Page 1


Hydrangea Endless Summer® Bloomstruck™

p.o. box 748 • st. charles, il 60174 847.742.1790 • fax 847.742.2655

March 2015


Excellence In Landscape Awards Project


FOCUS: Hardscape Illinois Preview

Hardscape Illinois 2.0 10 Popular one-day seminar back for another edition 2015 Excellence in Landscape Awards 18 Garden Speak 26 Geums — Make mine spicy!



Anatomy of an Award-Winning Landscape 2015 Judges Award winner — Night Light, Inc.

Digital Design 44 ILCA hosts Google SketchUp Workshop

2015 Foremanship Training Seminar Mastering Foremanship — in English



ILCA Business Library 48 14 Actionable tactics to create a positive life

Member Profile 52 Midwest Access Solutions

Member Profile 54 Koehler Koehler, Inc.

Plant All-Stars 62 Canna Cannova Series



40 Hardscape Illinois 2.0 Hardscape Illinois 2.0 On the cover... Mariani Landscape received a Silver award in Commercial Landscape Construction for this private residence.

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

44 3


DEPARTMENTS ILCA Calendar From Where I Stand President’s Message New Members Classified Ads Advertisers Index Photo Credits ILCA Awards Program Chicago Botanic Garden Night Light, Inc. Rick Reualnd Clesen Wholesale


4 5 7 50 56 61


1, 8-9,10-14, 18-24, 40-43 26-28 30-37 24, 44-45, 46-47 62

The official publication of the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA), The Landscape Contractor is dedicated to educating, advising and informing members of this industry and furthering the goals of the Association. The Landscape Contractor carries news and features relating to landscape contracting, maintenance, design and allied interests. Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited material and reserves the right to edit any article or advertisement submitted for publication. Publication reserves right to refuse advertising not in keeping with goals of Association. Volume 56, Number 3. The Landscape Contractor (ISSN # 0194-7257, USPS # 476-490) is published monthly for $75.00 per year by the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association, 2625 Butterfield Road, Ste. 104S, Oak Brook, IL 60523. Periodicals postage paid at Oak Brook, IL and additional mailing offices. Printed in USA. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Landscape Contractor, 2625 Butterfield Road, Ste 104S, Oak Brook, IL 60523. DISPLAY ADVERTISING SALES: Association Publishing Partners, Inc., Ph. (630) 637-8632 Fax (630) 637-8629 email: CLASSIFIED ADS, CIRCULATION AND SUBSCRIPTION: ILCA (630) 472-2851 Fax (630) 472-3150 PUBLISHER/EDITORIAL OFFICE: Rick Reuland, 6S252 Cornwall Rd, Naperville, IL 60540 Ph. (630)637-8632 PRODUCT DISCLAIMER: The Illinois Landscape Contractors Association, its Board of Directors, the Magazine Committee, ILCA Staff, The Landscape Contractor and its staff, neither endorse any products nor attest to the validity of any statements made about products mentioned in this, past or subsequent issues of this publication.

ILCA Staff

Magazine Staff

Executive Director Scott Grams (630) 472-2851

Rick Reuland Publisher/Advertising Sales (630) 637-8632

Education Manager Julie Nicoll Membership & Events Manager Terre Houte Administrative Assistant Alycia O’Connor ILCA 2625 Butterfield Road Ste. 104S Oak Brook, IL 60523 (630) 472-2851 • Fax (630) 472-3150

Debbie Rauen Advertising Sales (817-501-2403) debbie.landscapecontractor@

March 26, 2014 Hardscape Illinois Designing and Constructing with Natural Stone Lombard

v Becke Davis Senior Writer Patrice Peltier Feature Writer Meta Levin Feature Writer Panel Chairs Jim Fizzell Greg Pierceall


The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Contact Julie Nicoll for more information —

From Where I Stand... My 5 year old daughter is learning to

read. Each night, we pull a book off of her shelf, climb into bed, and she works her way slowly through the pages. Some nights, she lets me choose the book and frowns when I select one she is not familiar with. Some nights, she tries to grab one she already knows by heart in an excuse to get it over with. Besides reading, she is also becoming a fierce negotiator. It is fascinating watching a child learn to read. For starters, it is impossible to relate to what they are seeing. I look at letters, I see words. She must sound them out, letter by letter, often getting lost in what sounds like jumbled Scrabble tiles. I cannot look through her eyes. Letters immediately morph into words in my adult brain. Even a word I rarely use, like “salad”, is still not a complete mystery. Observing her, it’s clear that learning to read is a process. It’s a skill learned and honed. She can even see the same word twice on the same page but the puzzle to read that word starts all over again. In the weeds, she lacks the God’s eye view of how all the words come together. Sentence structure and story are beyond her reach at this point. Each word is a little mountain, some easier to assault than others. I love watching her little brain reach out and hug the words on the page. She gets frustrated and upset but ultimately the cylinders turn and the lock opens. I have been amazed at how the words are getting longer and her speed has increased. I know that one day, the process will make sense. Night after night, book after book, she inches closer to mastery. As a society, we connect learning to school - whether it’s the three Rs of grammar school or advanced chemistry in college. The first quarter of our lives are the time reserved for learning. We place tremendous importance on those first two decades. It’s base camp before we eat up, rest up, and gear up for the long professional climb ahead. As adults, it is familiar to gather around the dinner table and rehash the day’s event. Kids are asked, “How was school?” Adults are asked, “How was your day.” As an adult, when was the last time you were asked, “So honey, what did you learn today?” It would be a strange question. We connect learning with being young. Learning is not something we actively discuss as adults. We may say, “Huh, learn something new every day” but that is for nuggets of useless trivia. We don’t look at ourselves as lifelong learners. We are taught, we learn, then we become adults. I recently attended ILCA’s foremanship seminar. One of the first exercises of the fantastic class asks foremen, “What is your biggest challenge?” To a man, one of the greatest complaints was how difficult it is to teach the crew. Most said

they grew frustrated trying to impart knowledge and would either alienate the crew member or fix the problem themselves. They said it was too challenging to teach. Foremen are on tight deadlines and don’t have time to baby every crew member. It was much easier to do. The foremen concluded the laborer just “didn’t get it.” All working professionals can empathize with that notion. Anyone who works with others can grow frustrated when asked to teach others. It does not matter if you are the owner of the company or the admin teaching everyone how to use the new time clock. Every day we teach and learn yet rarely think in those terms. In a professional setting, the act of showing others how to do something is difficult. Teaching and learning is easy when there are clear roles, desks, and a chalkboard. It is more challenging when learning is unstructured. Professional learning is a challenge. We feel we are insulting, belittling, or infantilizing our coworkers. This is natural because we fall back into the trap of thinking learning is a young man’s game. Obviously, this is not true. We learn all the time. Every day. Yet, it doesn’t feel obvious. We look back at school and see all those major milestones of learning to read, the periodic table, calculus, or running the table saw in woodshop. It was clear we had no knowledge and then gained knowledge. Learning was never in doubt. A pervasive question in education is how long it takes in order to learn a skill. How many times must a behavior (not a fact) be repeated before it becomes a habit? Previous studies said a person had to repeat a behavior for 20-24 days in order for it to be learned and turned into a habit. That timeframe is off, way off, according to new research by Phillippa Lally published in the European Journal of Social Psychology. Her research shows, people need to repeat a task for 66 days in order for it to become a lasting habit. 66 days! C’mon. Can that really be true? Let’s give it a test. Head to YouTube and watch a video on a skill that you have never done before or mastered. For example, watch how to fold an origami swan. Watch the video only once. Try and repeat the exercise 15 minutes later. How did you do? Now, wait one week, try and repeat the exercise again without watching the video. Now, wait one more week, and try again. My guess is that your head is an empty shell by the third time around. Without repeating the task over and over again, the nuances of the lesson become lost. The access to knowledge becomes overgrown like a path in the woods. Even though that YouTube video showed you, step by step, how to fold that swan, you have no recollection outside of a few basic steps because you did not practice, over and over again. Now, that is a neat little exercise but what does it have to do with work? Think about it. Replace folding a swan with the

Learning to Learn

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


From Where I Stand... hundreds of tasks that are performed at a landscape company every day. It doesn’t matter if these range from a new design software to running the new zero-turn mower. We expect professionals to learn skills almost immediately, and be able to repeat them without repetition, when those skills are needed again. We assume someone should learn faster because they are an adult and are being paid. That makes as much sense as throwing a five year old into the deep end of the pool because other kids her age know how to swim. Learning requires patience on behalf of the learner. No one would argue that. My daughter cannot just get frustrated and throw her book down. The alternative is she does not learn to read. However, along those same lines, companies need to better understand how people choose to learn whether aged five or 55. Phillipa’s research said that people, regardless of age, need the same 66 day timeframe. The only reason we use the expression, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is because adults give up where kids don’t. That’s sad. Businesses need to have patience in how they teach in this new labor market. It will take 66 days for that laborer to fully understand the skill the foreman or the manager passed on during that 15 minute toolbox talk. The employee will continue to try, fail, get steps reversed, make small errors, make larger errors, or plain forget. This is not a reflection of a poor employee. This is the reflection of a normal employee. A poor employee will either shortcut the process and cause harm or get frustrated and give up. Those are the employee behaviors you want to watch for. Watching an employee struggle after a cursory lesson isn’t just possible, it’s inevitable. Employers get frustrated when employees aren’t catching on after 20 or 40 or 60 days. Employers begin to rush to judgment. They make assumptions about an employee’s ability, intelligence, and dedication. The employer begins to micromanage or starts looking for an exit strategy. The employer is about to throw away 20 to 40 to 60 days of training because they lack patience to see the process through. What a waste. We are only a few weeks away from a new landscape season. With that season comes new hires. With those new hires comes a need for training and education. If I could offer a piece of advice to employers this season it is this: reset

the clock. Double, if not triple the amount of time you expect employees to learn new skills and implement good habits. Give them the 66 days science says a human being needs to habitually learn and execute a skill. Be patient. Here is the alternative, ignore the science. Use an arbitrary timetable not based in reality. Benchmark using the quick learners and alienate new hires. Complain. Say, “they just don’t get it.” Get frustrated. Micromanage. Stress out. Be unhappy. Slog through another season. Start the next season with unrealistic expectations. Sift through a dwindling stack of resumes hoping the next one will work out. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Every day we learn. Every day we teach. Nothing has really changed from the days our parents held us close and moved our fingers under the words in Little Golden Books. We provided the dedication. They provided the patience. Landscape companies will be judged by the quality of their crews over the next five years. In a tight labor market, companies have no other choice but to groom their employees and set them up for success. The research says only to judge a new hire after 66 days. Many companies don’t even wait 66 minutes. This season, even meeting in the middle would be a start.

Scott Grams February 20, 2015

You’ll be proud to have us on your clients’ properties. From canopy to roots, caring for your trees isn’t something we just do, it’s our specialization, our area of expertise, our passion.

847.440.5344 • Tree and Shrub Pruning • Deep-Root Fertilization • Certified Arborists • Insect and Disease Management


The Landscape Contractor March 2015

President’s Message As I write this month’s President’s message, it is the beginning of


Kevin Vancina Vancina Landscaping, Inc. (815) 726-2300


Rusty Maulding Nature’s View (815) 592-7582


Mike Schmechtig Schmechtig Landscape Company (847) 566-1233

Immediate Past President Charlie Keppel The Care of Trees (847) 382-4120

Directors Mark Breier National Seed Co. (630) 963-8787 Lisa Fiore Fiore Nursery and Landscape Supply (847) 913-1414 Jose Garcia Natural Creations Landscaping, Inc. (815) 724-0991 Lisa Fiore Kositzki Don Fiore Company, Inc. (847) 234-0020 Dean MacMorris Night Light, Inc. (630) 627-1111 Tom Lupfer Lupfer Landscaping (708) 352-2765

Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. Being a diehard NASCAR fan, it got me thinking about a term used by color commentator and NASCAR champion, Daryl Waltrip. When the cars are racing around the two and a half mile superspeedway at Daytona, it’s critical for the cars to work together in the draft. The draft is a term used to explain the aerodynamics of the cars. A single car racing around the track will be slower than two cars racing nose to tail. So when two or more drivers work together and line up their cars, they can race faster, and therefore have a better chance of winning by working together. Daryl Waltrip has often defined this cooperative competition as “coopetition.” Just for fun I Googled the word “coopetition” to see what I could find. As it turns out, it has been coined as a term of business theory and strategy. There was also a book called Co-opetition, published in 1996 by Adam Brandenburger and Barry Nalebuff from Harvard Business School and Yale, respectively. In this book they discuss the theory of coopetition as a way for companies to create and capture value in their industry. They explain that the modern business model has changed from the “business is war” and “that to succeed others must fail” mentality to one that is “business is peace.” They explain that “you don’t have to blow out the other fellow’s light to let your own shine.” All of this information on coopetition has made me think about ILCA’s roll in relation to this idea. If cooperation creates the pie, and competition divides it up, then, perhaps ILCA is like the pie maker. If we work together, we can create a pie big enough for all of us to have the size piece we need. I find that ILCA’s programs are often the facilitator of coopetition within our industry. It brings together contractors, suppliers, designers, educators and students. The cooperation between all of these people helps us to create our pie. A perfect example of this theory put into practice can be found in the upcoming Hardscape Illinois program, where suppliers and contractors teach, for all practical purposes, their “competitors” on how to identify, select, and work with natural stone. By doing this we make the industry as a whole stronger, and our pie larger. Just like in a NASCAR race, we will need to work together in friendly coopetition. Hopefully, through this year’s “race” we will all run strong. We may trade some paint, but hopefully by working together, we will all cross the finish line at the end of the season with engines running. So as we get closer to spring and prepare to take the green flag for this year’s landscape season, I will leave you with the most famous words in all of motorsports… “Drivers, start your engines!”

Maureen Scheitz Acres Group (847) 526-4554 Donna Vignocchi Zych ILT Vignocchi, Inc. (847) 487-5200

Kevin Vancina, CLT ILCA President

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


A Safe Haven • Chicago Michigan Avenue — Chicago’s Cultural Mile

The “Cultural Mile”

stretches 1.1 miles of Chicago’s renown Michigan Avenue (from Balbo Avenue to Wacker Drive) along one of the City’s most traveled and frequented urban arteries. This thoroughfare gets it’s nickname in reference to the many and varied cultural attractions and outdoor venues that line its path. Some of these include The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Center, Millennium Park, and The Museum of Contemporary Art. Our efforts begin each Fall with the planting of 144,000+ bulbs in an organized and timely manner, with minimum inconvenience to the public. Our spring bulbs signal the return of a blooming and lush return of summer in Chicago.

After the bulbs have languished, our crews remove them to make way for summer annuals. Our installation takes place in approximately one week. Nearly 14,000 annuals are delicately placed next to their returning perennial neighbors. The results create urban landscape that is softened, alive and full of vibrance. The elaborate and differing varieties used each year are presented to us by CDOT and is compiled by their team of horticulturalists, arborists and foresters. Throughout the growing season, our dedicated maintenance crews perform detailed pruning, weeding, and transplanting. Our managers are in daily communication with CDOT to ensure our work performed for the City is focused on needs and expectations.

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


Focus — Business Issues

By Meta L. Levin

“We want to educate

people, so that the entire landscape industry improves the kind of work that it does,” says Jon Hirsch, COO of Krugel Cobbles, one of the organizers and presenters at the second annual ILCA Hardscape Illinois, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 26, 2015, at the Lindner Conference Center, Lombard, IL. Designed to give those in the landscape industry a better understanding of working with, bidding and ordering natural stone, the program will cover everything from proper terminology to design and installation. “We felt hardscapes with natural stone was a real niche that hasn’t been touched education wise,” says ILCA President Kevin Vancina, who, along with Jeff True, spearheaded the program last year. Intuitively the ILCA Board felt that the demand was there, but no one was prepared for the overwhelming response to the first program in 2014. “We packed the house,” says Vancina. Attendees came from a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise. Some had never worked with natural stone and others were well acquainted with it and its properties. “The experience level was all over,” says Scott Grams, ILCA executive director. Using what they learned last year, organizers were able to put together a more targeted program this year. To facilitate attendees’ 10

education, Daniel Wood, who is passionate and knowledgeable about natural stone, a Hardscape Illinois presenter and outside sales representative for Lurvey Landscape Supply, is coordinating an effort to assemble a glossary of terms, which will be distributed to participants between the time that they register and the program. “It will serve as a reference sheet,” says Wood. “People can study it before the program so that they will understand the discussion.” They also can keep it for future reference when working with quarries and others. It also will serve as one of the important lessons that presenters want to drive home: when working with quarries, distributors and others, it is important to be precise and use the correct terminology. “There’s a language for everything,” he says. The program also will include a few horror stories. Last year presenters noticed that many of the questions centered around warnings about what could go wrong, so organizers made sure to include those kinds of warnings, as well as what to do if there is a glitch, in the program. “Hardscapes are difficult to work with,” says Grams. “It’s important to understand the materials and their properties.” They also wanted to know about what is out there. Although the committee did not want Hardscape Illinois to become a trade show, they (continued on page 12)

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Design: Greenhaven Landscapes, Inc., Lake Bluff, Illinois


Photography: Hannah Goering Photography, Waukegan, Illinois



Call Charlotte Ward 618 893 4832 or email

as well as to talk about new products and materials. Wood will follow with “Natural Stone Materials 101,” which is billed as a “crash course” in natural stone materials and types, including Travertine, marble, limestone, sandstone, quartzite, argillite, slate, porphyry, basalt, granite, clay stone and pavers. This introduction will serve as a basis on which to build for the rest of the day. Hirsch will take attendees through “Site Preparation for Flatwork,” covering the fundamentals of bidding, planning and executing a (continued on page 14)

(continued from page 10) decided that it was important to give sponsors an opportunity to introduce their products and services as a way of letting participants know what is available. To make it even more valuable, successful completion of the program is worth 5.5 continuing education credits for landscape architects. Hardscape Illinois is designed to take attendees through the natural stone world step by step, beginning with a photo tour of unique projects featuring natural stone. Once attendees have seen what can be done, the event sponsors will be able to introduce themselves and their companies,

SUMMER A complete line of cool hardy annuals and fresh branches for your inspired spring designs.

A diverse selection of summer annuals, foliage, blooming tropicals and colorful hanging baskets.


847-869-2257 The Landscape Contractor March 2015

The Landscape Contractor March 2015




(continued from page 12) base preparation for a hardscape project. He’ll include a heads-up on pre-dig hazards so as to help attendees avoid expensive delays. He’ll also talk about matching materials to the proper equipment, developing a plan for spoils and debris, when to use aggregate, fines and other related issues and a caution of how weather conditions can impact a hardscape job. Wood will return with “Dimensional Materials for Horizontal Applications and Flatwork,” which will look at properties of the popular Bluestone and Limestone,

as well as Travertine, marble, sandstone, quartzite, slate, basalt and granite. Hirsch will take attendees through “Methodology for Flatwork Construction using Dimensional Stone,” providing construction methodologies, covering base preparation, construction techniques and other factors. This will move into “Irregular Flagstone Material for Horizontal Applications/Flatwork,” with Greg Hirsch and Heather Frey of Hirsch Brick and Stone, and Jim Larson of Capital (continued on page 16)


We take Pride in Our Quality and Customer Service 21575 W. Good Hope Road Lannon, WI 53046

262-502-1579 14

SHADE TREES • ORNAMENTALS • UPRIGHT CONIFERS Locally grown for over 25 years Ryan Doty

P 630 365 9063 F 630 365 9081

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

45W121 Beith Road Maple Park, IL 60151



14000 South Archer Avenue, Lockport, IL 60441


P 815-838-0863 F 815-838-0378





(continued from page 14) Stoneworks. The three will cover construction, cutting techniques and patterns for irregular bluestone and limestone, as well as sandstone, quartzite, slate, argillite and granite. The next session will cover “Clay Pavers, Stone Cobbles and Curbing,” featuring Marc Caifano of Lurvey Landscape and Supply and Paul Laiblin of Scott Byron & Co. They will look at wire cut, pressed, molded, straight edge, beveled, lugs, no lugs, tumbled, reclaimed and various size clay pavers. The second half of the session will focus on cobbles, pavers and curbing, sawn, split and tumbled limestone, tumbled and thermal bluestone, and granite cobbles, sawn, split and thermal. Moving into the home stretch, Laiblin will tackle “Big Rocks, Outcropping and Wallstones,” covering a variety of construction materials for natural stone


The Landscape Contractor March 2015

construction projects, including examining materials for dry wallstone, slab steps, outcropping, boulders and water features. He will talk about proper uses of fieldstone, reclaimed fieldstone, random vs. spec pieces, limestone, granite and other materials. This will include an explanation of how to properly sling boulders, as well as the creative uses of skid-steers and slides, and, especially, examples of how to avoid repeating common mistakes. Attendees will leave on a high note, with a photo show of projects that take hardscaping and masonry to the next level. “By doing this, we have a profound ability to change people lives and make the world a better place,” says Wood. “We need to get people out of doors. If we don’t get people excited about being out of doors, who will?”

Excellence In Landscape

A Safe Haven Commercial Landscape Maintenance Wacker Drive Planters and Medians

Black Creek Canyon, Inc. Specialty Element Homer Glen

A Safe Haven Commercial Landscape Maintenance Michigan Avenue — Chicago’s Cultural Mile

The Brickman Group, Ltd. Residential Landscape Construction Private Residence — Arlington Heights

Acres Group Residential Landscape Construction Grand Haven Homeowners Association 18

C. B. Conlin Landscapes, Inc. Residential Landscape Construction The Private Residence The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Gold Awards 2015

Clarence Davids & Company Special Event Your Style, Your Garden

Hinsdale Nurseries, Inc. Residential Landscape Maintenance A Park-Like Landscape

Greenhaven Landscapes, Inc. Residential Landscape Construction A Home to Showcase

James Martin Associates, Inc. Residential Landscape Construction Grand Estate

Hinsdale Nurseries, Inc. Residential Landscape Construction A Grand Entrance

James Martin Associates, Inc. Residential Landscape Construction Lush Elegance The Landscape Contractor March 2015


Gold Awards 2015

Moore Landscapes, Inc. Commercial Landscape Maintenance Harbor Point

Pizzo & Assocaites, Ltd. Commercial Landscape Maintenance Village of Montgomery: Native Landscape & Water Quality

Night Light, Inc. Specialty Element A Dusk Refuge

Premier Landscape Contractor, Inc. Residential Landscape Construction Winnetka Residence

Night Light, Inc. Specialty Element A Shadowy Sensation

Reflections Water Light Stone Special Event Growing Up Green


The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Silver Awards 2015

Acres Group Commercial Landscape Maintenance Edgewater by Del Webb

Grant and Power Landscaping, Inc. Residential Landscape Maintenance A Tale of Two Gardens

Architectural Gardens, Inc. Residential Landscape Construction English Tudor Gem

Moore Landscapes, Inc. Commercial Landscape Maintenance President’s Plaza

The Brickman Group, Ltd. Residential Landscape Construction Private Residence — Barrington

Moore Landscapes, Inc. Residential Landscape Maintenance The Town of Fort Sheridan The Landscape Contractor March 2015


Silver Awards 2015

Moore Landscapes, Inc. Commercial Landscape Maintenance W.W. Grainger

Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. Ecolgoical Planting Lakeside Villas

Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. Residential Landscape Maintenance Brookforest Homeowners Association

Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. Ecolgoical Planting Lakewood Falls Community Association

Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. Residential Landscape Maintenance Danada Woods Homeowners Association 22

Premier Landscape Contractor, Inc. Residential Landscape Construction Hinsdale Residence The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Merit Awards 2015

Black Creek Canyon, Inc. Specialty Element Palos Park

The Brickman Group, Ltd. Commercial Landscape Maintenance Schaumburg Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center

Black Creek Canyon, Inc. Specialty Element St. Charles

Dutch Barn Landscaping Specialty Element Manteno Memorial Park

The Brickman Group, Ltd. Multifamily Landscape Construction Estates of Inverness Ridge Community

Greenlawn Landscaping, Inc. Residential Landscape Construction Locus, Urbs in Horto The Landscape Contractor March 2015


Merit Awards 2015

Moore Landscapes, Inc. Commercial Landscape Maintenance Northwestern Medicine


Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. Commercial Landscape Maintenance Lemont Woodland Sanctuary & Community Center

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. Commercial Landscape Maintenance Wight & Company

Garden Speak — Practical Plant Evaluations

Geums: Make mine spicy

Editor’s note— Richard Hawke of the Chicago Botanic Garden offers his insight into some new geraniums worthy of your consideration. Hawke was also a speaker at iLandscape 2015. By Patrice Peltier

For years,

Chicago Botanic Garden Plant Evaluation Manager and Associate Scientist Richard Hawke wondered why geums were so underused in the landscape. Was their hot palette of fiery reds, oranges and yellows simply overwhelming to winter-weary northern gardeners so early in the growing season? Perhaps it was more likely that too few people are familiar with this group of long-blooming, low-maintenance plants. In fact, Hawke, himself, admits he knew little about these plants before he began trialing them in 2007. (See sidebar on page 28 for more information about geums.) Nine years and 52 species and cultivars later, the evaluations continue. So far, 11 geums have received the trial’s

Geum ‘Borisii’ 26

top rating of four stars based on their ornamental qualifies, cultural adaptability and pest resistance. G. ‘Borisii’ is a classic geum with dark orange, single flowers from early spring to early summer and intermittently into fall. It grows18 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Although ‘Borisii’ and the semi-double flowered ‘Dolly North’, are among the first orange-flowered geums to blossom in spring, Hawke’s absolute favorite orange-flowered geum is ‘Starker’s Magnificum’. Blooming a bit later, from late spring to midsummer, ‘Starkers Magnificum’ got Hawke’s attention with its 2-inch blooms, but it earned his admiration for its clean foliage. “’Starkers Magnificum’ is a robust, mounding plant with leaves that stay a lush green even during the hottest days of summer. Its foliage never burned or bronzed in our trial as some geums do in full sun,” he reports. G. ‘Cherry Cordial’ is one of the trial’s longest-blooming geums, offering its orangey red single, nodding flowers freely from midspring to midsummer. “The blossoms are capped with a reddish purple calyx, which makes them exceptionally showy,” Hawke says.

G. ‘Flames of Passion’ has semidouble, upward-facing, medium, red flowers from early spring to early summer. “There’s no bashfulness with this plant,” Hawke warns. G. ‘Diane’ won everyone over after only two years in the trial, Hawke says. Its golden yellow, two-inch flowers are borne on tall, wiry stems. “’Diane’ comes on strong with bold flowers blanketing bushy plants from midspring to early summer,” Hawke says. ‘Diane’ reblooms sporadically through the rest of the season. G. ‘Freuerball’ (‘Fireball’) has nearly two-inch wide, semi-double yellow-orange flowers from midspring to early summer. “‘Freuerball’ is not a new kid on the block but holds its own due to a strong habit, lush foliage, and dramatic floral show,” Hawke says. G. triflorum, a North American native commonly known as prairie smoke, is an exception to Hawke’s notion of geums as hot-colored plants. Its nodding flowers have creamy white petals capped with rosy pink sepals from early spring to midsummer. As the seeds mature, they develop feathery silvery-pink tails that look like puffs of smoke floating above the plants.

Geum ‘Starkers Magnificum’ The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Geum ‘Cherry Cordial’

Geum ‘Sangria’

Geum ‘Flames of Passion’

Geum ‘Diane’

Geum ‘Freuerball’

Geum triflorum

Hawke notes that the ferny basal foliage remains attractive as long as the plant’s penchant for moist soil is met. However, he says that despite the plant’s preference for moist soils, G. triflorum is growing well on the botanic garden’s green roof. “It is flourishing there—a testament to its toughness,” he says. Perhaps it is geums’ tropical colors that inspire names reminiscent of adult beverages associated with sultry climates. Whatever the reason, the trials’ list of top perform-

ers reads like a cocktail menu. ‘Sangria’, for instance, has scarlet, semi-double flowers that rise almost two feet above the foliage starting in late spring and often lasting the entire summer. “‘Sangria’, in my eyes, is the quintessential geum,” Hawke says. “Its flower color isn’t just hot—it’s scorching.” (continued on page 28)

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


Garden Speak — Practical Plant Evaluations (continued from page 27) ‘Fuzzy Navel’ is heavily laden with nodding, yellow, semi-double, bright yellow flowers from midspring into midsummer. “The flowers are on the small side but they make up for it in quantity—proof that bigger isn’t always better,” Hawke says. Geum ‘Fuzzy Navel’


‘Mai Tai’, bred by Brent Horvath at Intrinsic Perennial Garden, has a more muted color. Its outward facing, single to semi-double flowers open a muted red, fading to apricot with prominent burgundy sepals and flower stems. “’Mai Tai’ might be the cultivar that finally draws color conscious gardeners to geums,” Hawke predicts.

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Geum ‘Mai Tai’

Geum basics · Geums generally prefer moist, well-drained soils in light shade to full sun. In full sun gardens, geums need ample moisture. They prefer afternoon shade. They do not like wet winter soils. · Geums have rosettes of hairy, green foliage. Aside from that, foliage is highly variable between species and cultivars. Foliage mounds can range from 8-12” tall without flowering stems.

vigorously for at least four years without being divided. Some plants remained robust even when grown under less than optimal conditions, including hot afternoon sun. · Geums reseed freely. To discourage this, Hawke recommends deadheading geums. This practice also encourages reblooming into late summer and maintains a tidy appearance, he says.

· Geums are generally thought of as being shortlived plants that require frequent division to remain healthy. In the Chicago Botanic Garden trial, this proved true of G. chiloense and G. coccineum which rarely overwintered. However, some species and cultivars in the trial grew

Midwest Trading, Inc

More complete information on the geum trial at Chicago Botanic Garden can be found at


We carry a variety of quality products including: • Nursery & Greenhouse Media • Nursery Containers • VersaQuonset Greenhouses and coverings • Landscape Soils & Amendments • Premium Landscape Mulches • Mushroom Compost • Green Roof Garden Media • Water Gardening products 630-365-1990 The Landscape Contractor March 2015


COVER STORY — Anatomy of an Award Winning Project

A Dusk Refuge Night Light, Inc. Specialty Element By Patrice Peltier


Dean MacMorris’s goal is to create landscape lighting schemes that are as natural as possible, he may have outdone Mother Nature herself in his ILCA Gold Award-winning project, “A Dusk Refuge”. Apparently, the panel of ILCA Award judges agreed. They gave “A Dusk Refuge” the highest points of any entry, earning it the prestigious Judges Award. Co-owner of Night Light, Inc., MacMorris’s cutting-edge use of LED strip lighting and landscape lighting on this property heightens nighttime drama, while careful planning and coordination among the contractors involved allowed the hardscape to include stunning special effects. “The lighting so greatly enhances the outdoor space that any activity illuminated in that way will take on much more drama than your normal, task-lit space,” wrote Judge Joseph Tuttle of Borst Landscape & Design in Allendale, NJ. “You could not help but find time at night to go out and enjoy this often unconsidered garden element. Really nice!” MacMorris’s involvement started with a chance encounter with a former colleague, 30

Highland Park landscape architect Michael Norpell. At the time, Norpell was in the early stages of designing an outdoor renovation that would require a sophisticated lighting scheme. “Michael’s vision was very creative, and he realized it was going to take a collaborative effort in order to achieve the desired end result,” MacMorris recalls. What clients Geoff and Wendy Ellis had in mind was a landscape that complimented the modern, geometric form of their California contemporary house and would take advantage of the home’s many large windows to seamlessly mesh indoor and outdoor living spaces for use during the day and at night. The project included renovating an existing swimming pool, relocating the spa, removing the pool deck, creating new lounging and seating areas, and adding a new outdoor dining area and outdoor kitchen. Done in two phases—the front yard and pool in 2013 and the deck and outdoor kitchen in 2014—when the planning is factored in, the project represents a three-year commitment for Night Light. Although the homeowners—who were recent arrivals from Charlotte, North Carolina (continued on page 34)

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


Anatomy of an Award Winning Project (continued from page 30) at the time—were pleased to have purchased a home with an in-ground pool, they thought the pool left a lot to be desired. “Years of neglect from the previous home owner left the mechanics failing and the pool deck cracking,” Norpell explains. “The overall look was 1970s Holiday Inn. “I created a budget-friendly design that incorporated the existing shell of the pool,” he continued. To mask an area that had formerly been an indoor/outdoor swim flap, Norpell designed a bridge. “I wanted to use light to create this feeling


of thick concrete pads levitating over the pool deck and a wooden plank bridge hovering above the water.” Before the project began, Norpell called together all the players involved— MacMorris, a pool contractor, concrete contractor, stone mason, skilled carpenter, landscape contractor and home automation contractor--for a series of onsite meetings to address the special needs and concerns of each. To show their appreciation for the forethought being given to their project, the clients provided lunch for the meetings. During these planning meetings,

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Night Light provided input regarding power and electrical runs, incorporating underground sleeving with the concrete work and carpentry, and determining structural mounts for fixtures and wires. “Without this coordination among the designers and installers, the flawless effect of the ‘floating’ bridge over the pool and the lighting of the spa spillover would not have been possible,” MacMorris explains. “Having this understanding of each other’s on-site requirements enabled seamless scheduling and construction even though the project was completed in phases.”

“Dean and I worked with Creative Concrete to custom cast LED lighting within the concrete pads and integrate the same LED lighting within the bridge structure created by Unique Deck Builders,” Norpell explains. “Dean, the Night Light crew and other team members surpassed the vision in my mind when I was designing this project. The lighting makes the space magical in the evening.” MacMorris agrees. “The bridge looks as if it’s held up by light alone,” he says. “It gives a very cool West Coast vibe,” Client Wendy Ellis says. (continued on page 36)

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


Anatomy of an Award Winning Project (continued from page 35) The strip lighting—used around the spa and the bridge—presented one of the project’s challenges for MacMorris. “This is a new product that requires close attention to size, light color and placement, so we needed to spend much more time in design, product ordering and project management,” he explains. In addition to the strip lighting, ground-mounted path lights make it easy to move around the pool and patio at night, aided by moon-lighting fixtures hidden high in the tree canopy. The moonlighting has another function. It also cast shadows and leaf patterns that soften the walls of the home, the bluestone paving and even the lawn areas. “The lighting scheme heightens a sense of depth and rhythm using light and shadow,” MacMorris explains. Under the spa’s poured-in-place concrete coping, MacMorris specified a groove be placed to conceal strip lighting. The warm-toned, LED lighting outlines


the coping and the spillway as well as highlighting the texture of the stonework. The light spills onto the adjacent steps for safety. Elsewhere, accent lights on key plants create a sense of depth and enhance the vibrancy of the plant material. During the second phase of the backyard project, the existing deck was replaced with an outdoor kitchen and dining terrace easily accessed by a new sliding door to the inside dining area. Again, MacMorris worked with the other contractors during the planning phase so that lighting could be built into the countertop and seating areas as well as the landscape to make the area equally enjoyable during daylight and night time. In the front, Norpell’s goal was to welcome guests and create an interesting view from inside the house. “Exterior lighting was an integral part of achieving that goal,” MacMorris notes. Once again, he used moonlighting to provide even illumination across the ground surface to help guests distinguish parking areas

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

and the entrance walkway. Combined with accent lights and path lights the comprehensive lighting scheme gives the home a sense of context and drama at night. MacMorris says Night Light strives to create its natural effects with as few light fixtures as possible. “More fixtures means more sources of glare. We try to do the job so you don’t see the source of the light, just the effects of the light. People like it,” MacMorris explains. To achieve an effect that looks like Mother Nature planned it that way, MacMorris uses a range of light across the warm-cool spectrum. “Night Light uses warm light in the 3,200 K range for all architectural and manmade elements. We use clear or white light in the 4,500 K range for plant material to highlight the plant’s natural lush color in the evening, and cool light in the 5,500 K range for all moonlighting in order to reflect the natural color of moonlight,” MacMorris explains. “Moonlight is nothing like sunlight. It’s much cooler, bluer,” he explains.

“Moonlight is really the sun shining from somewhere on the other side of the globe through the atmosphere to the moon and then reflected again through the atmosphere onto our landscapes. “The challenge is the coordination and placement of the LED fixtures to create a pleasing and natural appearance,” he says. “What most landscape or lighting companies would do is use the same light color throughout the landscape. It is certainly easier and possibly cheaper to pick all warm light than it is to create something more beautiful on every project.” Night Light also makes use of existing landscape where possible to create natural-looking effects. “We look at what trees are available, where are they located. We look at what we want to light, and then we ask, ‘What can we use to paint shadows and light where we need them,’” MacMorris explains. For instance, the company made use of a mature Norway maple in the front

yard. With only two fixtures placed 35 feet up in the tree, Night Light created moonlight that illumines the driveway and front walk and even paints a solid wall with leafy patterns. Had the tree in front been a locust or an oak, MacMorris might have used different fixtures or placed them differently. “You have to know the trees, what their growth habits are and how their leaves are shaped. It all makes a difference,” he says. “Dean, having a background as a landscape architect, brings a knowledge that most lighting designers do not have… the knowledge of plants,” Norpell notes. “Dean understands landscape planting plans and develops a lighting design knowing how those plantings will mature.” Obviously, when Night Light is involved, creating a lighting scheme is about more than illuminating walkways and uplighting a few trees. “A comprehensive lighting approach combines moonlighting and accent lights to build a dynamic landscape portrait,”

MacMorris says. “Skillful positioning, aiming, fixture selection and varied levels of intensity create a unique synergy.” Creating and installing a sophisticated lighting scheme takes a team of experts. MacMorris credits his business partner, Mitch Beiser, with being the “LED strip lighting guru” who master-minded that aspect of the project. Construction Supervisor Billy Oliver worked out details such as wiring runs, voltage, and controls. “It’s a nightmare, and he does it in his sleep,” MacMorris says. “He’s an electrical magician.” The Night Light team also includes technicians, some of whom developed their climbing skills as arborists first. “You need someone who can climb up a tree without damaging it,” MacMorris explains. The job also requires people who can read a plan that says “20SQ 55L 35’ rt side” and know how to place that fixture so that its light hits a designated spot on the plan. (continued on page 38)

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


Anatomy of an Award Winning Project (continued from page 37) It’s complex, but Night Light strives to make it look simple when talking to clients. Because most of the company’s business comes through referrals, “we come in as the experts in people’s minds,” MacMorris explains. He meets with clients to find out their needs and preferences, but he doesn’t talk to them about the specifics of path lighting, uplighting or moonlighting. “We don’t normally ask them what they want, because what people want is a natural look,” MacMorris explains. “We just do what we do, and they love it. They don’t know why, but they love it.” Doing the project in phases over several years created some challenges both technically and schedule-wise. “We were back and forth to that site 10 or 12 times,” MacMorris recalls. “We’d do a portion of the job so the other contractors could do their jobs. You can’t just go in and have everything ready for you, do your work and get out, but we’re used to that. You can’t get



worked up about it. You plan for it, and make sure you get paid accordingly.” One reason Night Light visited the site so many times was MacMorris’s strong desire to be involved in the project early on. This was something he discussed with Norpell before they even talked about a specific project. “We can’t come in at the end and create the magic because by then there might be obstacles put there earlier in the project,” MacMorris explains. ”Michael got it right away.” In fact, it seems that every contractor on the team “got it” and enjoyed the process. “It’s so great to be involved in a team of people who all want to get it right,” MacMorris says. “It was a great collaboration of people who are all into the whole landscape. It was a blast to work on it.” “Dean is not afraid to do something different and brings his knowledge of lighting to my out-of-the-norm concepts,” Norpell says. “I have never heard ‘that cannot be done’ from Night Light.” The clients say Night Light’s

comprehensive lighting scheme exceeded their expectations and gets rave reviews from everyone who experiences it. “Do other people notice our lighting?” Wendy Ellis asks rhetorically. “It would be impossible to ignore it! It shines down from our hot tub, from our pool bridge and from our deck bar. It also shows off the trees and landscape. You can see the lighting from the kitchen full of windows. It would be hard to miss it. Everyone compliments it. “We would recommend Night Light without hesitation,” Ellis continues. “Their attention to detail and carefulness have made our house stand out.” Both Norpell and MacMorris are pleased with the process and proud of the results. As bonuses, they have become friends with the clients and has worked on several more projects together. “It’s amazing that all this resulted from a chance meeting with Michael,” MacMorris says. Apparently, moonlight isn’t the only thing that works magic.

Over 300 Varieties of Perennials Over 550 Acres of Nursery Stock Over 250 Varieties of Trees & Shrubs

Everything you need for your clients’ landscaping project.


Trees, Ornamentals, Evergreens, Shrubs, Annuals, Perennials, Vines, & Groundcover

Willowbrook Yard - 7200 S. Madison, Willowbrook, IL 60527 | Phone: 630-323-1411 Little Rock Farm - 2353 Creek Road, Plano, IL 60545 | Phone: 630-552-8314



The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Enfoque: Sección en Español

Por Meta L. Levin “Queremos educar a las personas, para que toda la industria del paisajismo mejore el tipo de trabajo que realiza”, afirma Jon Hirsh, Jefe de Operaciones de Krugel Cobbles, uno de los organizadores y presentadores del segundo programa anual, ILCA Hardscape Illinois, que se llevará a cabo de 8:30 a.m. a 3 p.m., el 26 de marzo de 2015, en el Lindner Conference Center, Lombard, IL. Diseñado para que los miembros de la industria del paisajismo comprendan mejor cómo trabajar con piedras naturales y hacer los presupuestos y pedidos correspondientes, el programa cubrirá todo desde la terminología adecuada hasta el diseño y la instalación. “Consideramos que los elementos sólidos con piedra natural constituyen un verdadero nicho que no ha sido abordado desde el ángulo de la educación”, afirma Kevin Vancina, Presidente de ILCA, quien, junto con Jeff True, dieron inicio al programa el año pasado. Intuitivamente, la Junta Directiva de ILCA 40

comprendió que existía la demanda, pero nadie estaba preparado para la respuesta abrumadora al primer programa en 2014. “Llenamos el local”, afirma Vancina. Los asistentes tenían una amplia variedad de antecedentes y representaban diferentes áreas de experiencia y conocimiento. Algunos nunca habían trabajado con piedra natural y otros estaban bien familiarizados con ella y sus propiedades. “Había todos los niveles de experiencia”, afirma Scott Grams, Director Ejecutivo de ILCA.

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Utilizando lo aprendido el año pasado, los organizadores lograron configurar un programa mejor orientado este año. Para facilitar la educación de los asistentes, Dan Woods, entusiasta y experto en piedras naturales, uno de los presentadores de Hardscape Illinois y representante de ventas externas de Lurvey Landscape Supply, está coordinando un esfuerzo para elaborar un glosario de términos, el cual será distribuido entre los participantes desde el momento en que se registren hasta el inicio del programa. “Servirá como una hoja de referencia”, afirma Woods. “Las personas lo pueden estudiar antes del programa como una ayuda para comprender mejor la discusión”. También pueden guardarlo para referencia futura cuando trabajen con canteras y otros elementos. También servirá como una de las lecciones importantes que los presentadores desean que los asistentes se lleven a casa: cuando trabajen con canteras, los distribuidores y otras personas, es importante comunicarse con precisión y usar la terminología correcta. “Hay un lenguaje para todo”, afirma.

El programa también incluirá algunas historias de horror. Los presentadores el año pasado notaron que muchas de las preguntas se referían a advertencias sobre lo que podía salir mal, por lo que los organizadores se aseguraron de incluir ese tipo de advertencias, así como qué hacer si hubiese un fallo en el programa. “Es difícil trabajar con los elementos sólidos”, afirma Grams. “Es importante comprender los materiales y sus propiedades”. También deseaban saber lo que les espera. Si bien el comité no quería que Hardscape Illinois se convirtiera en una feria comercial, decidieron que era importante dar a los patrocinadores la oportunidad de presentar sus productos y servicios como una forma de informar a los participantes lo que está disponibles.

Para hacerlo más valioso, la compleción exitosa del programa vale 5.5 créditos de educación continua para arquitectos paisajistas. Hardscape Illinois está diseñado para llevar a los asistentes, paso a paso, por el mundo de la piedra natural, comenzando con un recorrido con fotografías de proyectos exclusivos de piedra natural. Una vez que los asistentes hayan visto lo que se puede hacer, los patrocinadores del evento podrán presentarse y hablar sobre sus respectivas compañías y sus nuevos productos y materiales. Wood seguirá con “Materiales de piedra natural 101”, anunciado como un “curso intensivo” en materiales y tipos de piedras naturales, incluyendo

travertino, mármol, caliza, arenisca, cuarcita, argilita, pizarra, pórfido, basalto, granito, arcilla y adoquines. Esta introducción servirá de base para el desarrollo de las actividades del resto del día. Hirsh llevará a los asistentes a través de una “Preparación de sitio para trabajo plano”, cubriendo los elementos fundamentales de presupuestación, planificación y ejecución de la preparación de la base de un proyecto de elementos sólidos. Incluirá un adelanto sobre los peligros de la pre-excavación para ayudar a los asistentes a evitar retrasos costosos. También hablará sobre la adecuación de materiales y equipos, cómo elaborar un plan para desechos y escombros, cuándo usar agregados, multas y otros asuntos conexos, y

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


Enfoque: Sección en Español una precaución acerca de cómo las condiciones meteorológicas pueden impactar un trabajo con elementos sólidos. Wood regresará con “Materiales dimensionales para aplicaciones horizontales/trabajo plano”, que tratará sobre las propiedades de las populares piedra caliza y piedra caliza azul, así como travertino, mármol, arenisca, cuarcita, pizarra, basalto y granito. Hirsh guiará a los asistentes por la “Metodología para construcción de trabajo plano usando piedra dimensional”, explicando metodologías de construcción, cubriendo la preparación de la base, técnicas de construcción y otros factores. El siguiente tema será “Materiales irregulares de laja para aplicaciones horizontales/trabajo plano”, con Greg Hirsh y Heather Frey de Hirsh Brick and Stone y Jim Larson de Capital Stoneworks. Los tres abarcarán construcción, técnicas y patrones de corte para piedras calizas y piedras calizas azules irregulares, así como arenisca,


cuarcita, pizarra, argilita y granito. La siguiente sesión tratará sobre “Adoquines de barro, adoquines de piedra natural y encintado (bordillo)”, a cargo de Marc Caifano de Lurvey Landscape and Supply y Paul Laiblin de Scott Byron & Co. Hablarán sobre adoquines de barro cortados con alambre, prensados, moldeados, de borde recto, biselados, con salientes o sin salientes, pulidos y alisados, recuperados y de diferentes tamaños. La segunda mitad de la sesión se concentrará en guijarros, adoquines y encintado (bordillo), piedras calizas aserradas, partidas y pulidas y alisadas, piedras calizas azules pulidas y alisadas y térmicas y adoquines de granito aserrados, partidos y térmicos. Pasando al ámbito hogareño, Laiblin hablará sobre “Rocas grandes, afloramientos de rocas naturales y piedras para muros y paredes”, cubriendo una variedad de materiales de construcción para proyectos de construcción con piedra natural, incluyendo examen de materiales para piedras secas para muros y paredes, escaleras de losa,

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

afloramientos de roca natural, rocas y elementos acuáticos. Hablará sobre el uso debido de las piedras no canteadas, piedras no canteadas recuperadas, piedras de extracción de atributos aleatorios vs. según especificaciones, piedra caliza, granito y otros materiales. Esto incluirá una explicación de cómo tirar de rocas en eslingas, así como el uso mini-cargadores de dirección deslizante y deslizadores y, especialmente, ejemplos de cómo evitar la repetición de errores comunes. Los asistentes regresarán a casa entusiasmados con una exposición de fotografías de proyectos que llevan los elementos sólidos de paisajismo al siguiente nivel. “Esto nos permite la habilidad de cambiar las vidas de las personas y hacer del mundo un mejor lugar para vivir”, afirma Wood. “Tenemos que hacer que la gente salga. Si no entusiasmamos a las personas a realizar actividades al aire libre, ¿quién lo hará?”

ILCA Winter Events

Digital Design 2015— Google SketchUp Workshop On January 21-22

, 2015 ILCA hosted nationally recognized expert, trainer, and author Daniel Tal for a 2-day workshop on learning how to use the 3D modeling software SketchUp. This workshop was conducted in a handson computer lab setting. The course taught participantss to model a simple site plan and structure. The class began with SketchUp basics and reviewed important tools and approaches to generating simple to complex models. Day two introduced intermediate and advanced SketchUp techniques. Participants received take-away models that can be used on their own to work with SketchUp. On day two the instructor demonstrated more complex modeling concepts including working with terrain and integrating SketchUp with CAD programs. The class was limited to a maximum of 20 students per day and was sold out for both. It was held at the Northern Illinois University campus in Hoffman Estates


The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Hands-on instructors included: Daniel Tal, leader (below; Angelo Zielinski (top left); and Jason Lundberg (bottom left).

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


ILCA Winter Events

ILCA Hosts— 2015 Foremanship Seminar Mastering Foremanship The two-day event

was held February 5-6, 2015 at the Fox Run Golf Links Elk Grove Village. The class was presented by long-time ILCA member Professor Armando A. Actis. Production and maintenance landscape foremen have unique needs as they have to wear two hats: a worker and a leader. Foremen have to walk the fine line in working side by side with the employee and having to direct, motivate and critique at the same time. Managing former peers and friends can be especially difficult, dealing with problems and obstacles can take skills that only can be developed by stepping out of the work environment for a few days, learning best practices, applying it in a learning environment through role play, and then going back and applying it on the job. In this dynamic seminar you learn how to more effectively handle tight deadlines, tight margins and increase customer satisfaction. Also, participants will be energized when they see the class was prepared and designed specifically to meet their unique needs and not just another cookie cutter seminar.


Key components of the program included— • The central role of the “worker-leader” • How to properly supervise friends, peers, and former equals • How to effectively communicate with your boss and superiors • To generate 100 percent accountability from your team • How to motivate and delegate at the same time • To require accountability for all work (both bad or good) • How to implement and follow daily & weekly work schedules • How his team can produce quality work that stays within the budget and is completed on time • The effectiveness of the work team • How to deal with challenges and personal problems that occur outside the workplace that impact productivity • To manage problem behavior • How to produce client focused work using a moral compass • To understand that mannerisms and values are as important as technical abilities

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

About the Instructor — Professor Armando A. Actis Professor Actis provides inside sales management & knowledge, public relation, training and his education experience with the landscaping & construction industry at Rendel’s Inc. He is Sales Department, Training & Project Manger at the Joliet Branch. He also provides end user operation, application and maintenance training. He trains anyone from the casual user to the professionals in OSHA, safe & correct usage of landscaping and construction equipment. He is also Equipment Manager for ILCA’s (Illinois Landscaping & Construction Association) CLT section & judge for the Certified Landscaping Technician final exams at Joliet Junior College. His education credentials include a New Jersey Teaching Certificate, B.A. in English, minor in Spanish, M. A. in Education and an Honorary Doctorate from the Universidad de Buenos. Aires, where he taught English. He presently teaches English & Spanish at College of Dupage. Additionally he is a Motorcycle Instructor for Northern Illinois University and University of Illinois. His mechanical credential includes riding/repairing 2/4-cycle motorcycles since he was 9, racing them in motor cross races for years and building/repairing Harley-Davidson engines for over 30 years. He has been using Stihl chain saws since he was 15 and as a manager for a New Jersey construction company he taught OSHA Safety Usage & technical courses. He has taught at high school and college levels and in multinational companies. While in South America he worked for Chemical Bank and Mobil Oil and his responsibilities included organizing/supervising English, Spanish, computer classes and teachers; updating foreign staff on economy, finance and political matters in South America and providing direct assistance to country managers.

711 S Material Road, Romeoville, IL 800-762-5738 * 815-836-0086


18715 Route 84 N * Cordova, IL 800-736-1356 * 309-654-2261

Your native plant nursery Bioswales • Basins • Shorelines • Stormwater Phone 608.223.3571

Fax 608.884.4640

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


ILCA Business Library

14 Actionable tactics to help you create “A Pollyanna outlook just isn’t enough to

sustain us through life’s slings and arrows, whether they come in the form of fender benders, annoying colleagues, mortgage payments, a lingering flu bug, or something more serious,” says Jon Gordon, author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy, “It isn’t enough to want a positive attitude. To develop and sustain one throughout adversity and challenges, you have to cultivate habits that lead to resilience and mental toughness.” The best news, says Gordon, is that positivity isn’t just another feel-good buzzword. It has the power to infuse your life with purpose, creativity, accomplishment, and energy. When you live your life with positive energy, he says, you attract positive opportunities and people. Here, Gordon shares real-life positivity tactics you can put into practice throughout 2015 — and beyond.

cess is impossible, says Gordon, or you can trust that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible. Yes, this really is a choice you make for yourself every day. Zoom focus Each day when you wake up in the morning ask, What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire? Then tune out all the distractions and focus on these actions. “Often, we allow our attention to be captured by each new shiny ball that rolls by, or by each minor fire that needs to be put out, and we end up channeling our time and energy toward tasks with smaller rewards,” Gordon notes.

Watch where you’re directing your energy. We all have a finite amount of energy. Don’t waste yours on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts, or things you cannot control. “Instead, invest your energy in your purpose, people, and the positive present moment,” Gordon suggests. Focus on “Get to” vs. “Have to.” Each day, focus on what you ILCA Buyers Guide adlistener 9_2014_Ad 9/10/2014 Become a selective andProof-2.qxd focus on the positive1:57 PM Page 1 get to do, not what you have to do. For instance, think, I get to go You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that sucto a job that utilizes my talent and strengths and that is full of opportunities, instead of, Ugh — I have to go to work today. “Life is a gift, not an obligation,” Gordon says. “This may seem like an insignificant mental shift, but it will have a noticeable impact on your happiness and satisfaction.”

Premium Hardwood Mulch Classic Mulch Color Enhanced Mulches Southern Shredded Bark Safe T Mat Engineered Wood Fiber (Playground Mulch) • Screened Compost

• • • • •

• • • • • •

Ne Bagg w! ed Bulk and Rock Mushroom S alt Compost Sand & Gravel Top Soil Leaf Mulch Pine Fines Planting Bed Mix

Contract Grinding and Screening • Volume Discounts Pick-up or Delivery Available


21457 Milwaukee Avenue • Deerfield 3100 North Skokie Highway • Lake Bluff 48

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Talk to yourself instead of listening to yourself We all know what it’s like for our fears, worries, and what-ifs to completely hijack our minds. These negative trains of thought can hold us back, wreck our self-esteem, and impact our health in a very real way. The good news is, you have the power to change the conversation happening inside your head. “Instead of listening to your complaints, fears, and doubts, talk to yourself and feed your mind with the words and encouragement you need to keep moving forward,” Gordon suggests. Choose faith instead of fear Faith turns adversities and dead-ends into detours to a better outcome than you thought possible, Gordon points out. “That’s not to say you’ll never feel fear — you will,” he comments. “You can use it as a tool to make smart decisions and to manage risk. Just don’t use it as an excuse to quit. Believe that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences.”

a more positive life Don’t chase dollars or success Decide to make a difference and build meaningful relationships, and success — specifically, lasting, meaningful success — will find you.

Remember, there’s no such thing as an overnight success This is easy to forget in a world that’s increasingly built around instant gratification. (Think overnight shipping, fast food, video streaming, and more.) “While more and more things are available to us the moment we want them, I don’t think personal and professional success will ever be on that list,” Gordon says. “Don’t forget that there’s no substitute for hard work.”

Take a morning walk of gratitude Weather permitting, wake up your body and mind by taking what Gordon calls a “Thank-You Walk” each morning. As you walk, challenge yourself to list things you’re grateful for: blessings in your life, events you’re looking forward to that day, and opportunities that have come your way. “Even a five-minute walk around the block will help create a fertile mind ready for success, but if you have the time for a longer stroll, the physical and mental benefits will be even greater.

Implement the “No Complaining Rule” Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Complaints are full of negative energy and fail to enhance our lives in any way. They don’t offer strategies, solutions, ideas, or encouragement. “If you are complaining, you’re not leading,” Gordon says. Read more books than you did in 2014 The more you feed your mind, the stronger and more agile it grows. The more ideas and viewpoints you consider, the more innovative and empathetic you’ll be. “Focus on reading books that help you learn, that inspire you, and that push you to consider life from new, unexplored angles,” Gordon advises.

Switch up your portion sizes Make your first meal the biggest and your last meal the smallest. After all, you need the most fuel at the beginning of the day! “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card,” Gordon suggests. Get more sleep “You can’t replace sleep with a double latte,” Gordon notes. “When you’re well rested, your brain, body, attitude, and relationships will all operate at higher levels.” Tap into the three greatest success strategies of all: love, serve, and care “Experience has taught me that these strategies are every bit as valuable as those taught in top business schools,” Gordon states. “Build your life and career around them, and never forget that people and relationships are at the heart of everything we do in every aspect of life. When you love, serve, and care about those around you, you’ll attract greater success, and you’ll stand out in a world where most people don’t love, serve, or care.” Focus on your purpose every day Remember why you do what you do. Think about your purpose and the legacy you want to leave. Try to distill this idea down as much as possible—perhaps even into one word that’s clear and easy to remember. “We don’t get burned out because of what we do,” Gordon observes. “We get burned out because we forget why we do it.”

We’re Bartlett Tree Experts, a 100+ year old tree care company with global reach and local roots. Our services include: •

Tree Pruning

Plant Health Diagnostics

Fertilization & Soil Care Insect & Disease Management


Call 877.BARTLETT (877.227.8538) or visit BARTLETT.COM


The Landscape Contractor March 2015


NEW MEMBERS — CONTRACTOR MEMBERS D & J Landscape Inc. 22803 W. Renwick Road Plainfield, IL 60544 Phone: (815)254-3000 Lawn Care by Walter, Inc. PO Box 5037 Rockford, IL 61125 Phone: (815)332-9544 Fax: (815)332-7028 A total site management company offering landscape design and installation, lawn care, commercial/residential/public site maintenance, patios, retaining walls, water features, seasonal plantings, and more. Magic Irrigation, Inc. 7099 Santa Fe Drive, Unit I Hodgkins, IL 60525 Phone: (708)352-7844 Fax: (708)469-1666 Specializing in many aspects of yard beautification, from lawn sprinkler installation, maintenance & repair, through professional landscape lighting design services.

New Dimensions Landscaping PO Box 806 Streamwood, IL 60107 Phone: (630)213-9960 Lawn maintenance, Brick patios, brick pathways, brick driveways, fireplaces Installation of shrubs, plants, flowers, sodding, ponds, waterfall, snow plowing Pinnacle Landscaping & Lawn Management, Inc. 1211 Georgias Way New Lenox, IL 60451 Phone: (708)269-8899 Fax: (815)215-8251 Serves both Commercial and Residential accounts. Planter’s Palette Landscaping 28 W 571 Roosevelt Road Winfield, IL 60190-1588 Phone: (630)293-1040 Fax: (630)293-7835

Premier Outdoor Environments, Inc. 205 East Butterfield Road, Suite 272 Elmhurst, IL 60126 Phone: (630)782-5229 Fax: (630)782-1229 A full design, build and maintenance firm handling everything from lawn management, landscaping, hardscaping, water and light features, to plant and tree installation. SUPPLIER MEMBERS Green Industry Resources 118 S. Washington Street Hinsdale, IL 60521 Phone: (847)457-3150 Fax: (630)573-6763 Accounting/Consulting/Taxes, Business Insurance, Life Insurance, Employee Benefits, 401(k), HR Services, Financial Planning, Website Design/Online Marketing, Video Production services, Computer Sales/Service, IT Support, Legal services.

Our plants look great at the nursery but . . . They look even better in your landscapes!

4 Convenient locations to serve you! Hampshire: 847-683-3700 Hanover Park: 847-453-1240 Plainfield: 815-439-7188 Volo: 815-344-0944 50

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Se habla español!

Midwest Salt 1715 East Wilson Street Batavia, IL 60510 Phone: (630)513-7575 Fax: (630)513-8546 Midwest Salt supplies bulk rock salt, packaged ice melt, liquid ice deicer and bulk mulch. GOVERNMENT/NON-PROFIT Des Plaines Park District 1300 Oakwood Avenue Des Plaines, IL 60016 Phone: (847)390-4939 Elawa Farm Foundation 1401 Middlefork Drive Lake Forest, IL 60045 Phone: (847)234-1966 University of Illinois at Chicago 1140 S. Morgan Street, M/C 270 Chicago, IL 60607 Phone: (312)996-2844 Educational facility/university grounds maintenance

The heart of ILCA is our community of members. We turn competitors into colleagues. Altruism is the backbone of Give to Grow. Any ILCA member who refers a new company will allow that new member to receive $100-off their first year of membership. You will not only place that company on a path to be better, but you will put $100 in their pocket. The $100 bonus you are passing along to them pales in comparison to the money lost on poor competition or an inexperienced customer. Any member may refer any other potential member. If you have a company in mind you want to Give to Grow, they can bo to and complete the instructions. Together, ILCA gives to grow!

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


Member Profile Midwest Access Solutions

813 Richards Street Joliet, IL 60433-2439 (855) 936-2848 (936-Wemat4U) By Meta Levin

To say that

Midwest Access Solutions provides mats does not begin to describe what it does. Through the mats, they have been involved in protecting the Emerald Bell Dragonfly, helping large equipment roll over a roof, building a temporary bridge so a local utility could prevent storm damaged power lines from failing and shielding the greens and fairways on a private golf course so that construction equipment could get to the clubhouse. It all started with Sterling Lumber in Phoenix, IL, a 49 year old family-owned company, that manufactures access mats and other wood products. In August, 2012, the family began Midwest Access Solutions to rent, deliver, install and remove the mats for contractors and others who needed to protect access and other areas from damage by equipment. “It was small; we only had four employees,” says Joe Tiffany, who does sales for the company. Now, however, they boast 23 employees. “It started, because there was a need for mat services, but we didn’t realized how many different types of uses there would be,” says Mike Zarnott, director of sales and marketing. “We have overcome every challenge put to us.” With the ascension of Charlotte Sterling to the position of CEO, Midwest Access Solutions is poised to become a Women Owned Business Enterprise. As fast as it seems to be growing, there is a steady hand on the throttle. “Controlled growth,” says Midwest Access Solutions’ president, John Capodice. At first the company targeted electric utilities, but also have turned to 52

serving small and medium size contractors, including landscape contractors. “I always feel like we are the best kept secret.” The company went from renting and delivering the various types of mats to providing a full and multi-service offering that involves evaluating the job site and providing a layout of the mats to the customer, as well as installing and removing them at the beginning and the end of each project. Last winter they even sent employees out to some job sites to sweep snow of the mats. “We are capable of doing restoration, but we understand that the landscape contractors can do that themselves,” says Capodice. In Wheaton, a builder was constructing a large apartment complex, but city officials were constantly asking them to clean up the area. Capodice remembers that they situation improved after the company called Midwest Access Solutions. “Their street cleaning costs were cut in half,” he says. More than that, rain had made the area muddy. The mats provided stability for trucks going into and out of the job site. A landscape contractor needed to access a customer’s backyard with heavy equipment necessary to build a patio with an outdoor kitchen without destroying the lawn and plantings. It was Midwest Access’ lightweight composite mats that allowed him to do that. Safety is a big part of the company culture. “It’s our number one priority,” says Tiffany. There is even an onsite safety coordinator to ensure that work complies with a client’s program, insurance requirements, MSDS, OSHA and The Landscape Contractor March 2015

DOT. All employees, including Tiffany and Zarnott, are trained and certified in CPR, OSHA 10 and OSHA 30. Midwest Access Solutions also has an environmental coordinator, who works with clients to insure that environmental damage is eliminated or minimized. They also provide 24/7 emergency services, something that came in handy for a local utility company when a tornado hit the Coal City area, knocking out power lines. “Within four hours we had mobilized to get them onto the site,” says Capodice. Midwest Access Solutions joined ILCA in the spring 2014 and exhibited at Summer Field Day, just a few months later. “This puts us in contact with the landscape contractors,” says Tiffany, who also already has reserved a place for the company at the 2015 iLandscape. “We felt that ILCA was a perfect group to be a part of. We think of them as environmentally conscious, which is a perfect match for us.”

Bulk Mulch Truckloads Direct



Bark •Premium •Economy

$2.00 OFF • Volume Discounts • Some Same Day Deliveries Available • Fast Delivery Throughout Chicagoland • Truckloads Direct • Extended Payment Terms Available * • Over 25 Types of Mulch To Choose! * Upon credit approval

Over 25 Types of Packaged Melters To Choose!

Nationwide Salt Delivery | Same Day Quotes |

Member Profile Koehler Koehler, Inc.

303 E. Main Street St. Charles, IL 60174 (630) 584-5225 Fax: (630) 584-8545 by Meta L. Levin

Anna Koehler

is the third generation of her family to work in the insurance industry and keep the company her grandfather started going. Vince Koehler started what is now Koehler Koehler, Inc. in 1952, working from his house. At the time he concentrated on life insurance and retirement issues. By 1978 his son, Pete, had joined him and during the 1980s the company expanded to include defined benefit plans, employee benefits and self-insurance for smaller businesses. Pete Koehler bought out his father in the mid-1990s, running it with the help of an assistant. Pete Koehler’s daughter, Anna, thought she would go on a different path, earning a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Iowa and initially working as a seasonal park ranger in Glacier National Park. When the season was over, she headed to Denver, CO and found a job in health care administration. It was then that she met her husband and things began to change. Koehler decided to explore the insurance industry and start a career with the family business. They moved to Chicago where she worked in hospital administration, finally moving to Allstate® Financial, where she got training in structured settlements, life insurance and annuities. She brought this knowledge with her to Koehler and Koehler in 2012. “It was right when health care reform began,” she says. “It was all new.” Koehler and her father learned together, working to find ways to help their primarily small business clients navigate the new terrain. With that she saw new 54

opportunities. The Koehlers bought software, allowing them to offer an online “back office,” allowing their business clients to sign in and get help not only with the health care reform issues, but also with other aspects of HR. “We were able to give them tools for HR help,” she says. She also works on marketing for Koehler Koehler and updated the company’s website in order to provide more information and help for its clients. The father-daughter team have supplemented their own limited staff with general agents from Humana, Aetna Health Insurance and others. “It becomes our back office,” she says. And a way to better serve their customers. “There’s not a lot of people like my Dad and me,” says Koehler. “We are there to take care of the smaller companies. They will work directly with us.” In addition to Pete and Anna Koehler, their customers have come to rely on Jean Bab, the company’s office manager, who Koehler calls, “One of the nicest people; she genuinely cares. You can’t train that kind of customer service. It comes from inside her.” Bab, who has worked for the company since 1994, is the kind of person who gets things done, says Koehler. The Koehlers also are committed to and involved in their community. Koehler sits on the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Business Council, as well as the industrial committee. She also is involved with the Fox Valley Chamber of Commerce. They also try to be generous when asked to contribute to fundraisers and other comThe Landscape Contractor March 2015

munity events. This fall Koehler Koehler joined ILCA after working with a client who is a member. They realized that there must be other ILCA members with the same or comparable needs. “We think we can help more groups that have similar issues,” says Koehler. By joining ILCA she believes that they can better learn the needs of member organizations. “Not all insurance companies are serving smaller firms,” she says. “We’re there to serve as advisors and to make sure that we are delivering the best product that the customer can afford.”

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


Classified Ads HELP WANTED




Wingren Landscape, Inc. is an award winning full-service landscape company for both residential and commercial properties. Our outdoor services are virtually limitless and include fullscale landscape design, construction, maintenance, lighting, and irrigation. We are all things outdoors. Founded on a commitment to excellence since 1957. We are seeking experiencedcandidates for the following full time positions:

RYCO Landscaping

Acres Group, one of the top 20 landscape contractors in the nation, has the following open positions. MAINTENANCE PRODUCTION: *MANAGER in Plainfield-Manage multiple crews, equipment and materials during landscape and snow seasons. Assure quality service & customer satisfaction while monitoring job costs & crew safety. Provide ongoing training and development. Fluency w/Spanish highly preferred.* SALES: *ACCOUNT MANAGERS (junior & senior levels) Plainfield & Roselle- Manage a portfolio of accounts in lawn and snow providing high levels of customer service, make horticultural recommendations & sell property enhancements in lawn and ice melt in snow, sell new contracted lawn & snow accounts.* FLEET MAINTENANCE: *MECHANIC in Roselle-Perform preventive maintenance service on all vehicles and equipment to ensure proper working function during both landscape and snow seasons. Repair brake, engine, electrical, fuel, hydraulic, transmission, ignition, computer, air, exhaust, drive line, axle assemblies and all other related systems.* Join our industry leading team! To view full job descriptions and apply online visit us at www. or contact Amy@ 847-487-5071 ***INVENTORY COORDINATOR*** Major objectives of the Inventory Coordinator are to maintain live, accurate inventories of Goodmark Nurseries, South Branch Nurseries, and Prairie Acres Tree Farm. Monitor additions of plant material harvested, purchased and depletions of plant material sold. Scout plant material for quality and assist in labeling. ***INSIDE SALES**** Major objectives of the Inside Sales Representative involve servicing existing customers, developing new sales opportunities, and investigating new revenue streams for Goodmark Nurseries LLC. Will assist other team members in creating marketing and sales opportunities, monitoring accounts receivable and developing new sales tools. Please visit our website and apply online or contact Amy@ 847-487-5071


Residential Architect / Designer This person will be responsible for managing all phases of residential design projects of varying types and sizes from initial client outreach to project managing the job to completion. The position involves design, sales and project management. • B.S. Landscape Architecture or demonstrated experience • Ability to produce high-quality creative designs, estimate and sell jobs. • Intermediate to advanced skill level in Autocad, Sketch Up, Adobe Photoshop, and MS Office • 5 plus years of experience preferred, Licensed in Illinois a plus Residential Superintendent / Project Manager This person will be responsible for field managing all phases of residential design projects of varying types and sizes. • Demonstrated experience managing high end residential jobs and multiple crews • Extensive hardscape construction experience • Plant identification and layout • Bi-lingual a plus Please send resume and work sample to Matt Thumm at: Commercial Maintenance/ New Business Development Applicant shall be a highly motivated and creative professional who is looking to work in a team environment. Please send your resume and salary history to Brian Dolwick, General Manager of Maintenance at:

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

*** LANDSCAPE DESIGNER, ESTIMATOR, AND SALES PERSON*** The Landscape Designer, Estimator, and Sales Person must be thoroughly familiar with designing all aspects of landscape construction to include: site analysis, grading, drainage, plant selection and placement, hardscape (patios, walkways, decks, barbecues, gazebos, etc.), water features, lighting, etc.; and be able to design the same using CAD, Dynascape, Vector Works, Pro Landscape, Viz Terra, etc. software. Excellent analytical as well as aesthetic skills, providing excellent customer service and being able to do take-offs are a must. This position entails being responsible to coordinate with the production manager on a daily basis as well as with clients, subcontractors, suppliers, Sales, and Accounting personnel. ***OPERATIONS MANAGER*** Seeking a self-motivated individual that has strong skills with using computers, customer service, estimating, and production including reading plans, lay out of jobs, and supervising crews. Must interface well with clients, subcontractors, and suppliers. Five years of experience or more desired. English and Spanish speaking is a plus. Excellent benefits and compensation. ***COMMERCIAL SALES / BUSINESS DEVELOPEMENT*** With a focus on prospecting, business development, account management, and building long term business relationships, we are seeking a highly motivated, creative, professional who can “sell sustainable, profitable work” and to “completely satisfy our customers”. If you have 3-5+ years successful landscape sales experience, are proficient with basic MS software, have industry credentials, and have the confidence to cold call potential customers, we want to talk to you. This full time position offers a company vehicle, competitive salary with a production bonus structure, vacation, retirement, and health benefits. Please email your resume to Debbie Bartsch:

Classified Ads HELP WANTED Jane Dilworth & Associates Designer/Plus Talented, enthusiastic designer able to produce high quality hand drawn designs. Must be experienced, a self-starter, able to mutitask in a small, fast pace office. Hardscape, plant knowledge and excellent people skills are required. Our company has a great reputation, is well established and in high demand in the western suburbs. Please send your resume to: Premier Landscape Contractors Inc. is a full service design/build/maintain landscape contractor. Our service area encompasses Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. Premier’s primary mission is to provide the highest level of design, construction and maintenance services. This combination has resulted in a stable, growth driven environment that allows Premier to remain competitive and provide its clients with the high quality service they require. Premier seeks to fill the following positions: • Senior Landscape Architect • Residential and Commercial Maintenance Account Managers • Residential and Commercial Maintenance & Snow Estimators • Commercial Service Business Developers • Construction Project Managers

HELP WANTED JAMES MARTIN ASSOCIATES, INC. Commercial Maintenance Team Manager Do you have the ability to lead team efforts in sales management, budgeting, operations, and staff development? James Martin Associates is celebrating 37 years & continuing to grow! If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, read on... Primary responsibilities: contribute to and execute the annual sales plan. Develop, manage and review account managers, superintendents, and administrative staff. Lead weekly team meetings to plan, organize, and strategize. Develop annual budget & manage monthly performance of maintenance division. Manage assigned commercial accounts and assist in management responsibilities for snow plow sales and operations, including performing the duties of an area manager. Requirements: 10-15 years business experience, a track record of leadership & team development skills. Competent in Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook. CLT or CLP preferred. Good driving record. This position is a full time, salaried, exempt position. Expected hours during the landscape season requires flexibility to work between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm, including Saturdays. Potential work hours during the snow season include nighttime, weekends, and holidays. Salary and Benefits: we offer 401k, medical and dental benefits, PTO, paid holidays & profit sharing. Salary commensurate with experience. Visit our website at

Applicants must be experienced, highly motivated, organized, detail oriented, willing to work in a team environment, and have a 4-year industry specific degree or equivalent.

Please submit your cover letter and resume with salary history to

We offer competitive wage and benefit packages commensurate with experience as well as opportunity for growth.

HELP WANTED  CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING also available on ILCA’s WEB SITE Call for information (630) 472-2851 

Please submit resume, references and salary expectations to or fax to 630.321.9540.

HELP WANTED **City Escape Career Opportunities** PROJECT DIRECTOR The Project Director is responsible for the administration of landscape maintenance contract. This includes regular meetings with clients, creating work schedules, coordinating subcontractors, directing site supervisors, ensuring job quality and contract compliance, and keeping contracts within budget. The successful candidate will have strong organizational and communication skills. An Illinois pesticide applicators license or ability to obtain one is required. An ISA certified arborist preferred. A Bachelors degree in horticulture, landscape architecture or related field is required. Please send resume and cover letter to CREW LEADER The Crew Leader is responsible for leading the work crew. Under the direction of the Project Director, the Crew Leader is responsible for implementing required work in an efficient manner to meet or exceed contract requirements. This includes operating landscape equipment, tool inventory tracking and maintaining job site efficiency and quality control. The Crew Leader must be able to work outdoors in a variety of conditions and must be able to stand, bend and walk for long periods of time on a regular basis. The ability to lift 50 lbs or more is also required. Experience in landscape maintenance and construction and an Illinois pesticide operators license or ability to obtain one is required. The successful candidate will have strong communication and leadership skills. Proficiency in Spanish and an Illinois Drivers License is strongly preferred. Please send resume and cover letter to Landscape Architect/Designer Established Central Illinois Design/ Build Firm seeking experienced landscape architect/ designer for design, estimating, sales and project management. Immediate opening for a quality individual with a minimum of 3 years experience in the industry. Existing reputation and clientele provides an excellent opportunity for a motivated individual. Send resume, salary requirements and references to: All applicants will remain confidential.

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


Classified Ads HELP WANTED






Landscape Supervisor Position FULL TIME-

RESPONSIBILITIES: The primary responsibilities of this position are to support the design, sales and construction operations. This individual must meet individual sales goals and effectively coordinate with design staff in order to meet individual and overall company’s goals.

Apex Landscaping seeks a Residential Maintenance Account Manager to manage a portfolio of existing accounts as well as solicit new sales. Manager will provide high levels of customer service, develop new business, sell enhancements, and make recommendations. This account manager must have knowledge in Microsoft Office. Bilingual Spanish skills preferred.

• Positive Attitude • Landscape Construction and Management Experience • Excellent Customer Service • Supervisor/Leadership Experience • Eager to learn & grow within a company • Valid Drivers License (w/CDL preferred) Send Resumes to: David Tyznik at Laborer & Foreman -SEASONAL(multiple positions) • Positive Attitude • Desire to work outside in all weather conditions • Valid Drivers License (w/CDL preferred) • Experience installing residential landscapes • Experience maintaining residential landscapes • Eager to learn and grow within a company for application form & send completed form to: Planter’s Palette Landscaping 28W571 Roosevelt Rd, Winfield, IL 60190

QUALIFICATIONS: Candidate must have a strong working knowledge of landscape design, plant material and composition, hardscape materials and construction technique as they relate to high-end residential landscape design. He/she must have excellent verbal and written communication skills and a firm understanding and ability to use existing computer programs. Completion of a landscape architecture degree, associate’s degree in landscape design or a degree in a related design field is required. The candidate should have a minimum of five years of design / sales experience in the landscape industry. Candidate must have experience generating sales leads, following up on company generated leads and continually building sales resources to meet and exceed sales goals. Send resumes to: Attention: Jerry Milewski -Garden Manager/Horticulturist-Full TimeElawa Farm in Lake Forest, seeks manager responsible for 2.2 acre flower/veg garden. Responsible for maintaining garden as production farm, and as a Gentleman’s Farm with appropriate aesthetics. - B.A. in Horticulture/Equivalent work experience - Experience in farming practices - Strong computer skills-Word/Excel/ Powerpoint - Ability to work with volunteers of all skill levels - Working conditions: Physically demanding, outside work, often in inclement weather. - Some weekend work Please send resumes to Natalie at


The Landscape Contractor March 2015


***PROJECT MANAGER*** Apex Landscaping seeks a Project Manager to manage multiple crews for our residential and multi-family design and build division. This project manager will be involved in the daily planning, scheduling, budgeting, safety, training and customer service. Bilingual Spanish skills preferred. ***CDL Driver*** Apex Landscaping seeks a CDL A driver to pick up and deliver materials as needed. Candidate must be able to connect/disconnect trailers and tarp loads. Skid Steer operation a plus. ***Applicator*** Apex Landscaping seeks a turf/plant health care applicator. The ideal candidate will have an Illinois Pesticide Applicators license. Training is available. Please send your resume to: or fax it to 847.847.1506

Landscape Architect Heynssens+Grassman is a full service landscape company serving residential clients on the Northshore. We are seeking a Landscape Architect for an entry level position. Candidate must have the ability to produce an accurate site survey, familiarity with Illinois plant material, and excellent skills in hand drawing or CAD. We are also seeking a Maintenance Client Representative. Candidate must have strong technical skills, extensive experience in horticulture, and an ability to communicate successfully with clients and crews. Send resume to: or call 847.360.0440.

Classified Ads HELP WANTED



Landscape Designer or Landscape Architect

Landscape Supervisor

The Fields On Caton Farm, Inc. is located in Joliet and serves the Chicagoland area. We are a familyowned business with landscape, garden center, and nursery divisions. Our business is growing, and we are looking for additional designers and/or architects. We are flexible in our needs and requirements and willing to train recent graduates or accommodate seasoned professionals. A great opportunity in a dynamic and growing company. Email resume or information to Tom at

A landscape company in the western suburbs is seeking a Landscape Supervisor for maintenance/ enhancements. Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

-Horticulture/Turf Specialist Des Plaines Park District

Wanted: Compost Operations Manager Northern Illinois compost facility is seeking for an immediate position; motivated, self-starting, organized, ambitious individual with the ability to multitask as OPERATIONS MANAGER. Must have experience in COMPOST FACILIY MANAGEMENT, CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT, or MULCH OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT. Heavy equipment experience is necessary. Knowledge of heavy equipment maintenance a plus. Aggressive annual salary. Send resume to Mike:, 847-921-5730 office, 847-963-6151 fax Residential Maintenance Account Rep Rosborough Partners, Inc. is accepting resumes for an experienced Residential Maintenance Account Representative to manage portfolio of residential maintenance clients. Responsibilities include preparing proposals, contract renewals, identifying and selling new sales leads and ensuring quality control is followed on client sites. Revenue and profitability goals will be set each year and accomplished by analyzing, planning, organizing, and adjusting schedules to achieve efficient use of resources and people. Establishing, building and maintaining client relationships are the keys to being successful in this position. Landscape industry experience and/or a horticultural degree is required. English & Spanish fluency is a plus. We offer competitive wages and benefits. Please email resume to:

• 5+ years experience as a Supervisor in maintenance/enhancements/snow removal. • Oversee crews providing snow removal s ervices and assist with snow removal services as needed. • Ability to provide accurate estimates and review job cost. • Perform work in a safe and profitable manner. • Hire, train, manage, and develop crews. • Monitor work completed by crews for quality and efficiency. • Communicate with Sales and Management on a regular basis. • Bilingual in both English and Spanish is highly preferred. Please submit your resume and salary requirement to: Landscape Foreman Chicago Specialty Gardens (CSG) is an award-winning urban landscape design/build firm with 20 years of creating innovative garden spaces for our clients in Chicago’s most prestigious neighborhoods. We are seeking a Landscape Foreman with a minimum of 3 years relevant experience to join our team, managing crews and projects in the greater Downtown Chicago area. Experience with rooftop garden installations or related work a plus; competitive salary based on experience; a vibrant and exciting workplace; supportive management and colleagues. Contact Rick Connolly, Construction Manager, at Rick@chicagogardens or (708)712-0691. CSG is anequal opportunity employer.

Responsible for the growing conditions of assigned flower beds throughout the District during the bedding season. This includes seasonal bed preparations, plant material installation, regular maintenance, watering, disease identification and weeding. This position will also perform skilled and semi-skilled landscape maintenance. Visit for full description and application information. At Scott Byron & Co., we design, build and maintain exquisite landscapes for properties both residential and commercial. Located in Lake Bluff, IL. We are looking for an experienced Flower Buyer to join our team. You would be responsible for coordinating between sales, vendors, yard and production staff. Research options for new/improved and trending plant materials and products. Work with sales support team to produce visual support materials. Maintain and improve annual work order process. We prefer a Bachelor’s degree plus three to five years exp in the horticulture field. Valid driver’s license is required. Email Business Development/Account Management Agema Landscape, LLC is accepting resumes for an experienced account manager. Responsibilities include preparing proposals, contracts and renewals, identifying new sales leads and ensuring quality standards are followed on client sites. Establishing, building and maintaining client relationships are the keys to being successful in this position, as well as being highly motivated, creative, professional who can completely satisfy our customers. Landscape industry experience and/or a horticultural degree are required. English & Spanish fluency is a plus. Please email resume to: Landscape Designer Assistant Countryside is an independent garden center with a design build landscape department. We work with residential clients creating unique custom designs and installations. We are looking for someone to help with basic design, estimates, and sales. Send resumes to:

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


Classified Ads HELP WANTED


Zenere Landscapes

Landscape Design/Sales


The Barn Nursery is hiring in our Landscape Design Division. We are seeking experienced applicants for Landscape Design/Sales. The position will focus on high end consumer landscape design, sales and project management. This inspired leader will be able to work independently to create & sell unique, compelling designs for our customers, while managing site analysis, budget, design, and customer service. Please send a resume and project portfolio, if available, to Tom at LandscapeResume@gmail. com Learn more about us at:

Do you have one or more years of experience climbing trees and feel you have no opportunity for advancement at your current job? Are you upset that your employer is unable to give you year round employment? Are you concerned about the lack of overtime? Do you feel unappreciated? RW Hendricksen Tree Care is looking for experienced climbers who would like to be part of a team. Applicants must have a good driving record and the ability to obtain a CDL license with an air brake endorsement. We offer health benefits, paid vacation and holidays. Compensation

Landscape Superintendent Seeking an experienced Superintendent to setup and run multiple jobs. Responsibilities include scheduling multiple crews, materials and equipment on a daily basis. Bilingual a plus. Salary based on experience, year round employment. Maintenance Supervisor/Foreman Seeking a skilled individual to work as a Maintenance Supervisor. Responsibilities include running and scheduling multiple crews. Must have a valid spray applicator license and 3+ years experience. Bilingual a plus. Salary based on experience, year round employment.

Please email your resume to: or fax:708-877-1502

Poul’s Landscaping & Nursery is a family owned and operated landscape and nursery firm located in Long Grove, Illinois. We are currently seeking a responsible, self-driven Summer Intern candidate who is looking to develop as a professional in the landscape industry. The position of Summer Intern has the potential to become a salaried position. Strong candidates should either be a recent graduate or currently enrolled in a Horticulture or Landscape Design/ Architecture program or related field at an accredited college or university. For job inquiries, please contact Jon Lee at (847)949-6667 or Suburban Landscaping Landscape Installation Estimator Estimate, propose, and oversee installation crew for residential & small commercial landscapes. Project types will include brick work, planting, outdoor kitchens, and drainage. Degree or experience equivalent required. Salary, benefits, and profit sharing. Account Manager A degree in horticulture is preferred but not required. Clean driving record is required and bilingual is helpful. Friendly and helpful personality is a must. Salary, benefits, and profit sharing. Please fax resume to: 708-756-1122 or call 708-799-6228.

60 Also hiring Experienced Maintenance & Construction Crew Leader.

NATURE’S PERSPECTIVE LANDSCAPING -DESIGN ASSISTANTJoin our well-established design, build and maintenance company. For over 35 years, Nature’s Perspective has been providing landscape services to Chicago’s northern suburbs and Chicago’s north side. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package. Candidate will assist in preparing landscape drawings and proposals for client presentations as well as coordinate multiple landscape projects. Candidate must be able to handle a wide range of responsibilities, have a good knowledge of plant and hardscape materials, demonstrate excellent computer skills including Dynascape, Google SketchUp and Google Picasa, be detail oriented, organized, self-motivated with good social skills. Please mail, or e-mail your resume to: NATURE’S PERSPECTIVE LANDSCAPING Attn: Paul Klitzkie 2000 Greenleaf St. Evanston, IL 60202 (847) 475-7917 E-mail: Visit us at: Kinnucan Elite North Shore Contractor established 1970 has position open for Maintenance Account Manager. Apply in person 28877 Nagel Court, Lake Bluff, IL 60044 or email resume to:


would be based upon experience and attitude. Let’s talk to see if we are a fit. Please contact Scott at: or call 847-342-8733.

***RESIDENTIAL MAINTENANCE ACCOUNT MANAGER*** Walsh Landscape in Plainfield seeks a Residential Maintenance Account Manager to manage a portfolio of accounts for our residential division. Will provide high levels of customer service, develop new business, sell enhancements, and make recommendations. Please visit our website and apply online or contact Amy@ 847-487-5071 Dig Right In Landscaping, Inc. focuses on sustainable landscape design, installation and maintenance. The company serves residential customers in the near-western suburbs. We are in a period of growth and are looking to fill numerous positions including but not limited to: Personal Gardener, Office Manager, Landscape Construction/Maintenance Technicians. Detailed job descriptions can be found on the Careers page of our web site at: www.digrightin. com/careers-pages-36.php Commercial Operations Mgr Rosborough Partners, Inc. is accepting resumes for an experienced Commercial Operations Mgr to coordinate & schedule operations within the Commercial Dept. Analyzing, planning, organizing & adjusting schedules to achieve the most efficient use of resources & people are responsibilities of this

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

Advertisers HELP WANTED


position. Managing & coordinating the winter snowplowing schedule & execution of activities during snow events are also part of this position’s responsibilities. Excellent communication skills are key to being a successful Commercial Operations Mgr. Landscape industry experience and/or a horticultural degree are required. English & Spanish fluency is required. We offercompetitive wages & benefits. Please email resume to: ENTRY LEVEL LANDSCAPE DESIGN ASSISTANT/INTERNSHIP Established design firm is seeking talented, energetic individual to assist the Senior Landscape Architect. Duties incl drafting / rendering, site info gathering, estimating & assembling presentation materials. Candidate will be a self motivated, quick learner & possess a positive attitude. Currently offered as a seasonal position (Apr 1- Sept 1), but may change based on experience level & market conditions. Pay rate based on skills and areas of expertise. SKILLS REQUIRED: Proficient in CAD, Photoshop, SketchUp, Word & Excel. Basic knowledge of plan s & landscape construction or will train. Good graphics & communication skills. Creativity & attention to detail. Please send resume & any work examples to

Premier Outdoor Environments, Inc. Landscape Designer/Sales We are seeking a person that will be managing all phases of our landscape design division. This job role will involve design, client interaction, sales and project management. • B.S. in Landscape Design/Architecture or similar degree/experience • Ability to complete and produce high end creative and functional designs, proposal take offs, present and sell the design • Can create professional hand drawn designs • Also knows how to use Dynascape, AutoCad, Sketch Up, Unilock Uvison is a plus • Proficient in Microsoft Office • Excellent horticulture and hardscape background • 2-5 years of experience is preferred • Ability to multi task and great communication skills Please email your resume and portfolio to: info@

1st Choice Equipment ..........................................53 Agrecol..............................................................47 Bartlett Tree Experts .........................................49 Beaver Creek Nursery ..........................................45 Carlin Sales...........................................................6 Chicagoland Gardening ......................................61 Clesen Wholesale ..................................................12 Contree Sprayer & Equipment .................................1 3Doty Nurseries LLC ............................................14 Green Glen Nursery ...........................................63 B. Haney & Sons, Inc. .........................................16 Hinsdale Nurseries, Inc. ......................................38 Homer Industries, Inc. .........................................15 L Propane Gas Association ....................................57 In the Field Design Tour ........................................13 Kramer Tree ...........................................................24 James Martin Associates .........................................61 JKS Ventures .....................................................45 Lafarge Fox River Stone .........................................17 Lemke Stone .........................................................14 Longshadow Planters ..........................................11 Lurvey Landscape Supply ...................................29 McGinty Bros. ....................................................16 Midwest Groundcovers ........................................2 Midwest Salt ......................................................55 Midwest Trading ...................................................29 NGL Energy Partners LLC .....................................13 ProAp Fertilizer ...................................................57 ProGreen Plus ......................................................61 Rocks Etc. ............................................................47 Stockyards Brick ...................................................39 The Care of Trees .....................................................6 The Mulch Center ................................................48 Twixwood Nursery .............................................53 Unilock Chicago .................................................64 Vermeer Midwest ................................................25 Wilson Nurseries & Landscape Supply ...............52 Xylem, Inc. .........................................................47

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES JAMES MARTIN ASSOCIATES, INC. Vernon Hills, IL James Mar�n Associates, Inc. is a leader in the Landscape and Snow Management industry, providing services to our customers for over 37 years. We are seeking candidates for both Construc�on and Maintenance Teams for the following full �me posi�ons: 2+ Years Experience Superintendents Foremen

1- 2 Years Experience Administrators Produc�on Associates Crew Members

To be considered for any of these opportuni�es, please forward your resume and salary history to b.mcelroy@jamesmar� or call Beth at 847-876-8052.

Landscape Architecture • Construction • Maintenance • Snow Management

The Landscape Contractor March 2015


By Patrice Peltier

Canna Cannova Series

Some plants

—just like All-Star athletes—make everyone around them look better. We’ve asked ILCA members to share their thoughts on proven performers. Cannas are elegant plants that can make a bold statement in the landscape. Because they’re tropical plants, however, in our climate we often have to wait until later in the season to get the real benefit. That’s changed with the Cannova® series cannas. The first F1 hybrids grown from seeds, they can be grown in cooler climates and darker light conditions with bloom times beginning in late spring. That’s early for these tropical beauties! The foliage, which is similar to banana leaves, is clean throughout the growing season. The plant’s good branching habit quickly fills containers or makes a lush planting in the landscape. Lily-like flowers emerge from arrow-shaped flower buds continuously until frost. Currently, the Cannova series includes yellow, rose and red flowering plants plus a bronze foliage variety with a scarlet flower. Because of their great height, the Canna Cannovas can be used as a blooming architectural element in either beds or containers. I suggest you try planting them with: • Lantana Bandana Series or Montevidensis Lavender which have a lot in common with their bright colors and would look great either upright or trailing with a heat-loving canna companion. • Petunia Easy Wave for nice trailing color to grab your eye from the ground to the top of the Canna Cannova’s bloom. • Dipt in Wine, Inky Fingers, or Fishnet Stockings coleus to add color and texture surrounding the base of Canna Cannova. • Verbena Bonariensis whose lavender flower adds a delicate and light fluttery texture surrounding the Canna Cannova’s sturdy base. Give the Cannova Series cannas a try. They are great in mass plantings in beds as well as make a show-worthy statement in large containers with their bold blooms, bright foliage and eye-catching height. Canna x generalis) facts— Size:


30”-48” tall with spread of 14”-20” Culture


Large, clean, similar to a banana leaf


Full sun to semi-shade. Plants Yellow, rose, red; plus scarlet prefer moist soil. Protection flowers with bronze foliage from wind will help keep leaves from damage and drying. 62

Sarah Bottner, Sales Representative Clesen Wholesale Sarah has worked in the industry for seven years. She started her career at Didier and Elawa Farms working with customers, volunteers and farm management. Recently she moved to Clesen Wholesale as a sales representative. She has experience with annuals, annual planters, perennials, vegetables and a wide array of additional farm products.

The Landscape Contractor March 2015

March 15 issue of The Landscape Contractor magazine  

Illinois Landscape Contractors Association

March 15 issue of The Landscape Contractor magazine  

Illinois Landscape Contractors Association