Education, Is it really important once you’ve been doing this for
Education, Is it really important once you’ve been doing this for years?
I’ve been in the green industry for many years and prior to doing this professionally, I did it as a hobby, because I love it.
Is it important to continue education? Do you think there are still things to learn and processes to develop further? Of course there is. In the wonderful world of landscape design and build, things change fast. You may not realize it, but there are 100s of new plant introductions into the market every year. Maybe that perfect solution to the spot in your yard is finally available.
Without the education and the desire to stay on top of the new and improved, your landscape specialist may not know what’s available.
Research and plant trials also can help us as while we may have been ‘doing it that way for years’. There may be new research that tells us how to improve the way we plant that tree. Or what will be a more suitable low maintenance plant, that still gives multiple seasons of interest. In addition to the fun things we can learn in the industry every year, we are also able to stay on top if the things that cause us to do things differently. Plant diseases and insects we’ve not had to deal with in the past are always popping up and if you aren’t aware of them, you will not be able to design the perfect landscape for your client. For example, there was a quarantine of Boxwood, shrubs in parts of Michigan. The reason, the Boxwood Moth and the attempt to control the spread of the pest. No one wants a repeat of the Emerald Ash Borer and the destruction caused by this insect.
If you did not stay up on education, you may not know about these issues and certainly would not know about alternatives to the plant.
Is there a solution to the infestation? What if I don’t want to risk my plants? What else can I use to get the same look I was hoping for? All these questions are easier to answer if you stay on top of the problem and know what to do. Education is the key to this. Many years before Michigan saw the Most, I know if we a possibility and what some alternatives were. Many of the installers I design for were very happy I could guide them when it came to this issue. Some installation companies were outside the quarantine zones, but their suppliers were in the zone. They could not buy from those suppliers. They either had to count of suppliers they were not familiar with or use something else. Many do not
know plants and issues to this level. Having an up to date designer, made all the difference.
Having a designer that stays up on these issues is not only helpful to the homeowners, but a huge potential savings to the installer. If the installer is providing a warranty, they could be facing a large expense if they are installing plants that are expected to have issues over the next few years. Avoid those expensive situations and work with a well educated, up to date educated designer.
On that note I will close this as I am settling in at the hotel in preparation for the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association, Great Lake Trade Expo. Three days of education and networking that allows me to stay on top of my game.
Let’s see what’s new and beautiful this season as well as what to work with and around.