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Archives for February 12, 2015

Trinity Parkway ‘dream team’ wants smaller, meandering road

Twelve urban design and transportation experts who reviewed Dallas’ plans for the Trinity Parkway concluded the toll road as designed would be inhospitable to adjacent parkland and economic development opportunities, the group’s chairman said this week.

The “dream team” of experts also said traffic estimates won’t justify the need for a massive six-lane freeway with large interchanges for several decades. Chairman Larry Beasley told The Dallas Morning News this week that experts believe the city should instead build a meandering, four-lane road pocketed with parking lots providing park access.

“It would very fundamentally open up the consciousness of the people of Dallas about this magnificent park,” Beasley said.

Those conclusions are expected to be incorporated into formal recommendations presented to Mayor Mike Rawlings in coming months. They partially diverge from some arguments that toll road supporters, including the mayor, have used to champion the controversial $1.5 billion project.

The city has been expecting within several weeks a federal decision on whether it can build the 9-mile road. Documents seeking federal approval portray the driving force behind the road as providing traffic congestion relief to adjacent highways. The road in those documents is a six-lane highway, but its interchanges, entrance and exit lanes and maintenance lanes would ultimately make it wider.

The road that the team of experts says should be built would primarily be constructed to provide views of and access to parks planned around the Trinity River. Their road would be four lanes throughout and would not have most of the interchanges included in federal documents.

“You can see it changes the nature of the whole thing,” Beasley said.

Federal Highway Administration officials have said that fundamental changes to the purpose of the project could require the city to seek approval for amendments or start the entire process over. It wasn’t clear Wednesday which scenario, if either, would apply if the city chooses to adopt the experts’ recommendations.

“Without knowing what the recommendations are, we can’t speculate on what, if any, impacts they would have to the project” or the pending approval decision, said Doug Hecox, a spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration.

Rawlings’ backing

Rawlings, who publicly announced and endorsed the expert team’s formation last year, said Wednesday that he’s glad the group supports a narrower, meandering road. But he also said he fully supports eventual construction of the full-scale toll road submitted for federal approval.

Rawlings and Beasley said the group’s vision of the road could be the first phase of the project. Beasley said future generations could decide whether it needed to be expanded once there’s more traffic demand.

But Beasley said the group did not get into details of how or when the project would be staged.

“You do have the ability to do this in a cool way and then let the future decide what the future is,” he said.

Federal officials said they couldn’t comment on whether such a vision would be considered a different project or the first phase of what’s been submitted until the city asks. Rawlings said he believes the road will eventually look like the large-scale version with several interchanges. But he couldn’t comment on how future “stages” would be built or when.

“I believe the leaders of the city will make that appropriate decision at that point,” he said. “I will not be one of them.”

Rawlings is seeking a second term in the May elections that will seat a City Council that will probably decide the project’s fate. So far, his only opponent is attorney Marcos Ronquillo, who opposes a large-scale toll road through the river bottoms.

Ronquillo said Wednesday that officials’ use of the term “staging” without providing clear details adds obscurity to a project he says is already mired in the bureaucracy of several government agencies.

“The voters deserve a finite answer,” he said. “If there are going to be phases, they need to be very clear.”

Speed limit

Beasley said the team of experts questioned whether the planned 55-mph speed limit should be lowered, but most agreed that such speeds would be compatible with their vision. Other ideas included making drainage infrastructure look more like water features and using the road’s elevated foundation for landscaping features.

Beasley said many of the large interchanges would hinder economic development opportunities because they would be barriers between the river and parks and the land just outside the levees.

“It’s less about creating positive effects,” he said. “It’s about preventing negative effects.”

Current project designs include a flood wall for about 3 miles as the road runs near downtown. Federal documents say that won’t necessarily prevent flooding in the event of a 100-year storm. Beasley said the group is interested in adding murals or landscaping to the wall or incorporating berms instead of relying solely on concrete.

“Barriers for flood protection could be designed a lot better than blank walls,” he said.

He said the group didn’t get into the financing of the project. The road as designed faces a shortfall of more than $990 million. The North Texas Tollway Authority isn’t expected to determine the financial feasibility of the large-scale project until after federal authorities clear it for construction. It wasn’t clear Wednesday how changes recommended by the team of experts could affect that shortfall.

An NTTA spokesman said the agency is moving forward with the plans submitted until the city formally asks to go another direction.

Beasley said much of the team’s work hinged on figuring out what is best for Dallas. He said the team has several drawings and ideas that will be formally submitted in the next several weeks. The group also will seek public input about its suggestions.

“It was more about starting a conversation than finishing a conversation,” he said.

Article source: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/transportation/20150211-trinity-parkway-dream-team-wants-smaller-meandering-road.ece

Trinity Parkway ‘dream team’ wants smaller, meandering road

Twelve urban design and transportation experts who reviewed Dallas’ plans for the Trinity Parkway concluded the toll road as designed would be inhospitable to adjacent parkland and economic development opportunities, the group’s chairman said this week.

The “dream team” of experts also said traffic estimates won’t justify the need for a massive six-lane freeway with large interchanges for several decades. Chairman Larry Beasley told The Dallas Morning News this week that experts believe the city should instead build a meandering, four-lane road pocketed with parking lots providing park access.

“It would very fundamentally open up the consciousness of the people of Dallas about this magnificent park,” Beasley said.

Those conclusions are expected to be incorporated into formal recommendations presented to Mayor Mike Rawlings in coming months. They partially diverge from some arguments that toll road supporters, including the mayor, have used to champion the controversial $1.5 billion project.

The city has been expecting within several weeks a federal decision on whether it can build the 9-mile road. Documents seeking federal approval portray the driving force behind the road as providing traffic congestion relief to adjacent highways. The road in those documents is a six-lane highway, but its interchanges, entrance and exit lanes and maintenance lanes would ultimately make it wider.

The road that the team of experts says should be built would primarily be constructed to provide views of and access to parks planned around the Trinity River. Their road would be four lanes throughout and would not have most of the interchanges included in federal documents.

“You can see it changes the nature of the whole thing,” Beasley said.

Federal Highway Administration officials have said that fundamental changes to the purpose of the project could require the city to seek approval for amendments or start the entire process over. It wasn’t clear Wednesday which scenario, if either, would apply if the city chooses to adopt the experts’ recommendations.

“Without knowing what the recommendations are, we can’t speculate on what, if any, impacts they would have to the project” or the pending approval decision, said Doug Hecox, a spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration.

Rawlings’ backing

Rawlings, who publicly announced and endorsed the expert team’s formation last year, said Wednesday that he’s glad the group supports a narrower, meandering road. But he also said he fully supports eventual construction of the full-scale toll road submitted for federal approval.

Rawlings and Beasley said the group’s vision of the road could be the first phase of the project. Beasley said future generations could decide whether it needed to be expanded once there’s more traffic demand.

But Beasley said the group did not get into details of how or when the project would be staged.

“You do have the ability to do this in a cool way and then let the future decide what the future is,” he said.

Federal officials said they couldn’t comment on whether such a vision would be considered a different project or the first phase of what’s been submitted until the city asks. Rawlings said he believes the road will eventually look like the large-scale version with several interchanges. But he couldn’t comment on how future “stages” would be built or when.

“I believe the leaders of the city will make that appropriate decision at that point,” he said. “I will not be one of them.”

Rawlings is seeking a second term in the May elections that will seat a City Council that will probably decide the project’s fate. So far, his only opponent is attorney Marcos Ronquillo, who opposes a large-scale toll road through the river bottoms.

Ronquillo said Wednesday that officials’ use of the term “staging” without providing clear details adds obscurity to a project he says is already mired in the bureaucracy of several government agencies.

“The voters deserve a finite answer,” he said. “If there are going to be phases, they need to be very clear.”

Speed limit

Beasley said the team of experts questioned whether the planned 55-mph speed limit should be lowered, but most agreed that such speeds would be compatible with their vision. Other ideas included making drainage infrastructure look more like water features and using the road’s elevated foundation for landscaping features.

Beasley said many of the large interchanges would hinder economic development opportunities because they would be barriers between the river and parks and the land just outside the levees.

“It’s less about creating positive effects,” he said. “It’s about preventing negative effects.”

Current project designs include a flood wall for about 3 miles as the road runs near downtown. Federal documents say that won’t necessarily prevent flooding in the event of a 100-year storm. Beasley said the group is interested in adding murals or landscaping to the wall or incorporating berms instead of relying solely on concrete.

“Barriers for flood protection could be designed a lot better than blank walls,” he said.

He said the group didn’t get into the financing of the project. The road as designed faces a shortfall of more than $990 million. The North Texas Tollway Authority isn’t expected to determine the financial feasibility of the large-scale project until after federal authorities clear it for construction. It wasn’t clear Wednesday how changes recommended by the team of experts could affect that shortfall.

An NTTA spokesman said the agency is moving forward with the plans submitted until the city formally asks to go another direction.

Beasley said much of the team’s work hinged on figuring out what is best for Dallas. He said the team has several drawings and ideas that will be formally submitted in the next several weeks. The group also will seek public input about its suggestions.

“It was more about starting a conversation than finishing a conversation,” he said.

Article source: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/transportation/20150211-trinity-parkway-dream-team-wants-smaller-meandering-road.ece

What this dog can do for you

Jeffrey Johns posted a plaque on the wall of Coastal Greenery 15 years ago. Inscribed on it was a mission statement – empty words that held little meaning in the field. It said something like, “Provide the best landscape services possible to enhance your surroundings.” Johns can’t remember the exact words.

“It did absolutely nothing for company morale and there was no buy-in from the team – and that went on for 10 years,” says Johns, president of the company he founded in 2004. His Brunswick, Ga., firm has grown to $3.2 million in revenue and 63 employees in that time. Meanwhile, his vision and core values have sharpened.
 

“We want to be recognized as a leader in landscape management throughout coastal Georgia,” Johns says. The company’s mission statement is to provide the finest in landscape management services while building and enhancing relationships one client at a time. The core values make these big ideas real in the field. Those are quality, relationships, leadership, safety and profitability.

“We are using those five core values every day to get to that end result, which is the vision statement, the destination, and that is how we talk to our crewmembers about our goal,” Johns says.

Johns and Coastal Greenery have a more precise story to tell to clients, prospects and team members. Of course, this required some soul searching and systems. “Five years ago, as my company was growing, I realized that morale was so important, so I pulled together a team of nine people in my company that I hand-selected based on their attitude and the support they gave to the company,” Johns says.

This group became the Green Team.

“I told them, ‘We as a company are growing and pushing, and we need a team to figure out who we are and where we are going,” Johns says, noting that he hired a facilitator to lead the meeting. Johns sat in the back and kept quiet for a full day and a half.

The Green Team ultimately wrote the vision and mission for Coastal Greenery. They determined the core values necessary for reaching those goals. And, for the following three months, 24×30-inch sheets of paper filled with ideas from the session were displayed on the walls of the company conference room. Eventually, every employee had an opportunity to review and add his or her thoughts to what the team developed. The conclusion was a company-wide meeting to hash out the team’s feedback and how to reach the ultimate vision and mission.

“I want my team to be career-minded and involved in what we are doing and figuring out how we are going to get there,” Johns says. This team-intensive exercise built the foundation for the ongoing buy-in. Showing employees opportunity by having them help “write” the story of Coastal Greenery changed the way employees view the operation, and the way they present the company to clients and prospects.

Having a story to tell clients, the community and team members helps a business stay on track to meet its goals. A story – the vision+mission+core values package – steers employees toward the right decisions and calls for accountability.

Finished product

Below are the words Coastal Greenery, Garpiel Landscaping and Greenscape developed as visions, missions and core values that best told their stories to their employees and their respective communities.
 

Coastal Greenery

  • Vision: To be recognized as a leader in landscape management throughout Coastal Georgia
  • Mission: To provide the finest in landscape management services while building and enhancing relationships one client at a time
  • Core values: quality, relationships, leadership, safety and profitability

     

Garpiel Landscaping

  • Vision/mission: To provide exceptional landscaping with exceptional people
  • Core values: quality, trustworthy, integrity, delivery and commitment

     

Greenscape

  • Vision: The Green Team Way: We are passionate about serving our community through understanding their needs and providing green services for the outdoor environment in North Carolina. Our focus on building long-term relationships with clients, employees and vendors sustains the strategic growth of our business through higher retention and referrals. Guided by our principles and values, we are committed to continuous improvement by training and developing our people, resulting in greater career opportunities.
  • Mission: Outstanding results through great service
    There are many landscape management companies in North Carolina. Prospective customers may assume that all are the same. If they base their comparison on services alone, they will not see what makes Greenscape Inc. and Weed Man different. It is our job to communicate our mission through our actions so that current and potential customers truly understand how we are different and why we are the best choice. Our Green Team members are the face of Greenscape Inc. and Weed Man. Actions speak louder than words. Keep the mission in mind as you represent the company.
  • Core values: communication, learning, experience, appreciation, teamwork (CLEAT)

“We are constantly having our team members think about what they are doing and how that applies to our core values,” says Rob Garpiel, president, Garpiel Landscaping, Saginaw, Mich.

At Garpiel Landscaping, the core values are quality, trustworthy, integrity, delivery and commitment. These characteristics propel a mission to, “Provide exceptional landscaping with exceptional people.”

Garpiel’s personal vision is to give others the opportunity to dream. And so the way he operates his company – by delegating to managers and supervisors so they can grow careers – and the way he communicates to his people, using “we” and never acting as a boss, helps team members understand their contribution to the company.

“We engage our team and ask them during weekly meetings how they used our core values on the job,” Garpiel says of ingraining the story into the company culture. After all, a company story is only as good as the characters that play roles.
 

Nailing your story.

At Greenscape in Holly Springs, N.C., the company’s three “impact makers” on clients’ properties are the foundation of its vision and core values. Those are to focus on seasonal color, irrigation and lawn care. “That’s what creates the wow statement,” says Gregory Smith, business development manager.

By focusing on these three core areas of the landscape service, Smith says the company can deliver the best return on investment. Greenscape, which posted $8 million in revenue in 2014 and employs 160 people, does not want to be seen as one more line item in a property manager’s maintenance budget. “Greenscape wants to help grow clients’ businesses,” Smith says.

“What we provide is more than just landscaping. It’s marketing,” Smith continues, emphasizing that discussions with clients center on positioning Greenscape as a business growth partner.

Why the focus on these three aspects? Smith says that crewmembers can clear out weeds or prune shrubs on short order and improve the appearance of a property. But if irrigation, lawn care and seasonal color are not tended to with attention to detail, improving a problem can take up to two weeks.

Digging deeper into how the company supports its three “values,” Smith says that dedicated specialists focused on these three service areas separate Greenscape from competitors. “We don’t have your everyday landscape management crew handling all of those aspects. There’s a detail crew that does all of our mulching and pruning, a horticultural crew for seasonal color, and we have irrigation and lawn care technicians,” Smith says.

The company, Smith says, has kept its story relevant through the years because the leadership principles and core values have meaning to each employee.

Specifically, its core values are communication, learning, experience, appreciation and teamwork (the acronym CLEAT). Greenscape provides business cards for employees that include the vision statement and core values. “We are constantly preaching it and appreciating people when we get a comment back from a client,” Smiths says.

For example, positive actions in the field are categorized based on the core value. So when appreciation is expressed to the team member who went the extra mile, that praise is communicated by noting how that employee lived out one of the firm’s core values.

Greenscape’s delivery promise is: “On time. Done right. Landscaping services connecting people, businesses and communities through great outdoor spaces.” And rather than just telling the community what it stands for, the company participates in outreach projects to show how it takes its values to the field. For example, Greenscape volunteers for charities like the Boys Girls Club, helping maintain its green space. “The community sees our core values and principles, and that is how we market that,” Smith says.
 

Getting buy-in.

When a manager at Coastal Greenery sees a win in the field, he or she takes a picture or makes a note that is filed at the office. When a client gives a team member a compliment, it is logged. The feedback is organized on color-coded scorecards and categorized by core value. The office manager tracks “points” for each employee, and recognition is awarded on a monthly basis in the form of gift cards: $50 for having the most positive marks for a given core value; and $200 for the most feedback earned across all core values.

“At every morning safety meeting, we talk about those core values and tell the whole team what members did the day before,” Johns says, adding that the same practice occurs in weekly sales and production meetings, and quarterly company meetings, where a PowerPoint presentation shares scorecard highlights.

A similar reward system is in place at Garpiel Landscaping. For example, one team member rolled a client’s garbage cans up from the curb and placed them beside (not in front of) her garage. That displayed quality and commitment. Another crew properly set up safety cones and wore appropriate protective gear while working on a municipal job. The manager took a picture. It was a portrait of safety, a core value, and shared at the next tailgate meeting.

On the other hand, an employee at Garpiel Landscaping who was flagged as having an attitude with managers was showing lack of commitment. When managers can pinpoint a problem and relate it back to a core value, they can have productive discussions with problem employees about why a certain behavior is not acceptable at the business and what expectations are required.

Garpiel says one key to helping team members embrace the company story is keeping the vision, mission and core values simple. At Garpiel Landscaping, people are the foundation of its story. So when hiring, Garpiel advertises that the company hires for attitude and trains for skills. That’s a big part of attracting people who want to play on a team and embrace the company culture, he says.

Then, when the team understands, buys into and lives the core values, the company can grow and meet other strategic goals. Garpiel says, “For young companies, the owner-operators that finally put two guys in a truck and are out there mowing lawns or installing landscapes, that is the time to begin telling their people who you are, what you are here to do, and why you need their help to get to that point.”

 

Time to get involved

There are plenty of organizations that can help you be an advocate for the green industry. Below are some of those groups, along with some events and initiatives they organize, and information on who to contact if you want to join.
 

Come Alive Outside. The Come Alive Outside initiative was started in 2010 to inspire landscape companies to play a more active role in reconnecting communities with the outdoors. Executive Director Andy Paluch says the green industry is perfectly positioned to advocate the benefits of the outdoors like reducing obesity and stress through staying active outside.

“What we focus on as an organization is putting together programs that bring the landscape industry in as an essential partner in creating the opportunity for people to live healthier lives outside,” Paluch says.

The group is also reaching youth through the Come Alive Outside Design Challenge. The program, which rolled out in the 2014-2015 school year, creates the opportunity for college, high school, elementary and pre-school students to work together with landscape professionals to design and build engaging outdoor learning environments at schools and childcare facilities.

Paluch says the Design Challenge is part of Landscape Ontario and was part of PLANET’s Student Career Days in the past.

  • Website: Comealiveoutside.com
  • To get involved: Andy Paluch, 440-525-6076, andy@comealiveoutside.com

     

PLANET’s Academic Excellence Foundation. PLANET is taking on the green industry’s labor shortage with the Academic Excellence Foundation. Originally conceived as a scholarship fund, the foundation is expanding its scope to become an advocate for the industry to the general public. AEF’s new primary goal is to improve the perception of the green industry and make it a more attractive career option.

“We need to influence people before their kids select a major, before they decide their career path. They need to be aware of what great fun the green industry is and really how well you can do financially,” says AEF Board President Tom Fochtman.

That’s exactly what happened to Colorado State University graduate Eric Sabin. He says his AEF scholarship helped him land a well-paying job in the landscape field. And thanks to the financial assistance he received, he was able to focus on his coursework to learn as much as he could before entering the workforce.

Donors can decide if their dollars will go toward a scholarship or into the general foundation fund to help spread the word about all the green industry has to offer. Money allocated to the general fund is used for projects like sponsorship of career fairs around the country to spread the word about the benefits of a green industry job.

  • Website: Planetaef.org
  • To get involved: Anna Walraven, 800-395-2522, foundation@landcarenetwork.org

     

Project Evergreen’s GreenCare For Troops/SnowCare For Troops: Launching nine years ago, GreenCare For Troops brings together landscape contractors and members of the military. SnowCare For Troops is in its fifth year.

The volunteer services are offered to families of deployed military personnel and wounded and disabled veterans.

Contractors go to the website and fill out an online form indicating what services they would like to offer, how many families they’re willing to help and what their service radius is. Families sign online and make a profile indicating what services they’re looking for.

When a match is found, the name and contact information for the contractor is given to the family and it is up to them to contact the contractor and get the service set up.

Executive Director Cindy Code says the program is for the families who are in a very stressful situation while their spouse/parent is deployed.

“Their green space, their landscape, is their haven, so we want to provide a green space where they can go outside and de-stress,” Code says.

  • Website: bit.ly/llgct
  • To get involved: Cindy Code, 888-611-2955, cindycode@projectevergreen.org

     

OPEI’s TurfMutt: The Outdoor Power and Equipment Institute organization wanted people to realize that grass didn’t need to be removed in order to keep your yard environmentally friendly from a water standpoint.

Along came TurfMutt.

“It’s a program at elementary schools to kids before their minds are made up,” says Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. “TurfMutt teaches that environmental responsibility starts at home.”

Since its inception, TurfMutt has reached 38 million students, teachers and families with weekly readers, online activities, contests, classroom curriculum, a television PSA and a partnership with Scholastic Education.

Kiser says the program is also valuable to landscape contractors because it is educating the next generation of home owners and environmentalists, as well as the parents of the current students.

“It values the landscape,” he says. “It values the homescape. But it’s not just ‘plant less Kentucky Bluegrass and water it every single day.’ There are ways to work with your lawn and flowering this and flowering that to help. We believe it helps landscapers in that you’re going to want a landscape tailored to your environment and your home.”

  • Website: bit.ly/turfmutt
  • To get involved: Kristen Reamy, kreamy@opei.org, 703-549-7600

     

Legislative Day on the Hill/Renewal and Remembrance. Legislative Day on the Hill, the annual Washington fly-in, is an opportunity for landscape and lawn care industry professionals to increase their knowledge about legislative issues that affect their businesses and to participate directly in the political process. Industry professionals from across the nation are welcome to take part in this event. The Legislative Day on the Hill event is free and includes legislative briefings, an address by a key-note speaker, visits to Congressional offices, as well as dinners, receptions, and networking opportunities. Legislative Day on the Hill will take place July 19-21 and is held in conjunction with Renewal Remembrance, an event that allows PLANET members to work on the ground of the Arlington Cemetery.

  • Website: www.landcarenetwork.org/Renewal/
  • To get involved: Legislative day, Tom Delaney (tomdelaney@landcarenetwork.org); Renewal and Remembrance, Betsy Demoret (betsydemoret@landcarenetwork.org), 800-395-2522 (to reach both)

     

Day of service. Day of Service is a program designed to unite the landscape industry around the country, for a day of giving back to their communities. The purpose of the event, which normally takes place on or around Earth Day in April, is to give members of the lawn care and landscape industry an opportunity to plan, organize, and carry out projects to benefit their communities. Healthy and beautiful green spaces are a vital part of our parks, schools, and public grounds. The lawn care and landscape industry plays a vital role as a steward of the world’s green spaces. This program is held on or around Earth Day each April.

 

Article source: http://www.lawnandlandscape.com/ll0215-business-core-values-landscape-industry.aspx

What this dog can do for you

Jeffrey Johns posted a plaque on the wall of Coastal Greenery 15 years ago. Inscribed on it was a mission statement – empty words that held little meaning in the field. It said something like, “Provide the best landscape services possible to enhance your surroundings.” Johns can’t remember the exact words.

“It did absolutely nothing for company morale and there was no buy-in from the team – and that went on for 10 years,” says Johns, president of the company he founded in 2004. His Brunswick, Ga., firm has grown to $3.2 million in revenue and 63 employees in that time. Meanwhile, his vision and core values have sharpened.
 

“We want to be recognized as a leader in landscape management throughout coastal Georgia,” Johns says. The company’s mission statement is to provide the finest in landscape management services while building and enhancing relationships one client at a time. The core values make these big ideas real in the field. Those are quality, relationships, leadership, safety and profitability.

“We are using those five core values every day to get to that end result, which is the vision statement, the destination, and that is how we talk to our crewmembers about our goal,” Johns says.

Johns and Coastal Greenery have a more precise story to tell to clients, prospects and team members. Of course, this required some soul searching and systems. “Five years ago, as my company was growing, I realized that morale was so important, so I pulled together a team of nine people in my company that I hand-selected based on their attitude and the support they gave to the company,” Johns says.

This group became the Green Team.

“I told them, ‘We as a company are growing and pushing, and we need a team to figure out who we are and where we are going,” Johns says, noting that he hired a facilitator to lead the meeting. Johns sat in the back and kept quiet for a full day and a half.

The Green Team ultimately wrote the vision and mission for Coastal Greenery. They determined the core values necessary for reaching those goals. And, for the following three months, 24×30-inch sheets of paper filled with ideas from the session were displayed on the walls of the company conference room. Eventually, every employee had an opportunity to review and add his or her thoughts to what the team developed. The conclusion was a company-wide meeting to hash out the team’s feedback and how to reach the ultimate vision and mission.

“I want my team to be career-minded and involved in what we are doing and figuring out how we are going to get there,” Johns says. This team-intensive exercise built the foundation for the ongoing buy-in. Showing employees opportunity by having them help “write” the story of Coastal Greenery changed the way employees view the operation, and the way they present the company to clients and prospects.

Having a story to tell clients, the community and team members helps a business stay on track to meet its goals. A story – the vision+mission+core values package – steers employees toward the right decisions and calls for accountability.

Finished product

Below are the words Coastal Greenery, Garpiel Landscaping and Greenscape developed as visions, missions and core values that best told their stories to their employees and their respective communities.
 

Coastal Greenery

  • Vision: To be recognized as a leader in landscape management throughout Coastal Georgia
  • Mission: To provide the finest in landscape management services while building and enhancing relationships one client at a time
  • Core values: quality, relationships, leadership, safety and profitability

     

Garpiel Landscaping

  • Vision/mission: To provide exceptional landscaping with exceptional people
  • Core values: quality, trustworthy, integrity, delivery and commitment

     

Greenscape

  • Vision: The Green Team Way: We are passionate about serving our community through understanding their needs and providing green services for the outdoor environment in North Carolina. Our focus on building long-term relationships with clients, employees and vendors sustains the strategic growth of our business through higher retention and referrals. Guided by our principles and values, we are committed to continuous improvement by training and developing our people, resulting in greater career opportunities.
  • Mission: Outstanding results through great service
    There are many landscape management companies in North Carolina. Prospective customers may assume that all are the same. If they base their comparison on services alone, they will not see what makes Greenscape Inc. and Weed Man different. It is our job to communicate our mission through our actions so that current and potential customers truly understand how we are different and why we are the best choice. Our Green Team members are the face of Greenscape Inc. and Weed Man. Actions speak louder than words. Keep the mission in mind as you represent the company.
  • Core values: communication, learning, experience, appreciation, teamwork (CLEAT)

“We are constantly having our team members think about what they are doing and how that applies to our core values,” says Rob Garpiel, president, Garpiel Landscaping, Saginaw, Mich.

At Garpiel Landscaping, the core values are quality, trustworthy, integrity, delivery and commitment. These characteristics propel a mission to, “Provide exceptional landscaping with exceptional people.”

Garpiel’s personal vision is to give others the opportunity to dream. And so the way he operates his company – by delegating to managers and supervisors so they can grow careers – and the way he communicates to his people, using “we” and never acting as a boss, helps team members understand their contribution to the company.

“We engage our team and ask them during weekly meetings how they used our core values on the job,” Garpiel says of ingraining the story into the company culture. After all, a company story is only as good as the characters that play roles.
 

Nailing your story.

At Greenscape in Holly Springs, N.C., the company’s three “impact makers” on clients’ properties are the foundation of its vision and core values. Those are to focus on seasonal color, irrigation and lawn care. “That’s what creates the wow statement,” says Gregory Smith, business development manager.

By focusing on these three core areas of the landscape service, Smith says the company can deliver the best return on investment. Greenscape, which posted $8 million in revenue in 2014 and employs 160 people, does not want to be seen as one more line item in a property manager’s maintenance budget. “Greenscape wants to help grow clients’ businesses,” Smith says.

“What we provide is more than just landscaping. It’s marketing,” Smith continues, emphasizing that discussions with clients center on positioning Greenscape as a business growth partner.

Why the focus on these three aspects? Smith says that crewmembers can clear out weeds or prune shrubs on short order and improve the appearance of a property. But if irrigation, lawn care and seasonal color are not tended to with attention to detail, improving a problem can take up to two weeks.

Digging deeper into how the company supports its three “values,” Smith says that dedicated specialists focused on these three service areas separate Greenscape from competitors. “We don’t have your everyday landscape management crew handling all of those aspects. There’s a detail crew that does all of our mulching and pruning, a horticultural crew for seasonal color, and we have irrigation and lawn care technicians,” Smith says.

The company, Smith says, has kept its story relevant through the years because the leadership principles and core values have meaning to each employee.

Specifically, its core values are communication, learning, experience, appreciation and teamwork (the acronym CLEAT). Greenscape provides business cards for employees that include the vision statement and core values. “We are constantly preaching it and appreciating people when we get a comment back from a client,” Smiths says.

For example, positive actions in the field are categorized based on the core value. So when appreciation is expressed to the team member who went the extra mile, that praise is communicated by noting how that employee lived out one of the firm’s core values.

Greenscape’s delivery promise is: “On time. Done right. Landscaping services connecting people, businesses and communities through great outdoor spaces.” And rather than just telling the community what it stands for, the company participates in outreach projects to show how it takes its values to the field. For example, Greenscape volunteers for charities like the Boys Girls Club, helping maintain its green space. “The community sees our core values and principles, and that is how we market that,” Smith says.
 

Getting buy-in.

When a manager at Coastal Greenery sees a win in the field, he or she takes a picture or makes a note that is filed at the office. When a client gives a team member a compliment, it is logged. The feedback is organized on color-coded scorecards and categorized by core value. The office manager tracks “points” for each employee, and recognition is awarded on a monthly basis in the form of gift cards: $50 for having the most positive marks for a given core value; and $200 for the most feedback earned across all core values.

“At every morning safety meeting, we talk about those core values and tell the whole team what members did the day before,” Johns says, adding that the same practice occurs in weekly sales and production meetings, and quarterly company meetings, where a PowerPoint presentation shares scorecard highlights.

A similar reward system is in place at Garpiel Landscaping. For example, one team member rolled a client’s garbage cans up from the curb and placed them beside (not in front of) her garage. That displayed quality and commitment. Another crew properly set up safety cones and wore appropriate protective gear while working on a municipal job. The manager took a picture. It was a portrait of safety, a core value, and shared at the next tailgate meeting.

On the other hand, an employee at Garpiel Landscaping who was flagged as having an attitude with managers was showing lack of commitment. When managers can pinpoint a problem and relate it back to a core value, they can have productive discussions with problem employees about why a certain behavior is not acceptable at the business and what expectations are required.

Garpiel says one key to helping team members embrace the company story is keeping the vision, mission and core values simple. At Garpiel Landscaping, people are the foundation of its story. So when hiring, Garpiel advertises that the company hires for attitude and trains for skills. That’s a big part of attracting people who want to play on a team and embrace the company culture, he says.

Then, when the team understands, buys into and lives the core values, the company can grow and meet other strategic goals. Garpiel says, “For young companies, the owner-operators that finally put two guys in a truck and are out there mowing lawns or installing landscapes, that is the time to begin telling their people who you are, what you are here to do, and why you need their help to get to that point.”

 

Time to get involved

There are plenty of organizations that can help you be an advocate for the green industry. Below are some of those groups, along with some events and initiatives they organize, and information on who to contact if you want to join.
 

Come Alive Outside. The Come Alive Outside initiative was started in 2010 to inspire landscape companies to play a more active role in reconnecting communities with the outdoors. Executive Director Andy Paluch says the green industry is perfectly positioned to advocate the benefits of the outdoors like reducing obesity and stress through staying active outside.

“What we focus on as an organization is putting together programs that bring the landscape industry in as an essential partner in creating the opportunity for people to live healthier lives outside,” Paluch says.

The group is also reaching youth through the Come Alive Outside Design Challenge. The program, which rolled out in the 2014-2015 school year, creates the opportunity for college, high school, elementary and pre-school students to work together with landscape professionals to design and build engaging outdoor learning environments at schools and childcare facilities.

Paluch says the Design Challenge is part of Landscape Ontario and was part of PLANET’s Student Career Days in the past.

  • Website: Comealiveoutside.com
  • To get involved: Andy Paluch, 440-525-6076, andy@comealiveoutside.com

     

PLANET’s Academic Excellence Foundation. PLANET is taking on the green industry’s labor shortage with the Academic Excellence Foundation. Originally conceived as a scholarship fund, the foundation is expanding its scope to become an advocate for the industry to the general public. AEF’s new primary goal is to improve the perception of the green industry and make it a more attractive career option.

“We need to influence people before their kids select a major, before they decide their career path. They need to be aware of what great fun the green industry is and really how well you can do financially,” says AEF Board President Tom Fochtman.

That’s exactly what happened to Colorado State University graduate Eric Sabin. He says his AEF scholarship helped him land a well-paying job in the landscape field. And thanks to the financial assistance he received, he was able to focus on his coursework to learn as much as he could before entering the workforce.

Donors can decide if their dollars will go toward a scholarship or into the general foundation fund to help spread the word about all the green industry has to offer. Money allocated to the general fund is used for projects like sponsorship of career fairs around the country to spread the word about the benefits of a green industry job.

  • Website: Planetaef.org
  • To get involved: Anna Walraven, 800-395-2522, foundation@landcarenetwork.org

     

Project Evergreen’s GreenCare For Troops/SnowCare For Troops: Launching nine years ago, GreenCare For Troops brings together landscape contractors and members of the military. SnowCare For Troops is in its fifth year.

The volunteer services are offered to families of deployed military personnel and wounded and disabled veterans.

Contractors go to the website and fill out an online form indicating what services they would like to offer, how many families they’re willing to help and what their service radius is. Families sign online and make a profile indicating what services they’re looking for.

When a match is found, the name and contact information for the contractor is given to the family and it is up to them to contact the contractor and get the service set up.

Executive Director Cindy Code says the program is for the families who are in a very stressful situation while their spouse/parent is deployed.

“Their green space, their landscape, is their haven, so we want to provide a green space where they can go outside and de-stress,” Code says.

  • Website: bit.ly/llgct
  • To get involved: Cindy Code, 888-611-2955, cindycode@projectevergreen.org

     

OPEI’s TurfMutt: The Outdoor Power and Equipment Institute organization wanted people to realize that grass didn’t need to be removed in order to keep your yard environmentally friendly from a water standpoint.

Along came TurfMutt.

“It’s a program at elementary schools to kids before their minds are made up,” says Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. “TurfMutt teaches that environmental responsibility starts at home.”

Since its inception, TurfMutt has reached 38 million students, teachers and families with weekly readers, online activities, contests, classroom curriculum, a television PSA and a partnership with Scholastic Education.

Kiser says the program is also valuable to landscape contractors because it is educating the next generation of home owners and environmentalists, as well as the parents of the current students.

“It values the landscape,” he says. “It values the homescape. But it’s not just ‘plant less Kentucky Bluegrass and water it every single day.’ There are ways to work with your lawn and flowering this and flowering that to help. We believe it helps landscapers in that you’re going to want a landscape tailored to your environment and your home.”

  • Website: bit.ly/turfmutt
  • To get involved: Kristen Reamy, kreamy@opei.org, 703-549-7600

     

Legislative Day on the Hill/Renewal and Remembrance. Legislative Day on the Hill, the annual Washington fly-in, is an opportunity for landscape and lawn care industry professionals to increase their knowledge about legislative issues that affect their businesses and to participate directly in the political process. Industry professionals from across the nation are welcome to take part in this event. The Legislative Day on the Hill event is free and includes legislative briefings, an address by a key-note speaker, visits to Congressional offices, as well as dinners, receptions, and networking opportunities. Legislative Day on the Hill will take place July 19-21 and is held in conjunction with Renewal Remembrance, an event that allows PLANET members to work on the ground of the Arlington Cemetery.

  • Website: www.landcarenetwork.org/Renewal/
  • To get involved: Legislative day, Tom Delaney (tomdelaney@landcarenetwork.org); Renewal and Remembrance, Betsy Demoret (betsydemoret@landcarenetwork.org), 800-395-2522 (to reach both)

     

Day of service. Day of Service is a program designed to unite the landscape industry around the country, for a day of giving back to their communities. The purpose of the event, which normally takes place on or around Earth Day in April, is to give members of the lawn care and landscape industry an opportunity to plan, organize, and carry out projects to benefit their communities. Healthy and beautiful green spaces are a vital part of our parks, schools, and public grounds. The lawn care and landscape industry plays a vital role as a steward of the world’s green spaces. This program is held on or around Earth Day each April.

 

Article source: http://www.lawnandlandscape.com/ll0215-business-core-values-landscape-industry.aspx

Great country walks in the UK: the lure of the landscape

It was a book that got me started. Given its contents, the title was rather prosaic and restrained. Journey Through Britain, published in 1968, certainly did what it said on the cover, but you had to embark on its pages to savour the mission that had brought it into being. Author John Hillaby’s aim had been to walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats using the barest minimum of paved roads.

Why? The standard reason for innumerable climbs, crossings, canoeings and such: because it’s there. Actually, in Hillaby’s case there was another, more cautionary motive; the fear that “it” – the open countryside – might not be there forever.

The long, welcome postwar recovery was putting fresh pressure, industrial and residential, on hitherto open land. As new and not so new towns fingered ever further from their centres, old networks of communication from a more pedestrian age were among the inevitable casualties.

Hillaby made it, barring a few miles of unskirtable tarmac. It was the way he made it, in that equally vanished pre-satnav era, that was so engaging; working from piles of Ordnance Survey maps which he then mailed home when he’d done with them. Whenever he talked about the journey, he invoked the spirit of an earlier writer, JB Priestley, who found that walking in the countryside stimulated the “skull cinema” of his imagination. This is not to disparage the claims for walking made by our own more therapeutically literate times, but the benefits have surely been there, unsung or not, since people first stood, stepped and moved.

And old path is the bearer of powerful stories.
Photograph: Alamy

Hillaby and Priestley find themselves in the best of historic company, from Dante and Shakespeare, through to Wordsworth, Clare and Dickens. For Thomas Hardy in The Mayor of Casterbridge, the walked road frames the fortunes of his benighted hero Michael Henchard; for Edward Thomas the country way is “a silent companion always ready for us, whether it is night or day, wet or fine, whether we are calm or desperate, well or sick”.

It would be courting ridicule to claim that in walking the most embedded of our country ways we are somehow re-creating the earth in the manner of Australian Aboriginals, yet an old path is the bearer of powerful stories. None more so than the The Ridgeway of the Berkshire Downs, part of a 5,000-year-old pedestrian motorway along the natural route provided by the upland chalk. If a country path was once a corpse road, then it was also a carrier of spent lives. When you know of these origins, it adds food for thought as you go along your 21st- century way.

There’s no way I’d ever to try to pass myself off as a countryman. My ignorance about soils, rock formation, plant species and animal husbandry is appallingly well preserved. I may not be proud of this, but then neither am I unduly ashamed. I go into the countryside because it is not the town. The lure of its shapes and feel and mere presence is as strong as that of Buckingham Palace and the Tate Modern and all the rest of it for someone making the opposite journey.

I really do feel my spirit lift when the train out of Marylebone or Waterloo pulls clear of the dogged houses and the first lines of the Chilterns or the North Downs come into view. I can almost feel it happening as I look at these 20 appetising routes of different grades and lengths among some of the best, most varied landscapes this country still has to offer, in spite of everything – and hope it inspires you to plan an excursion.

Yes, Priestley was on to it. Something happens when you allow yourself to walk in open country. A shift occurs in the interior landscape. Mental pathways which kept leading you into brick walls or forbidden compounds find new courses and ease your passage in ways that you hadn’t dared to expect.

Clearly you were meant to be doing this. Perhaps it has to do with an emptying process, the freeing-up of the view as analogous to The Country not being The Town. I don’t know. Neither am I bothered.

Alan Franks is the author of Going Over, a novella about a man walking across England (Muswell Press, £7.50).

Article source: http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/jan/25/20-great-country-walks-every-footstep-part-of-a-journey

Great country walks in the UK: the lure of the landscape

It was a book that got me started. Given its contents, the title was rather prosaic and restrained. Journey Through Britain, published in 1968, certainly did what it said on the cover, but you had to embark on its pages to savour the mission that had brought it into being. Author John Hillaby’s aim had been to walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats using the barest minimum of paved roads.

Why? The standard reason for innumerable climbs, crossings, canoeings and such: because it’s there. Actually, in Hillaby’s case there was another, more cautionary motive; the fear that “it” – the open countryside – might not be there forever.

The long, welcome postwar recovery was putting fresh pressure, industrial and residential, on hitherto open land. As new and not so new towns fingered ever further from their centres, old networks of communication from a more pedestrian age were among the inevitable casualties.

Hillaby made it, barring a few miles of unskirtable tarmac. It was the way he made it, in that equally vanished pre-satnav era, that was so engaging; working from piles of Ordnance Survey maps which he then mailed home when he’d done with them. Whenever he talked about the journey, he invoked the spirit of an earlier writer, JB Priestley, who found that walking in the countryside stimulated the “skull cinema” of his imagination. This is not to disparage the claims for walking made by our own more therapeutically literate times, but the benefits have surely been there, unsung or not, since people first stood, stepped and moved.

And old path is the bearer of powerful stories.
Photograph: Alamy

Hillaby and Priestley find themselves in the best of historic company, from Dante and Shakespeare, through to Wordsworth, Clare and Dickens. For Thomas Hardy in The Mayor of Casterbridge, the walked road frames the fortunes of his benighted hero Michael Henchard; for Edward Thomas the country way is “a silent companion always ready for us, whether it is night or day, wet or fine, whether we are calm or desperate, well or sick”.

It would be courting ridicule to claim that in walking the most embedded of our country ways we are somehow re-creating the earth in the manner of Australian Aboriginals, yet an old path is the bearer of powerful stories. None more so than the The Ridgeway of the Berkshire Downs, part of a 5,000-year-old pedestrian motorway along the natural route provided by the upland chalk. If a country path was once a corpse road, then it was also a carrier of spent lives. When you know of these origins, it adds food for thought as you go along your 21st- century way.

There’s no way I’d ever to try to pass myself off as a countryman. My ignorance about soils, rock formation, plant species and animal husbandry is appallingly well preserved. I may not be proud of this, but then neither am I unduly ashamed. I go into the countryside because it is not the town. The lure of its shapes and feel and mere presence is as strong as that of Buckingham Palace and the Tate Modern and all the rest of it for someone making the opposite journey.

I really do feel my spirit lift when the train out of Marylebone or Waterloo pulls clear of the dogged houses and the first lines of the Chilterns or the North Downs come into view. I can almost feel it happening as I look at these 20 appetising routes of different grades and lengths among some of the best, most varied landscapes this country still has to offer, in spite of everything – and hope it inspires you to plan an excursion.

Yes, Priestley was on to it. Something happens when you allow yourself to walk in open country. A shift occurs in the interior landscape. Mental pathways which kept leading you into brick walls or forbidden compounds find new courses and ease your passage in ways that you hadn’t dared to expect.

Clearly you were meant to be doing this. Perhaps it has to do with an emptying process, the freeing-up of the view as analogous to The Country not being The Town. I don’t know. Neither am I bothered.

Alan Franks is the author of Going Over, a novella about a man walking across England (Muswell Press, £7.50).

Article source: http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/jan/25/20-great-country-walks-every-footstep-part-of-a-journey

Boulder Group Pushes For City To Become ‘Bee Safe’

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – The Boulder group behind Colorado’s first Bee Safe Neighborhood is hoping to make the whole city bee friendly.

David Wheeler is one of several residents who started Bee Safe Boulder, and he’s urging community members to stop using systemic pesticides in the landscaping and gardens on their property.

“Bees are the canary in the coal mine,” said Wheeler during a meeting of the group on Wednesday night. “If the bees are dying that tells us that our environment is toxic and we need to change that.”

David Wheeler (credit: CBS)

David Wheeler at Wednesday night’s Bee Safe Boulder neighborhood meeting (credit: CBS)

While chemical manufacturers argue their products are safe, those in the Bee Safe movement across the country believe they are responsible for killing bee colonies at an alarming rate.

Nearly 500 households in Boulder and more than a dozen business owners have already pledged to Bee Safe. And Wheeler says the level of support the group has received so far has prompted him to think bigger and take the proposal to the city.

“This resolution is simply asking that the citizens of Boulder practice bee safe gardening and lawn care and that the city itself will not use neonicotinoids in their city landscapes, which includes parks,” he told CBS4.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Boulder city officials say they recognize the risks, but in a statement they said in part “… it is a complex issue and there are times when the city’s pesticide reduction goals conflict with other goals.”

Officials said they are now looking at what, if any, action they can take. The city planning department will put together a report and present its recommendations to the Boulder City Council on how to move forward in the spring.

Several cities across the country have resolutions similar to the one being proposed in Boulder. Denver is one of them.

Article source: http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/02/12/boulder-group-pushes-for-city-to-become-bee-safe/

Boulder Group Pushes For City To Become ‘Bee Safe’

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – The Boulder group behind Colorado’s first Bee Safe Neighborhood is hoping to make the whole city bee friendly.

David Wheeler is one of several residents who started Bee Safe Boulder, and he’s urging community members to stop using systemic pesticides in the landscaping and gardens on their property.

“Bees are the canary in the coal mine,” said Wheeler during a meeting of the group on Wednesday night. “If the bees are dying that tells us that our environment is toxic and we need to change that.”

David Wheeler (credit: CBS)

David Wheeler at Wednesday night’s Bee Safe Boulder neighborhood meeting (credit: CBS)

While chemical manufacturers argue their products are safe, those in the Bee Safe movement across the country believe they are responsible for killing bee colonies at an alarming rate.

Nearly 500 households in Boulder and more than a dozen business owners have already pledged to Bee Safe. And Wheeler says the level of support the group has received so far has prompted him to think bigger and take the proposal to the city.

“This resolution is simply asking that the citizens of Boulder practice bee safe gardening and lawn care and that the city itself will not use neonicotinoids in their city landscapes, which includes parks,” he told CBS4.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Boulder city officials say they recognize the risks, but in a statement they said in part “… it is a complex issue and there are times when the city’s pesticide reduction goals conflict with other goals.”

Officials said they are now looking at what, if any, action they can take. The city planning department will put together a report and present its recommendations to the Boulder City Council on how to move forward in the spring.

Several cities across the country have resolutions similar to the one being proposed in Boulder. Denver is one of them.

Article source: http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/02/12/boulder-group-pushes-for-city-to-become-bee-safe/

Flower power at the garden show

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Bob Lilly and Phil Wood show off the “living dresses” photo opportunity they designed into their “Picture Yourself on Azalea Way” garden for the Washington Park Arboretum at the Northwest Flower Garden Show on Tuesday. The show opens to the public Feb. 11-15.

Over three feverish days, some of the region’s most talented gardeners, landscape designers and earthmover operators transported the Washington State Convention Center into another season.

“You’re going to see color. You’re going to see spring,” said Terry O’Laughlin, producer of the 27th annual Northwest Flower Garden Show. “Everybody has gone above and beyond this year.”

For the main event, the display gardens, there are 50 percent more flowers in bloom than past years, according to the staff. This year’s theme, “Romance Blossoms,” nods to their Valentine’s Day weekend timing. In addition, visitors can find more than 100 gardening seminars and a large marketplace for shopping.

The Northwest Flower Garden Show runs through Sunday at the convention center, at Seventh Avenue and Pike Street. General admission is $22, with discounts for groups, kids and late-day entry. For more information, visit gardenshow.com.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Joel Pratt puts shiny pieces of broken glass in Nature Perfect Landscaping’s “A Moment to Remember” garden pool for sparkle at the Northwest Flower Garden Show.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

It’s always sunny in preparation for the Northwest Flower Garden Show.

For more photos, visit the gallery.

Article source: http://seattletimes.com/html/picturethis/2025678644_flowerpoweratthegardenshow.html

Flower power at the garden show

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Bob Lilly and Phil Wood show off the “living dresses” photo opportunity they designed into their “Picture Yourself on Azalea Way” garden for the Washington Park Arboretum at the Northwest Flower Garden Show on Tuesday. The show opens to the public Feb. 11-15.

Over three feverish days, some of the region’s most talented gardeners, landscape designers and earthmover operators transported the Washington State Convention Center into another season.

“You’re going to see color. You’re going to see spring,” said Terry O’Laughlin, producer of the 27th annual Northwest Flower Garden Show. “Everybody has gone above and beyond this year.”

For the main event, the display gardens, there are 50 percent more flowers in bloom than past years, according to the staff. This year’s theme, “Romance Blossoms,” nods to their Valentine’s Day weekend timing. In addition, visitors can find more than 100 gardening seminars and a large marketplace for shopping.

The Northwest Flower Garden Show runs through Sunday at the convention center, at Seventh Avenue and Pike Street. General admission is $22, with discounts for groups, kids and late-day entry. For more information, visit gardenshow.com.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Joel Pratt puts shiny pieces of broken glass in Nature Perfect Landscaping’s “A Moment to Remember” garden pool for sparkle at the Northwest Flower Garden Show.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

It’s always sunny in preparation for the Northwest Flower Garden Show.

For more photos, visit the gallery.

Article source: http://seattletimes.com/html/picturethis/2025678644_flowerpoweratthegardenshow.html