company The Langton Group. His Langton Group is an homage to his father’s company, but he reached an important conclusion about himself and his own limitations. “I knew how to do a lot of things, but not how to say no to bad work or how to increase profitability,” he explains.

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Joe heard about a company called American Management out of Florida. He calls hiring them one of the best decisions he ever made. To get the business side of things running correctly, they stripped his company down to the nuts and bolts. Joe loved building teams, but the teams he had built were just playing without scoring. So, he went back to the Best Buy model. Mulch, irrigation and trees were where their profits were. Mowing was a profit loss. On a board he tracked performance, and everyone became accountable for their corner of the business. Suddenly, there was lots of profit; there was more profit than they knew what to do with. One thing Joe knew the profit should do was benefit his employees. The company tried employee profit-sharing, but it didn’t work out. Then, he began offering health insurance, something Joe says he is super proud of. In 2016, he went to a landscaping show and saw his first robotic mower priced at $3,699. He did the math, attempting to calculate just how much it would cost to mow with. Joe recalls, “I leave the booth, suddenly realizing that we are way behind Europe.” He called Husqvarna, learned about their fleet program and became a distributor. “Now I sell mowing with a robot lawnmower,” he says. “I sell the cost-effectiveness of mowing per acre.” Joe attributes a lot of his success to his family. His brother John is co-owner of his businesses. And then there is little baby Julia, one of the reasons this whole odyssey began. Now 21 years old, she helped her father develop an app for landscape professionals. “I got where I am by paying attention to


synkd our community

I also paid attention to people who were doing it Contracts,wrong.”weather,

Joe says, “Family first. We also put profits first, but we are honest about it.”

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His company has a core ethics committee to guarantee that there is a vision at work.

synkd our community people who were doing it right,” Joe says. “But

“I believe that robotic lawnmowers are just the beginning,” he says. “Eventually, there will be automated snow removers and fertilizers, and this will be great for the industry.”

“Every day I look at what me and my team have built as a startup CEO, and I feel so privileged that I am blessed to have people who run a company in my name as if it were theirs,” Joe says. “I appreciate every one of them.”

I love industry.the I think it is undervaluedanindustry

Get In Touch With...

Joe Langton

Speaking the truth that profits matter inspires people to make good decisions.

Phone: (847) 980–1269 Email: Web:


licenses, transportation, equipment: The barrier to get into the landscaping industry is small, but to grow it is much more difficult. Joe’s goal is to make the industry respected.

ost-COVID, companies are scrambling to hire, and employees often have the upper hand because people want more than just a job. They want a career in a company that values its employees and offers advancement. Competitive pay and a benefits package help, too. The landscaping industry has always struggled with finding and retaining employees. Long before the pandemic changed people’s mindsets and “the great resignation” swept across the

The company decided the best way forward was to focus on retaining talent that will build sustainable portfolios and foster employee culture. And they have done just that.

Mark Hopkins knows its success is dependent on its employees. Each person is the face of the company—from executives to field team members. In a company with over 60 branches across 20 states and 4,000 employees, culture can be hard to cultivate, but he believes it should start the day a potential employee applies for a position.


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Cultivating Culture & Business Growth at LandCare country, people like Mark Hopkins, executive vice president of the central division of LandCare, have been working to build a company culture that makes people want to stay.


The company was originally established decades ago through a series of mergers and acquisitions; however, in 2019 the company’s leaders were able to purchase the business from its private equity ownership. This purchase placed the company’s branch managers, vice presidents and executives as the majority owners of the business.


Equipment is checked daily before it goes out to a job. Any incidents within a branch are discussed with the whole team. Each branch has a safety audit twice a year and is given a score, which is used to evaluate its performance evaluations.

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LandCare’s core values are echoed in the environment they create for employees. They offer comprehensive benefits like health care, PTO, holiday pay and a 401k plan to all employees from managers to, as Mark says, “the guys pulling weeds.”

LandCare has even created several employee assistance programs, TERF and LEAF. The TERF fund provides grants for employees that are facing hardships, and LEAF is designed to create scholarships for LandCare employees with first-time college hopefuls within their households.

Each branch of LandCare also offers ongoing training for all positions. The process is standardized at the corporate level so that every employee receives the Saftey is discussed every day, every week and every month

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“We try to be very thorough in our hiring process,” Mark says. “We usually go through multiple steps to ensure our employees reflect the same values.”

Safety is always a priority in landscaping, and LandCare ensures its employees are reminded daily about hazard prevention. It is even in their core values: “Work hard, smart and safe. Every day.”

www. synkd .io 19September|October 2022 synkd | our community same information and understands LandCare’s vision. When employees know what is expected of them, it is easier for them to step up to the challenge.

“The (branches) are all operated as identical units,” adds Mark. “If you think about McDonald’s, you know the fries are the same whether you are in New York or down in Macon, Georgia.”

LandCare wants clients to trust their brand as much as their favorite chain, so they instill core values that inspire, challenge and motivate their employees to work toward that goal. Get In Touch With...

Mark Hopkins Phone: (972) 670–0420 Email: Web:

Most of their work is done in the commercial office, industrial, hospitality, health care and HOA market segments, so crews need to make a positive impression every time. The uniformity and consistency are what make them successful, according to Mark. When each office has the same operational goals, clients can expect a consistent level of service in any of their markets.

“It’s all about bringing in the right people, taking care of them and training them because that’s the big differentiator in any company—their people,” he explains.

Prioritizing training and talent development gives LandCare a unique advantage because new hires do not necessarily need a background in landscaping. They have the tools and leadership needed to bring in someone from another service industry and train them for a career in landscaping.

Training is not the only standardized protocol the company has implemented. Each independent LandCare branch has the same business structure with a We have to be able to hire for attitude and for aptitude and then train for skill management hierarchy to ensure success, and all branches work from a central operating system. LandCare focuses mostly on commercial landscape maintenance, but they can also provide design, installation and irrigation.

“We have to get away from the mindset that we can only hire folks from the industry,” says MarkMark.Hopkins notes that all landscaping companies are essentially working with the same commodities, like equipment and plant materials, but the real asset is the talent of the people who work there. Once a team is established, that pool of workers can advance to supervisory roles.

www.synkd.ioSeptember|October 202220 SECTOR SELECTOR Brilliance | | 800.867.2108 Follow us on social media: brilliance.ledBrilliance LED, LLC Create up to four zones on a single transformer Up to 200 Watts per sector, 800 Watts total Compatible with any transformer and works on AC/DC Installs on the low-voltage side of the magnetic tranformers Includes necessary installation and mounting hardware Use zones to separate lighting schedules and scenarios to create special scenes or layers of light in your landscaping Control each zone individually through the Brilliance Smart App

epending upon the expert or guru questioned, we learn that the fundamental human needs yielding success are safety and security, followed closely by connection with others. Millions of years ago, this meant safety, security and connection by close bonding and interaction with our fellow humans. We were less likely to be eaten by a saber-toothed tiger if we surrounded ourselves with others who could help warn us of impending dangers. As humans became more independent, that strong, innate need to be connected remained in our limbic brains as a basic requirement for survival. Extrovert or introvert, we cannot eliminate it.

Think Herb Kelleher and the mission and vision he established with Southwest Airlines. As founder and chief LUV officer for decades, he was able to instill a vision of personal connection with customers in a team of over 50,000 employees. That vision continues decades later. There are also examples of others who have not been able to effectively achieve the same. A vision of human connection, trust and respect cannot be the sole, closely held property of only the founder. The challenge is to make it standard operating procedure and the only accepted practice. Cole Asks If It’s Possible To Grow

As we fast-forward to our modern business world, we find that being connected to our staff and our customers is also essential. We know this connection satisfies basic human needs, but it also is key to a success beyond our Whenexpectations.wecreate fledgling businesses, we identify personally and wholly with our brand. We are it and it is us. And it is in this connected secret sauce that success can be found. People do not want to exchange money for goods and services with a business, they want to do business with someone with whom they can connect. Initially this “connection” is the founder and owner. The “personality,” the ethics and the business practices of the owner become the underpinning of the business and what it stands for. Doing business with another human is meaningful, safe and secure. Doing business with XYZ Company is soulless, empty and does not satisfy that primitive need for safety and security. Pricing and performance aside, people want to do business with people they trust and respect. This is the ultimate branding for any Hereincompany.liesour challenge. An individual that chooses to grow and expand eventually must translate this personal branding, this sense of trust and respect (and ultimately safety and security) to the next generation of staff in the company. Every individual must always operate in the same space of safety and security (connection) that the founder represents. And this is not easy!


About Deborah Cole Deborah Cole is the founder of a commercial landscape firm with multiple locations throughout Texas. She now devotes herself full-time to speaking, writing and consulting.

We must connectedbe . Without it, we do not thrive and we do not succeed


There must be an intentionality about growth. Not only do we want to provide more product and more service, but we must ensure that every team member is fully trained and understands without exception the mission and vision of the owner. And if there are any obvious missteps that result in these goals not being met, appropriate corrective action must be taken. Are these close connections possible in the case of large-scale companies? Absolutely.


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and Keep Your Connection GUEST COLUMN


Brooke Inzerella Says To Ask Yourself These Questions Niche


Before Defining Your

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

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f you’re an entrepreneur at heart like me, your company probably started with you doing everything—and mostly the things you were good at. Then, as time moved along, you added people and services to satisfy customer demand. And before you knew it, you offered everything to everyone and were longing to simplify your business, find your niche and be known as the best provider of that product or service.

So, together with my top leaders, we developed a vision for Horticare to be the trusted source for high-end outdoor living spaces in our region. We had a disciplined approach to pursue solely the type of work that I truly love and that we’re good at: design and installation of not only high-end landscapes, but pools, hardscapes and outdoor kitchens for residential settings.

Some of the most important questions to ask yourself before defining a niche for your company are: What are the services your company is really good at delivering? While you can develop a niche around a service you don’t particularly like or your staff is not great at yet, why would you? It will take extra training, and you’ll probably be miserable. Do you want to stay local/regional? If so, is there a growing demand for those services in your area? If you have a vision to be a national company, make sure your niche is very focused. And understand that marketing and sales will need to be a big chunk of your operating budget. Who are your competitors in this space? Is it already a crowded field? This really helped me decide on a direction, because there was such a need in our area for quality contractors to fill this Lastly,void.isthere a healthy profit margin for this service? Don’t go with your gut on this one. Run the numbers or enlist the help of an accountant to determine some educated estimates on potential margin. I don’t recommend taking these questions lightly. Do your homework diligently. Narrowing your services into a specific niche takes some focused attention in training, hiring and marketing. You don’t want to go through the time and expense of this exercise only to figure out later that there’s not enough customer demand for that service and/or there’s no money in it. In the end, having a niche that you’re well known for is worth the extra effort.

Around three years ago, I decided that I needed to simplify my services and whittle them down to what we do best and what would be most valuable to the marketplace.

Creating these high-end outdoor living spaces with one general contractor became an attractive service in my area, and client referrals have brought me a continuous flow of great projects to fill this niche. And although I did not immediately eliminate all of the services that do not fall within this niche and are therefore unnecessary to fulfill my vision, this is only the short-term plan. Truthfully, I still struggle with wanting to be the go-to guy for everything my clients need, so letting go of some of the services that got us growing in the early years has been hard. And even though it has been difficult to let go of some longtime customers that were with me in the beginning, I know how important it is to the health of my company to stay focused on our strategic vision.

Live THE FUTURE OF OUR INDUSTRY IS AT F ebruary 6 & 7, 2023 COBB Atlanta,GalleriaGeorgia Register at: Look Back At Our Inaugural Event Here: The Event For Decision Makers • Industry Leaders Panel • Explore the Expo • Suppliers on Stage

www. synkd community eople often relate a struggling workforce to a lack of skilled workers. They say there aren’t enough bodies to cover the many sites and projects on a daily job sheet. A Texas landscaper argues that the industry doesn’t just need an influx of people. It needs a stronger investment in the people they already have.


“All these people would come and try to run the company,” David explains. “They pressured us to support certain rules and politices. Instead of investing in maintaining the refinery, they wanted to give the money to political parties and propeganda. They wanted us to follow orders, and we didn’t want to do it. We believed in freedom. We said, ‘This is our home, this is our our blood. This is the currency that our grandfathers gave us.’” David’s opposition sparked violence against his family, to the point where groups broke into his home and beat him. To protect his wife and young daughter, he decided to escape.

“The day I left, I met my dad and said, ‘This is the last time I’m gonna see you.’ He believed that things would change, but I knew once we escaped we couldn’t go back. I had to leave my father, mother and David,sister.”hiswife and their 6-year-old daughter flew to Florida that day. They briefly stayed with family, until moving on to Texas, where they would start over completely. David got a job working as an irrigation worker and worked tirelessly to become an expert in his new field. He worked with a mentor, read manuals during his lunchtime, studied things like soils and precipitation rates and memorized industry terms.

“It doesn’t matter that I was in engineering,” he says. “I needed to start over for my daughter, and I was determined to make the best living for my family. Every day, I started working early and continued late into the afternoon. I would get to work at 4:30 a.m. and everyone else would begin at 5:30 a.m. Many people didn’t understand me. They didn’t get what the point of that was. But I was so grateful for this country and this opportunity to start over.” During this time, he saw a need in his company for community and collaboration. After about a year, David obtained his irrigator license and was reen


| our

Refugee Begins New Life in the Landscaping Industry

David Fernandez is a project manager at Wesco Grounds Company in Houston. He specializes in irrigation management and has several years experience leading company crews. David didn’t get his start in landscaping, though. In fact, he was an industrial engineer who helped manage a refinery until the 1990s, when he fled his home during the Venuzuelan rebellion.

“I grew up in a smaller town in Venezuela, and my father and grandfather worked in the oil refinery,” David says. “We grew up knowing about gas and oil pipelines, everything involved and everything related. So, I started college and made a career as an industrial engineer. I met my wife in college and when I finished school, I started working in the oil company with my Whenfather.”Venezuela transitioned to a socialist organization, things began to change.

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“We left everything behind,” he recalls.


“We even have a lot of Venezuelans on our team with a story or a similar story,” David says. “They are fighting every day to be successful. They are so valuable and I know they can keep moving forward in their careers. That is why training is so important to me.”

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promoted on his team to field supervisor. He immediately began working to build stronger connections among his team. He designed a training program that paired younger members with the older ones.

“It took time but after several months, everyone started understanding the plants have been doing this for years can measure moisture or identify stress by just looking at the soil. Many of these guys are hiding. They will tell me they’re too shy and don’t want to talk a lot, and the managers just see them as a foreman or another team member.”


The team began stretching in the morning, going through safety procedures and even set up a soccer team to play in their free time. David built a program that rewarded team members when they did things that embodied the company’s core values. The closer the team grew, the more they learned from each other and expanded their skills. This showed in their work.

David says there are many in the industry with a story similar to his. They didn’t start out as landscapers and may have very different professional backgrounds. With extra teaching and patience, though, they can become experts in the field.

David says a key piece to success is mentorship. Those who have mentored him have largely shaped his own career, and he has seen the impact of mentorships on his team. He believes that, overall, this is something the industry is “Peoplelacking.have so much knowledge but they’re not sharing it,” he says. “We have people that understand the work and can see a project plan, but they have five younger guys who don’t understand and are making mistakes. I know people who Get In Touch With.. .

David is now a project manager with Wesco. He says despite hardships he experienced, he is thankful to watch his daughter grow up in a free world. Ultimately, the opportunities provided to his family and his teammates will continue to motivate him to work hard each day. But they are like a seed. If nobody sprays it, you miss a opportunitygolden and improving at their jobs,” he says. “They began to believe in the company.”

Westco Grounds Maintenance Location: Houston, Texas Phone: (713) 466–1822 Web: ON THE JOB

What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?

What’s the best part of your job?

What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited?

I think of work as a puzzle, especially in my firm where every project is different and requires something specific. What would you blow your money on?

I visited Iceland a few years ago and was blown away by the incredible natural wonders and their commitment to environmental sustainability. (Their heat and electricity come from renewable sources!) Plus, the people were extremely nice and accommodating to tourists.

.ioSeptember|October 202226 synkd | our community KNOWTOGET

I would say my childhood home. It was and still is the place where I have the best memories of being surrounded by landscape because of my dad’s work (he’s an agronomist ) and my mom’s love of plants. Landscape architecture made sense to me when I understood what it was going into it for grad school.

Freelance Content Writer Cindy Whitt Raleigh, North Carolina

Travel, learning about new cultures and visiting new places. What’s the key to great design? Listening to the user’s need and demand, not just what you think would be best. What are you most proud of?

I would take a Kindle full of books I have not read, an iPod (yes, I still have one) full of my favorite albums and lots of sunscreen. Like to be featured in our next issue? Scan the QR code below!

The best part of my job is writing about the passionate people doing amazing things in the green industry. What advice would you give to someone entering the green industry?

What inspired you to get into the industry?


Nowadays, the more I learn about what we can accomplish, the better I feel about my decision.

What is the best part of your job?

Being able to handle a department a bit on my own for awhile. I was doubting myself, but with the encouragement of my coworker It was possible.

Samira Damiscar Cindy Whitt

Landscape Architect, Strang Design LLC Miami, Florida

As a communications professional, I have talked to many people in the industry and have found they are always willing to share their knowledge. The advice I would give to someone interested in the industry is to reach out to people working in an area that interests you and see if they will provide insight into their career. Chances are, they will be happy to help.

“Let’s take it outside.”

Where’s your happy place? Anywhere with my fiancé Renee and our two Coton de Tulears, Mochi and Sherbet.

www. synkd

Never stop growing your education base and your skill set. Network within the industry. Identify trustworthy vendor reps and pick their brains regularly. Stay abreast of current and emerging trends while working on improving your company’s efficiencies on the tasks you perform regularly. Keep learning! What is your favorite phrase or slogan?

I’m torn between three things. First is that my company appreciates me and values the work I do. Second is being able to tell understaffed employers the help they so desperately need is on the way, and third is a client walking away unscathed from a USDOL H2 Wage and Hour Audit.

What’s your best childhood memory? Barefoot “surfing” down the spillway of a local dam. What is something not many people know about you? At one time, I wrote, produced, directed and emceed “Murder Mystery” theme parties at hotels in the Tampa, St. Pete/ Clearwater area.

What’s the best part of your job?

I joined the hardscape/landscape industry over 20 years ago after leaving the Army and not enjoying my first couple of desk jobs.

Douglas D. Conley Bobby Gordon Phil Graves

Chief Compliance Officer, Action Visa Assistance, Inc. Wylie, Texas Area Manager, Kane Landscapes, Inc. Sterling, Virginia Director of Sales, Xteriors Program at Daltile Garner, North Carolina

Although he’s more in the arboriculture industry than the landscape industry, I truly admire Ron Rubin of Savatree. He’s proven time and time again how developing long-term relationships with clients benefits not only clients, but also business and the industry as a whole.

What’s one thing that would make the industry better?

What inspired you to get into the industry?

Virginia has many great vineyards and breweries. Visiting one or two of them on a cool spring or fall day makes a great Saturday for me.

What’s the best part of your job?

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What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited? Ocho Rios, Jamaica What would you blow your budget on? Wife, grandkids and a really nice acoustic guitar. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? Transforming a non-compliant training department/program.

Our industry is generally technology adverse. I’d like to see more companies be a bit more forward-thinking when it comes to using technology to both improve production and strengthen client relationships. What’s your ideal Saturday?

What’s the best part of your job? Educating field salespeople, dealer staff personnel and installers on products and installation … as well as continuing to learn new things myself. What’s the best advice you have received for your career? Never stop learning and growing and to network with industry experts. It’s fun and has allowed me to meet lots of great people I can turn to for help. What advice would you give to someone entering the green industry?

I really appreciate being able to work with my clients over a long period and see how the work we do enhances the beauty of their landscapes. Who do you admire most in the industry?




Understated Elegance & A Complex Water Management System Make The Four Seasons In New Orleans A Smashing Success Dana Brown & Associates & Rotolo Consultants, INC

Underneath newly planted trees, the team

From COVID-related supply chain issues to a direct hit by Hurricane Ida and a rising Mississippi River at the project site, nothing was in fact easy for this Big Easy project. But now one year after opening, the Four Seasons is the jewel of New Orleans, and the landscaping team has an impressive case study to share.

One of the finest hotels in the world, the Four Seasons set its sights on the former World Trade Center at Canal Street and the Mississippi River for its latest hotel and high-end residences. Built in 1968, the iconic building was designed by Edward Durell Stone, known for New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

But more incredible than the first impression is what the hotel guest and resident cannot see at all. “Below the entire paved space are subsurface storage tanks—or Stratavaults—to handle the roof runoff from half of the building,” says Chris. “They’re controlled by a weir to release water at a desired rate to meet the city’s stormwater code.”

Most of New Orleans is actually below sea level, making flooding a constant concern.

Transformation of the World Trade Center into a luxury property was a huge undertaking to say the least—the project cost more than $500 million and took more than three years to complete. Dana Brown Associates and RCI created a private garden, rooftop pool, lush landscaping, chic hardscaping and a sophisticated stormwater retention and drainage system. Driving up to the hotel on the building’s south side, guests leave the chaos of Canal Street behind and enter a world of calm luxury. “The U-shaped entrance and exit serves the entire building so the area was almost exclusively paved to maximize space for vehicles to queue up and valets to shuffle cars as needed,” explains Chris Africh of Dana Brown Associates. “We designed a tall uniform hedge screen for privacy and a fountain to help dampen the street noise, cool the dropoff/pickup area and add a visual cue and sense of arrival.”

The stormwater code of the city of New Orleans requires that new construction is able to manage water for a 10-year, 24-hour storm event. This requirement translated into 1,000 vaults installed at varying depths between four- to six-feet deep.

www. synkd .io 31September|October 2022 synkd | inspirational works W hen the Four Seasons needed lush landscaping with a major underground infrastructure at its brand-new property in New Orleans, local expertise was essential. They called on Dana Brown Associates for the design and Rotolo Consultants Inc. (RCI) for the landscaping construction and long-term maintenance.

“Our company is at the forefront of stormwater management and green infrastructure,” says John Tipton of RCI. “As at the Four Seasons, a majority of RCI’s work is underground.”


A signature building on the city’s riverfront, the cruciform-shaped World Trade Center was designed to look like a compass with four sections projecting in each direction. “You can’t compete with the architecture of the building,” says Chris. “So, instead we chose paving and plantings to complement the building’s design, while also helping to differentiate pathways to the private residences from the hotel.”

The landscaping team selected agapanthus, azaleas and white camellias to exude Southern elegance, withstand heat and provide multi-season blooms. Trees were grown especially for the hotel from a local cutting by Select Trees, who bred the heat-tolerant elm. Limbs reach toward the sky, taking the eye from the beautiful grounds upwards to the building.

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The team created walkways with sand-set pavers and lined them with Ulmus Creole queen elm trees, adding decomposed granite to the base. Pavers were installed in a running bond pattern in large arcs to accentuate the curves of the building. Detailed banding was created with black granite to match the stone of the building. Custom planters in dark gray and white also feature black granite banding to tie in the overall look.

The team also designed and built an outdoor, 7,500-square-foot garden to provide added event space and a scenic view for guests inside the hotel’s Chandelier Bar. Inside the bar, indoor plants create a lushness and mimic the view outside. A simple, open artificial turf lawn reduces maintenance and noise. The

inspirational works installed soil cells that temporarily hold water before draining into the central system. The new planting beds on the property feature fast-draining soil that filters out heavy metals before returning water through the city’s aquifer. Slot drains were also installed in the circular drive paving to capture water before it flows into the street. A network of subsurface piping distributes rainwater to the structural cells of soil and bioretention areas and eventually out into the public stormwater system.

“Planting a screen was important, and we strategically placed structural soil cells throughout the event space to encourage and promote a healthy root system,” says Chris.

Thanks to RCI and Dana Brown and Associates, all they see is Big Easy luxury.

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana Phone: (504) 345–2639 Web: LocationRotolowww.danabrownassociates.comConsultants,INC: Slidell, Louisiana Phone: (800) 641–2427 WEB:

lawn is book-ended with a small paved area for a stage setup and a kitchen to cater events. The space is flanked by Creole queen elms that will eventually create canopies and a sense of enclosure.

Tall Podocarpus hedges as well as Magnolia virginiana “Green shadow” were also planted to foster privacy.

inspirational works tucked into the bend of the Mississippi River. Now the largest hotel pool in New Orleans, the pool is heated or cooled as the weather dictates. The pool itself is a stainless steel basin that was fabricated offsite then hoisted to the roof. RCI built the deck from Cumaru hardwood tiles from Brazil. Water management again being a major component of the project, the roof had to be sloped to collect rainwater. The team used hidden pedestals between the roof and the deck that allow the surface to remain completely level. When hotel guests look out onto the mighty Mississippi River with a cocktail in hand, they have no idea what lies beneath—a complicated infrastructure that keeps everything working and guests comfortable.

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Get In Touch With... Dana Brown & Associates

On the river-facing side of the building at Spanish Plaza, a city park with central fountain, the team planted more Creole queen elms to create a future canopy, soften the concrete space and tie in the landscaping to the rest of the hotel. Rising from the plaza is a new, five-story building extension. On the roof is a crescent-shaped swimming pool reminiscent of the Crescent City itself,


Everillo Park, York.


EverColor ® Carex brightens a snowy Pennsylvania garden and a winter display in Domino

EverColor® Carex

EverColor® – EverGreen – EverVersatile – EveryWhere EverColor® Carex are the world’s most successful evergreen sedge. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more versatile plant in the landscape. They can be used as a groundcover, in solo or mixed containers, in living walls, roof gardens, edges and as an accent plant. There are eight varieties to choose from including Evercream, Everest, Everillo, Everlime, Everlite, Everoro, Eversheen and Everglow, providing a wide range of solid and variegated leaf colors on a mounded habit. For more information, visit or In this autumn composition, Everest EverColor ® Carex’s classy cool ribbons garnish vivid heirloom squash.

Eversheen lends vibrant curb appeal to a coffee house in Uden, Netherlands. EverColor® Carex provides year-round color at PlantLand Garden Center in Columbus, OH.

When it is a yard used by children, her creativity particularly runs wild. For instance, all children love a playset. And so Fern will create a yard of play. She says, “If they have a real steep hill, instead of building out a wall in the flat spot for a swingset, I will do a series of climbing walls and slides that go down the hill.” And her clientele can come to her from unlikely places. For this project, the client’s mother met Fern’s mother and told her that they couldn’t find a good FERN COOK, OF SHADY GROVE LANDSCAPING COMPANY


Shady Grove Landscaping Company | A Yard Transformed F ern Cook, owner of Shady Grove Landscaping, will tell you that she is a residential remodeling contractor not taking on projects involving any new construction or any commercial projects. She says, “I’m making relationships with people and doing everything that I can do to help them live outside. My designs are very tailored both to their budget goals and how I can best spend their money to make everybody want to be in their yard.”

Cost: $60,000 Build Time 3 weeks Size: Just under half an acre PROJECT DETAILS


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inspirational works landscaper. This beautiful home belongs to a family of five: two little girls, ages five and six, a baby and busy working parents. Common for a lot in the Decatur, Georgia, area, it’s on a very steep hill and backs up to the stormwater creek drainage area. The front yard is a steep hill with a long driveway so the back yard was always wet, as all the water flowed in that direction. In addition, water came from a neighbor’s yard creating a swampy back yard where the children played. It took work to turn the yard into a functional and pleasing space. “In the front, there was established turf that wasn’t doing well,” Fern says. “The builder, when grading, had left an incredibly steep hill; it dropped six and a half feet over 18 feet.” This caused problems for the family in simple upkeep. Fern says, “The client could not mow his own grass; he was trying to weedeat it and becoming frustrated.” They also didn’t have easy egress to the street in a family-friendly neighborhood. The plan needed to incorporate a walking path. “To address the ability to easily and safely walk up and down the yard, we added these cut flagstone step treads that then space out at the bottom toward the front door,” Fern explains. “It is good for curb appeal as it draws the eye to the front door, and also for ease of walking. But the reason they’re spaced out is to allow for water movement.” She also had a simple metal handrail installed, which had to be handfabricated. The lot included a drainage easement that the family is required to maintain. The builder put in new drain lines a couple of years ago and left jute mesh and pine straw. This resulted in weeds and mesh that you couldn’t dig Fernthrough.firstdesigned the hill with a water feature, but the budget did not allow it. Instead, there are terrace walls with planting pockets and flat spaces for plants. Now, Fern says, “This is the kids’ BEFORE

The driveway side yard is a brutal place to try to make plants happy. It’s located between the hardscape of the house and driveway, and lots of runoff came from the front yard and washed the plants out. During the day, it is shaded but in the late afternoon, it gets the brutal Georgia sun. In addition, it’s a place that the family sees every single day. This became a fairy garden for the BEFORE

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planting garden, with a couple of structural plants cascading, some Ajuba ground cover and one juniper to hold things together and hold it down in the winter time.”

As she designs, she shows the plants full grown so that she doesn’t overplant.

“There is a low growing ground cover of simple monkey grass and a new low growing camellia,” Fern says. “I needed monkey grass not only to stabilize the hill, but also so that the client didn’t have to mulch once it all grows in. They’ll have to hand-pull weeds a little, but it creates a much more low-maintenance design.”

Web: children. It consists of a rock garden with a river rock bed and pots from which Fern cut the bottom out so that they could exchange air and water and nutrients with the soil while raising the crown of the plant up above the hot rocks. The family already had a covered deck and a play fort in the backyard. Fern says, “In Georgia, we have red clay that doesn’t drain. I try to use gravity as much as I can. The water moves downhill, and if you give it a place to go it will go there. If the play fort had not already been there, I might have regraded this whole back yard, making high ground and low ground and directing the water where I wanted to. I needed to work with what was already present in order to keep costs low for the Fernclient.”installed pipes that connect to the downspouts from the house and lead the water away from the lot. They brought in 30 yards of dirt and 10 yards of sand to pitch the water to the back of the yard where it can drain. At the end of the job, Fern just had one thing left to do: set up the lights and enjoy the work. Now, this is a yard the family can enjoy.

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Photos courtesy of ©Viki Sears Photography

About Shady Grove Landscape Shady Grove Landscape Company , established in 2004, remains a boutique, hands-on, residential landscape firm providing thoughtful design and renovation service in Northeast Atlanta. Led by Fern Cook, an experienced team of multifaceted craftsmen seeks to transform your landscape into exactly what you want and need to enjoy your style of outdoor living.

Download your free trial VECTORWORKS.NET/LANDMARK23at SALESFORCE TRANSIT CENTER | COURTESY OF PWP LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE AND MARCUS NUÑEZ SUPERCHARGE YOUR WORKFLOW Do even more with Vectorworks Landmark 2023, the industry-leading solution for integrated 2D/3D landscape design. With an extensive new library of detailed 3D plant objects, more efficient file collaboration, expanded material take-offs, and enhanced intuitive site grading, the latest version of Landmark frees you from complex processes so you can focus more time on selling projects. hammered brass Add the beauty of Explore our new line of HAMMERED BRASS FOUNTAIN BOWLS These decorative fountains are available in 2 sizes and optional Pedestal accessory.

www.synkd.ioSeptember|October 202240 A TOWN’S L iving Room

Healing Springs Park CARBO Landscape Architecture Cost of Park $3.1 million Build Time 18 months Size of Park 4 acres PROJECT

The natural spring, Sager Creek, is at the north end of the site, a spring that in the past was believed to have healing properties. The Chautauqua had used the space for assemblies in the 1800s, and a hospital existed on the site during the second half of the 20th century. To respect this history, the name of the park is now Healing Springs, a place dedicated to the health and wellbeing of the people of Siloam Springs. The existing topography of the site, a 45-degree grade change, was incorporated into the design—creating a natural amphitheater that includes a series of level lawn spaces defined by concrete risers. The park’s primary path gently slopes at five percent, traversing the amphitheatre, to connect the lower area to the upper level of the site. The result is functional, aesthetically pleasing and appears organic. To protect the infrastructure, stormwater management had to be incorporated into the design.


www. synkd .io 41September|October 2022 T he goal was to create a “civic living room” for Siloam Springs, Arkansas. As Shannon Blakeman of CARBO Landscape Architecture relates, it was a plan that could not come to fruition without “intense community engagement and input.” Receiving the 2018 Louisiana Chapter ASLA Merit Award, the plans certainly delivered and now this healing park has finished construction. This site presented many challenges that CARBO turned into design opportunities. From the historic natural spring that flows along the site, to the handling of a 45degree slope (from an accessibility point of view as well as stormwater management), to the final part of the project, which was to host a variety of events that all have different requirements in this outdoor living room, CARBO met all of the challenges

PROMENADE 20 21 22 19 19 18 18 17 26 27 27 27 28 25 23 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 10 11 11 12 13 14 15 16 24 28 29 29 29 AMPHITHEATER

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synkd | inspirational works Rain gardens are strategically located and stormwater runnels follow the sloping pathway to create a natural water feature during heavy rainfall. Flexibility in the use of the space meant so many things to so many of the residents. Not only were there well-attended public workshops, there was also online polling and surveys, as well as numerous meetings with city staff. The final requirements included an interactive water feature, native garden areas, a performance stage and pavilion with associated seating, dedicated space for a farmers’ market and a demonstration kitchen. A facilities block was also added for convenience to support all the planned activities as well as a sympathetic makeover of the existing Veterans Memorial. The farmer’s market space is on the western edge of the park, next to the demonstration kitchen area and the interactive water feature. A wide promenade flanked with shade trees creates a more functional space for delivery truck access and to position tents for the market. Low plantings and a retaining wall help buffer nearby street traffic. The demonstration kitchen is for learning about healthy eating but can also serve as a concession area. Restroom facilities are conveniently located here also—as well as an abundance of seating in order to create a community feel. On the lower terrace of the site, the stage and pavilion are sited to provide optimal viewing and proximity to the sloped amphitheater, while allowing access from the street. An orchard of trees shades THE

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the open area behind the pavilion where an existing gazebo remains and movable seating creates a passive park destination. Pedestrian access to the bridge across the historic healing spring has been improved and now helps connect the park to all of downtown. At opposite corners of the overall site, there are “Arkansas native garden” areas that aim to educate visitors on the native plants and regional ecology. With only four acres, CARBO Landscape Architecture was able to create a gathering and “healing” space meant for all who gather there.

Get In Touch With... CARBO Landscape Architecture Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana Phone: (225) 302–7452 Web:

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inspirational works


At Pike, a customer can have a landscape designed, installed and maintained.


W hat would your yard look like right now if everything you had ever planted was alive and flourishing?

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Pete Pike founded Pike Nursery in 1958.

Brian came to his profession because of a love of plants. Pike is unique in having landscape architects and designers available to its customers, an innovation that makes perfect sense. Brian says that he considers himself “an extension of the nursery,” positioned to bring knowledge to the customers. ALBANI

Pike Nursery | A Landscape Guaranteed For Life BRIAN

This relationship, between the nursery and its workers, the customer and the plants, speaks to the integrated services they provide—services that can transform a blank lot into an “oasis.” Brian says it is an “oasis” that most homeowners are hoping for.

As the Pike website touts, their trees and shrubs are guaranteed for life. This guarantee is reflective of their commitment to the customer and to the plant. The fact that they are employee-owned also seems to speak to a commitment to the employee.

A conversation with Brian Albani of Pike Nursery might allow one to imagine such a landscape. Brian is a landscape architect and designer, working within Pike Nurseries, which has been bringing their expertise to gardening in Georgia (and later in North Carolina, too) for over six decades.


passionate about working with residential clients. When Pike sought to have a landscape division, Brian was the second person to take on this role involving landscape design, sales and installation. Being able to have a hand in all these phases has been important for him.

There are not too many landscape companies that can directly address the client’s concerns over time the way Pike does. Combine this level of service with a lifetime guarantee, and what you have is a company truly “accountable for making sure the planting is successful.” Clients come to them from many sources. Pike has a radio show and a strong social media presence, but clients can also just walk into the nursery. Many young clients are “getting their first taste of landscaping.” Brian has also seen a great deal of interest from people who are at JOE SEARS

Although the last two years have brought challenges with supply chain and labor shortages, Pike seems to have a business plan that allows them to weather these difficulties. As we come out of pandemic restrictions and people return to their workplaces, Brian sees a growing interest in native and pollinator gardens. He believes people may move away from planting perennials and toward a more low-maintenance landscape.

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Pike Location:NurseryDuluth, Georgia Web: later stages in their lives. Specifically, he speaks of clients who wish to downsize and are looking for low-maintenance, high-curb appeal landscapes that will appeal to new buyers. He looks to tailor plans to where people are in their lives as part of an integrative approach. This speaks to the values of Pike Nursery. Continuing education and professional development are a part of the workplace, and Pike also operates two farms. There are days when the nurseries shut down and employees tour the grow facilities and learn from seeing what is growing there. Brian says that he himself learns the most from just walking the nursery.


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Although not everyone who walks into the nursery seeks design services, Brian and his coworkers can “put together plans and designs given all the criteria of their micro-climate.” That sort of site-specific attention can be the difference between a yard that languishes and one that thrives. And why put in a plant that will not survive? To do so can be seen as a waste of precious resources, not only of the plant and all it requires, but also the most precious of resources: your time. Brian says he is sometimes in the unenviable position of saying to a client, “Stop buying plants or accepting plants from neighbors and relatives.” These words can be hard to hear if someone loves plants, but they speak to good stewardship. Landscape architecture is a broad area of practice, and Brian has designed everything from 100-acre developments to planned, individual lots. He is Get In Touch With...

Sometimes a landscape should match where a person is in life, but it should also have its own integrity. The idea of creating a long-lasting vision for a yard that is vital and healthy is a powerful one—and it’s the vision of Pike Nursery.

inspirational works



Pete, what do you see are the main challenges our industry is facing in terms of attracting and retaining top talent?



ven before the pandemic, attracting and keeping quality talent was a challenge for employers. Now, with additional challenges facing our nation and “The Great Resignation” still as evident as ever, those challenges are becoming more persistent and harder to overcome. Grappling to retain top talent has become a huge priority for companies. Landscape companies, as well as other companies that require actual craftsmen and skilled workers, may find it particularly hard to maintain their top teams. I discussed those challenges with the owner of the top landscape lighting and audio company in Greensboro, North Carolina. Learn how this company is dealing with the state of our workforce and excelling at it. Here is my discussion with Pete Bryant of Southern Lights

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Pete: The first challenge I see is how are we going to be able to keep up with demand? The workflow has increased dramatically for our company throughout this pandemic and we now have to worry about getting it all done without burning out our people. Managing expectations, keeping our customers satisfied and our employees happy is our main concern. The second challenge I see in our industry is struggling to keep the company “fresh” and “alive” in the eyes of our clients and employees. Punching a time clock to get a paycheck is part of business, but to try and keep top talent and provide employees a place where they want to work at long-term is a job in and of itself. How do we create an atmosphere of professionals that want to build careers versus employees that simply jump ship every opportunity to make an extra buck or two an hour? How do we create the value for our people to stay?

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Last, I see the need to evaluate our company policies to keep turnover to a minimum and pay workers a premium. We need to be able to answer the question, “What does a good worker look like now?“

Lori: So here’s the $100,000 question: How do companies do that?

Pete: I see this happening in several ways: Charge a Premium This helps us work with the clientele we want to work with and filters out the customers that are looking for the lowest-cost provider. We only have so many billable hours in a year, and we want to maximize those hours at the highest hourly value. The greater our backlog, the higher our price becomes.

Become a Destination Company: Look Different, Act Different, Be Different We've spent years and a lot of money building outdoor showrooms at our offices. We realized after many years of

Incorporating software and automations into our company has helped us in several ways.

A lot of the service industries get a bad rap for employing less than desirable staff due to the kind of work we do, and that is sad. Hiring clean-cut and educated employees has always been a top priority for us. Any way that can show the customer our knowledge and professionalism is a major win. Clean wrapped company trucks and uniforms also help show this commitment. Great employees attract great employees. Try Making Work Fun! We try to heighten enthusiasm at our company by not only working hard, but also having fun. We’ve tried capturing this by celebrating birthdays, company outings, Cinco De Mayo celebrations, concerts, paintball, bowling, food trucks, community events, providing coffee and drinks on job sites or even meeting after work to have a beer with the staff.

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Incentive Programs and Stretch Goals

inspirational works

We believe when the company is profitable, the employees should benefit as well. We have tied bonuses to profitability and callbacks/warranty issues that help create win/win opportunities for staff to celebrate and strive to hit goals collectively. Setting big goals for the company to buy into the vision and direction of the company can help fuel growth and provide a fresh outlook.

setting up and taking down displays in coliseums for trade shows that the more intelligent thing to do would be to build permanent displays. This has served us well over the years. It has helped to shorten the sales process and instantly gives us credibility with potential customers as the leading industry provider. We believe this next-level thinking sets us apart in the eyes of our employees and potential employees as well.

Understand What the Employee Values

Engaging with your staff goes a long way in team building and creating a good work culture. Encouraging a positive work culture throughout the team is a must. Giving high fives to crew members as you walk by, praising teammates for completing a project under budget or getting a positive online review are great ways of showing your employees they are valued.

Software Upgrades and Automation

synkd |

Now, more than ever, I think we have to listen to what employees are looking for and have to be accommodating if we want to attract and keep top talent … even if it looks a lot different than it has in the past. You may have a mix of employees that want different things as well. Are we too rigid with our staff by restricting overtime? Do my employees want to work weekends? Do my employees have a side job that we need to accommodate for? Do my employees want a more balanced family/work life and desire a standard, eight-hour work day?

Hire Knowledgeable, Clean-Cut and Educated Employees

CARTAby•Drawcomplex paths in real-time • Calculate area (sqft), cubic yards • Quick & Easy material estimation • Create, store, and export digital “As-Builts” • Guidance to real-world points • Spray attachment for marking • Add notes, images, & videos

We strive to streamline the workflow and material needs for our crews to become a more efficient organization. We provide credit cards for crews and allow them to purchase tools that will make their jobs easier.

Be an Industry Leader

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A bout Lori Hawkins Lori Hawkins, RLA, ASLA, has been a registered landscape architect for over 30 years. She is registered in both North Carolina and South Carolina and has her own private practice in the Greensboro area. You can follow her on Instagram @3Dlandscapearchitect or check out her website at for more information.

Lead your team by example. Be involved and engaged with your employees and clients on a daily basis. Volunteer your time to industry specific associations and community events. Become certified in what you do, and market yourself professionally.

Understanding What Turnover Actually Costs

Placing the highest value on trying to keep and promote existing and experienced employees is so important. I appreciated Pete’s candor and the knowledge he shared during this interview. We also reflected on how some of these solutions may seem out of reach or too expensive for some employers. When companies truly understand the actual cost of employee turnover, they may reconsider. If employers place the highest value on trying to keep and promote existing and experienced employees, the return to the company will be one hundredfold. Conversely, losing a good employee can cause many headaches, such as potential lost revenue, lowering company morale and increasing the constant need for more employee training. Although 2022 may still have some challenges, retaining and rewarding your best talent will benefit your company in the long run and for many years to come!

Maximizing the power of a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software reduces excessive administrative help. It helps us provide great customer service through a system of consistent communication. We are able to maximize our time by automating more tasks. It ensures sales staff provides accurate estimates every time. And it shortens the sales cycle.

Make it Easy for the Crew to Have What They Need

Automatically Mowing its Way into the Future Keep Your Future Running with Expert Assistance We bridge the gap between industry-leading brands and our customers. So, not only do you get top quality products at AOS, but you also get expert installation and maintenance. Our team members have many years of experience working with automated outdoor equipment. Consequently, we know quality products when we use them. And we have thoroughly tested all the equipment we offer. We will use this knowledge to help you find the right products for your lawn. Plus, we can help you correctly install and maintain them for longtermWesuccess.alsooffer automatic mowing subtracting service agreements direct to landscaping companies. 1595 South Eastwood Drive Woodstock, Illinois 60098 (815) 308–5077 Open 7 days a week from 8am–5pm Tune in to our weekly podcast Automating Success with Joe Langton at We cater to landscape professionals and can offer 20% fleet discounts including equipment materials and installation! Available through authorized dealers and contractors. | | 800.719.1996 LITTLE FIXTURES FOR BIG MOMENTS ysmall but mighty!NICHE LIGHT: We look forward to seeing you! SEPTEMBER 18 – 21 Gaylord Palms Resort & Conference Center | Orlando, FL | Indoor Booth #1101 + Equipment Area 1.680”



Here are the top reasons for stress listed by the respondents of the poll (in order of importance):•Plantmaterial shortages

• Unreasonable customers & suppliers

• Miscommunication with drivers, nurseries & architects

It’s time to find answers to what exactly are the causes of stress and what can be done about it. This is exactly why synkd (previously ProLandscaper USA South ) and GoMaterials launched the 2022 Stress Survey for professionals.landscapeRead on to discover the top three findings of the survey!


• Lack of organization & well-defined

hether it’s managing missed calls, managing supplier communications or trying to get materials to the job site, there’s too much on everyone’s plate across the industry. To make things worse, the ongoing supply chain issues caused by the plant shortages, labor shortages and inflation don’t seem to be abating anytime soon. If


What Does the Survey Reveal About the State of Stress and its Causes?

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What is putting pressure on landscapers?

• Worker & truck driver shortages

Whileprocessesthese 5 triggers are distributed quite evenly, the top concern for respondents seems to be the plant shortages. A few respondents chimed in on the decrease in quality and availability of plant materials. What makes this particularly challenging is that there is no predictable end to the shortages in sight.

The data speaks for professionalslandscapeitself—mostarefacingexceptional challenges this year. More than 75 percent of those polled reported a mid- to high-level of stress in 2022, and 79 percent of respondents said that they are more stressed in 2022 than they were in 2021.

By Marc Elliot, CEO of GoMaterials all this wasn’t enough, every news headline seems to be setting off the alarm bells that a recession is looming. In short, the green industry seems to be going through a remarkably stressful period.

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Many of the respondents offered up tips to fellow members in the industry. More importantly, respondents suggested not to neglect social activities and time with family.

Daily Routines That Are Causing Stress

In fact, 60 percent of nurseries estimate that plant shortages will last throughout 2022 as per the “Plant Shortage Report” released by the GoMaterials team. Chronic supply chain issues and plant shortages can trigger more tense relationships both with customers and suppliers—piling on the stress in 2022. And it’s not just landscapers who may be stressed out. Suppliers are also struggling to keep up with landscapers’ demands. The industry is changing, and the aftershocks are being felt by all parts of the industry. One respondent recognized that “there are fewer suppliers and more competitive pressure.” The key here may be to focus on maintaining healthy relationships with your suppliers, even when you find your patience wearing thin.

Respondents were pretty evenly split when rating which activities most contributed to their everyday stress. The top activities rated as stressful offer an insight into systemic challenges: 1. Coordinating & replying to emails 2. Buying materials, arranging transport & project scheduling 3. Having to double-check deadlines 4.constantlyGetting approvals from city inspectors or architects 5. Recruiting & training employees 6. Bidding or estimating for jobs Needing to double-check deadlines as a cause of stress will resonate the most in the industry and sums up why routine activities can add stress. Specs, quality, dates and many other details need to constantly be validated in an average day for a landscaping operations team.

1. Having paid vacation time (35%)

It’s evident that the lack of manpower in administrative roles is debilitating for many small and large businesses. Multiple routine activities reported as stressful by the respondent could be a lot simpler with additional administrative support. Rise of third-party services such as GoMaterials and the right investment in tech can definitely help alleviate some of the pressure.

3. Implementing software or business tools to streamline work (33%) 4. Having team get-togethers & after hour beers (30%) 5. Getting more reliable nursery partners 6.(25%)Implementing scheduling & landscape management software (18%) 7. Implementing team trainings (12%)

The industry also seems to be well aware of how to address some of the challenges on ground to reduce stress. Recruiting more people and investment in technology are some of the top priorities on the industry’s wishlist.

Creative thinking and the implementation of new processes are crucial to reducing stress in the workplace. Business owners should lean on their teams for feedback on how to help with stress management. One of the respondents said it well: “One of the best ways to reduce workplace stress is to create and foster a culture of openness and transparency.”

Miscommunication with drivers, nurseries and architects is also cited by a large number of respondents as a leading stress causer. And it’s easy to see why considering the lack of robust communication frameworks in the industry. Coping with all the demands, requests and last-minute changes tied to completing a landscape job is no picnic. Multiple reasons chosen by the respondents in the survey point to a simple fact regarding the causes of stress. It ultimately comes down to the lack of overall organization and well-defined processes in the industry.

Respondents Want Time to Decompress, Better Software and Open Communication with Management When asked what ways workplaces should support landscapers, here’s what the respondents rated at the top (respondents could vote more than once):

To view the full results of the survey, scan the QR code below!

A bout M arc Elliot Marc Elliot is CEO and founder of GoMaterials, an online marketplace for sourcing plant materials for landscape professionals.

2. Recruiting more employees/purchasing automated lawn equipment (34%)


What’s Coming Up Next for the Industry and What Can Be Done to Avoid Stress?

Markedly, a frequently recurring comment from the respondents was that open communication with management was crucial for effective teamwork. One respondent emphatically commented: “Actions and words of affirmation go a long way!” It may not always feel like a priority to be praising your team in times when you are very preoccupied, but the feedback demonstrates that it can make a difference to team morale.

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All things considered, one thing that’s for certain is the power of this industry to come together as a community. While 2022 is shaping up to be a stressful year for many, we will come out stronger together.

Our covers are made to fit a wide variety of uses Simply input the surrounding hardscape into the cover Seamlessly blend into thelandscapesurrounding www.wundercovers.cominfo@wundercovers.comTel. WunderCovers™775-400-2883 seamlessly blend manhole, drain, or utility access covers and vaults Custom covers, built to order, low volume, any size or configuration Order Direct 800-441-3573 or Shop On-Line at The BEST Products - BEST Tech Support - BEST Value - BEST CHOICE! Bio Plex ORGANICS PLA NT HEALTH & SU RVI VAL SOLUTIONS BEFOREAFTER ORDER TESTING PRODUCT TODAY! SAVE $$$$$ - INCREASE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION Join the BioPlex GROW-POWER Product Team... PLANT-POWER • TURF-POWERGREEN-POWER NEW CARBOHYDRATEAnnualNO-NITROGENLawnCareFERTILIZERS PROFESSIONAL, EFFECTIVE TRANSPLANT TOOLS… DECREASE PLANT MORTALITY - SPEED PLANT ESTABLISHMENT - REDUCE PLANT STRESS – INCREASE PLANT HYDRATION - INOCULATE SOIL & ROOTS – INCREASE AIR AND WATER INFILTRATION - INCREASE BIO-FERTILITY – MORE! ••••••••••••••••••••••• YES, A 99% TRANSPLANT SUCCESS GUARANTEE… ENROLL IN OUR *BIO-PLEX ORGANICS 99% SUCCESSFUL ORNAMENTAL TRANSPLANT INSTALLATION PROGRAM WHEN YOU ORDER! Feeds Everything: Grass - Soil - Biology Decreases: Insect & Disease Call Backs

Halberdleaf rosemallow ( H. laevis ) also found in wet areas statewide, is a smaller, elegant version of hibiscus. The leaves are smooth, dark green with a distinct narrow center lobe and side lobes perpendicular at the base, like a lance point with a handle. The flowers are a delicate teacup shape, blooming along the stem from bottom to top. It needs full sun for best blooms.

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By Susan Norris-Davis

Mexican petunia (Ruellia simplex) Crimson-eyed rosemallow ( Hibiscus moscheutos ) is the most common in the state, with large, fuzzy, pale green leaves and abundant in all wet areas. Tall, multiple stems bear a profusion of flowers at the tip. It requires space both for height and spread; a large plant can easily have 20 blooms at once. A similar species, H. grandiflorus , with even larger flowers is restricted to the coastal marshes. This variety needs full sun for best blooms.


Semi-Invasive Plant Native Plants

Pineland hibiscus ( H. aculeatus ) has swirling, creamy yellow flowers with a deep maroon center, larger but similar to its relative, okra. Found in prairies and pinelands, it grows in somewhat drier locations than our other species and does less well if very wet. The stem, leaves and seed pods have irritating hairs so it is best planted away from path edges. The pineland hibiscus blooms in sun and part shade. Star hibiscus ( H. coccineus ) is usually a brilliant red—there is a pure white version— with petals fully flared and narrowing at the base so that the green sepals can be seen in striking, starlike contrast to the flower. The leaves are serrated, narrowed from tip to base, and sometimes mistaken for cannabis. The smooth stalks are tall and stately, blooming in full sun with plenty of water or also in moist shade. Its native habitat is uncertain, but possibly coastal marsh.

Native Hibiscus

here are four species of gorgeous hibiscus native to the southeast, growing from marsh to moist prairie/pineland habitat and ranging in color from white to pink or creamy yellow with a deep maroon center, as well as the pure white or red of the star hibiscus. They are all herbaceous perennials, dying back to the ground in winter due to our subtropical climate, which experiences the occasional freeze. This makes them easy to differentiate from the non-native, typically woody tropicals that are not cold-hardy. Our hibiscus never have to be moved indoors or protected when cold weather threatens, nor does their growth need to be controlled with pruning. They prefer moisture but are hardy and quite adaptable to garden settings. All attract pollinators, including hummingbirds. They bloom from spring/early summer to late fall.


EmeryAllen | How Lighting & Color Temperature Can Play a Role in a Setting C olor Temperature is a term to describe the color range of lighting, but it is not something that many people know about or consider. However, it can be important to consider how much of a role color temperature can play in the setting and in the effect that one wants to create. What is Color Temperature?

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The color temperature of “white light” can be broken down into a range on the Kelvin temperature scale, based approximately on the colors of radiated light from a black-body (ie: anything hot enough to emit visible light). In this scale, anything above 5,000K is considered to have a cool, blueish color, while anything below 5,000K would be considered to have a warm, yellowish color. For an understanding of how accurately artificial light can be perceived relative to sunlight, take a look at the CRI or Color Rendering Index. How Color Temperature is Created in LEDS

The diodes that emit light by default emit a cool blueish-white light. To “warm up” the LED, various amounts of a phosphor coating are applied to the diode, which yellows the emitted light to a warmerwww.synkd2022

Consider • Matching other lighting (outdoor lighting to match house lighting)

Kelvin value (typically 5,000K or below). Choosing a Color Temperature Bulbs in the 5,000K+ range have more of a blue-white hue to them and are better for focus tasks or to convey an alert or clean setting. However, you wouldn’t want to run these same cooler bulbs in the more relaxed setting of a restaurant, hotel room, lobby or living room. For these areas, warmer bulbs in the 2,000-3,000K color temperatures would be preferred. Incorrect lighting can adversely affect the mood of individuals. Color temperature is setting dependent—and 100 percent subjective.

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• Mood outside)socializingrelaxingoutside(diningvs.or

A bout E meryAllen EmeryAllen is a premier LED manufacturing company located in Charleston, South Carolina. With over 30 years of experience in the lighting industry, we specialize in the design, development and production of highperformance miniature LED lamps for a variety of applications and settings both indoors and out. Web:

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Traditional roofs experience an abundant amount of heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Vegetated roofs provide an extra layer of insulation that blocks solar radiation from reaching the building. This helps reduce energy consumption thus reducing energy costs for both heating and cooling. As an additional bonus, more efficient energy conservation means fewer greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere.

By Angie Mims

Energy Saver

1. Detention: Slowing down water run off from the rain water on the roof 2. Retention: Water stays on roof and goes back into the atmosphere

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Stormwater Management Traditional living roofs (green roofs) help control stormwater runoff by retaining water in the plants and growing medium. This water is released back into the atmosphere through the process of evapotranspiration, which significantly reduces the pressure on stormwater infrastructures and sewer systems over the course of a year. Detention roofs such as blue-green roofs or the Purple-Roof concept also offer detention, which means slowing down the water that the roof cannot retain or the water that becomes runoff. This runoff delay of the peak storm runoff helps to prevent combined sewage overflow, flooding and erosion. These types of green roofs are unique in that they can replace, or reduce, other types of gray stormwater infrastructure such as stormwater tanks or cisterns. Ultimately, the combination of retention and detention saves costs related to the renovation of buildings and the expansion of drainage, and other stormwater infrastructure systems, on both a city and a project scale.


Reduction in Ambient Noise

Reversal of Urban Heat Island Effect

Increasing Biodiversity Green roofs provide new opportunities for wildlife to feed and shelter. They also provide conservation for those species affected by habitat loss. A variety of ants, Green roofs create an adverse affect to the Urban Heat Island Effect by cooling infrastructures and surrounding air with evapotranspiration

It should be noted that the energy savings made on a particular building are dependent on the building structure and level of insulation. A low building with a badly insulated roof will generate more savings than a tall building with a wellinsulated roof. Also, the energy savings tend to have more impact during summer than in the winter, so the biggest benefit for the energy savings will be in climates with lots of solar radiation (sunshine).

The many layers of a vegetated roof reduce sound exposure. This natural insulation barrier absorbs and deflects sound waves. The growing mediums block lower sound frequencies and the plants block higher frequencies. The level of sound insulation is dependent on the type of green roof used. For example, extensive green roofs, which have a thinner growing medium, can reduce high-frequency noise by up to 3 dB and low-frequency noise by as much as 8 dB. For those needing quieter office spaces, a green roof is a good solution (Renterghem, 2018).

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The Urban Heat Island Effect is a problem found in cities around the world. As developments in urban areas increase, there is less green space. Hard surfaces, such as concrete and asphalt, heat up much faster than trees, grass and other greenery. These hard surfaces absorb the heat during the day and radiate it at night. This results in a big zone of hot air around urban environments. Green roofs create an adverse effect by cooling infrastructures and the surrounding air by evapotranspiration. To put this into perspective, in New York City, a mean temperature difference of 2°C could be measured between the most and least vegetated areas of the city (Susca et al. 2011). This might not sound like a lot, but a 2°C increase from 35-37°C significantly increases the heat mortality risk of the population!

Air Filter

Nature Based Strategies for Urban and Building Sustainability. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2018. 167–179. Get In Touch With... Angie Mims Human Resources at Sempergreen USA Email: Web:

Van Renterghem, Timothy. "Green Roofs for Acoustic Insulation and Noise Reduction."

studies, most notably the SOPREMA study from 2020. This decreases the need for maintenance and repairs saving the owner money. Also, in hail-prone areas, the green roof protects the membrane from hail damage. Regions like Colorado experience lots of extreme hail each year and a green roof is a real cost saver.

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www. synkd .io synkd raise the bar spiders, flies, beetles and other insects have been spotted on these eco-roofs. It is extremely beneficial to urban beekeeping and endangered species, particularly wild bees, if these intensive green roofs flower in the summer and during dry Migratingperiods.birds use these roofs as a rest stop. New York City is located along a migration route known as the Atlantic Flyway. One can see over 200 different species flying through spring and fall. The addition of these pollinators in urban areas also help propagate seeds. However, it is still important to keep in mind that sometimes, the best strategy to increase biodiversity is to aim to go from a bare roof to any kind of green roof simply because all types of green roofs are better than bare roofs. Desiring only intensive green roofs in order to achieve the ultimate biodiversity means a higher construction cost due to increased load-bearing weight, increased cost in assembly and maintenance and substantial irrigation needs. This can reduce the implementation rates of green roofs still support a surprising amount of biodiversity and because they are lightweight, more affordable to install and do not require regular irrigation, they are much more likely to be built.


Multi-Purpose Living roofs utilize the once unused space in many ways. Rooftops can be developed into social and recreational spaces. Some examples of ways this new green space can be used are for our office meetings, outdoor gyms, solar panels, rooftop gardening and soccer stadiums such as the one in Tokyo, Japan. All these uses are beneficial to the health and wellbeing of citizens. City life is known to keep people inside these buildings, but this newfound space can be an escape from the concrete jungle.

Many of our air pollutants, caused by traffic or other industry, can have a negative impact on one’s health. Some of the effects are minimal, such as allergylike symptoms, while others are more serious, such as heart and lung disease. Research has shown that the plant matter on green roofs helps filter out a significant portion of these pollutants from the surrounding air.

Tax Credit/Abatement

In the U.S., in order to reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect or to improve the sewer’s stormwater capacity of a city, incentives are rewarded to property owners that will install green roofs. The state you reside in and the size of your green roof will be the deciding factors on the amount you receive. In the city of Philadelphia, one would receive a credit against the Business Privilege Tax of 20 percent of all costs associated with the construction of the green roof (as long as it does not exceed $100,000). To be eligible, the green roof must cover 50 percent of the rooftop or 75 percent of the eligible rooftop space. Other cities like New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and many more offer rebates, subsidies or other incentives to help offset or even pay 100 percent for the green roof. In conclusion, it pays to install a green roof.

REFERENCES: Susca, Tiziana, Stuart R. Gaffin, and G. R. Dell’Osso. "Positive Effects of Vegetation: Urban Heat Island and Green Roofs." Environmental pollution 159.8–9 (2011): 2119–2126.

LongevityIncreased of Roofing Membrane Green roofs can increase the lifespan of a roofing system by protecting it from the natural elements, such as direct ultraviolet radiation and extreme accordingconventional2ofextendscycle.extendslesscontractionexpansionthefluctuationstemperatureMinimizingfluctuations.temperaturemeansroofingmaterials'andpeaksaresevere,whichthelifeThisprotectionthelifespanthewaterproofingor3timesaslongasroofingtoseveral INVENTORY + EXPERTISE YOU CAN COUNT ON With over 230 stocked locations nationwide, Ewing is ready to help you prepare for your next job! Ewing goes beyond products and has created a variety of benefits for on and off the jobsite. From exceptional blue counter customer service to online resources and rewards programs like the ProAdvantage Program, you can lean on Ewing for all your green business needs. Scan for more information 800-873-3321 Restoring the native landscape

For cool-season grasses, a good choice would be to use one or more Elymus (Wildrye) species. By the end of a full growing season, Elymus species typically can provide the vegetative coverage of the soil required by regulations. They will provide this stabilization until the long-lived warm season grasses have become fully established in the third or fourth growing season. The warm season grasses we use in many of our slope mixes are deep rooted, Andropogen gerardii (Big Bluestem), Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass), Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass), and Tridens flavus (Purple Top). Other grass Ernst Conservation Seed Using Native Vegetation

When formulating seed mixes for steep slopes, use a combination of short-lived cool season and long-lived warm season grasses. Typically, a combination of short-lived and long-lived wildflowers works best. Among the wildflowers, there should be one or more legumes.

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It is important to provide stabilization of the soil for the time between the planting and the time when the cover crop and native species stabilize the soil. For slopes that have an irregular surface, a flexible growth medium is often used. For surfaces that are smooth, erosion control blankets or a flexible growth medium are often used.

For any steep slope planting, the use of a cover crop is recommended. A cover crop’s roots help to anchor the soil, and its foliage reduces the force of droplet impact upon the soil. For areas north of the Mason-Dixon Line, a good choice would be 30 lbs./acre of oats (January through July) or grain/winter rye (August through December). When planting south of the Mason-Dixon Line, 30 lbs./acre of oats (January through April), 10 lbs./acre of brown top millet (May through August), or 30 lbs./acre of grain/winter rye (September through December) are recommended. Should you choose to use annual ryegrass, do not exceed 12 lbs./acre. Higher quantities of annual ryegrass can smother the long-lived perennial species.

an slopes that are steeper than 3:1 be stabilized with native vegetation? When you look at native landscapes, you quickly can arrive at the answer. Native plants can stabilize slopes. The challenge for landscape contractors is to stabilize sites in a short period of time rather than the millennia taken by nature, and this can be done. In the eastern U.S., slopes often must be planted due to human impacts on the landscape rather than natural processes. Where this human activity involves the use of tracked equipment, the final pass of this equipment should leave tracks that are perpendicular to the slope rather than parallel. These tracks will help to hold the seed in place and retain moisture. If the tracks run in the same direction as the slope, the seed is more likely to be washed downhill. Sloped sites are often broadcast seeded. If this is done with a hydroseeder using hydro-mulch, then a two-pass system should be used, where the seed is applied with 500 lbs./ acre of hydro-mulch in the first pass. For the second pass, 1,000 lbs./acre of hydro-mulch should be applied. This twostep process ensures that the seed has better contact with the soil.


A bout Ernst Conservation Seeds

Combines water, seed, fertilizer and, sometimes, hydromulch into a mix that is then pumped through a nozzle and sprayed uniformly over the area. Hand Seeding Is effective and more efficient for small plots and difficult terrain.

Native flowers are very useful components of steep slope mixes. Rudbeckia hirta (Black Eyed Susan) is a reliable species that produces good cover in the first growing season to supplement the coverage provided by Elymus species. Native legumes such as Chamaecrista fasciculata (Partridge Pea) provide the nitrogen needed to support the optimal growth of the other species in the mix. Chamaecrista fasciculata will often fill in openings not occupied by other species. Long-lived perennial wildflowers are key to steep slope mix formulations and include species such as Asclepias (Milkweeds), Aster (Asters), Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot), Penstemon (Beardtongue) and Solidago (Goldenrods). These perennial wildflowers have foliage that reduces the force of droplet impact on soil and have roots that knit the soil together to reduce erosion.



Examples of Different Ways to Spread Seed Mixes

Ernst Conservation Seeds is the largest native seed producer and supplier in the eastern United States. We grow, process and sell hundreds of species of native and naturalized seeds and live plant materials, propagated on more than 9,000 acres in northwestern Pennsylvania. Phone: (800) 873–3321 Web: species that will often be part of slope mixes are Agrostis perennans (Autumn Bentgrass) and Panicum clandestinum (Deertongue). The foliage of these grasses intercepts rain droplets, reducing the force with which they strike the soil.

Consists of a hopper with a material regulating system in the bottom that feeds material either onto a spinner or directly onto the soil. This system is commonly used to spread seed, fertilizer, lime and other granular products.

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Broadcast Seeding

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Candidates should have experience using AutoCAD, Google SketchUp and other design software as applicable. The ideal candidate should have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from an accredited university. Candidates who are additionally capable of some project management will be seriously considered. Pay and benefits will vary based on experience. If you’re interested in designing a wide range of primarily residential landscapes, pools and outdoor kitchens, this could be the opportunity you’re looking for.

Corporate Office: 38001 Brownsvillage Road, Slidell, Louisiana 70460 Phone: (800) 641–2427 Web: around diagnosing and managing tree and shrub pest issues, tree and shrub ID, and communicating and training others to achieve success with their PHC programs. Scan QR code for the application: www. synkd .io 67September|October 2022 Please send resumes and portfolios to

Headquarters: 11571 K-Tel Dr. Minnetonka, Minnesota 55343 Phone: (877) 272–6747 Web:

Address: 331 Teljean Rd, Lafayette, Louisiana 70503 Phone: (337) 205–4935 Web:


Complete Landsculpture is a full-service Dallas, Texas, landscaping firm serving commercial and residential clients in Texas and Oklahoma. We specialize in hardscape, landscape, design & build, maintenance, custom pools, commercial maintenance, tree services, arboriculture, landscape design, outdoor living design & build, pool renovations, landscape lighting, outdoor kitchens, commercial design & build, fire features, water features, open air arbors, cabanas, custom outdoor fireplaces, custom stone work, irrigation, custom turf installations, outdoor living, certified staff, and professional teams. Please send resumes to or applying in person! Rainbow Ecoscience (a division of Rainbow Tree Company) is seeking a Territory Manager for the Southeast territory. Your primary responsibility will be identifying clients who do plant health care. This position would partner with commercial treecare and landscape companies, municipalities, and other organizations who manage insects, diseases and plant health on trees and shrubs. This includes all aspects of educating, proposing, and closing sales to existing clients and the cultivation of new customers. This person must be knowledgeable and experienced Horticare Landscapes + Pools ( is seeking a landscape architect or designer that is creative, self-motivated and able to multitask in our fast-paced environment.

Maintenance Laborers, Landscape Laborers, Masonry Foreman and Laborers, Tree Climbers, and Irrigation Technicians

Territory Manager Landscape Architect or Designer


Address: 2000 Sandy Ln, Dallas, Texas 75220 Phone: (214) 358–5296 Web:

RCI is hiring! We are currently looking to hire for the following positions and locations: Area/Account Manager • Slidell, Louisiana • Santa Rosa Beach, Florida • Panama City Beach, Florida Landscape Construction Division Manager • Slidell, Louisiana Recruiter • Slidell, Louisiana Bilingual English/Spanish Payroll Admin • Slidell, Louisiana Crew Member • Foley, Alabama Crew Member with TWIC • Chalmette, Louisiana Irrigation Tech • Birmingham, Alabama • Panama City Beach, Florida Senior Landscape Architect • Slidell, Louisiana OR Panama City Beach, Florida Hardscape Construction Superintendent • Slidell, Louisiana but heavy travel required Landscape Construction Superintendent • Panama City Beach, Florida Tractor Operator • Birmingham, Alabama Interested applicants can submit their resume to Leah Madere, our corporate recruiter:

Horticare Landscapes + Pools is a Lafayette, Louisiana-based design + build company employing 25 committed employees that work hard every day to build happy and successful client relationships.

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