Featured Articles

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Compact equipment helps Gulf Coast landscaper

Along the Gulf Coast, recovery from Hurricane Katrina continues more than two years after the storm came ashore. As the communities damaged by the storm recover, there is much to rebuild, from homes and businesses to schools and community infrastructure. Beyond these brick and mortar projects, there is another kind of rebuilding taking place -- installing new landscaping around homes and businesses is equally important in restoring a sense of normalcy in the area....
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Successful Scenes: Please Define “Good Design”

“I don’t know much about landscape design, but I know what I like,” says the client. I hope that his next words will communicate to me his sense of aesthetics, so that I too, may understand what he likes. The client is the cause of the project; it is his program, or goals for the project, his budget and his aesthetic taste that rule the final work. Budgets often wax and wane depending on the amount of satisfaction he anticipates from the final project. As the designer, I am responsible for creating a scene that the client will like, and one that I know is a good design....
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Inside Job: Grow your landscaping business by offering interior plantscaping services

Managing your business encompasses a lot of day-to-day duties that certainly pull your attention in multiple directions. But managing your business also means having the vision and foresight to grow your business through new or expanded offerings. Many landscape contractors are now offering interior plantscaping and seasonal decorating services as part of their business model. But how does one make the move indoors? To examine the benefits of offering interior plantscaping services, and the factors that go into entering the interior plantscaping market, Landscape and Irrigation recently spoke with KrisAnne Mehan, executive vice president, operations, west, for Initial Tropical Plants, a Buffalo Grove, Ill., provider of provider of interior landscaping, design, installation and maintenance services....
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Successful Scenes: Evergreens Everywhere

Winter is serious business in some parts of our country. We have already had some rude treatment with dangerous ice and heavy snow this season, and when the weather is severe, having evergreen plants in the landscape may not be on our shopping list of immediate needs. Yet we have also just celebrated several religious and cultural holidays in which decorations made of evergreens play an important role. Mistletoe, holly, fir, pine, cedar and laurel are customary trimmings for mantles, doorways, stair railings, tabletops and centerpieces. The presence of these evergreens cheers us with rich color and scent, and the dramatic leaf textures make for mesmerizing shadow play with candle and fire light....
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Sustainable Landscapes: Designing a Sustainable Landscape

Being able to fulfill your customer’s needs in a way that is compatible and complimentary to the surrounding environment is crucial to the overall success of the landscape. A shady back yard on the north side of the house requires different plants than a south-facing front yard. Also, the location of utility lines (above and below ground) and buildings need to be considered. Trees reaching 30 feet or taller should never be planted under utility lines and large trees should be at least 25 feet from homes and other structure (roots need space). Even with these restrictions, there are many possibilities for any given area than there are designers in your city. Plants come in all sizes, forms, textures and colors, and your biggest problem will likely be narrowing the list down rather than running out of choices. (In the rare instance where there is no compatible plant for a certain location, there are numerous hardscape solutions.)...