- FNGLA Newshttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/?z=2FNGLA news articles for all web users to see.Who’s Flipping Out? As It Turns Out, WE ARE!

Digging in - Chad Crawford, host of "Flip My Florida Yard," shows what it's like to take a Florida landscape from drab to fab. (PHOTO COURTESY CRAWFORD ENTERTAINMENT)

In addition to ‘Emmy award-winning producer,’ Chad Crawford will soon add a new title behind his name – ‘Florida Plant Advocate.’

Well-known already for his “How to Do Florida” TV series, Crawford has just wrapped filming four episodes of “Flip My Florida Yard,” a new series expected to begin airing in select Florida broadcast markets in April.

The new series, of which FNGLA is the title sponsor, seeks to stir up enthusiasm for Florida plants, trees and home landscapes – and impart a little plant and conservation wisdom along the way. The show’s premise? A handful of lucky Florida homeowners whose outdoor areas are in need of a facelift are sent away for an afternoon adventure while dozens of industry professionals build them a brand new personalized landscape.

FNGLA’s Kate Clary spoke with Crawford to get a sense of just what this project entailed – and why it was important to create:

FNGLA: So, Chad, tell us about yourself. How did you get into show business?

I’m a third-generation Florida native. I was born in Sanford and moved to Lake Mary when I was seven. So I have lived my entire life here.

I was in the Navy out of high school for four years, and travelled all throughout the Caribbean. I was stationed on an island called ‘Antigua’ in the West Indies.

Before I left for the Navy, though, my high school video production teacher told me, if I wasn’t such a goofball, I’d be good at this. He thought I had a knack for television. I got in trouble in his class quite a bit, but he took it upon himself, at least, to leave me with that [compliment] before I graduated.  

And that kind of stuck in my mind. As I was about to get out of the Navy with my GI Bill, his message kept coming back to me. So, I enrolled in Full Sail, which is a video and film school here in Winter Park (near Orlando), and graduated in 1995. And it kind of started my career in television.

FNGLA: Nice. Tell us how you got into filming the outdoors-y type of shows you produce? Passion, practicality, location?

The development and creation of outdoor programming is really the combination of my two passions-- film and the outdoors. I had a corporate video production company for about 15 years, but I always wanted to do my own show. And, I loved Florida – I always loved being outdoors in Florida. And, so I decided to create a television show to inspired and show people how to get outside and do outdoor activities in Florida.

FNGLA: So, how did you come up with the premise for “Flip My Florida Yard?”

“Flip My Florida Yard” was basically a spin-off of “How to Do Florida” which ran for seven seasons. I did an episode entitled, ‘How to Have a Florida Yard.’ [During that shoot], I developed an interest in Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM and water-saving technology.

As I traveled around the state filming “How to Do Florida,” I saw and talked to a lot of people who were very concerned about water use in our state. We weren’t using it really efficiently. And, so I started doing a lot of research and looking into it. I wanted to do a show to teach people how to have a Florida yard, save water, and use more Florida-friendly plants.

And, I just loved the yard episode! It got a great response. People loved the message. They really responded to it. They wanted this information and they wanted it presented in that kind of HGTV format to which they were so accustomed.

And, so that’s how “Flip My Florida Yard” launched! Then we developed the series, and shot the pilot – and the rest is history

FNGLA: Sure is. What’s the hope for the series?

The hope for this series is it invites Florida residents to be a part of the solution. I want to create very tangible ways for people to be a part of the state [effort] to use less water. And, I want people to look at landscaping differently. I want them to see their front yard as their little piece of Florida. And, everything they do in their yard has ripple effects throughout our entire state.
And, I also want people to become more connected to Florida through their yard – and connected to each other.

FNGLA: How do you hope your audience will receive the series?

I hope my audience responds to the water conservation message and commits to doing a little. Our show’s motto is, “Everybody doing a little is a whole lot.”

I don’t fully expect everybody to flip their yard. I want them to just take small steps toward water conservation.

FNGLA: We love it. So, when is “Flip My Florida Yard” slated to air, and where?

The shows have already begun airing in select broadcast markets, and they will also air on Fox Sports Sun as well. You will also be able to watch full episodes at www.FlipMyFloridaYard.com just as soon as network licensing allows it.     
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39804Fri, 21 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA’s Landscape Awards: Which Projects Will You Enter?
The FNGLA Landscape Awards Program was established in 1970 to recognize landscape excellence in Florida. Forty-seven years later, FNGLA is still celebrating “the best of the best” and recognizing projects and businesses which excel in creating some of the best landscapes in Florida.

2017’s award–winning landscape projects will be showcased at The Landscape Show in Orlando. Four higher-level “Grand Awards” will be revealed and honored as the event’s biggest winners. Will your business be among those honored?

A new lower submission fee means you can enter even more projects. FNGLA members pay just $85, nonmembers pay $130. 

Among the many benefits to being named an FNGLA Landscape Award winner:

• Establish yourself and your business as an industry elite 
• Gain industry recognition: Be an industry superstar! 
• Gain award credentials to showcase to potential clients 
• Expand your participation and visibility at The Landscape Show, the industry’s main event for all things related to Florida landscapes 
• Earn media exposure

Landscape projects featuring at least 50 percent Florida-grown plant material are eligible and must have been installed or began on or after January 1, 2013. 

Various project categories and project values offer many recognition opportunities.

Check out details and submission categories here
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39802Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Membership: A Solid Business Decision
FNGLA is many things to many people, yet a solid business decision for anyone doing business in Florida’s nursery and landscape industry.

Pushing a no-apologies, pro-business, pro-agriculture, and pro-jobs agenda, FNGLA functions as more than just a political watchdog, offering value-filled marketing venues, events and learning, professional certifications and opportunities for virtually every business vested in FNGLA’s mission: to promote and protect the interests of the industry. FNGLA is proud to be the recognized leader and trusted resource for Florida’s green industry and we do so embracing organizational excellence, staying focused on our members, collaborating and creating partnerships, being a leader for Florida agriculture, embracing environmental stewardship and looking to continually improve on our efforts. 

We also understand businesses seek tangible value. FNGLA brings a portfolio of exclusive value-added FNGLA member-business discounts and services:

• Help your bottom line by discounts in the credit card processing fees you pay.
• How about discounts to process your payroll?  
• Do you know you can get free listings in not one, but TWO online plant listing services just because you’re an FNGLA member? 
• Can your business use a creative marketing shot-in-the-arm? 
• What about group life insurance with no medical exams? 
• How about an Isuzu truck discount? 
• And, FNGLA offers an employment law hotline where you can gain quick advice on wage-hour, OSHA, I-9 issues and sticky workers’ compensation situations and, should research be required, a special FNGLA-member rate is honored.  

Each of these exclusive FNGLA member benefits can make a welcome, positive impact on your business bottom line.  And, the potential savings from using any one of them could end up paying for your membership dues…and then some. 

FNGLA’s two top-rated marketing venues – The Landscape Show and TPIE -- where you can market and shop for the newest plants, products and services offers FNGLA members a substantial rate discount on booth space.  And, FNGLA offers the amazing and unique value of building your business network and relationships offered by FNGLA’s Chapters throughout Florida. 
What’s the value to your business in tapping into emerging trends offered by FNGLA’s premier educational events?  How about the value of earning any of FNGLA’s five certifications to shape your firm’s professional image in the eyes of your clients?  

In the last two months, FNGLA has put consumer impact on warp speed, filming four episodes of “Flip My Florida Yard,” a series designed to educate Floridians on environmentally sound choices for their outdoor spaces. We hope it inspires many to spend dollars on their landscapes. Do you value consumer spending?

There is a big team of members, leaders and staff working shoulder-to-shoulder developing a menu of FNGLA business programs, benefits and services. FNGLA aims high. We aim to deliver business value for your FNGLA membership dollar.  

It’s FNGLA membership renewal season.  Dues renewal forms have been emailed and also sent by mail to you. Be sure to renew today. When you do, please add something extra for the FNGLA-PAC – a critical tool in FNGLA’s advocacy and government affairs toolbox. Your dollars help FNGLA truly make an impact.

FNGLA is undoubtedly a solid business decision.  We look forward to continuing to serve Florida’s nursery and landscape industry and the people who make this industry great!
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39796Mon, 17 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Announces Industry Award Winners 
FNGLA has many valuable resources, the most significant of which is its talented members who generously give their expertise, time and passion for the industry. With many deserving members nominated for consideration, the Industry Awards Selection Committee has the challenge and the honor to select the best of the best for FNGLA’s top six industry awards. The winners for 2017 are as follows:

Outstanding Chapter Leader: Christy Savage, Betrock Information Systems, Inc. 

Christy is the current president of the FNGLA Broward Chapter and has brought new energy to the chapter. Her enthusiasm for all things FNGLA and her extensive network helps Christy encourage new people to get involved with the chapter where their talent can make the most difference. Christy is untiring and, while serious about the industry issues, makes sure there’s fun included at each meeting. 

Outstanding Educator: Susan League, FCHP | UF/IFAS Sumter County Extension 

Susan came out of retirement to accept the challenging task of educating federal prison inmates, teaching horticulture job skills. The program focus is training for the FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professional exam. Susan's superior teaching skills are evident in the more than 90% passing rate. The program is making a difference in the lives of her students due in large part to Susan’s dedication and commitment in teaching this unique audience.

Outstanding Volunteer Member: Phil Rucks, Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery 

During a very challenging time for the citrus nursery industry, Phil has been a key leader within FNGLA’s Citrus Nursery Division. He spearheaded the construction of a citrus research greenhouse at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, the first of its kind solely for citrus nursery research. Phil has been a significant and leading influence in planning workshops for FNGLA’s Citrus Nursery Division members, facilitating needed research grants and promoting FNGLA to the greater citrus nursery industry in Florida.

Farm Credit/FNGLA Young Nursery Professional: Mike Tevelonis, Botanics Wholesale 

Mike possesses an incredible work ethic. Whether he’s pushing sales at Botanics Wholesale where he serves as Vice President, raising funds for the National Horticulture Foundation through the Dick Fuhr Fishing Tournament, or as an Eagle Scout, encouraging and teaching young scouts, Mike shines as a likable leader, intelligent businessman and committed industry professional.

Hall of Fame Inductee: Gene Batson, Batson Greenhouses, retired 

Gene Batson loves growing things. His passion and expertise as a grower not only led to his own nursery success, but opened a door for Gene and his wife Barbara to mentor and work with protégées to start and turn over ownership of several Central Florida foliage nurseries.  Gene’s turnkey business approach gave each new owner a head start to business success. Gene also encouraged his protégées to be involved in the industry as active members of FNGLA. Several are industry leaders today because of Gene’s influence in their early business years. Today, Gene continues to find happiness growing fruits and vegetables in his oversized garden, which has become so abundant he now has it open as a U-pick farm. 

Wendell E. Butler Award Winner: Wes and Vickie Parrish, Parrish Nursery, retired 

With over 50 industry years under their combined belts, you can’t talk about FNGLA’s Broward Chapter without instantly thinking of this dynamic duo!  While they’ve had their hands on almost every chapter activity for at least the last decade, both are very active in FNGLA state activities too—with Vickie serving on multiple committees, and Wes having been FNGLA President and NHF President.  2017 brought huge change for this couple—retiring from their business and welcoming their first grandchild!  We celebrate their many years of commitment to FNGLA.

Celebrate the 2017 FNGLA Industry Award Winners at the FNGLA Convention: June 23 & 24 at the B Ocean Resort in Ft. Lauderdale.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39795Fri, 14 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Florida Flower Trials: FNGLA’s Spring “Must Attend” Event Get an intimate look at over 100 new color varieties showcased at the Florida Flower Trials, held May 18 & 19 in conjunction with the Epcot® International Flower and Garden Festival. Florida Flower Trials features new varieties at three locations: Walt Disney World’s nursery; Harry P. Leu Gardens; and, the University of Florida/Orange County Extension Service. The two-day event also offers educational seminars, tours of the trial sites and industry collaboration.  

Ideal for landscape professionals, garden center retailers, growers and anyone looking to rub shoulders with top national breeders and Florida’s color industry, the line-up of speakers and topics are top-notch and include: 

• Dan Heims (Terra Nova Nurseries, Canby, OR): presenting Container Crazy (and Plants for Small Gardens);
• Tracy DiSabato-Aust (Horticultural Classics & Consultations, Sunbury, OH) presenting Designing With Color, Texture & Form for Visionary Effects; 
• Tyler Chandler (WinField Solutions PPG, Boca Raton, FL) presenting Thinking Outside the Pot: Solutions for Maintaining Healthy Annual Beds; 
• Melissa Shepherd (Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL), Eric Sondgeroth (Harry P. Leu Gardens, Orlando, FL) and, Kelly Greer (UF/IFAS Orange County Extension Services, Orlando, FL) presenting Lessons from Florida Flower Trial Garden’s Site Managers: Lone Survivors of the Summer

Breeder representatives will be available throughout the event and on location at each of the trial sites to interact, provide information and answer your specific questions.  Plus, the all-popular Breeder Showcase brings tons of valuable information on participating varieties and, typically you’ll be privy to what’s “in the works.” For the complete schedule of events, visit FNGLA's website

FNGLA Members can attend the conference for just $175 ($200 after May 15). Non-members pay $210 ($235 after May 15). Your full conference ticket is an amazing value as it includes all education sessions; admission to the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival as part of the conference; and, lunch and dinner on Thursday. You have the option to register to attend the Thursday evening dinner separately. 

Special thanks to Brad’s Bedding Plants and Speedling who were chosen as the official growers for the 2017 trials because of their quality growing techniques and to BrightView who was chosen as the official landscape contractor. 

For information on sponsoring or to reserve a tabletop area for your business, contact FNGLA’s Linda Reindl, lreindl@fngla. org or FNGLA’s BIlly Deal, bdeal@fngla.org for details.
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39793Thu, 13 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Bringing Together Two Industries

She’s a one-woman powerhouse whose contributions straddle both the landscape and construction industries. Linda Tootle, owner of Tootle Construction, a construction firm based in Central Florida, is well-known among those in the FNGLA certifications circle. Tootle, a licensed contractor, also holds four FNGLA certifications: FCLC, FCLT, FCHP and FNGLA Certified Exam Judge. Tootle is a familiar face at many certification exams in the past, according to Merry Mott, FNGLA Director or Certifications and Career Development.

“I can always count on Linda at every landscape certification exam at SeaWorld,” Mott said of Tootle. “She’s an outstanding exam judge always making herself available to help others get ahead.”

FNGLA’s Kate Clary spoke with Tootle to get a sense of how her FNGLA certification has helped her get to the next level in her own industry.

FNGLA: Why was it a priority for you to get certified?

Tootle: I have been in the industry for many years and have a Bachelors in Landscape Architecture.  I worked for many landscape/irrigation contractors in the Central Florida area -- working at most of the theme parks. My priority for becoming certified was I started my own company and decided to pursue Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) landscape contracts. During this time, you either had to become pre-certified or have the FNGLA Certificates.  I felt it was better to obtain the FNGLA Certification. 

FNGLA: How did you learn about FNGLA?

Tootle: I learned of FNGLA many years ago as one of my employers was on the FNGLA board. I attended many of the FNGLA shows throughout the years and am glad to be a part of this organization.

FNGLA: Coming from another industry, what's been your experience? Did you find it different in any way?

Tootle: My training and background is in the landscape industry. During the middle of my career, it took a turn and I began to pursue other construction opportunities. It now seems to be settling down and I have a good mix of landscape and construction renovation work.  

FNGLA: How has being certified helped you excel in the construction industry?

Tootle: It is always a good idea to be certified. This not only respects the industry, but your peers and it demonstrates to others you are willing to place effort into your designated field. I also became a licensed contractor in the State of Florida. The FNGLA Certified Landscape Contractor designation has given me a leg up in bidding and providing credentials to prime contractors -- and gives business owners a comfort level with my abilities.  

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39792Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Need CEUs? Engage Your FNGLA Chapter


If you're looking for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to renew your FNGLA Certification, your local FNGLA chapter is a virtual goldmine. Each chapter across the state offers a host of events, meetings and volunteer opportunities to provide the necessary CEUs – with the added bonus of introducing you to fellow industry members. To locate your local chapter, visit FNGLA's website. Be sure also to 'like' FNGLA's Certifications and Education Facebook page for regular updates on upcoming news and events.


Below are a handful of events in the next month providing CEUs.  If you attend something not on this list, send information to mmott@fngla.org to see if you can earn CEUs by attending.


Monday-Tuesday, April 17 & 18, 2017

What: OSHA Landscape Stand Down – Safety Programs

Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: At Your Workplace!

To register, visit this registration page.


Thursday-Friday, April 20 & 21, 2017

What: Native Plant Show

Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Bradenton Area Convention Center

Bradenton, FL

For information, visit: http://www.nativeplantshow.com/


Thursday, April 20, 2017

What: Education on the Go – Landscape Design Ultimate

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Harry P. Leu Gardens

Orlando, FL

For information, visit FNGLA's website.


Friday, April 21, 2017

What: Education on the Go – Landscape Design Profitable

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Harry P. Leu Gardens

Orlando, FL

For information, visit FNGLA's website.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

What: FCLT Exam Review – Bilingual/Hands-on

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Miami-Dade Extension

18710 SW 288th St (Biscayne Dr & Redland Rd)

Homestead, FL

For information: 305-248-3311 x 225


Saturday-Sunday, April 22 & 23, 2017

What: Green Thumb Festival

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Walter Fuller Park

St. Petersburg, FL

For information, contact Jackie Wildey, FNGLA Pinellas Chapter, jacklyn.rhea@gmail.com


Monday, April 24, 2017

What: Lunch & Learn - The Fabulous Diversity of Bromeliads

Info: 1 CEU can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Collier County Extension

14700 Immokalee Road

Naples, FL 34119

For information, visit this registration page.


Friday, April 28, 2017

What: FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician Exam

Info: 6 CEUs can be earned for judging

Where: UF/IFAS Ft. Lauderdale Research Center

3205 College Ave.

Davie, FL 33314

For information, contact Merry Mott, FNGLA, mmott@fngla.org, 407-295-7994


Saturday, April 29, 2017

What: Beekeeping – Colony Mgmt & Swarm Control

Info: 3 CEUs can be earned for judging

Where: UF Bee Unit

2895 SW 23rd Terr

Gainesville, FL 32611

For information, visit: http://tinyurl.com/havwm52

Monday-Wednesday, May 1 & 3, 2017

What: Southeast Pest Management Conference

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned per day for FNGLA

Where: University of Florida Physics Bldg.

Museum Rd. & Gale Lemerand Dr.

Gainesville, FL 32611

For information, visit this registration page.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What: Irrigation Essentials & Alternatives

Info: 2 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Collier County Extension

14700 Immokalee Road

Naples, FL 34119

For information, visit this registration page.


Thursday-Friday, May 18 & 19, 2017

What: Florida Flower Trials

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned per day for FNGLA

Where: Harry P. Leu Gardens, UF/IFAS Orange County Extension, Disney’s Horticulture

Orlando, FL

To register, visit this registration page.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What: Zoysiagrass Management Workshop

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Orange County Extension

6021 S Conway Road

Orlando, FL 32812

To register, visit this registration page.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

What: Zoysiagrass Management Workshop

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension

5339 County Rd. 579

Seffner, FL 33584

To register, visit this registration page. 

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39791Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Certification Training: Help Us Help You

The next FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician training and testing is slated for South Florida later this month, but we want to know, ‘Is that convenient for you?’

Being a statewide organization, our industry members experience different busy seasons. So, we’re always looking for feedback on where and when it is most convenient for you to take part in certification testing and training opportunities.

That’s why we’re asking you to please answer this four-question survey, so we can plan convenient locations for you to demonstrate your industry knowledge and increase your marketability.   

It’s also important for us to know what times of year work for your schedule so we can provide you with meaningful Continuing Education (CEUs) which are needed to maintain your certification.

For more information on FNGLA certifications, contact Merry Mott via email at mmott@fngla.org, or by phone at 407-295-7994.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39790Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA’s Programs Pair Well with Your Thriving Business

Spring has sprung. At least, that’s what the calendar shows. The reality is it seems winter never really showed up. Of course, we really don’t ever get too much cold weather in South Florida. This particular winter only gave us perhaps three or four days of cold weather. Repercussions occur when winter doesn’t. Trees have growing cycles which require cold months to bud and grow. When there is an absence of winter, trees get confused and sometimes flower too early messing up the growing cycle. The cold also helps control pests by sometimes killing them with the low temperatures. 

Our industry doesn’t need any other factors impeding tree production. I’ve been brokering trees for close to 25 years and, during that time, I’ve seen availability and shortages come and go. The current tree shortage is far worse than I’ve ever seen. Whether you are looking for live oaks, tall Veitchia Montgomery palms, or a substitute for either which will meet a 16’ height and a particular caliper, you understand what I am talking about. It’s very difficult to find many trees and palms meeting the larger height requirements which many current projects require. There are several factors contributing to these shortages. We have fewer growers now than we did several years ago. During the Great Recession, growers put fewer trees and palms in the ground obviously not wanting to be stuck with material or not having the funds to plant more trees. There has also been a tremendous growth in the construction market and renovations have depleted much of the available supply. Many farms have also succumbed to this construction growth as they have given way to houses or shopping centers.  

So now what? Our industry is unlike most others. A factory machine cannot be turned on to pump out more trees as can a factory producing steel or concrete. Trees need time to grow. Many nursery farms are ramping up on production and trees will be available within the next year or two. Most landscape architects and inspectors are reasonable and will allow substitutes if some things are not available. If a tree is unavailable at a certain specification, an alternative may be suggested, the spec may be adjusted, or adding numbers of smaller trees may be another. 

There is another large factor to contend with…price. The price for a tree remained stagnant for many years. Now, due to supply and demand, prices have been going up. Some projects are bid out six months to one year prior… or possibly even longer. Contractors are expected to hold to their prices even though the price for a tree may have increased significantly. Many contractors are now putting a clause in their bids which protect them from such instances. Knowing how to bid, and being aware of what’s happening in the industry, is critical for a landscape contractor’s survival. It is this professionalism which ties in with certification.

Dealing with FNGLA certified landscape contractors (FCLC) is vital to ensuring you are working with a professional company which knows what they are doing. The FCLC is the only standard for measuring the knowledge of practicing landscape contractors in Florida. In a state which does not require licensing to practice landscape, this is the certification which raises the Florida landscape industry’s professionalism and standards. These credentials have become so important that many governmental agencies and municipalities now require landscape contractors hold this particular designation to bid on certain projects.  

I’ve been a huge proponent of FNGLA’s certifications over the past 10 years. I am not a landscape contractor, yet I’ve seen the importance of these certifications and decided they were necessary as I believe anyone doing business in a particular industry should become as knowledgeable and professional as possible. After I obtained my FNGLA certifications, I decided to go a step further and help others achieve their certifications. The more individuals who become certified, the more professional an industry becomes. 

On a separate note, as my term as FNGLA President draws to a close in three short months, preparations are in full swing for the annual convention. This year’s convention will be held in Fort Lauderdale on June 23 & 24 at the B Ocean Resort in Ft. Lauderdale which sits directly on the beautiful beaches of Fort Lauderdale. This annual convention would be impossible without the support and contributions of many FNGLA members. I personally wish to extend a huge thank you to the individuals and companies who have donated their time and money to help make this upcoming convention be a great time for all.  I have attended every convention since I’ve been a member of FNGLA except for one and I will continue to do so long after I step down as president. I hope many of you will take the opportunity to join us this year as I promise this FNGLA convention will be one to remember!

Robert Shoelson, 
FCLC Getting Green Plant Service, Inc. (Davie) & Betrock Information Systems, Inc. (Hollywood) 
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39786Mon, 10 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Plan Now to “B” at FNGLA’s Annual Convention: June 23 & 24 Book the Date and Your Hotel Room for Best Value

Plan now to attend FNGLA’s favorite event for building business relationships and keeping current with your association and industry.
FNGLA’s Annual Convention offers a perfect mix of business and pleasure with your industry friends and colleagues. FNGLA Convention activities will take advantage of the B’s private beachfront location, offering a Beach Bash Welcome Reception on Friday evening, plenty of pool and beach time on Saturday afternoon, and spectacular ocean views from the President’s Gala ballroom on Saturday evening.

Although the hotel has recently been completely renovated as the B Ocean Fort Lauderdale, the iconic Wreck Bar remains intact, and continues to feature a live mermaid show each Thursday and Friday evening.

Why wait to book your hotel room? Take advantage of FNGLA’s special rate and FNGLA group only extras. The hotel rate is $149, with a reduced resort fee of $10. Also included are complimentary Wi-Fi, complimentary 24 hour access to the fitness center and a reduced self-parking rate. Book your room online now for best rates and availability, or call 1-866-990-6826 and mention ‘FNGLA Annual Convention’ to be booked inside the group block.

For additional information on FNGLA’s Annual convention or to become a sponsor, contact Linda Adams or call FNGLA at 800-375-3642. Tell your friends and colleagues you’ll “B” there!

About the B - A historic Fort Lauderdale landmark, the B Ocean Fort Lauderdale was first known as the Yankee Clipper Resort, with the original hotel built in the shape of an ocean liner. The Yankee Clipper’s Wreck Bar was featured in the 1960s film “Where the Boys Are” and in the 1999 movie “Analyze This,” starring Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal. (PHOTO COURTESY B OCEAN FORT LAUDERDALE)

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39780Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Offers $50 for Member Referrals as Part of Recruitment Campaign
Are you aware of FNGLA’s recruitment contest?  It’s simple, fun and pays you $50 for each new business (full membership & up) you recruit as an FNGLA member. 

This contest began January 1 and ends June 1-- with recruitment recognition at the FNGLA Annual Convention. All monies earned are intended to be paid in June-- and you decide who gets the cash... you or your local chapter.
Yup.  It’s pretty simple.

To refer a member, visit FNGLA's Membership page
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39779Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT
The Respite Below: Among Teams Developing the Lowline Shines Two Industry Stars
Plant oasis - John Mini, vice president of operations at John Mini Distinctive Landscapes, points out a design component of the Lowline project which seeks to create a subterranean park on Manhattan's Lower East Side. (PHOTO COURTESY JOHN MINI DISTINCTIVE LANDSCAPES)

It’s been roughly two months since Mark Mini and Andrew Engel shared with a TPIE audience the horticulture experiment they are part of  which utilizes mirrors to reflect sunlight down into an abandoned trolley line to grow plants on Manhattan’s east side. The pair are contributing their horticulture design expertise to the ambitious repurpose project seeking to create an underground public space. And, according to Mini, things are about to kick into high gear. 

Mini and Engel of John Mini Distinctive Landscapes, a Manhattan-based design firm, are gearing up to assist in taking the project from the warehouse where they’ve been conducting test trials, to the underground location known as the Lowline. The mission? To create the first underground park with flora supported by natural sunlight, according to Mini. FNGLA’s Kate Clary caught up with Mini for a project update:

FNGLA: So, catch us up-to-date with the Lowline project since TPIE. I understand there’s now a countdown until you take the project from the warehouse to the underground location?

Mini: Yup. The Lowline Lab’s final weekend just passed. The lab was open for a year and a half in an abandoned warehouse which simulates the underground space. The lab phase was a success! We proved the solar technology could deliver sunlight underground to support plant life, that visitors would be positively impacted by such a project and we engaged the community. We also learned a ton of interesting horticulture bits.
Now that the proof of concept phase is complete, we’re on to the underground project. We’ve shifted gears onto the lessons learned from the lab and how we can use them to effectively design the underground space. Right now the Lowline is targeting a completion of the underground park by 2021.

FNGLA: How exciting! Switching gears a bit, what was your impression of TPIE? You got some pretty awesome questions during your session. Were you surprised that people were so interested in the nuts and bolts of the project?

Green work - With an "open to the public" completion date of 2021, Mini and Engle are in for the long haul as the experiment phase completes and the real work of greening America's cities begins. (PHOTO COURTESY MARK MINI)

Mini: TPIE was fantastic this year. There was a buzz that I hadn’t felt in a few years. My take is that the economy is going in the right direction and plants are in! Everyone wants to find ways to bring nature to the places they live, work and play. And thus everyone from those manning the booths to the attendees had incredible energy. 
I’m glad that same buzz carried into our presentation. To be honest, Andrew and I were a bit nervous that there would be some skepticism. I mean building a park underground with cutting-edge solar technology. It sounds kooky! But, we were thrilled with everyone’s response to the project! We felt they were inspired by the idea of finding new and creative ways to bring green to our cities and that they’re interested in how this project can serve as a precedent.

FNGLA: Any news on the direction of the project?

Mini: Yes, all positive news! The Lowline team officially secured the underground space. Over the next couple years, the Lowline team and partners will be tasked with fundraising, community engagement and design milestones to ensure the project moves in the right direction.  

FNGLA: That is great news. What did you learn from the project’s time inside the warehouse? Has it changed the direction at all of the project in any way?

Mini: We learned a ton from the lab. From how we dance fabricated light with natural sunlight to what plants will thrive in this unique environment to how we can utilize slopes and sunlight to create first of kind planting designs.
The lab learnings will influence the direction of the project. Right now our team is helping build the lab’s research report. This report will be shared with the city, the community, and all those involved in designing the future site. The lessons learned in this report raise several exciting design challenges.  

Mark Mini and Andrew Engle were featured speakers at FNGLA’s event the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) in January speaking on their role with the Lowline project. This interview is a follow-up to their presentation which left many in the audience wanting more detail and information. Mark can be reached at markmini@johnmini.com and Andrew at andrewengle@johnmini.com.
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39777Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Volunteer as a Festival Center Host at Epcot®Volunteers Gain Entrance to the Festival and Earn FNGLA CEUs

 The 2017 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is another exceptional event and another great opportunity for FNGLA to showcase the industry and Florida’s gardening offerings to the expected audience of over 2 million consumers. 2017 marks FNGLA’s 19th year of participation. For 2017, FNGLA is offering an awesome volunteer opportunity for members and for FNGLA Certified Professionals.

FNGLA Members and Certified Professionals can host the area as part of the 2017 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. (FNGLA PHOTOS) 

Fast Facts help show the value of plants as part of an interior environment.

Festival Center Host Opportunities: Showcasing Houseplants

FNGLA is seeking members and FNGLA certified professionals to serve as FNGLA festival center hosts and to assist park guests. Starting opening day and then each Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival: Now - May 28, 2017. Volunteers can pick from two different shifts: morning shift is 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. or afternoon from 12:30 – 3 p.m.

Fill out this form to schedule your dates to volunteer. 

A Hub of Activity: FNGLA will serve as a host organization to the festival center, anchored at the 800 square foot interior plant area focused on sending the message “houseplants are good.” The festival center is also center-stage for the Flower & Garden Festival’s education sessions and other industry organizations. You’ll also find official festival gear and lots of activity in this area.

While we are able to allow garden-qualified friends and spouses to serve as FNGLA volunteers, they must be able to fulfill the host duties inclusive of garden-specific questions. We cannot allow volunteers under 18 to participate. All FNGLA volunteers gain entrance to the park for the day of their commitment and are free to enjoy Epcot and the festival before and after their volunteer time, however please refrain from rides as they are reserved for paid park guests. FNGLA Certified Professionals will also receive 3 CEUs for their volunteer service.

FNGLA is delighted to partner with the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival to spotlight plants as an everyday enjoyment, a family–centered activity, part of the indoor air quality solution, and an element of sustainability. We hope you will consider volunteering your time to be a part of FNGLA’s consumer outreach efforts.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39775Mon, 20 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Upcoming Opportunities to Earn your FNGLA Certification
FNGLA is offering two opportunities to earn a landscape technician certification this spring. FNGLA’s Certified Landscape Maintenance Technician (FCLMT) for landscape maintenance and FNGLA’s Certified Landscape Technician (FCLT) for landscape installation.

Join FNGLA and SeaWorld Horticulture in Orlando for testing on both the FCLT and the FCLMT on March 25. This is a special offering of the FCLMT exam, a once a year opportunity.
The next stop is Davie April 28, hosted by the FNGLA Broward Chapter. This FCLT installation exam is the only bilingual landscape exam offering in the state and takes place at the University of Florida Ft. Lauderdale Research Center.

Two options for training are available in south Florida for FCLT. English: April 7 at UF in Davie and Spanish: April 22 at UF Miami-Dade Extension in Homestead.
For more information, or to register for any of FNGLA’s certification exams, contact Merry Mott at FNGLA  via email at mmott@fngla.org or by phone at: 407-295-7994.

FNGLA certification provides Florida’s nursery and landscape industry personnel the opportunity to earn professional designations distinguishing themselves from others. With the first certification program taking root in 1984, FNGLA’s certifications are a true mark of distinction. Through extensive written and practical exams, Florida’s nursery and landscape professionals demonstrate proficiency in general horticultural knowledge, plant and pest identification, legal and regulatory issues and fertilizer use, in addition to Best Management Practices, landscape design, landscape installation and landscape management principles. FNGLA’s certified professionals “Know What Grows!” FNGLA offers a wide-array of landscape certification programs including Florida Water Star. (PHOTOS: FNGLA)

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39773Wed, 15 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Busy, But Rewarding: FNGLA Events Filled February
For February being the shortest month of the year, it sure seemed like it was one of the busiest so far.  I had three big events happen this past month.  The first involved a trip to Jacksonville for the Jacksonville Landscape Show. The next involved a trip to Tallahassee to meet with some of our state legislators, and the third involved the filming of a television show called Flip My Florida Yard.  The advantage of having so many things happening in one month makes it very easy to write my monthly article.

On February 9, I jumped on an early flight from Fort Lauderdale to Jacksonville for the annual Jacksonville Landscape Show which was held on February 9 & 10 at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds.  This was a nice little tradeshow that had exhibitors from around the state showing off their products both inside of the exhibit hall and out.  On Thursday evening after the show ended, I had the pleasure of attending the reception party at the host hotel.  There was great food and drinks and it provided a perfect time for exhibitors and attendees to catchup on business and friendships.  Shawn Thomas (Southern Green) and an FNGLA Northeast Chapter leader did a great job of hosting the tradeshow and reception this year. 

A short two weeks later, I was back on a plane heading up to our state Capital for the FNGLA Board of Directors trip to Tallahassee.  On Tuesday, the board met at the Associated Industries of Florida building, convening around a 50’ long conference table to take care of business.  State representative and Past FNGLA President Halsey Beshears came out to share a few encouraging words with the board.   Later in the evening, the Big Bend Chapter hosted a fantastic social gathering at the Dorothy B. Oven house where we enjoyed an incredible prime rib dinner.  I didn’t think it was possible for them to top the Paella that was served last year, but I think they did it.  I would like to personally thank Chapter President Mark Clikas (Harrells, Inc.) and the Big Bend Chapter for their hospitality.  

We were up rather early the next day and made a very wet trek over to the Capital to meet with several legislators both new and old.  The purpose of this annual trip is to relay some of the key issues currently affecting our industry. A few of these issues had to do with workers’ compensation, funding for IFAS, watershed from Lake Okeechobee as well as immigration… to name a few.  A couple of the legislators we met may also be potential candidates for Commissioner of Agriculture in 2018.  The race for this position looks like it is definitely going to be interesting.  Many 
Representatives and Senators are newly elected to their positions and it is very important that we get in front of them and let them know who we are.  This is crucial if we want our voices to be heard. We went to Tallahassee in force and spoke our message loud and clear.  I look forward to going back again next year. 

In between the traveling, meetings and the running of my businesses, I also had the pleasure of preparing for and coordinating the Flip My Florida Yard episode which was filmed on Saturday, February 25 in Ft. Lauderdale.  This was the third of four episodes FNGLA is sponsoring.   This huge undertaking would not have been possible without the gracious donations from vendors and the incredible support from the team of about fifty volunteers who met at the home early Saturday morning.  We did in one day what a normal landscape and irrigation crew would have completed in a week.    

I would like to personally thank a few folks for their help in successfully completing this job.  David Font (David Font Designs); Rob Pursell (Getting Green Plant Services); Chris Griffiths (Horticultural Solutions); and, Tom Benton (Landscape Service Professionals) who met with me several times prior to help create the new design for the landscape and irrigation renovation.  Kim Pearson (Landscape Inspector for the City of Fort Lauderdale) was instrumental in helping get the city behind us with whatever we needed.  Two people who deserve some special recognition are Ed Bravo (Big Trees Plantation and FNGLA President-Elect) and Stefan Liopiros (Lawn Enforcement Agency) both from the Frontrunners Chapter.  Ed hosted the first episode in Gainesville with Stefan and when it came time for the other three projects to start, they were both there bright and early ready to go to work.  The both drove down to the job in Broward on Friday night, woke up early Saturday morning and worked very hard for the entire day.  When we finished at 7:30 p.m., they jumped back into the truck and drove back home.  The knowledge they both shared from their earlier experience was extremely valuable.  

There is a complete list of those who donated material and time to help bring these four episodes from around the state to life on the following page. Please be sure to look over the list and recognize these wonderful folks.  This again goes to show the amount of support that the members of this great association will give to help and go out of their way to get something done.  I want to personally thank every single person and company that stepped up and helped me and the other project leaders create four fantastic shows.  See you again next month.

Robert Shoelson, FCLC 
Getting Green Plant Service, Inc. (Davie) & Betrock Information Systems, Inc. (Hollywood) 
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39772Tue, 14 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Exotic Landscapes

Among the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ incredible collection of animals and plants, lies a seasoned team of horticulture professionals working to make the Florida tourist attraction a horticulture refuge for guests and animal residents alike.


The zoo’s horticulture department sees to it that every inch of the zoo’s roughly 100 acres is well-pruned, and animal-approved.

“Zoo horticulture is a very specialized profession,” Chris Dailey, the zoo’s horticulture manager, explained. “We’re horticulturists working in the zoo environment to create and maintain habitats for animals.”

This includes inside animal exhibits, Dailey added.

“We work with the animal team to create and maintain naturalistic habitats that are good for the animals, and at the same time, engaging for our guests,” Dailey said.

The zoo’s horticulture team also maintains several specialty gardens throughout the property. The gardens serve as connectors within the zoo, and correlate with the geographic location the animals in that corresponding exhibit originate from, Dailey said.

“We have an African grass garden, we have an Asian bamboo garden, we have a tropical American garden, and these are all interconnected with the animals,” Dailey said.

To keep their team prepared for the evolving challenges that working in such a specialized environment invariably present, Dailey explained that zoo horticulture officials began utilizing FNGLA certifications around 2009 as both an education and advancement tool.

“The FCHP certification is key for us; we use it regularly,” Dailey explained. “We show our new employees, ‘This is the standard. This is what we expect you to do.’”

In order for the department’s entry level horticulture technicians to move up to the next level after one year, one of the requirements is they must become FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professionals, Dailey said.

The bump in title from technician I to II also comes with a 15 percent pay raise, according to Dailey.

Cheo Rodriguez, a horticulture technician II, has been with the Jacksonville Zoo for the past four years.

“When I first got here, I basically knew just the basics of the green industry,” Rodriguez said.

As part of his advancement to technician II two years back, Rodriguez obtained his FCHP certification.

“It’s been a wonderful tool to use,” Rodriguez added. “It’s an ever-changing experience here, but through the things that we have learned through our qualifications, and getting our certifications, we are given the tools where we can succeed.”

Rodriguez currently works in the Zoo’s Range of the Jaguars exhibit where he helps to maintain a large variety of plant material including seven different species of palms, salvias, monsterra, and angel trumpets.

Dailey added that one of the ways employees can move up to a senior position after three years is to obtain FNGLA’s FCLMT certification.

“We wanted to develop a development program for the horticulture staff – a way for them to gain knowledge, to evaluate their performance, prove their value, and show their skills – and then be able to elevate their pay, and give them a title,” explained Dailey. “Having that certification kind of elevates their status - It elevates their status in the horticulture community, and here at the zoo.”

For more information on FNGLA’s certifications, visit their website

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39771Fri, 10 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Cert Talk: Five Questions for SeaWorld Horticulture’s Gary Weitermann
Trusty volunteer - Gary Weitermann volunteers his time
to assist with FNGLA's certification showcase during TPIE.
(FNGLA Photo: Merry Mott)

As a frequent volunteer and fervent FNGLA certification proponent, Gary Weitermann, FCHP, FCLMT, is a fixture at many FNGLA certification events. Weitermann, who serves as assistant supervisor, post and baskets/topiaries, has been with SeaWorld Horticulture for nearly a decade. 

Weitermann was instrumental in establishing a permanent test site location at SeaWorld, and currently serves as chairman of FNGLA's certification committee.

FNGLA spoke with Weitermann during a recent lunch break to get the low-down on why FNGLA certification is a priority for him.

1. FNGLA: What made you want to get FNGLA certified?

Weitermann: Well, at SeaWorld, we have a career ladder program, and I saw the opportunity to advance availed to me. One of the ways to do that was to obtain FCHP (FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professional) and FCLMT (FNGLA Certificated Landscape Maintenance Technician)

2. FNGLA: You’ve been instrumental in helping us create a permanent testing site at SeaWorld’s Horticulture base of operations. Why was that a priority for you?

Weitermann: Well, I saw the opportunity for it when I was taking my certification test years earlier, that we needed another location. It’s great to be able to offer a location here at SeaWorld to offer others the opportunity for advancement. Our director, Mark Russell, is very big on education and is very supportive of the program. He’s really encouraged me. We’ve tested quite a few at our facility at SeaWorld, here. It’s good to see others advance.

3. FNGLA: Nice! How many of your co-workers at SeaWorld have also gotten FNGLA certified, would you say?

Weitermann: It must be at least half of them – probably 20 to 30 by now.

4. FNGLA: How has certification changed you, professionally speaking?

Weitermann: Well, nothing’s better than being comfortable with the work that you’re doing - and knowing how to do it properly. Education is the best; what more can be better for your job?

5. FNGLA: So, when will we be seeing you again, Gary?

Weitermann: I’ll be volunteering at the upcoming combination FCLMT/FCLT testing weekend March 24 & 25 here at the SeaWorld Horticulture site. We’ll be prepping with a couple-hour review on Friday (March 24) to help everybody get familiar and prepared with the different stations at the site, then we take the test on Saturday morning (March 25).

One more: 

FNGLA: Nice. Any words for those who plan to attend (or are considering it)?

Weitermann: Those who are taking the test – make sure you’re well-prepared. For those thinking about it – at least come and take a look at the site, if you’re not ready to take the test this time around. You can at least get a feel for what the certifications entail -- and then take advantage of the next test date back here at SeaWorld.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39770Fri, 10 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT
CEU opportunities for March - April 2017

It's pretty apparent, by now, that the more education one has, the more money they're likely to make over the course of their careers. But, let's face it: the task of maintaining CEU requirements doesn't exactly inspire cheers of effervescent joy. That's why we've gone ahead and done the heavy lifting for you, in an effort to put a little wind under your professional wings.

Below is a compilation of some worthwhile CEU opportunities. But, don't forget -- there are so many more out there. Be creative. Make this CEU requirement a chance to take part in expanding your wisdom on something you've been interested to know more about lately -- but just haven't needed to edge learning about it into your bulging planner. Today is your day. And, if you ever see an event of interest coming up, but aren't sure whether attending could count toward your CEU requirement, just drop us a line.       

CEU Opportunities for March - April 2017:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

What: LIAF Seminar: Is There a Doctor In The House? 

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned per day for FNGLA

Where: Sunrise Civic Center

10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd

Sunrise, FL 33323

For information:  Visit the Landscape Inspectors Association of Florida's website


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

What: Right Plant, Right Place by Habitat

Info: 2 CEUs can be earned per day for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County

12520 Ulmerton Rd.

Largo, FL 33774

For information, and to sign up, visit this Eventbrite page


Thursday, March 16, 2017

What: 811 Safety Day

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Rosen Shingle Creek

Orlando, FL

For information, call 866-279-7755 or visit http://811safetyday.com/


Thurs-Fri, March 16-17, 2017

What: Urban Landscape Summit

Info: 8 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Straughn Extension Professional Development Center

University of Florida

2142 Shealy Dr., Gainesville, FL

For information, visit the website for UF/IFAS


Monday, March 20, 2017

What: Advanced Arboriculture

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Palm Beach County Extension

559 N. Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33415

For information, http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07edv34hiff7257ed5&llr=jtyvqkiab


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What: Landscape U – Diagnosing Problems

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Orange County Extension

6021 S. Conway Road
Orlando, FL 32812

For information, Click here


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What: Florida Water Star Accredited Professional training

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: St. Petersburg Water Resources

1650 Third Ave. N.

St. Petersburg, FL 33713

For information, contact Merry Mott at mmott@fngla.org


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What: What’s Wrong With My Palm Tree

Info: 3 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Osceola County Extension

1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane

Kissimmee, FL 34744

For information, visit this Eventbrite page


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What: Advanced Arboriculture

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Palm Beach County Extension

559 N. Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33415

For information, http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07edv34hiff7257ed5&llr=jtyvqkiab


Thursday, March 23, 2017

What: Education on the Go – Landscape Design Fundamentals

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Harry P. Leu Gardens

Orlando, FL

For information, www.fngla.org


Friday, March 24, 2017

What: Education on the Go – Landscape Design Advanced

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Harry P. Leu Gardens

Orlando, FL

For information, www.fngla.org


Saturday, March 25, 2017

What: FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician Exam

Info: 6 CEUs can be earned for judging

Where: SeaWorld Horticulture Orlando

For information, contact Merry Mott at mmott@fngla.org, or call 407-295-7994


Thursday, March 30, 2017

What: Planting and Establishment with Grades and Standards

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF-IFAS Leon County Extension

615 Paul Russell Rd

Tallahassee, FL 32301

For information, visit this sign-up form


Friday, March 31, 2017

What: Planting and Establishment with Grades and Standards

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF-IFAS Duval County Extension

1010 N McDuff Ave

Jacksonville, FL 32254

For information, visit this sign-up form

Friday, March 31, 2017

What: Seminole County Farm Tour

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF-IFAS Extension Seminole County

250 West County HomeRd. 

Sanford, FL 32773

Registration: Click here

Friday, April 7, 2017

What: FCLT Exam Review Course

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Ft. Lauderdale Research Center

3205 College Ave.

Davie, FL 33314

For information, contact Robert Shoelson robert@gettinggreen.com


Thurs-Fri, April 20-21, 2017

What: Native Plant Show

Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Bradenton Area Convention Center

Bradenton, FL

For information, http://www.nativeplantshow.com/


Thursday, April 20, 2017

What: Education on the Go – Landscape Design Ultimate

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Harry P. Leu Gardens

Orlando, FL

For information, www.fngla.org


Friday, April 21, 2017

What: Education on the Go – Landscape Design Profitable

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Harry P. Leu Gardens

Orlando, FL

For information, www.fngla.org


Friday, April 28, 2017

What: FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician Exam

Info: 6 CEUs can be earned for judging

Where: UF/IFAS Ft. Lauderdale Research Center

3205 College Ave.

Davie, FL 33314

For information, contact Merry Mott at mmott@fngla.org, or call 407-295-7994

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39769Fri, 10 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Mark Your Calendars: Florida Flower Trials, May 18 & 19, Orlando  
Florida Flower Trials is a two-day annual event where top plant breeders, education experts who advance your knowledge and key industry members come together to explore some of the latest ornamental plant releases ideal for Florida’s tough climate.  A launching ground for some of the newest plant varieties, you’ll experience three trial sites and get an early look directly from producers on the recommended growing, landscape use and retail strategies to create the best business success possible.  There’s lots of learning, collaboration, networking and you get to experience the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival to see some of the industry’s finest products, Disney style.

Mark your calendar now to attend this once-a-year event designed to keep you “in the know” for what’s hitting the market!  The schedule of events, speaker line-ups and tour specifics will be available in the coming weeks.

Interested in reaching this small, yet targeted audience with a tabletop display or by sponsoring an event?  
Contact FNGLA’s Linda Reindl at: lreindl@fngla.org for details.
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39766Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Looks to “Flip My Florida Yard”

In an effort to showcase Florida’s amazing and diverse plant material and to advocate for professionally designed and installed landscapes, FNGLA is partnering with Crawford Entertainment, the producers of ‘How to Do Florida’ with their newest series ‘Flip My Florida Yard.’

The show selects Florida homeowners whose outdoor areas are in need of a facelift and teams up with professionals to provide a Florida-friendly yard which meet the homeowners needs.  Along the way, Chad, and his featured make-over participants, teach Florida’s consumers best practices for creating their own robust outdoor space such as following the Florida-friendly principles and/or hiring a professional landscaper/designer to help bring the project together.

Chock full of tips and Florida-based facts, the show will air this Spring.  A pilot show was produced in 2016 featuring an all-native landscape with the help of the Florida Association of Native Nurseries (FANN). With FNGLA’s episodes, consumers will be directed to www. FloridaGardening.org to source ideas, inspirations and assistance with their outdoor areas.

FNGLA signed on as title sponsor for four episodes. One episode is filmed and being edited for airing later this Spring.  The additional three will film in Broward County; Orlando; and, the Greater Tampa Bay area. 

Special thanks to the area FNGLA chapters and to the individuals who have and are in the process of coordinating this effort.  It’s a sizeable task!

FNGLA will communicate to our members the air dates for all four “FNGLA episodes” once they are set! For more details on FNGLA’s involvement, contact FNGLA’s Jennifer Nelis, jnelis@fngla.org.

FNGLA’s first chapter to “flip” was Frontunners-- who set a very high bar when they took the home of Brandon and Kim Kutner and gave them a turf-free front yard using Florida-friendly plant material.  They also updated the back patio space (hardscape and palms) and installed several vegetable trough gardens to complete the home’s make-over. 

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39765Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Florikan/Rosenthal Named to Space Technology Hall of Fame

FNGLA member Ed Rosenthal (COURTESY PHOTO)

The Space Technology Hall of Fame was established to increase public awareness of the benefits resulting from space exploration programs and to encourage further innovation. This international program honors innovations by organizations and individuals who transform space technology into commercial products that improve life on Earth.

Among the 2017’s inductees is Staged Nutrient Release (SNR) Fertilizer, precise timed released polymer coated fertilizer granules that reduce fertilization applications and environmental damage. The inductees will be FNGLA member Ed Rosenthal and Florikan E.S.A., LLC.

Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is the foremost advocate for all sectors of space, and is a global, nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs and major industry events (including the annual Space Symposium) in support of its mission “to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.” Space Foundation World Headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Congratulations Florikan and Ed Rosenthal on being recognized by another industry’s hall of fame!
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39764Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Landscape Technician Exams Return for Spring Engagement Join FNGLA and SeaWorld Horticulture in Orlando for testing on both the FCLT and the FCLMT on March 25. This is a special offering of the FCLMT exam, a once a year opportunity.

The next stop is Davie April 28, hosted by the FNGLA Broward Chapter. This FCLT-Installation exam is the only bilingual landscape exam offering in the state and takes place at the University of Florida Ft. Lauderdale Research Center.

Two options for training are available in South Florida for FCLT. English: April 7 at UF in Davie; and, Spanish: April 21 at UF Miami-Dade Extension in Homestead.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39763Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Soaring High: at 29, Jonathan Saperstein is an Industry Heavyweight

Proud display – CEO Jonathan Saperstein stands among rows of burgeoning ‘Morning Sun’ Japanese Blueberry, a company exclusive hybrid, at Tree Town’s 665-acre Bunnell farm. (FNGLA PHOTO/KATE CLARY)

At age 29, TreeTown USA CEO Jonathan Saperstein heads up America’s largest tree farm – a collection of seven locations and nearly 4,000 acres which wind across Texas and Florida.

The Houston native and University of Texas graduate’s seven-year journey from sales and operations manager to the head of nearly 500 employees commanded national attention earlier this year as Forbes Magazine named Saperstein one of its 30 Under 30 for 2017 in Manufacturing and Industry.

“It was a surprise. I did not expect to get recognized as one of the Forbes’ 30 under 30. I was humbled to even be nominated,” Saperstein said. “It took a while for it to actually sink in.”

Across its locations, Tree Town USA grows around three million plants per year. That includes roughly 1,000 different plant types in a wide size variety. Headquartered in Houston, the company has also pioneered four new items including its Morning Sun Japanese Blueberry. 

Saperstein took the helm of his family’s nursery in 2015, buying out his father, David Saperstein. The elder Saperstein started the company in 2001.

In a similar fashion to his well-measured speech, and strategy-centric ideas, Saperstein has since led the company with a deeply business-oriented approach, putting people, growth and innovation out front.

One of his first orders of business after taking the helm was purchasing a 660-acre tree nursery in Bunnell, Florida, previously owned by Medallion Nurseries, and infusing a several-million-dollar capital investment into the location over the course of the last 12 months.

Green offerings - Tree Town USA includes three Texas-based growing locations and four production farms in Florida: Bunnell, Sandcut, Pahokee and Homestead. Tree Town produces nearly 3 million plants each year making them America’s largest grower of trees and palms. (PHOTO COURTESY TREE TOWN USA)

As part of that capital investment, Saperstein brought along some of the innovations Tree Town USA first honed at its other locations, including a state-of-theart, fully-automated potting machine - a point of particular pride for Saperstein, as he showcases its capabilities during a pit stop along a tour of the farm one chilly morning in late January.
“We want to make sure that this facility is continuing to grow, and it will be taken to capacity here very quickly,” Saperstein said.

There may be great innovation taking place at Tree Town USA, but Saperstein makes it clear that his priorities revolve around his people.  In fact, Saperstein added, he hopes to add more employees by year’s end.

“As we bring in more technologies, it’s not to reduce head count,” he said. “It’s to be able to improve productivity while making the work safer and less intensive, so that we can do more.”

In an effort to assist employees in carving out career paths at Tree Town, Saperstein oversaw the development of regular performance plans for each employee - which heavily rewards employee performance.

“I think we’re one of the few nurseries, that where every employee goes through a regular PMP, a performance management program, which drives their merit, and bonuses,” Saperstein said. “We have created incentives based on common, unifying goals that bring the whole team, across all departments and facilities together. It really leads to teamwork, and I think that’s the most exciting part. Our employees are by far the most important ingredient to our success and we strive to provide a safe, challenging and enjoyable work environment.”

Being part of an association like FNGLA also helps strengthen the company’s industry bonds, Saperstein said.

“When we partner together as an industry, we’re significantly stronger than we are separate,” he explained. “It really takes all of us working together and supporting each other -- whether it’s legislation, or the challenges that face all of us. Without that, we’re just never going to get to the place that we want to be.”

Along this morning’s tour, as the layer of dew around the farm continues to evaporate into the steamy atmosphere, and the din of progress hums, Saperstein reflects on the company’s journey so far.

As he navigates a back section on the property, pointing out a few new pads, and row upon row of green and growing plants, Saperstein uses a past experience exhibiting at FNGLA’s Landscape Show to articulate his point about associations.

He recalls how taking a break from his post manning the company’s booth for a quick tour around the show floor led to a chance meeting with a fellow exhibitor.

“I walked next door, and I saw this trailer manufacturer that I had not heard of, and so I just started talking to him,” Saperstein recalled. “He had not heard of us, because, in Florida, we had only been a B&B operation.”

At the time of the show, Tree Town USA was in the process of closing on the Bunnell location. Fresh on Saperstein’s mind was that, when the close was complete, they’d need equipment – lots of it.

“I guess it wound up being a little bit of a surprise for him – we placed our first order for over 100 – and then had a follow-up order,” Saperstein said of the Florida-based manufacturer. “That never would have happened if it wasn’t for FNGLA’s tradeshow.”

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39761Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Carving the path: FNGLA certification offers county and municipal employees career ladder

When it comes time for officials at the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department to determine whether an employee advances to a higher-paying position, one of the factors they consider is whether that employee is FNGLA certified, according to Lorena Guerra-Macias, the Department’s Special Tax District Manager.

In 2010, the Department began requiring more than half of its 78-member workforce to earn FNGLA’s Certified Landscape Technician (FCLT-Installation) within their first year of employment, and the results have been quite positive.

“Through the certification of our employees, the Sports Turf Management and Landscape Services Division has been able to professionalize the workforce, raise our standards and ensure that the staff is continuously gaining knowledge through the continued education classes as to the changes in the industry,” Guerra-Macias said.

The Division’s employees, which consist of managers, landscape technician supervisors, auto equipment supervisors, landscape technicians, and landscape attendants, maintains more than 200 acres across the South Florida county – an area which includes more than 10,000 trees, according to Guerra-Macias.

"The pride that the staff has by having this certification has totally changed the mindset of all of our employees," said Gil Delgado, PROS division chief at Miami-Dade County. "It has improved the end results."

Delgado added that he was able to use FNGLA's certification to overhaul the job title and description of his entry-level crew, taking them their job titles from the more broad "park attendants," whose tasks could include anything from grounds keeping to cleaning park restrooms, to the more horticulture-focused "landscape technician" -- an upgrade that came with around a 10 percent pay increase, according to Delgado.

FCLT certification is not the final destination for many Miami-Dade employees either, according to Merry Mott, FNGLA’s director of certifications and career development. “These certified professionals give back to the industry by serving as exam judges at FNGLA’s bilingual test site in Davie.”

Miami-Dade County is not the only Florida agency to encourage its employees to be FNGLA-certified. “More than 200 employees from counties and cities across the state are currently FNGLA-certified,” Mott said, adding that the City of Tallahassee also makes FNGLA certification a requirement for a number of its workforce.

FNGLA offers five certifications for Florida’s nursery and landscape industry. FNGLA’s Certified Horticulture Professional (FCHP) aims to equip professionals with an array of basic horticultural practices like fertilization, pruning, irrigation, and plant and pest identification, explains Mott. The association also administers certifications for landscape installation, landscape maintenance, landscape contracting and landscape design. 

For more information on FNGLA certifications, visit FNGLA’s website       

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39759Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Education on the Go: Catapult Your Customer Relations

FNGLA is proud to be part of a brand new experience – Education on the Go! This first series is tailored to landscape 
professionals. While the series has taken place in various Florida locations, it’s headed to Jacksonville for Account Manager Boot Camp; A perfect opportunity for your key customer/account managers. 

Envisor consultants share best practices from the landscape maintenance industry for middle managers including:

• Introduction to Account Management
• Extra Mile Service – keys to customer service excellence 
• Onboarding new clients – a systematic approach to ensuring success
• Site Visits - being efficient and effective
• Upselling Enhancements – critical elements to vertical selling

FNGLA is making this business experience convenient for you and your employees by bringing it closer to you! Education on the Go! is where landscape professionals will be if you want your business to prosper and succeed!

Participation Costs: FNGLA Members attend the session for just $225; The non-member rate is just $255.

Instructors, Ken Thomas and Ben Gandy started out as over 60% of landscape professionals in Florida did, with a little money in their pocket and a pick-up truck. They worked hard and as astute businessmen, not afraid to dig in the dirt, built and sold multi-million dollar companies. Now they are offering their expertise back to the industry. As operations experts, Ken and Ben know more than “what” to do, they know “how” to get your company to the next level.

This program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and includes all day instruction and lunch.

Register to attend, or call FNGLA at (800) 375-3642 for details.
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39758Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Garden Communicators from Across Nation at TPIE

FNGLA has a long history of interacting with garden media and communicators.  For TPIE, garden communicators were invited to attend two days of South Florida tours and Opening Day happenings at TPIE.  41 writers participated. Search #GardenWriters or #GWA to stay connected on social media. (FNGLA PHOTO)

In an effort to link Florida’s nursery and landscape businesses with the nation’s premier garden communicators, FNGLA extended an invitation for garden communicators to attend and experience TPIE. The 41 communicators who made this trek experienced an amazing time exploring South Florida’s most unique and inspiring gardens and TPIE’s key happenings.

With the experience starting the day prior to the show’s opening, garden communicators and media toured botanic gardens, private estates and commercial spaces in a more-than-full day as part of the TPIE Road Shows.  A second full day of tours, on Thursday, was also part of the special happenings. 

Garden writer guests enjoyed front-row VIP seating at the TPIE Opening Session presented by Jane Lockhart, Where Plant and Lifestyle Trends Connect, followed by a personalized tour of the show floor, given by TPIE Show Chair Lloyd Singleton.  From touching and feeling the plants and products to seeing show-stopping ideas in the aisles-- the tour ended at the TPIE Create Theater Stage as AIFD designer Jenny Thomasson began her session. From there, the show itself offered an array of educational sessions where these communicators continued to build their base knowledge of Florida’s plants.

Writers who attended included those with affiliations to many TV and radio shows throughout the nation, AAA travel, many gardening book authors and others who communicate regularly about gardening to the general public.

The tweets and social media posts started immediately after they left their homes, and, quite frankly, haven’t stopped!  And, many have already written about their experiences, spreading the word about Florida’s plants and tropicals. We’re pleased with the coverage of Florida plants and of TPIE.

Special thanks to FNGLA member Sylvia Gordon (Landscape by Sylvia Gordon) who was instrumental in piecing together both the tour and the entire garden writer experience at the show.

For more details on FNGLA’s engagement with garden communicators or to be involved in further efforts to connect with this important media group, contact FNGLA’s Jennifer Nelis, jnelis@fngla.org.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39757Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Why We Need FFA Students in Our Industry

Tomorrow’s agriculture leaders - FNGLA tailors programs to introduce the nursery and landscape industry as a shining star and, most importantly, a possible place for employment. (FNGLA PHOTO)

Whether through Greenline or another news source, you hear a lot about Florida FFA.  It is an organization supported by FNGLA on a variety of levels, including hosting the state horticulture competition for 350 students on March 4 in Apopka.

What a great way to introduce students to Florida’s nursery and landscape industry, by actually having them DO something – whether identifying plants and pests, determining landscape costs or creating dish gardens.

Who are FFA students?  How can they help our industry?

FFA is a part of agricultural education that helps make classroom instruction come to life through realistic, hands-on applications.  Today’s FFA has evolved in response to expanded opportunities available in agriculture and its needs to hire skilled and competent employees for more than 300 careers.

The organization helps students prepare for careers in business, marketing, science, communications, education, horticulture, production, natural resources, forestry and many other diverse fields.

FNGLA continuously reaches out to the youth of Florida – tomorrow’s leaders – to position attractive jobs and careers in the nursery and landscape industry. Please support our efforts on March 4 by making a donation of cash, materials or volunteer time. Contact Merry Mott at mmott@fngla.org or 407-295-7994 for more information.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39756Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition Exceeded Expectations

Industry buzz - Crowds swell at TPIE 2017, which this year saw more than 6,300 industry professionals. (FNGLA PHOTO)

The 2017 Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) provided a unique and inspiring backdrop as more than 6,300 industry professionals gathered in Fort Lauderdale to start their business year by making 2017 the Year of the Plant! With “greenery” as the pantone color for 2017, the five acres of live plants which exhibitors showcased at TPIE put everyone attending ahead of the Trends curve for 2017.

TPIE buyers represented a broad mix of industry professionals, including corporate retail buyers, independent garden center professionals, florists and floral designers, interiorscapers, event planners, interior designers, landscape professionals, wholesale brokers, governments and municipalities as well as production nursery purchasing agents.  Exhibiting companies represented a cross section of categories including young plants, tropical outdoor, indoor blooming, succulents, orchids, indoor foliage interior décor, decorative containers and nursery production supplies. A true international event, TPIE attracted attendees from 47 states and 49 countries.

As part of its promise to Elevate Expectations, TPIE 2017 set itself apart as the show to learn key trends to use in product development and marketing plans for 2017 and 2018. Jane Lockhart opened TPIE with a keynote presentation discussing Where Plant and Lifestyle Trends Connect. From Toronto, Jane’s experience as an interior designer and trend spotter provided insights on the design styles which will be in demand, including retro resurgence (think 1980’s), bold color contrasts, modern gothic (black is the new white), strong textures, authentic, raw and rusted, just to name a few of the trending themes.

Plant design and interior design styles were matched as part of a creative TPIE display featuring three interior room vignettes each designed by Anya Cesar, AISD, of Anya Renise Designs. The presentation included a bedroom with plants selected for wellness attributes, a kitchen with herbs and botanicals inserted in counters with cut-out trenches (provided by Dynamic Designs) and an elegant bathroom with a stunning wall of plants serving as the backdrop for the architectural tub (provided by Ferguson). Cesar gave daily tours of the showrooms followed by classes by Cosentino North America and Sherwin-Williams offering CEUs for interior designers.

Theater providing new ways to merchandise plants at the retail level. The featured themes included Modern Wonders – Simple Lines Blended with Old Asian; Into the Jungle; An Urban Fever with Vivid Colors; The French Connection - Falling in Love with France All Over Again; and, The Force of Nature - Letting Nature Take its Course.

Especially for interiorscapers was a session showcasing interiorscape projects matching current industry trends. Debbie Kotalic (G-Sky Plant Systems) highlighted several successful green wall projects, while Jonathan Senneff (Plant InterScapes) and Caroline Puller (SeasonScapes) gave tips and ideas on increasing holiday-related sales.

The TPIE Road Show provided “Pick Two” options which included a morning workshop combined with an afternoon tour. Choices included sessions on pest management or trends and merchandising and tours of either production nurseries or stops which highlighted design ideas, both for interior and exterior plant use. Attendance topped 250 participants.

TPIE attendees had an opportunity to learn cutting-edge technology bringing natural light to underground parks.  Mark Mini and Andrew Engel, both of John Mini Distinctive Landscapes, shared their experiences developing the Lowline Lab, which uses innovative solar technology to illuminate the world’s first underground park.

As in past years, TPIE’s Exhibitor Showcase highlighted dozens of the industry’s newest plants and products. The Favorite New Flowering Plant in the showcase was Tillandsia ‘Samantha’ by Deroose Plants. The Favorite New Foliage Plant was Aglaonema ‘Georgi’s Ruby’ by Costa Farms and the Favorite New Product was “Aquastick” by Chrysal USA.

Sixteen stand-out products were selected by attendees to receive TPIE’s Cool Products Awards. The winning products included a mix of unique plants, containers, well-merchandised products and even a training program. The selection committee was made up of independent garden center owners and interiorscapers from across the country.

TPIE is known for the impressive displays created by exhibitors and this year was no exception. In fact, exhibitors Elevated Expectations with displays that not only showcased their plants, products and services, but offered creative ideas, innovation and inspiration for those attending to implement in their own businesses. The TPIE booth award judges had the tough job of selecting the best of the best from the 869 exhibit spaces.  Congratulations go to Costa Farms for winning the coveted TPIE Best of Show Award.  The Costa team set up a two-story small house with themed spaces integrating Costa plants and products as part of the interior décor. In the category of Island Exhibit award, Penang Nursery took first place with its own version of a garden shop. Check out all the 2017 TPIE booth award winners to see who Elevated Expectations at this year’s show: http://www.fngla.org/TPIE/boothawards.aspx.

TPIE’s Opening Day temperate weather provided ideal conditions for TPIE’s Happy Hour which took place in the outdoor fountain courtyard. Sponsored by Suntory Sun Parasol, this popular reception offered a chance to continue TPIE connections while enjoying a drink with a vista of cruise ships and the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop. As the party opened, sponsored drones flew above the courtyard fountain, adding a touch of new technology to the show.

Friday brought nearly 200 students to the FNGLA Horticulture Career Fair.  Led by FNGLA Past President Sandy Stein and featuring Florida’s FFA State Officers, FNGLA business leaders shared with high school students various career opportunities within the industry as well as learned from the students of their career interests.  Students then had access to the show floor where they were able to experience the full breadth of the tropical plant industry and its career potential.

Several students and seasoned horticulturists spent time at the FNGLA Certified Landscape Exam showcase, testing their plant ID knowhow and learning more about the FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician programs. Anchored by the FNGLA and NFF booths, the Certification Showcase was a popular area to learn more about the important programs and opportunities offered through FNGLA to enhance professionalism and elevate expectations within the industry.

TPIE is one of the many important activities produced by FNGLA. While managed by FNGLA staff, TPIE is developed and planned by a committee of FNGLA members.  Those members include: Chairman Lloyd Singleton (University of Florida/IFAS); Vice Chairman Bisser Georgiev (LiveTrends Design Group); Immediate Past Chair Theresa Riley (Rockledge Gardens); Chris Beytes (Ball Publishing); Manny Rodriguez (Plants In Design); Marcella Lucio (Silver Vase); and, Patrick Prussing (Sunshine Horticulture). 

Planning for the 2018 TPIE is already in the works. Mark your calendar for January 17-19, 2018 to take advantage of the TPIE experience.

Keeping in line with the trending design styles, the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) offered four workshops at TPIE’s Create

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39755Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Irrigation Education Expands with Florida Water Star
In an effort to expand irrigation education across the state, Florida Water StarSM (FWS) traveled to Homestead in January – a first-time offering of water conservation education to professionals in South Florida.  It was hosted at the UF/IFAS Miami-Dade Extension Office, and brought the number of FWS Accredited Professionals to 325.

A brand new irrigation training program that complements FWS begins February 14 at UF/IFAS Alachua County Extension in Gainesville.  “Principles of Efficient Irrigation Systems” is a one-day course and featuring a field component so attendees can learn by doing.  This course is ideal to prepare for FWS or for continuing education.

Florida Water StarSM is a water conservation program focusing on Florida-Friendly LandscapeTM alternatives and irrigation requirements which can have a major impact on water usage.  The Accredited Professional portion specifically brings training to landscape and irrigation professionals creating these FWS-approved landscapes.

For more information, contact Merry Mott at FNGLA at 800-375-3642.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39754Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Upcoming CEU opportunities for February - March 2017

Looking for a few upcoming CEU opportunities? You came to the right place. Below are a handful of classes scheduled for the next few months:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

What: 2017 Regional Turf Seminars - Jacksonville

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned per day for FNGLA

Where: Jacksonville 2/16, Plant City 2/28, Venice 3/1, Estero 3/2

For information, see this flyer


Thursday, February 16, 2017

What: Pruning and Chainsaw Safety

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Osceola County Extension

1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane

Kissimmee, FL 34744

To Register, see this Eventbrite page  


Friday, February 17, 2017

What: Tree and Landscape Short Course

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Hillsborough Community College

John R. Trinkle Center

1206 N. Park Rd

Plant City, FL 33563

To Register, see this Eventbrite page


Friday, February 17, 2017

What: Outdoor Tree School Apopka

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Fran Carlton Center

11 North Forest Avenue

Apopka, FL  32703

To Register, visit this RSVP form 


Saturday, February 18, 2017

What: Everything Palms

Info: 3 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Broward County Extension

3245 College Ave

Davie, FL 33314

When: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

To Register, see this Eventbrite page


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What: Fleet Management Safety Seminar

Info: 2 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Boca Dunes Golf & Country Club

1400 SW 65th Ave. Boca Raton, FL 33428

For more information, contact Vickie Parrish by phone at 954 410-0178, or via email at parrishnursery@gmail.com


Friday, February 24, 2017

What: FNGLA’s Education on the Go – Account Manager Bootcamp

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Ewing Branch 160

11590 Davis Creek Ct.

Jacksonville, FL

For more information, visit FNGLA's website


Friday, February 24, 2017

What: Water Conservation Expo & Vendor Fair

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Southwest Florida Water Management District

3301 Gun Club Rd

West Palm Beach, FL 33406

When: 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM

For more information, contact Stacey Adams at 561-681-2577 or via email at: sadams@sfwmd.gov

Thursday, February 28, 2017

What: Tree & Shrub Health Care Workshop

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Harry P Leu Gardens

1920 N Forest Ave

Orlando, FL 32803

For Information on this workshop, visit Rainbow Treecare's website.


Thursday, February 28, 2017

What: 2017 Regional Turf Seminars – Plant City

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned per day for FNGLA

Where: Jacksonville 2/16, Plant City 2/28, Venice 3/1, Estero 3/2

For information, check out this brochure


Thursday, March 1, 2017

What: 2017 Regional Turf Seminars - Venice

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned per day for FNGLA

Where: Jacksonville 2/16, Plant City 2/28, Venice 3/1, Estero 3/2

For information, check out this brochure


Thursday, March 2, 2017

What: Developing a Successful Fertilizer and Weed / Turf

Info: 2 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Osceola County Extension

1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane

Kissimmee, FL 34744

For more information, or to sign up, use this sign-up form.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

What: 2017 Regional Turf Seminars - Estero

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned per day for FNGLA

Where: Jacksonville 2/16, Plant City 2/28, Venice 3/1, Estero 3/2

For information, check out this brochure


Saturday, March 4, 2017

What: FFA Career Development Events

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned per session for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research Center

2725 S. Binion Rd.

Apopka, FL 32703

For information, contact Merry Mott at mmott@fngla.org, or call 407-295-7994.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

What: Parks Maintenance Workshop & Skills Challenge

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Southeastern Livestock Pavilion

2232 NE Jacksonville Road

Ocala, FL 34470

For information, call Leah Hoffman at 352-671-8560, or visit www.frpa.org


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

What: LIAF Seminar: Is There a Doctor In The House?

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned per day for FNGLA

Where: Sunrise Civic Center

10610 W Oakland park Blvd

Sunrise, FL 33323

For information:  Visit the Landscape Inspectors Association of Florida's website


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

What: Right Plant, Right Place by Habitat

Info: 2 CEUs can be earned per day for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County

12520 Ulmerton Rd

Largo, FL 33774

For information, and to sign up, visit this Eventbrite page


Thurs-Fri, March 16-17, 2017

What: Urban Landscape Summit

Info: 8 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Straughn Extension Professional Development Center

University of Florida

2142 Shealy Dr, Gainesville, FL

For information, visit the website for UF/IFAS


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What: What’s Wrong With My Palm Tree

Info: 3 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Osceola County Extension

1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane

Kissimmee, FL 34744

For information, visit this Eventbrite page


Saturday, March 25, 2017

What: FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician Exams (Installation & Maintenance)

Info: 6 CEUs can be earned for judging

Where: SeaWorld Horticulture Orlando

For information, contact Merry Mott at mmott@fngla.org, or call 407-295-7994


Thursday, March 30, 2017

What: Planting and Establishment with Grades and Standards

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF-IFAS Leon County Extension

615 Paul Russell Rd

Tallahassee, FL 32301

For information, visit this sign-up form


Friday, March 31, 2017

What: Planting and Establishment with Grades and Standards

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF-IFAS Duval County Extension

1010 N McDuff Ave

Jacksonville, FL 32254

For information, visit this sign-up form


http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39752Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT
A Busy Winter, Busy Spring Filled with Happenings

The New Year is off to a running start. As busy as my December was, January was no different.  The TPIE (Tropical Plant and Industry Exhibition) was held January 18-20 in Fort Lauderdale.  If you have never attended this show, you are definitely missing out. This is one of the most colorful, beautiful tradeshows you will ever attend. 

I had the pleasure of presenting the TPIE booth awards this year and all I can say is the judges did not have an easy time with so many spectacular booths! Congratulations to all of the winners and special congratulations to Costa Farms for earning the award for Best of Show.

As soon as the show floor closed that first day, the party moved outside to the front of the convention center.  All of the exhibitors and attendees poured out to mix and mingle.  The weather was perfect and it seemed everyone was happy with the traffic and business from the first day. This happened to be the first time my company, Getting Green, exhibited at TPIE. We had been trying to expand into the foliage and export markets and could think of no better way to achieve this goal than by attending the TPIE Show. I just want to say we made several good contacts from the show and one of these is turning out to be a great potential customer. That’s all it takes to make the show worthwhile. I’m sure we will be exhibiting at TPIE for a long time to come.

On the second TPIE evening, I had the pleasure of attending the National Horticulture Foundation’s reception. No, you are not reading that incorrectly. The National Foliage Foundation is changing its name and made the announcement during the party. In part, this change is underway as recognition that the Foundation’s far-reaching impacts on scientific research and educational scholarships continue to be much broader than tropical foliage and houseplants which will remain a primary focus. There are many other aspects of our horticultural industry which this Foundation embraces, so it’s easy to see why the name is changing. NHF President David Liu (Foliage Design Systems) did a remarkable job as host and emcee of the evening. It was great to see all of the donations made by the end of the evening.

Overall TPIE was a huge success. All the exhibit booth spaces were sold out and more than 6,300 attendees representing 47 states and 49 countries walked the aisles.  Perhaps the most impressive stat is the 53% increase in interiorscape buyers over last year!  There was a very positive attitude from the exhibitors and attendees with whom I spoke and the overall consensus was business is growing and people are buying plants.

The following week, I headed back up to Orlando to attend a meeting for the ‘Flip My Florida Yard’ television show with which FNGLA has partnered.  The message is homeowners can have beautiful landscapes which are environmentally friendly! We are working with the show to create four episodes in four areas of our state where each home will have its landscape transformed into a beautiful, water efficient and easy-to-maintain yard.  

One episode has already been filmed in the Gainesville area thanks to the wonderful hands-on leadership of FNGLA’s Frontrunners Chapter. The next landscape installation will be filmed in Orlando, followed by one in Broward County and the fourth show will be filmed in the Tampa area.  These episodes will air statewide sometime this spring on the ABC television network. I will be sure to keep you posted.

Just three short days later, I ventured back to the center of our state for FNGLA’s Landscape Division Leaders’ meeting.  This was a very productive and informative meeting with some of the best landscape professionals around the state. We discussed some of the major issues currently affecting the landscape industry:  irrigation, labor shortages, plant material shortages and worker’s compensation insurance rates. There are many folks out there who still perceive FNGLA as a nursery-only association. This is just not the case any longer. FNGLA is tackling some of these issues affecting the huge landscape segment of our industry.  The majority of new members joining FNGLA are landscape firms who are realizing the benefits of being part of this great association. 

One of the issues I mentioned which we addressed is probably the most important to our industry - water.  As Florida’s population rises, so does the demand for water. FNGLA’s landscape leaders believe a well-rounded irrigation technician certification is needed to raise the education and professional training for landscape workers as we move forward. This new FNGLA certification is just now being developed. Once launched, it will be instrumental in helping our industry play an even bigger role in reducing overall water use in the landscape. Having the skills and knowledge to install and maintain an efficient irrigation system for a landscape is just as important as putting the right plant in the right place.

February doesn’t look like it will be slowing down much. I will be headed up to the Jacksonville Landscape Show on February 9 & 10. Soon afterwards, the FNGLA Board of Directors will head to Tallahassee to sit down with some of the newly elected state senators and representatives.  I am very much looking forward to that trip.

Stay warm and see you in March.

Robert Shoelson, FCLC

Getting Green Plant Service, Inc. (Davie) & Betrock Information Systems, Inc. (Hollywood)


http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39751Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Scholarships Available to Southeast Horticulture Students The Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund is now accepting scholarship applications for 2017. Industry members are asked to advise all eligible students of the availability of this scholarship award. Horticultural students who are eligible are encouraged to apply for this year’s scholarship awards. Eligibility requirements and the application is available on the fund’s website.

The late Sidney B. Meadows

The deadline for application is May 26. The Scholarship Selection Committee will make final selections by July 7, and recipients will be notified soon thereafter. Twelve $1,500 scholarships will be awarded on August 2, in Athens, Georgia, during the SEGreen Conference.

“We will set a milestone for the fund as we cross the half million dollar mark in total scholarship awarded since the fund was established. We are very proud of our accomplishment in building the fund over the past 28 years and we want to express our appreciation to everyone who has helped build this important funding program for our students. The ability to make this level of awards over the years, as we built the endowment fund that now stands at over $800,000, is quite an accomplishment and a tribute to the many SNA members, exhibitors, and industry individuals who made contributions to help build the fund and award our students,” said Danny Summers, Executive Vice President of the fund.

For more information visit the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund's website, or email info@ sbsmsef.org.
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=37746Mon, 23 Jan 2017 00:00:00 GMT
National Foliage Foundation: A New Name and Exciting New Efforts Starting At TPIE

Name Change in Progress:
National Horticulture Foundation

At the close of 2016, the National Foliage Foundation (NFF) celebrated 30 years of serving the industry through research and education.  Its mission of funding research and education in the foliage industry has never solely been about foliage.  It had become clear NFF was regarded just as the “foliage” foundation.  Almost any research, whether water and soil conservation, best management practices and other aspects of general interest affecting one plant type has some applicability to others. With the exciting news of a name change in progress, the NFF will dive into the next 30 years with a broader effort to serve more than foliage touting its new name, the National Horticulture Foundation.

A primary mission has always been to support individuals in horticulture education.  Through the years, more than $400,000 dollars has supported more than 250 students who have advanced their education with the help of the NFF.  This effort will strengthen as we go into the future with the new name the National Horticulture Foundation.  

NFF’s history of carefully monitoring its funds continues with a track record of having almost no overhead expenses. The past boards of directors has consistently been made up of our industry’s best people who serve as volunteers with no compensation of any kind.  Its current board seeks support from the national horticulture industry.  

TPIE Happenings:

With amazing new research on the horizon and the need to train new leaders for our industry, continued support is more important than ever.  NFF starts its new venture right on TPIE’s show floor-- and we encourage everyone to see it for themselves.  Visit NFF’s booth on the show floor , #2500, to participate in Dr. Hayk Khachatryan’s research: Identifying the Best In-Store and Trade Show Displays and Promotions for Green Industry Stakeholders. 

Dr. Khachatryan’s research on the TPIE show floor will track eye movement and quantify the effects of key booth design elements on visitors’ attention and interest as well as perception changes affecting business relationship engagement. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Consumers are becoming increasingly fickle when deciding which products to purchase. They are often inundated with lots of information while making their decisions. Determining how consumers utilize in-store displays and promotions to make product choice decisions is important when designing retail promotional strategies and product selection. To our knowledge, only a few studies have investigated how plant consumers’ visual attention to in-store marketing and information in the retail setting influences their purchasing behavior.

To advance Dr. Khachatryan’s research, research stations will be set up to measure just what each individual’s eyes are seeing as they view select booths on the TPIE show floor.

Volunteer as a Test Subject:

Individuals are needed to participate in the study Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at TPIE.  At booth #2500 there will be 30 minutes intervals: Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Friday 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

If you are interested being a part of this exciting new research, contact Linda Reindl at lreindl@ fngla.org to sign up for a time slot.

For more information, visit the National Foliage Foundation's website.
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=37745Mon, 16 Jan 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Your TPIE Educational Experience Awaits

AIFD design sessions attract many looking to expand their knowledge in arrangement and color/texture.

TPIE offers a wide range of educational offerings to boost your business skills.  From quick, easy-to-learn hints offered in demonstrations at the show, to more in-depth ticketed offerings, there’s an array of opportunities ideal for your business and to train your employees. In-Depth Learning in Advance of the Show Taking place the day prior to the start of the show, TPIE’s Road Show has adopted a “Pick 2” format: one workshop and one tour.  This allows you to customize your own experience. Register for this full-day, lunch-included event for just $155. Single learning sessions cost $90 and a single tour ticket is $75.

If you’re a landscape professional looking to grow, prosper and succeed with your business, FNGLA’s Education on the Go series is offering a full-day session presented by Ken Thomas & Ben Gandy, of Envisor Consulting. The one-day session taking place in Ft. Lauderdale is the only venue for their program “Keys to Business Success” and will offer critical elements including: Understanding the Business Life Cycle, Start Clean Finish Clean, the key to business process, DiSC, using personality profiles to foster stronger communication, and, Lean applications in landscape production. FNGLA members can attend for $225 per person.  Non-members pay $255. Thank you to Ewing for its partnership with this program. Sessions During Show Hours The show is filled with many opportunities to gain knowledge.  Kicking off the show, TPIE’s Opening Session is included with your show badge and takes place on Wednesday, January 18 at 9 a.m. 

Presented by award-winning designer, TV personality, and author Jane Lockhart Where Plants and Lifestyle Trends Connect sets a grand tone for a successful TPIE showcasing how plants work as interior decor for today’s consumer as well as how to keep the connection going between plants, people and the places where they live, work and socialize. This session is sponsored by Live Trends Design Group and SK/Soendgen Keramik.

Throughout the show and open to all show attendees at no cost, the American Institute of Floral Design (AIFD) is hosting Plant Design and Merchandising Workshops twice daily and once on Friday.  These sessions teach design and color techniques whose applications can be applied outside the floral design realm. See the line-up of speakers and topics at http://www.fngla.org/TPIE/demonstrations.aspx.

Other notable show-concurrent sessions for learning include sessions on FNGLA Certifications; an FCLD Review Class; TPIE’s Cool Products Session (free with your show badge); and, a must-see session -- The Lowline Lab & Subterranean Parks: How, Why, and What It Means for the Future of Our Industry.  This special “elevating expectations” session takes place on Thursday at 3 p.m!  This session is sponsored by the National Foliage Foundation (NFF) is free with your show badge and is a “must attend” event certain to be the talk of the show!

Check the show’s schedule for the latest updates on learning opportunities and to see which sessions are complimentary and which are separate, ticketed events: http://www.fngla.org/TPIE/events.aspx.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=37744Fri, 13 Jan 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Kick Off 2017 Right: Stay Connected to TPIE’s Happenings 

One of the most convenient ways to keep track of show happenings, schedule meet-ups and take notes from what you’ve seen is by utilizing the TPIE mobile show directory web/app.

From simple tasks, such as accessing the floor plan or seeing what events are coming up, to the more elaborate features like meeting and event chime reminders, the TPIE mobile show directory web/app keeps you organized and on track to maximize your TPIE experience.

Simply log in from any mobile device to www.tpie.org and create an account.  It’s free and from there, you can create your personalized agenda.

Special thanks to PlantANT for the development of the show’s mobile web app!
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=37743Thu, 12 Jan 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition Set to Showcase Trends & Exceed Expectations 

As eyes turn toward the ripe opportunities of the New Year, TPIE offers something for those in the foliage industry and beyond to begin 2017 on the right path. 

“If you wish to get a jump on what 2017’s trends will be, then connect with industry insiders from all over the world and surround yourself with hundreds of booths filled with tropical plants, incredible orchids and innovative products. Or take your career to the next level by learning about FNGLA’s professional certifications. TPIE is the place” said Linda Adams, FNGLA’s chief operating officer. “And be sure to take advantage of the many learning opportunities with the Create Theater, the TPIE Road Show, and two informative general sessions.”

Attendees will be treated to 400 exhibiting companies in more than 800 booths - all showcasing their brightest and best-selling plants, products and services. 

Shining a bright light on consumer trends and shifting perspectives, interior designer and trend-spotter Jane Lockhart leads the opening session “Where Plants and Lifestyle Connect.” Lockhart highlights ways to pair plants with interior spaces to integrate beauty, wellness and nature.

Lockhart is the principal designer of Toronto-based Jane Lockhart Interior Design, which she founded in 1997. An award-winning designer, TV personality and author, she is well-known for her expertise in interior design and color. Lockhart is a fresh voice on consumer spending and millennials!  This one hour session takes place at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, January 18.

Plants are at the heart of a repurpose project converting an abandoned trolley line on Manhattan’s east side into an underground public space. Mark Mini and Andrew Engel of John Mini Distinctive Landscapes will present “The Lowline Lab & Subterranean Parks: How, Why and What It Means for Our Industry’s Future.” This is TPIE 2017’s Exceeding Expectations session! Sponsored by the National Foliage Foundation (NFF), this session takes place at 3 p.m. on Thursday, January 19.

Admission to both the Lockhart and Mini/Engel general sessions is included with your TPIE show badge!

Slated to take place on Wednesday and Thursday at TPIE are the Create Theater workshops where floral designers from the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) impart new and novel ways to merchandise plants using themes from the latest floral design trends.

The popular TPIE Road Show takes place on Tuesday, January 17. One tours foliage production facilities while the other tours local gardens.  There are also workshops on pest management, as well as trends and garden center merchandising.

Throughout the three-day event inside the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, three interior design showrooms are on display accentuating plants in different decors.  At high noon on both Wednesday and Thursday, celebrated interior designer Anya Cesar offers a walk-about session explaining the design concepts and plant selections.

Another popular way to gain the inside track on emerging trends is to tap into the TPIE Cool Products Awards. They spotlight the top 15 retail and interiorscape plants and products as voted by TPIE show buyers themselves!  The TPIE Cool Products Awards are presented on Thursday, January 19 at 3 p.m.

You have an excellent opportunity to sharpen your professional skill sets while on the TPIE show floor. Visit FNGLA’s Certification Showcase where FNGLA’s Director of Certifications Merry Mott can explain the five available certifications for eager professionals - including the FNGLA Certified Landscape Designer.  

Abundant opportunities to be inspired and create meaningful connections continue when the tradeshow ends its first day with the TPIE Happy Hour. It offers a relaxing tropical atmosphere to share casual conversation and great ideas (and a cocktail) with fellow industry insiders and thought-leaders. 

Register for TPIE for just $30. The best hotel rates and availability are secured when you go through TPIE’s housing company, Eventsphere.  Use TPIE’s online housing reservation for up-to-date availability and pricing. Shuttle buses run from most TPIE host hotels to the convention center on all three show days.

For more information about TPIE, visit www.tpie.org or call FNGLA at 800-375-3642.  TPIE is a signature event produced by FNGLA and its members with event proceeds used to serve the industry.
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=37742Wed, 11 Jan 2017 00:00:00 GMT
The Magic of FNGLA is its People... and the Many Good Times Shared 
I wish to start off by wishing everyone a very happy and healthy New Year.  2016 was a very busy and productive year for me personally. Running two businesses and being president of the largest state horticultural association in the country doesn’t leave too much time for much else.  I couldn’t do what I do without the support of my family as well as a fantastic staff at both companies.  The staff at FNGLA also makes my job as president all the much less of a burden as well. The support I receive at every turn makes my job that much more enjoyable.

December was an especially busy month for me.  I set out with a goal of visiting as many FNGLA chapter holiday parties as possible.  Unfortunately, I was battling the flu before I even had the chance to make it to my first party.  Nonetheless, I pushed forward and started my first trip to the Royal Palm Chapter’s holiday party.  Heading out across Alligator Alley, with my partners in crime (who happened to accompany me to each party I attended), FNGLA Broward Chapter President Christy SavageGriffin and my daughter Emily, we made it to HeadPinz. This was one of the nicest bowling alleys I have ever visited.  Chapter president Phil Buck hosted a fantastic party.  It didn’t take too long before I was meeting some great people.  

One member I met, Rob Eisner, FCHP & FCLMT, (Personal Touch Landscaping and Lawn Service), was especially memorable. We spoke for some time regarding certifications, business licenses and other matters. He said something to me that I will not forget. He said if you want to be great, you need to hang out with great people. And that is why he attends his FNGLA chapter’s meetings. It is people like Rob that who make this association great. People who realize the more you put in, the more you get out of FNGLA.  

My next stop on my holiday party tour was at my own FNGLA Broward Chapter.  My great friends, Vickie and Wes Parrish, have hosted the Broward Holiday Party at their home for the past 21 years.  We have enjoyed many great parties there and this year was no different. It was probably one of the largest turnouts I have seen there. The food was great and, as always, we had the white elephant gift exchange. There were some very interesting and funny gifts as well as many laughs.  We also celebrated FNGLA past-president Joe Cialone’s surprise birthday party.  It was a truly fabulous evening and one of the best parties there I can remember. 

The very next evening brought me to the FNGLA Palm Beach Chapter’s holiday party at the Woodfield Country Club in Palm Beach.  Chapter president Brandon Balch did a great job hosting the evening’s festivities.  There was great food, dancing and even a photo booth.  A special congratulations goes out to Jeff McDougald (McDougald & Sons Nursery), for receiving the chapter’s prestigious James Lulfs Industry Service Award.  

Several days later, I was scheduled to head to the FNGLA Action Chapter’s party at Highland Manor in Apopka.  Unfortunately, I was feeling too sick to make the three and a half hour trek north and decided it was in my best interest to not attend this one. I heard the party was great though and I was very sorry I didn’t make it.

My last party had me heading south to Schnebly Redland’s Winery and Brewery in Homestead where the Dade County Farm Bureau and the FNGLA Miami-Dade Chapter FNGLA held its holiday party in conjunction with each other.  This was my first visit to Schnebly’s and it will surely not be my last. The place was one of a kind. The food was great and the beer was even better. If you are ever are in the area or have the opportunity to visit Schnebly’s, I highly recommend it. I had a great time and it was a perfect end to my holiday party tour.

December wasn’t all parties though. Early in the month, the FNGLA Broward Chapter hosted the FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician exam at the UF/IFAS Center in Davie. We had a full house and a great exam.  I wish to personally thank all of the judges for taking time off from work to help make the day a success. One judge I wish to mention is Millie McFadden, FCLC & FCHP. While making my rounds during the exam, Millie told me she was glad to give back to FNGLA for everything it has has done for her.  She received a promotion at the City of Miami Beach after she received her FCHP and FCLC certifications.  Since she received her FNGLA certifications, I think I have seen her judge at every exam we have hosted!  A huge thanks to Millie.

Make sure you mark your calendars for the Tropical Plant & Industry Exhibition in Fort Lauderdale on January 18-20.  It will be a great show and I look forward to seeing many of you there. 

Robert Shoelson, FCLC 
Getting Green Plant Service, Inc. (Davie) 
& Betrock Information Systems, Inc. (Hollywood) 
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=37740Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Landscape Irrigation Training Heads Outside

FNGLA will begin offering a hands-on component to the Florida Water StarSM Accredited Professional training.

Principles of Efficient Irrigation Systems Field Training is sponsored by the St. Johns River Water Management District and Alachua County, and will be taught by Kurt Thompson of K. Thompson and Associates.

This one-day course provides the irrigation professional with tools, skills, and knowledge to use the basic principles in a practical and cost-effective way to meet the challenges of water use efficiency and customer expectations. Attendees will experience the design principles at work in the field provided in a hands-on training format.

The course is ideal to prepare for the Florida Water StarSM Irrigation AP exam and is approved for continuing education credits for FWS and FNGLA’s Certifications.

The first training event will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, February 14 at the UF/IFAS Alachua County Extension Office in Gainesville, Florida.

To sign up, visit FNGLA’s storefront section of its website.


http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=37739Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA President Robert Shoelson talks certifications (and how they’ve helped his bottom line)

Robert Shoelson, FNGLA's 2016-2017 President, and Jamie Hayes of Runway Growers volunteer their time at a 2012 FNGLA certification exam in Broward County. (COURTESY PHOTO) 

Prior to taking the helm as FNGLA’s 2016-2017 president, Robert Shoelson made it clear that promoting FNGLA’s certifications would be on his short list of priorities during his tenure. Half-way into his whirlwind year of heading up the largest state horticultural association in the country, we check in with him on the gains he’s made:

FNGLA: Tell us why it was so important for you to single out FNGLA’s certifications as a top priority during your tenure as president?

Shoelson: Many years ago, a very good customer and friend recommended I get my certifications.  As soon as I took the tests and became certified, I saw how these certifications could change the professionalism of our industry.  Just because a guy can stick a shovel in the ground or because he has a mower in the back of his truck doesn’t make him a landscaper.  The certifications verify that an individual knows what they are doing. Whether it is pruning a tree or running a piece of equipment, there is a sense of satisfaction knowing you are dealing with someone who has gone the extra mile to become educated and certified.  A homeowner would not hire a plumber or electrician who was not certified or licensed to do work in their house, so why would they do the same when hiring a landscape contractor.  This became my passion and my goal is to make it logistically easier for people to get their certifications without having to travel across the state.  Having more access to test sites will encourage more people to earn their certifications. 

F: What successes have you realized, so far, in promoting FNGLA’s certifications?  

S: More than 300 individuals have obtained their certifications through our test sites in Broward County.   It is a great feeling when I see people who have received their certification come back to judge and become involved in the certification process.  Whether they are getting certified to become more educated, or to move up in their company, I feel I am helping this industry become more professional -- one certified person at a time.

F: As the head of two successful South Florida businesses (Shoelson heads up the South Florida-based Betrock Information Systems, and Getting Green Plant Service, Inc.), how has having your people get certified helped your bottom line?

S: I encourage many of my employees to earn their certifications. They immediately get a raise with each certification they acquire. By having certified employees, I believe this sets us apart from our competition as well as gives our customers, and other industry professionals the confidence of knowing they are dealing with a company that knows what they are doing. If an issue arises at a jobsite, it sure is nice to walk up with the credentials of having certifications and the knowledge and education of the industry we work in.

For more information on professional certifications, visit FNGLA’s Certifications page

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=37738Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Need CEUs? Volunteer!

If you’re looking for CEUs, there are more ways to get them than attending classes or reading professional articles in self-study. You can always volunteer your time at a number of FNGLA events which take place across the state of Florida throughout the year.

In addition to the professional benefit, volunteering also provides the opportunity for personal gratification. 

"I volunteer because it is something that I can invest into my community and association with time, knowledge and love of helping others just for a smile in return -- best investment I can make," said Paul Rauch, a longtime FNGLA volunteer. "Nothing feels better than knowing that I can help others on their career."

 Here are a few opportunities:

 -          Volunteer for the FFA Career Development Events: On March 4, 2017 FNGLA will host 350 of Florida’s middle and high school students to compete in horticulture events.  Be a part of events aimed at mentoring the future of Florida’s horticulture industry.

 -          Serve as an exam judge: FNGLA administers certification exams around the state, and could use a helping hand. Take this opportunity to network with the industry’s elite, while earning your CEU credits.

 -          Serve on a committee or chapter board: Be the first to hear the latest industry happenings – and help shape your industry’s future – by serving on one of FNGLA’s many committees and boards of directors both on the state and chapter level.

 Volunteers will be awarded one CEU per hour of volunteer time, up to four hours per day. For more information on upcoming volunteering dates and opportunities, contact Merry Mott, Director of Certifications and Career Development, at mmott@fngla.org or call (800) 375-3642.

Access a list of other CEU opportunities here. 

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=37737Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA to Host FFA Students for Horticultural Competition
The University of Florida Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, located in
Apopka, Florida. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Each year, nearly 350 students demonstrate their horticultural skills at the Florida FFA Career Development Events (CDEs) in Floriculture and Nursery/ Landscape.  The 2017 event takes place Saturday, March 4 at the University of Florida Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka.

FFA CDEs present students with real-life situations which can be found in the workplace, including plant, pest & tool identification, equipment maintenance, landscape management, customer assistance, floral design and Best Management Practices.  Both problem-solving skills and horticultural knowledge is tested by FNGLA volunteers from across the state. 

The winning high school teams represent Florida at the national competition each year at the FFA Convention in Indianapolis.

For more information on volunteering for this exceptional youth program, contact Merry Mott at mmott@fngla.org or call 800-375-3642.

To learn more about Florida FFA Association, visit that organization's website here.
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=37735Wed, 04 Jan 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Reduce Water for Landscaping?That is the core conclusion of the just unveiled Water 2070 report. This landmark study was a joint project among 1000 Friends of Florida; UF-GeoPlan Center; and, the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.  Water 2070 digs deep into whether there will be sufficient available water to “meet the needs of people, agriculture and the environment” in the year 2070.  At that time, Florida’s population is projected to balloon from today’s 20 million residents to 35 million and water use is projected to increase by 50%.  The report hits on two fundamental options to address future water demand: (1) increase supply via alternatives such as reclaiming water and desalinization; or, (2) reduce demand via water conservation and increased efficiency.

When you peel back the report, Water 2070 reached the following conclusion: “The single most effective strategy to reduce water demand in Florida is to significantly reduce the amount of water used for landscape irrigation.”  At first blush, this statement sounds alarming to our nursery and landscape industry.  Yet, to its credit, the report does not simply lob that conclusion out there without any policy guidance. Rather Water 2070 offers a series of recommendations, many of which are actually quite reasonable. In fact, they shine some bright lights on two major programs in which FNGLA is already heavily involved.

The first is Florida Water Star. FWS is a statewide water conservation certification program for new and existing homes and commercial developments. FNGLA actually administers the FWS Accredited Professional exams on behalf of the St. Johns River Water Management District. The second is Florida-Friendly Landscaping™.  FFL means using low maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices. FNGLA is a full-fledged member of its advisory council.  FFL is a joint program of UF/IFAS and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Here are a few of the Water 2070 recommendations:

• Increase funding and outreach for the Florida Water Star and Florida Friendly Landscaping™ programs to promote greater water conservation in new and existing development

• Require Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ manual irrigation, soil moisture sensors, or comparable water conservation technology, for all new development

• Construct and incentivize the use of reclaimed water facilities

• Use Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ and other measures to reduce or eliminate landscaping water use, and seek formal Florida Friendly Landscaping™ recognition

• Lessen the need for irrigation by using the right plants in the right locations, grouping them according to water needs, and using rain barrels or cisterns to capture rainwater for irrigation

• Reduce storm water runoff through mulching plant beds, using porous surfaces for patios, walkways and driveways, and creating swales or low areas to hold and filter water on your property.

As you can see, these recommendations (and others in the report) seek to increase efficient irrigation, raise consumer education and heighten professionalism within the landscape industry.
Rather than solely pushing to deliver higher irrigation system efficiencies, these water conservation strategies are calling for a much more comprehensive approach. As such, they speak to FNGLA’s strength as a vertically integrated organization representing all segments of Florida’s diverse, multi-billion dollar nursery, landscape and irrigation industry. FNGLA will seize upon Water 2070 to aggressively position our landscape members and industry-at-large so we can demonstrate to Florida legislators, regulators and residents how the landscape profession aims to take the high road to help reduce future water demand.  We have a big role to play.

Read the Water 2070 summary report by clicking here.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36735Tue, 03 Jan 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA’s 65th Annual Convention: Fabulous in Ft. Lauderdale  

Save the date to attend FNGLA’s 65th Annual Meeting and Convention, June 23 & 24, 2017 in fabulous Ft. Lauderdale.

Taking place at the B Ocean Resort, this popular association meeting is open to all FNGLA members, family and friends. The FNGLA Convention not only hosts FNGLA’s Annual Business Meeting, it’s the place to recognize the Association’s outstanding volunteers, report on the past year’s accomplishments and shift into a new year of FNGLA leadership. It’s the meeting where lifelong business connections and friendships are made and traditions celebrated.

The convention’s opening event on Friday evening, June 23, will be a Beach Party reception on the beautiful beaches for which Fort Lauderdale is famous.   Saturday morning’s program starts with a continental breakfast, followed by FNGLA’s Annual Business meeting. The President’s Gala will bring the convention to a grand close on Saturday evening as the FNGLA Big Shoes are passed from President Rob Shoelson to Incoming President Ed Bravo.

The convention schedule will provide open time on Friday and Saturday to visit the area’s natural habitats, explore the waterways, browse among the shops and restaurants along Las Olas Boulevard or just hang out with friends and family by the hotel’s oceanfront infinity pool.

Sponsors are an important part of FNGLA’s Annual Convention, helping to keep registration costs low for more people to attend and the value of the experience high so more people will return year after year.  All companies are welcome as sponsors. Contact Linda Adams at ladams@fngla.org to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

Mark your calendar now to attend this fun FNGLA people-to-people event in 2017. More details and registration information will be available in the New Year on FNGLA's website

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36734Thu, 29 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Announces New Member Recruitment Contest

Longtime FNGLA members probably remember the day when members pitted themselves against others to be “top recruiters.”  It’s an easy sell-- as there’s so many great reasons -- many cost-saving reasons -- to be a member of FNGLA.
It’s time to celebrate!

Starting January 1 and leading into the FNGLA Annual Convention, June 1, members can earn a $50 credit for each new member recruited.  You might be thinking, “Wow!  I can make some serious cash.”  We say, “Yes!”  And there are two options for pay-off: you can easily keep the cash, or you can contribute it to your local FNGLA chapter.  You decide.  And, the chapter whose members, by percentage, bring in the most members, will earn a well-deserved surprise. Rules and restrictions may apply.  FNGLA intends to pay-out all credit monies earned in June, 2017.

Have fun-- promote FNGLA and its benefits-- and, earn a dividend! It’s really that simple!

For more information on FNGLA membership, visit our website's membership page.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36733Wed, 28 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Industry Awards Nominations Deadline Set for February 15

Now’s the time to start thinking about who deserves to be recognized for the outstanding job they do as an FNGLA volunteer and contributor to the industry.

The Industry Awards Committee depends on your nominations to shine a light on those who are going above and beyond as a volunteer. 
Award categories include:

WENDELL E. BUTLER AWARD - FNGLA’s most prestigious award, which recognizes one who has worked to advance the industry and FNGLA through his or her leadership and service. Submit your nomination for this award here.

FNGLA/FARM CREDIT YOUNG NURSERY PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR - Sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of Florida, this award honors an FNGLA member under the age of 39 who has made an outstanding industry contribution. Submit your nomination for this award here.

OUTSTANDING CHAPTER LEADER - Awarded to any local chapter member who, through his or her leadership, enthusiasm, time and talent makes a difference in the success of the chapter. Submit your nomination for this award here.

OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER - Recognizes one who has contributed faithfully to advancing the industry. Submit your nomination for this award here.

OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR - Presented to an educator actively involved in teaching horticulture. Submit your nomination for this award here.

FNGLA HALL OF FAME - Recognizes the lifetime achievement of an individual who’s given unselfishly to the industry through areas including pioneering, teaching, production, legislation, marketing services, or research. Submit your nomination for this award here.

For more information, visit the Industry Awards section on FNGLA's website.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36732Tue, 27 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT
TPIE Road Shows: Customize Your Learning Experience 

For Tuesday, January 17 TPIE’s “Pick Two” Combo allows you to tailor your experience by choosing the workshop and/or tour of your choice.

Morning Workshop Options:

- Pest Management Workshop This workshop focuses on the control and management of interior pest problems along with the control of populations of Aedes mosquitoes known to vector the Zika virus.

- Trends & Garden Center Merchandising Workshop: This workshop explores industry trends such as the increase in popularity of green walls along with great merchandising concepts.

Afternoon Tour Options:

- Production Tour: From a beautiful variety of Bromeliads to a wide array of tropical foliage, attendees will take a tour through three production facilities in Homestead.  The three stops included in Tuesday afternoon’s tour are Bullis Bromeliads; Island Tropical Foliage; and, Costa Farms. 

- Garden & Design Tour: The Garden & Design tour starts at Flora & More, a new design marketplace that is sure to provide inspiration for designers, retail, garden center, hospitality, and event planners.  This tour also features Patrick Blanc’s creation at the Perez Art Museum and more stops featuring green wall systems and Florida tropical plants.

For more information on the workshops and tour locations, visit FNGLA’s website. More details will be added as schedules become available.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36729Sat, 17 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Waves of Change: Political CommentaryBy Jim Spratt, Magnolia Strategies, LLC 

The 2016 election cycle will likely be remembered as one of the most combative in history – beginning in the long road leading to the primaries.  The harsh criticisms levied during the protracted primary season and the general election debates added to voter fatigue which was already at an all-time high from the persistent battles between President Obama and Congress. This  election was historic.  Trump’s victory is the first time a person without any government service at all – military or elected office – was elected President.  A Clinton victory would have marked the first time a female would have been elected President.  

As one of the swing states most likely to decide this election, Trump and Clinton campaigned in a frenzy all across Florida in the final days.  The day before the general election, Florida polls pegged Clinton and Trump in a virtual tie.  At that time, an estimated 6.4 million Floridians had already cast their ballots via early voting or mail ballot.  The final day for early voting saw record numbers across Florida.  When all ballots were cast, Florida saw an upswing in voter turnout at 74.2%.  As we now know, Trump won Florida’s 29 electoral votes. 

The tough election cycle did not bring about significant changes to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, the Florida Senate or the Florida House. In fact, during the Organization Session, Senate President-Designate Joe Negron (R- Stuart) and House Speaker-Designate Richard Corcoran (R- Land O’Lakes) assumed their respective roles as the presiding officers of their chambers.  FNGLA-PAC: A Phenomenal Success Rate Speaking of state elections, the FNGLA-PAC scored very strong victories. Weighing in 11 state Senate races during the general election, the FNGLA-PAC supported nine winners. And, stepping into 37 state House races during the general election, FNGLA-PAC backed 35 winners. Don’t forget: FNGLA-PAC was also very active during the run up to the earlier primary races with victories in 16 of 20 state Senate races and 51 of 56 state House races. Thank you to the many FNGLA members who support the FNGLA-PAC for your generous voluntary contributions! 

Maintaining a robust FNGLA-PAC allows FNGLA to actively support pro-business and agriculture-friendly candidates regardless of party affiliation. FNGLA-PAC is also an important arrow in the FNGLA government affairs quiver. Contributions to FNGLA-PAC provide an avenue to educate legislative incumbents and candidates about the business needs of Florida’s diverse and dynamic nursery / landscape industry. Looking Beyond 2016 One area not in this election cycle’s mix was the state’s executive branch - the Florida Cabinet seats.  The Governor and all three Cabinet officers vacate their seats in 2018 because each will have reached their eight-year term limits.  Undoubtedly, the races to fill these coveted positions will be contentious and full of unanticipated twists and turns. As of this writing, the scuttlebutt suggests: Governor Rick Scott is posturing for a possible U.S. Senate run. Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater was initially rumored to be exploring either a congressional or  gubernatorial run. Attorney General Pam Bondi may well find herself working in the Trump Administration in the Justice Department. Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam has been upfront about running to become Florida’s next Governor.

Several other Republicans have also already begun exploring the logistics of statewide candidacies. They include: outgoing Speaker of the House Steve Crisafulli (potential run for Commissioner of Agriculture); former Speaker of the House Will Weatherford (potential gubernatorial run); incoming Senate President Joe Negron (potential run for Attorney General); incoming Speaker Richard Corcoran (potential Attorney General, although more recently a possible gubernatorial bid).

Trying to right the ship and recover from the elections which saw no significant gains of any statewide significance, the Florida Democratic Party is poised for a leadership shake-up. Some of the Democratic rising stars include: U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Graham (daughter of former U.S. Senator and Florida Governor Bob Graham); Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn; Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer; and, lest we forget names such as State Senators Chris Smith (Fort Lauderdale), Oscar Braynon (Miami), Dan Gelber (Miami) and Rod Smith (Gainesville).  The Scott/ Trump Impact Certainly, in political circles there is growing anticipation regarding the next potential “self-funded” surprise. Florida Governor Rick Scott started this trend in Florida nearly eight years ago when he splashed onto the scene and “dismantled” the establishment. Again, during this election cycle, we saw Donald Trump tap into this anti-establishment segment of the electorate. This begs the question who is next? Does the most famous Florida billboard face, attorney John Morgan, decide to run statewide in Florida? Are we even one step away from a casino mogul, such as Sheldon Adelson, running for statewide office? Your guess is as good as ours, however one thing is certain: Florida voters have cemented their place as one of the most sought-after, fickle and truly unpredictable electorates. Final Thoughts We are certain FNGLA members are thankful for this election cycle to be completed. However, there is no rest for the weary. FNGLA is currently putting together its 2017 legislative agenda and preparing for the 2017 Florida Legislative Session. We hate to admit it, yet we are already laying the groundwork for the 2018 election cycle.  Thank you again for your continued support and confidence in FNGLA; and, thanks for all you do to lead Florida’s nursery and landscape industry.

Jim Spratt is President of Magnolia Strategies, LLC, a Tallahassee-based lobbying firm with a focus on small business and agriculture issues.  Jim is a former FNGLA staff member and has been serving Florida’s nursery and landscape industry since 2004.  Jim can be reached at jim@magnoliastrategiesllc.com.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36728Thu, 15 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Florida Water StarSM Training Heads to HomesteadFlorida Water StarSM (FWS) travels to Homestead January 10 to bring water conservation information to professionals in South Florida.  Space is still available at this training class at the UF/IFAS Miami-Dade Extension Office.

This statewide training and testing program includes water conservation information which focuses on Florida-friendly landscapeTM alternatives and irrigation requirements that can have a major impact on water usage.

Participants who complete the training can choose to sit for the exam to earn their Accredited Professional designation. SJRWMD has contracted with FNGLA to administer the FWS Accredited Professional exams in irrigation and landscape. More than 300 professionals have earned one or both of these designations since testing began in 2010.

Those interested in attending can register online for the training class by clicking this link.

For more information, contact Merry Mott at FNGLA at 800-375-3642 or at mmott@fngla.org.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36727Wed, 14 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Certification opportunities abound at TPIE

There are plenty of opportunities at TPIE 2017 to get the most out of your FNGLA certifications.

 Here’s what you can look forward to during the January 18-20 event at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale:


     Thursday, Jan. 19: “So, You’re Certified, Now What?” - This session will focus on practical ways professionals can display and market their certifications both online and in person. Horticulture industry insider Carl Wallack, FCLC, will talk about solid and pragmatic ways to leverage your certification which will help you set yourself apart in the industry. This session will take place from 11 a.m. – noon. Register online now.


     Friday, Jan. 20: FCLD Review Course –This course will focus on what to study to prepare yourself to take the FNGLA Certified Landscape Designer (FCLD) exam. The cost to attend is $50 and includes an admission badge to TPIE. This course will take place from 9 a.m. – noon. Those interested in attending can sign up online by clicking this link.  


     And don’t forget to visit FNGLA’s Certification Showcase while you are at the show in booth #2500 to submit your CEUs and get caught up on the latest news from the certification world!

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36726Wed, 14 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Passing Down Wisdom: Mother-Daughter Landscape Design Team Share Successes

FNGLA Photo/Kate Clary    

The A-team - (L to R) Carrie Cheek, and Diane Sappington, FCLD, stand in front of a landscape they designed at a residential community located in Central Florida.    

     Nearly 20 years after Central Florida-based Landscape Designer Diane Sappington became one of the inaugural FNGLA-Certified Landscape Designers (She the proud holder of FCLD designation #51), her daughter is poised to follow a similar design career plan.

     "We’re like a tag-team,” said Sappington, of her daughter, Carrie Cheek. “She usually measures, and I usually draw, and do the layout.”

     Sappington owns A Landscape Vision, which specializes in drafting landscape plans of all sizes. Over the course of the company’s two-decade span, projects have included those as small as adding an array of annuals and re-working a courtyard; to re-working the entire traffic flow path and planting all new landscapes on large Florida estates.

     Cheek, an active mom and nature-lover, joined the team roughly four years ago – much to the delight of her mom.

     Prior to this, Sappington was basically a one-woman operation. After working in landscape maintenance and installation for nearly 20 years, Sappington focused her efforts on drafting and designing landscapes for A Landscape Vision. The addition of her daughter to the team has brought a fresh set of complementary talents, said Sappington. 

     “She’s more technical than I am, and she’s very creative,” added Sappington. “She comes up with really good ideas.”

     But natural talent isn’t all Cheek brings. She also has solid industry backing, thanks to earning FNGLA’s Certified Horticulture Professional (FCHP) and the Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMPs) designations. Cheek is also currently studying to take the Florida Water Star Accredited Professional certification, and will sit for her coveted FCLD exam in the spring. 

     “It’s helped me a lot,” Cheek said of her certification training. “It puts something behind my name so people can feel confident in me.”

     Until then, she says the best practice is on the job each day, measuring properties, taking soil samples, and plotting out new and exciting landscapes.

      Looking back over the course of her 20-something-year career as a landscape design professional -- and someone who takes deep personal satisfaction from educating others on best horticultural practices --Sappington said being certified didn’t necessarily make her business a success.  For this, she credits her own natural abilities and experience. What certification training did help with was attaining the coveted professional sheen.

     “When I first started without a certification, there was something missing,” said Sappington. “I knew what I knew, and I knew that I did a good job, there was just something about me feeling like the ‘Joe Schmo’ in the pick-up truck vs. a true professional.”

     For more on FNGLA’s certifications, visit: http://www.fngla.org/certifications/index.aspx

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36725Wed, 14 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition: Spotlight on Plants and Design

Whether it’s a succulent arrangement adding texture to an otherwise bland coffee table, or a wisely-placed fern filling a bare corner, plants bridge the gap between good and gorgeous.

"TPIE is a boutique show which definitely puts the spotlight on all the colors and textures tropical plants and foliage bring to our world," said Linda Adams, chief operating officer at FNGLA. "TPIE is like a fashion designer show for plants."

This positive plant effect will be front and center at this year’s Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) as part of the trade show’s session, Plants & Interior Design: Tying it all Together.

Interior & Landscape Designer Anya Cesar, ASID, of Anya Renise Design Group, is poised to lead a show session with a walking tour of three styled interior spaces in Lobby A of the Broward County Convention Center. During the session Cesar will also highlight how to pair plant designs with current interior trends for both the home and workplace.

And it doesn’t end with just how pretty they are, either.

An expert from the University of Florida’s IFAS Extension will also provide insights during Cesar’s sessions on how plants detoxify the air, and how their aromas and colors also contribute to setting the mood for a space. This session will take place twice during the show: Wednesday, January 18, and Thursday, January 19 at 12 noon.

Also not to be missed during the three-day industry event will be a series of workshops aimed at providing inspiration and practical advice for merchandising and sales success, and tours of both local production facilities, and gardens. Another popular show highlight is TPIE’s Cool Products Awards, which spotlights the top 15 retail and interiorscape plants and products, as voted by show buyers.

TPIE is the nation’s only trade event which showcases the latest trends in foliage, floral and tropicals in warm and inviting South Florida. The expo offers nearly five acres of living and vibrant plants creating a virtual indoor garden of show-stopping displays.

With 400 exhibiting companies in over 800 booth spaces, TPIE offers wholesale buyers the widest array of resources for foliage and tropical plants in the country. Connect with vendors in person and see, touch and feel the widest collection of interior foliage in North America.

TPIE takes place January 18-20 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, in South Florida. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $30 at the door. Pre-register to attend now for $15.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36724Tue, 13 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT
President's Letter: Post-election Holiday Season is Filled with Opportunities for Savvy Business Owners

The results are in and we have a new President. Donald Trump won over Hillary Clinton and, as I predicted in my last article, while many people are pleased, quite a few are unhappy. I do not wish to make this a political article, yet I hope the people of this great nation can come together and stand behind the elected candidate.

At the state level, Amendment 2 passed so Florida’s medical marijuana legalization was expanded. There seems to be some confusion surrounding the passage of this state constitutional amendment. Many people now believe you will be able to walk into a doctor’s office and receive a prescription for marijuana for almost any ailment. That is not the case. Individuals must have a debilitating disease or comparable debilitating condition as determined by a licensed physician. Smoking the drug is also still illegal. The most common prescription will be a low THC oil.

Many people also think this is the ‘cash cow’ for which they have been waiting and are looking for ways to become a grower. That is also not so easy. Currently, there are still six growers licensed to grow, process and distribute marijuana in Florida. When the state registry hits 250,000 new patients, the Florida Department of Health may issue up to three new licenses. What the criteria will be for any new licenses is still unclear. The Legislature is expected to iron out more details given passage of Amendment 2. I will be sure to keep everyone updated in my future articles.

On a lighter side, there just happens to be a huge football rivalry in the state of Florida. As I write this article, I cannot help but express my joy and excitement after watching the Florida State Seminoles defeat the Florida Gators. In case you had not already noticed, I am a huge Florida State fan. In an industry dominated by mostly Gators, I always have a good time each year when it comes to the game between these two teams.

The Florida Department of Agriculture also got in on the action last month when Commissioner Adam Putnam started the "Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown." This is a great way to "promote Florida’s abundance of fresh produce and seafood in 13 head-to-head match ups over 10 sports between the two schools". The Department provides fans with the opportunity to try "Fresh from Florida" recipes and participate in educational games throughout the year between FSU and UF.

Did you know part of your FNGLA membership dues (if you’re a Florida-based nursery grower, landscape professional or garden center retailer) includes a membership in the Fresh from Florida program? Fresh from Florida helps the 47,000 agricultural producers, who are mostly small farmers, promote and market their products. The program raises awareness for Florida’s more than 300 commodities and $100 billion impact on the economy. To learn more about these two programs, visit www.FreshfromFlorida.com and www.SunshineShowdown.com. Go Noles!

Some exciting things are happening with FNGLA’s certification programs. One of my goals this year as FNGLA president is to increase awareness of the certification programs as well as make it more accessible for testing throughout our state. Thanks to the FNGLA/ FDOT Liaison Committee, the Florida Department of Transportation is currently going through its internal review so as to incorporate FNGLA’s certification programs into FDOT’s landscape project specifications. As more and more municipalities and agencies require certifications, the need for sites around our state becomes necessary.

The FNGLA Certified Horticultural Professional (FCHP) program is getting a boost by one of our members whom many of you know. Lloyd Singleton, a UF/IFAS Extension Agent in Sumter County, has been working with the Federal Correctional Institute, Coleman and its prison population. Over the past five years, Lloyd has taught inmates the FCHP certification. The program teaches skills to the offenders which can be used when they are released. With classroom training and outdoor hands-on experience, they work towards obtaining their FCHP.

So far, 457 inmates have been trained and certified. The hope is when these newly certified ex-offenders are released, they land jobs in our horticultural industry which is experiencing a labor shortage. Of the 239 ex-offenders who have been released, only 11 have returned to prison representing less than a five percent recidivism rate. When you factor in an individual cost of over $30,000 a year for keeping them in prison, millions of tax dollars are saved by keeping them out. The program is working well and was recently awarded a five-year contract by the Department of Labor to expand to serve additional offenders. This is just another example of how FNGLA’s certification programs are gaining momentum in the marketplace. Congratulations to Lloyd for a job well done!

I had the pleasure of attending the retirement party for two members whom most people in our industry know well. After 40 years of hard work, the owners of Parrish Nursery, Wes and Vickie Parrish decided to sell their business. Both have been volunteering their time for FNGLA and this industry for about as long as they have been in it. Wes is a past president of FNGLA and he served on numerous committees throughout the years. Vickie has also been very active in FNGLA at both the state level and with the FNGLA Broward Chapter. These are two of the most genuine and generous people I’ve ever met and I’m honored to have them as friends. They remain very active in FNGLA’s Broward Chapter and I’m sure they will be around for many years to come. I wish Wes and Vickie all of the happiness in the next chapter of their lives.

As we roll into December, I look forward to making it to as many FNGLA chapter holiday parties as possible. Best wishes to everyone out there for a happy holiday and a very happy and healthy New Year!


Robert Shoelson, FCLC

Getting Green Plant Service, Inc. (Davie) &

Betrock Information Systems, Inc. (Hollywood)



http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36723Mon, 12 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT
12 Booth Tips for TPIE Exhibitors Which Make a BIG Difference
Looking to set your booth apart at TPIE 2017? Got seven minutes? Aurelia Rose Riley, a buyer for Rockledge Gardens, shows exhibitors 12 "Trade Show Booth Do's and Don'ts" so they can be sure they'll bring their A-game this year to Ft. Lauderdale: 


Video courtesy of GrowerTalks. Subscribe to their Youtube channel here.
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36719Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Ag Angel Program Solicits Industry Support

The holiday season is upon us and it’s time for the Christmas Ag Angels program to launch its efforts for 2016. Nine years ago, Scott Kirouac started donating to local schools in the Highlands Heartland area of Florida. For 2015, the program raised $42,450 in 30 Days!

That’s over $10,000 more than the year prior. 100% of the money provides Christmas gifts for less fortunate children - many of whom are minority agriculture families. 2015 brought presents and Christmas spirit to hundreds of children in all 17 Highlands County Public Schools and 4 Hardee County Public Schools.

The true success of this program is due to its contributors-- people like you. Will you join the effort this year to make an even bigger difference for 2016?

Get Involved... As always, 100% of the funds collected will be used to purchase gifts by the teachers and staff. No funds are used to give gift cards or cash to the students or parents. This assures the funds are not used for unintended purposes. Scott’s goal has always been, and will continue to be, to provide underprivileged children the joy of waking up Christmas morning and having a special gift to open.

Scott asks you to make your donation now, while fresh in your mind: Proceeds will be distributed to the schools and programs by December 10 enabling the "Elves" time to shop for the children before winter break. Checks can be made to Ag Angels Inc., P.O. Box 8333, Sebring, Florida 33872 or make a donation online at http://www.agangels.org.

2015’s Ag Angel program raised $42,450 in just 30 days. Scott Kirouac heads up the effort now in its 9th year of service.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36716Fri, 18 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT
FCLMT Certification Testing Deadline: Friday, November 18

FNGLA’s Certified Landscape Maintenance Technician (FCLMT) program measures the skills of practicing landscape maintenance technicians. This program serves to train employees, recognize their achievement and raise the standards of working professionals within Florida’s landscape industry.

FCLMT is offered as a stand-alone certification and marketed to the landscape industry as an employee training, recognition and advancement program. This certification relies heavily on the Green Industries Best Management Practices.

FNGLA’s FCLMT exam is a one-day exam encompassing field exam sections. Each FCLMT field exam section must be passed with a minimum 70% in order to earn

the FCLMT certification.

Field Exams include: Plant ID; Pest Management; Fertilization; Vehicle Operation (Truck & Trailer); Irrigation; Pruning; Site Evaluation; and, Turf Management.

Next up on the certifications training circuit is the FNGLA Certified Landscape Maintenance Technician testing date December 17 at Ameriscapes USA in Thonotosassa (near Tampa). The FCLMT certification is designed for landscape maintenance professionals to further their knowledge of best management practices. The upcoming test will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The deadline for registration is Friday, November 18. To register, go to https://www.fngla.org/certifications/preparation/registration.aspx.

For more information on upcoming trainings and testing dates, visit FNGLA's Certifications & Education Facebook page.

Also, sign up for FNGLA's Certification monthly newsletter here.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36712Tue, 15 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA’s Annual Convention Set for June 23 & 24, Ft. Lauderdale
Dust off your dancing shoes, and be sure to bring your smiles. Ladies, and gentlemen: the date is set. FNGLA’s Annual Convention for 2017 will take place June 23 & 24 in Ft. Lauderdale. 

“It’s at the B Ocean Resort, which is formerly the Yankee Clipper,” said Christy Savage-Griffin, FNGLA’s Broward Chapter president, of the upcoming event. “Inside is also the old historic bar called The Wreck Bar where they have the famous mermaid show, which you can watch right from the window in the bar.”

FNGLA’s Broward Chapter will serve as the host chapter this year. In keeping with tradition, the location of convention depends on where the FNGLA President is based. In this case, Robert Shoelson, CEO of Betrock Information Systems and owner of Getting Green Plant Service, is located in South Florida. The historic B Ocean Resort, which has recently undergone a multi-million dollar, total renovation, is also one of the few Ft. Lauderdale hotels located directly on the beach, added Savage-Griffin. 

And, as tradition emerges again for this signature FNGLA event, FNGLA’s Annual Meeting takes place during Convention. It is at this key association meeting where FNGLA’s prestigious industry awards are presented, new association officers are elected and FNGLA’s CEO Ben Bolusky gives his annual state of the association report.

The main attraction, besides the breathtaking views of the Atlantic, will be the chance to connect with new and old friends and look back at what was accomplished, industry-wide, in 2016. 

“People can expect to really enjoy themselves,” said Savage-Griffin. “It will be a good opportunity for some serious networking – but at the same time – good fun.” 

Look for a complete schedule, hotel details, and information on online registration in coming weeks at www.fngla.org.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36711Mon, 14 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Behind Lock & Key: Inmates Train Their Way Into Industry

Deep behind two towering security fences, each teeming with hundreds of barbed wire curls, a handful of horticulture professionals brave past security check points, and x-ray searches to enter the largest federal prison in the country. Their mission? To ask a group of inmates studying horticulture what they could offer a prospective employer.

The inmates, a group of men serving time for felonies including gun and drug charges and other non-violent offenses, are enrolled in a horticulture training program at Federal Correctional Institution – Coleman’s Low security unit. The unit is part of a campus of roughly 2,000 inmates which also includes a work camp, medium, and maximum security units. The stoic complex sits among vast stretches of flat green pasture deep in Sumter County, Florida.

The aim of the horticulture vocational training program is to teach inmates skills to help them change their lives. The curriculum involves a mix of classroom instruction, and hands-in-the-soil training. As part of the program, inmates are also given the chance to earn two professional recognitions relating to horticulture: the Florida Friendly Landscaping’s Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMP), and the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) Certified Horticulture Professional (FCHP) certification.

Prisoners learn about hydroponics, and the spectrum of growing plants, from seed germination to harvesting. They also learn about maintaining and learning to spot growing issues, according to Lloyd Singleton, UF/IFAS extension agent for Sumter County, and the program’s architect. The program, which also includes a culinary arts training component, is funded through a contract between the University and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

"In the five years of this UF/IFAS Extension contract with the Department of Justice, 457 inmate students have been trained and certified," said Singleton.

So far, the pass rate for both recognitions among inmates hovers around 90%, according to Singleton.

With the certifications these inmates gain through the program while incarcerated, it qualifies them for jobs inside a nursery, greenhouse, or in landscape maintenance, landscape installation, or even hydroponics.

Aside from a few jarring reminders – padlocks on all file cabinets, and drawers, and what feels like constant and harsh interruptions over the facility-wide loud speaker – the prison’s classroom has all the calling cards of any high school class – dry erase board, teacher’s desk at the head, various hort books strewn about, and tissue paper flowers affixed to the blue fabric partitions that wall in the space from the rest of the expansive area.

Outside the classroom space, toward the back of an expansive and industrial all-purpose room lies rows of green hydroponic plantings each bathing under heat lamps.

On this particular mid-October morning, as fog begins to burn off in the bare clearings leading up to the massive complex, this eager group of outsiders makes its way to the prison’s library. Once inside, the group, made up of those from agencies including the University of Florida/IFAS, FNGLA, and CareerSource Florida, will shake hands with nearly 60 inmates, and give them the opportunity – some for the first time -- to undergo a common American rite of passage: the formal job interview.

The group was invited on site to serve as prospective bosses in mock interviews for imaginary positions in the horticulture industry as a way to prepare the inmates to weather what will most likely be an uphill battle to employment once they are released from Coleman.

After all, the National Institute of Justice put the inmates’ chances of released prisoners being re-arrested within three years of release at roughly two out of three.

But on this morning, as the group attempts to get settled in the library, there is a sense of optimism in the air.

In her introduction, Susan League, a UF employee who serves as the horticulture training program instructor at Coleman, encourages volunteers to ask the men why they are incarcerated. She reminds that it’s highly likely questions will be asked of nearly every man as they work to rebuild their lives, so the practice can only help.

After each volunteer is spread across the library, one-by-one, the visibly nervous men file in. With their folders full of copies of their resume, and dressed in green khaki pants, and either a tan T-shirt, or a matching green Khaki button-up short sleeve shirt, each inmate takes part in the rotations, answering a string of standard interview questions.

A hum of questions begins to pervade with various incarnations of "What sort of experience do you bring to the table?," and to the more technical, "How many feet must one refrain from spreading fertilizer near bodies of water?" emerging over the hum of activity.

Some handshakes were crisper, some eye contact was more consistent, but all questions were largely met with thoughtful, professional responses. After the exercise, after the men were led out, the volunteers reconvened to offer their thoughts. The prevailing sentiment was that each interviewee had stepped out of their comfort zone, and given it a chance. The hope, League offered in her closing remarks, was when each inmate is released, an employer will return the favor.

Singleton hopes that by this program putting certifications in inmates’ hands, it will later act as "door-openers" for them to use to seek employment in the horticulture industry when they’re released.

Of the 457 inmates who have graduated from the program, 239 have been released, according to Singleton.

"Only 11 have returned to prison, representing less than five percent recidivism," Singleton added. "It is easy to hypothesize the benefit of this training program. With a cost of over $30,000 each year to keep an inmate in prison, we expect this effort may save millions of tax dollars."

The long-term hope for the program, according to Singleton, is it becomes a model for justice systems around the world.

It’s already very popular among inmates at Coleman, he added.

"There is a standing group of nearly 200 on the waiting list," Singleton said. "The inmates must have completed their GED or have a high school diploma. We interview the applicants and select from the pool, giving priority to those with a short time until release – generally within two years."

Once in the program, the class lasts anywhere between four and five months, depending on the circumstances, according to Singleton, who added that lockdowns, fog days and staff vacations all pose potential delays.

The program also appears to be well-received by the Department of Justice, as in April 2016 UF/IFAS was awarded a $2.67 million, five-year contract to expand the program by beginning a half-time vocational horticulture training program into the medium security ward of Coleman. That program is expected to begin this month, Singleton said.

In April, as part of his continuing efforts to grow this initiative for which he so passionately advocates, Singleton gave a program update presentation to the FCC Coleman community relations board. Alongside graphics touting impressive pass rates, and charts displaying evidence of lowered recidivism trajectories among graduates, flashed words from a few inmate graduates on what the program means to them personally, and what, they hoped, their new, tactile, applicable industry skills could yield them on the other side of the horizon they’d spent countless years struggling to breach.

"Rehabilitation is a state of mind for each inmate," read a recent graduate’s virtual message in a bottle to the outside word, across a fleeting PowerPoint slide. "My rehabilitation has been enhanced by the horticulture program in the short term in that I have a program that keeps my mind alive. In the long term, we have potential career opportunities. The value of the program is obvious and is making a difference."

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36708Mon, 07 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT
New FNGLA Member Benefits

FNGLA has introduced two new member benefits for the exclusive use of our members. One adds to your bottom line and the other helps save on out-of-pocket expenses for you and your employees. See what’s new!

Put the Power of Propane to Work for You!

FNGLA members using propane fuel for your forklifts, irrigation pumps, commercial mowers or space/water heaters, you now have a friend in the business! Become a Florida Public Utilities (FPU) commercial business customer and receive a 10% FNGLA member discount on your per gallon rate and a free remote propane tank monitoring system so you never run out of gas! Propane forklifts are refueled quickly with very little down time. They can be used inside greenhouses and outdoors in shade/warehouses and offer 100% power throughout their operation. Propane-fueled irrigation pumps are second only to rain! Compared to diesel, propane engines cost up to 50% less to purchase and will save up to 40% on fuel costs. And don’t forget tankless water heaters which efficiently provide an endless supply of hot water. The future of professional lawn care absolutely includes clean-burning, low operating cost, environmentally-green machines powered by propane.

This opportunity is open to all FNGLA members in good standing who are not currently FPU customers. If you’re already a FPU customer, you are invited to request an account review to determine if your per-gallon rate can be adjusted. FNGLA member business must be located within a FPU service territory.


10% discount per gallon of propane purchased.

Free propane tank monitor with a leased propane tank (120 gallon minimum) to ensure you don’t run out of propane!


Forklift & Commercial Mower Cylinders*

CYLINDERS: FPU will supply high-quality aluminum cylinders and a rack storage system at no cost.

ON-SITE FILL: Whether using FPU cylinders or your own, FPU trucks will fill them on-site.

CUSTOM TANK INSTALLATION: FPU will work with FNGLA members to help build a customized plan for installing an on-site dispensing system, assisting with cost and permits. An on-site dispensing system gives you the convenience of having your own propane filling station.

SCHEDULED DELIVERIES: FPU will monitor your consumption to ensure timely propane deliveries.

*Benefits program subject to change. Effective though December 31, 2017. Forklift and commercial mower cylinder programs are not available statewide, so check for availability.

Contact FPU Commercial Growth & Retention Manager Ben Semchuck at 863-289-7608 or bsemchuck@fpuc.com for details.

Discounted Prescription Drug Card Offers Savings on Medication

Florida RxCard is a free statewide prescription discount drug card offering savings as much as 75% on both generic and brand medications! Although not a health insurance plan, this Florida RxCard can help make prescriptions more affordable for both you, your employees and families. If one has health insurance, the Florida RxCard may even offer discounts on medications not covered by the insurance plan. The Florida RxCard is underwritten by pharmacies and drug companies – not the federal government.

The Florida RxCard is free.

Florida RxCard users are not required to provide any personal info -- none is collected, sold, shared or distributed.

There is an online search for covered medications.

Florida RxCard users do not need any health insurance or additional medical coverage. Florida RxCards can be used by FNGLA members, employees and families.

Major pharmacies, including Wal-Mart, CVS, Winn Dixie, Walgreens, Costco and many others, accept the Florida RxCard.

There are no forms to fill out nor are any files needed to obtain the Florida RxCard.

No age or health restrictions. No pre-existing conditions. No waiting periods.

H-2B landscape workers are able to use this card.

Contact Debbie Adler at 770-313-7261 or dadler@floridarxcard.com.

To print a card, visit: http://www.floridarxcard.com/index.php.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36707Mon, 07 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition: Sessions Spotlight
Whether it’s a dozen or so feet beneath New York City streets in a forgotten trolley station, or as the life force blown into the latest design trends, this year’s TPIE sessions will illustrate how plants are the connection. 

Interior Designer and trend-spotter Jane Lockhart will lead the opening session, Where Plants and Lifestyle Connect, which will highlight ways to pair plants with interior spaces to integrate beauty, wellness and nature. 

“When we design a room, it is a three-dimensional concept we bring to life. But a room isn’t truly alive until there is life thriving in the space,” said Lockhart of how plants act to accentuate. “Lush, natural plants breathe air and life into a space, lift our spirits and remind us this added dimension is more than visually appealing, it connects us with nature, year round.”

Lockhart is the principal designer of Jane Lockhart Interior Design, the Toronto firm she founded in 1997. An award-winning designer, TV personality, and author – well-known for her expertise in interior design and color, Lockhart is a fresh voice on consumer spending and millennials. This session will take place Wednesday, January 18 at 9 a.m.

Showcasing how plants are at the heart of a repurpose project stretches from an abandoned trolley line on Manhattan’s east side into an underground public space, Mark Mini and Andrew Engel of John Mini Distinctive Landscapes will present The Lowline Lab & Subterranean Parks: How, Why and What it Means for the Future of our Industry, this year’s Exceeding Expectations session. Both Mini and Engel will explore this innovative project which aspires to become the first underground park with flora supported by natural sunlight. 

“The use of innovative technology is a game-changer for our industry and cities across the world,” said Mini, who serves as vice president of operations of the Lowline project. “We are delivering natural sunlight to places unexpected, allowing us to not only re-introduce nature where it once thrived, but also cultivate it in places it never would have existed. The project opens the door to a whole new field of horticulture.”

The pair will also lay out their part in its inception, what excites them, and how it could reshape the interior plantscaping industry. Sponsored by the National Foliage Foundation, the session takes place on Thursday, January 19 at 3 p.m.

Also slated are a series of workshops aimed at providing inspiration and practical advice for business success, and tours of both local production facilities, and gardens. Also on display will be three interior design showrooms which accentuate plants. Another popular show highlight is TPIE’s Cool Products Awards, which spotlights the top 15 retail and interiorscape plants and products, voted on by show buyers. 

For more information on TPIE 2017, visit the events section of FNGLA's website

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36706Mon, 07 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT
President's Letter: Positive Happenings for Florida’s Nursery and Landscape Industry

Fall is here. The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler, and the leaves are changing.  Well, unfortunately we do not get too many leaves changing in South Florida, but there is a definite change in the weather.  Speaking of weather, South Florida dodged a huge bullet with Hurricane Matthew.  There are some on the east coast of Florida north of us who were not so lucky.  The state’s cut fern industry around the Volusia County area took a major hit.  Recovery time is expected to be measured in months.  Buyers of these products can expect shortages, price increases and quality changes.  About 90% of cut ferns come out of this area.  I have spoke with some friends both in and outside industry who have suffered severe damage to their homes.  It is hard to tell someone who has lost their home or sustained major damage that it could have been worse, however in the grand picture, if Hurricane Matthew had shifted about 50 miles to the west, we would be dealing with catastrophic results across much of Florida.  Hopefully, everyone affected is rebuilding and will be back to normal in a short amount of time.  Luckily, hurricane season ends on November 30 so that should be it for a while.

 In case you have been living under a rock, there is a pretty big election coming up. I for one couldn’t be more sick and tired of reading all the posts on social media and hearing the television ads from all of the candidates.  This is one of the most polarizing elections I think there has ever been.  Most people are either totally for Trump or all in for Clinton.  Hopefully whoever wins the election can get the country united and deal with the real issues at hand. Nonetheless, I am fairly certain there are going to be some very unhappy people no matter what the outcome.  Another important issue which may affect our industry is Amendment 2. This is the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative.  If this amendment passes, medical marijuana can be prescribed by a licensed state physicians for individuals with specific debilitating diseases or comparable debilitating conditions.  There are six growers in Florida currently licensed to grow and distribute medical marijuana.  In order to be selected, these growers had to meet specific criteria set in place.  Recent changes made to the law provide for every 125,000 new patients, the Florida Department of Health can grant additional licenses. If the amendment passes, the Legislature is expected to adjust the existing law to account for the expanded list of illnesses and patients.

There are a couple events coming up in the next few months that I would like to mention.  Landscapers need to keep an eye out for FNGLA’s Education on the Go!!  This program is geared toward landscape professionals.  Attendees will be presented with key elements to business success in the landscape industry.  If that isn’t enough, middle managers will have the opportunity to learn best practices from the landscape maintenance industry.  The seminars will be held in Clearwater, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, and Jacksonville.  Help spread the word about this exciting and educational program.  For more information, please visit the FNGLA website.

Although we still have two months to go, preparations are well underway for The Tropical Plant and Industry Exhibition (TPIE).  I have personally attended this trade show for over 25 years.  This year will be especially important as my company, Getting Green, will be exhibiting for the first time.  As we look to expand our business, we can think of no better way than getting our products and services in front of the thousands of industry professional attendees who visit the TPIE show. Buyers from around the world convene in Ft. Lauderdale to see what’s available and what is happening in the industry.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of attending this show, do yourself a favor and get to it!  There are eye-popping booths and beautiful plants.  You will not be disappointed.

In case you missed a recent edition of Ben’s Bullets, we have  new member benefits available to members.  A prescription discount drug card is now available to members, employees and families.  You can save as much as 75% on generic and brand medications!  This card is free and no health insurance is required.  For more information and to print additional Florida Rx cards, visit the FNGLA site.

Without a doubt, fall is my favorite time of the year. I am looking forward to all of the festivities within this season.  Thanksgiving will be here before you know it and no matter for which football team you cheer, or which Presidential candidate you vote, this is the time for family and friends to come together.  Enjoy the delicious food and the quality time with each other.  I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving.

Robert Shoelson, FCLC
Getting Green Plant Service, Inc. (Davie) & 
Betrock Information Systems, Inc. (Hollywood)

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=36705Mon, 07 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA’s Education on the Go!! Brings Lessons from Landscape Leaders

Using the lessons both acquired from decades of “Boots on the Ground” careers in the landscape industry, Ben Gandy and Ken Thomas have joined together to create Envisor Consulting with one goal in mind: to makes others in the landscape industry successful. In partnership with FNGLA and Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply, Gandy and Thomas will lead a series of winter workshops aimed at helping landscape professionals grow their businesses.

 Part of FNGLA’s Education on the Go!! series “Keys to Business Success” and “Account Manager Boot Camp” workshops will provide attendees with ways to build their business to the next level or strengthen their middle management team. Gandy offers a preview of what ground will be covered at the upcoming sessions:

Q. - How will you and fellow instructor Ken Thomas will divide up the teaching duties for these two sessions?

A. - Ken Thomas and Ben Gandy bring a team approach to Envisor’s presentations and workshops. In FNGLA’s Education on the Go!! Series, Ken will lead the conversations and ideas in the “Keys to Business Success” series with Ben providing support, commentary and workout sessions to keep the energy and engagement up. In the “Account Manager Boot Camp” series, Ben will lead the session while Ken supports.

Q. - How did each of your experiences in your own careers give you the wisdom you have now to draft these sessions?

A. - Ken and I built and sold multiple landscape companies including Scapes in Atlanta, one of the nation’s top 100 landscape firms. We’ve had the opportunity to work with and look under the hood of many of the nation’s leading landscape companies as part of the TrueGreen/LandCare roll up and as national consultants. We’ve seen the practices that work and those that don’t.

Q. - One part of the “Keys to Business Success” session involves learning how to peg personality profiles of others to communicate better with those people. What’s a personality profile? And how do people get them?

A. - A personality profile is a test or assessment that categorizes a person’s temperament, decision-making methods, communication style, and leadership style. There are many available. We will be using the DiSC profile which is available on-line at www.discprofile.com.

Q. - In the “Account Manager Boot Camp” session, there’s a lesson that calls for a “systematic approach” to onboarding new clients. Is there one reoccurring error that you see a lot of people in the industry doing in their own approaches with onboarding new clients?

A. - If a new client is not happy with their new landscape vendor within the first 30 days, the relationship is often irretrievable and the longevity of the client is statically about one-third of the life of a satisfied client.

Q. - Is there a “secret” to being successful in the landscape industry?

A. - There are no magic bullets, but hard work and smarts are not necessarily the most powerful ingredients. The key is to do the right things at the right times. We hope to share many of those “right things” at FNGLA’s Education on the Go!! series.

The “Keys to Business Success” workshop will take place in Ft. Lauderdale on January 17, while the “Account Manager Boot Camp” is slated for Jacksonville on February 24. FNGLA members can attend their choice of a day-long session for $225. Nonmembers can attend for $255.  Lunch is included with program fees.

 For more information on the Education on the Go!! series, click here. For more FNGLA happenings, see the latest edition of our newsletter, Greenline here

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=35704Wed, 02 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Upcoming CEU opportunities for January - February 2017

Looking for a few upcoming CEU opportunities? You came to the right place. Below are a handful of classes scheduled for the next few months:

Tuesday-Friday, January 17-20, 2017

What: Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition

Variety of programs, including tours, trade show, education, on-floor presentations, FNGLA certification events

Where: Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd. at Port Everglades Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316-4205

For more information: www.tpie.org

Wednesday-Friday, January 18-20, 2017

What: Gulf States Horticulture Expo

Info: CEU's can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center, Mobile, Alabama

When: Education Day Jan 18 and Show Jan 19-20

Register here:  http://www.gshe.org/

Friday, January 20, 2017

What: 7th Annual “Roots to Shoots” Tree Program

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County, 12520 Ulmerton Rd. Largo, FL 33774

When: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Cost: $50

For more information and to register: https://roots-to-shoots2017.eventbrite.com

Saturday, January 21, 2017

What: AGstravaganza

Info: 1 CEU can be earned for FNGLA

Where: West Central Agricultural Center, 7620 SR 471 Bushnell, FL 33513

When: Jan 21 from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Cost: $20 pre-reg and $25 at the door

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/agstravaganza-tickets-25972660928?aff=es2

Monday, January 23, 2017

What: Worker Protection Standard Train The Trainer

Info: 4 CEU can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Lake County Extension, 1951 Woodlea Rd. Tavares, FL 32778

When: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Cost: $25

To register: registration online.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

What: Commercial Horticulture Update

Info: 4 CEU can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension, 6700 Clark Rd. Twin Lakes Park, Sarasota, FL 34241

When: Jan 24 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Cost: $25

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/horticulture-update-registration-27488720503

Wednesday-Friday, January 25-27, 2017

What: Georgia Green Industry Assn WINTERGREEN

Info: CEU's can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Infinite Energy Center, Duluth, Georgia

Register here:  http://www.ggia.org/Events

Saturday, January 28, 2017

What: Winter Ornamental & Turf Workshop

Info: 4 CEU can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Orange County Extension, 6021 S. Conway Rd., Orlando, FL 32812

When: 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Cost: Free

To register: http://cflandscapes.eventbrite.com/


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What: FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician (FCLT) class

Info: CEU's can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Pinellas Technical College, 901 34th St South, St Petersburg, FL 33711

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays Feb. 7 – March 7 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Cost: $166 plus manual cost and testing fee

For more information, contact Glenn Duncan at DuncanG@pcsb.org or 727-418-2273

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fngla-certified-landscape-technician-short-course-registration-29024002573?aff=es2


Thursday-Friday, February 9-10, 2017

What: Jacksonville Landscape Show & Short Course

Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA for attending show and educational classes

Where: Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fairgrounds, 510 Fairground Place, Jacksonville, FL 32202

When: February 9-10 from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

For information and to register: http://www.nefngla.org or info@nefngla.org

Thursday, February 16, 2017

What: Pruning and Chainsaw Safety

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Osceola County Extension, 1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane, Kissimmee, FL 34744

When: 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

To Register: http://ocagriculture.eventbrite.com  


Friday, February 17, 2017

What: Tree and Landscape Short Course

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Hillsborough Community College, John R. Trinkle Center, 1206 N. Park Rd., Plant City, FL 33563

When: 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM

To Register: http://www.prohort.eventbrite.com

Friday, February 24, 2017

What: FNGLA’s Education on the Go – Account Manager Bootcamp

Info: 4 CEU's can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Ewing Branch 160, 11590 Davis Creek Ct., Jacksonville, FL

For more information: http://www.fngla.org/events/education-on-the-go/2016/EdOnGoflyer2.pdf

Friday, February 24, 2017

What: Water Conservation Expo & Vendor Fair

Info: 4 CEU's can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Southwest Florida Water Management District, 3301 Gun Club Rd.,West Palm Beach, FL 33406

When: 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM

For more information: Stacey Adams at 561-682-2577 or sadams@sfwmd.gov


http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33697Tue, 13 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA's calendar of events for October/November 2016

See and submit more news here.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33696Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT
SeaWorld Horticulture Hosts Central Florida FCLT Exam

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33695Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Two more Florida Water StarSM Training Dates Planned

Offering the chance for water conservation education, training/testing dates have been added for the Florida Water Star Accredited Professional (FWS-AP) certification at the following locations:


Training takes place 8:30 a.m., Oct. 26 at the Forestry Division’s training room, 408 W. University Ave., Suite 106. Those who attend the training course are invited to take the test from 1-5 p.m., October 27, at Alachua County Environmental Protection Department.

To sign up, click here.

Those who earn the FWS-AP designation qualify for self-inspection under Alachua County’s new Landscape Irrigation Design and Maintenance Standards ordinance.


Citrus County welcomes FWS on November 1 & 2 with training taking place 8:30 a.m., November 1 at the UF-IFAS Citrus County Extension, 3650 West Sovereign Path #1, and testing taking place from 8:30 a.m. to noon, November 2.

To sign up, click here.


Join the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), the UF/IFAS Miami-Dade Co. Extension and FNGLA for this January 10, 2017 training and testing program for water conservation education. Training is January 10 beginning at 8:30 a.m. with the optional exam taking place January 11 at 8:30 a.m., both at 18710 SW 288 St in Homestead.

To sign up, click here.  

Florida Water StarSM focuses on Florida-friendly landscape alternatives and irrigation requirements that may have a major impact on water usage. It also provides Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to FNGLA Certified Professionals, licensed irrigation professionals and Registered Landscape Architects.

The St. John’s River Water Management District has contracted with FNGLA to administer the Florida Water StarSM Accredited Professional exams in irrigation and landscape. Nearly 250 professionals have earned one or both of these designations since testing began in 2010.

For more information, see FNGLA’s certifications Facebook page or contact Merry Mott at FNGLA, mmott@fngla.org, or call 800-375-3642.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33694Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT
UF/IFAS Hops Research Nationally Honored

Hops research by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers is gaining national scientific recognition in addition to media attention.

 Three UF/IFAS scientists are not only trying to see if hops will grow in Florida’s hot, humid climate, but they also want to know whether they can quench the thirst of the fast-growing micro-brewing industry.

 Brian Pearson, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of environmental horticulture, is one of three members of the hops research team. Pearson’s research to date won him third place in the Early Career Award for scientists at the American Society of Horticultural Sciences (ASHS) in early August. The Early Career Competition is for new faculty and professionals to share their discoveries to a peer audience.

 "This is just the beginning of our alternative and specialty crop research," said Pearson, a faculty member at the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka, Florida. "Working with hops, fennel, safflower and skullcap, we hope to bring an array of viable, high-value alternative crops to Florida growers."

 Also taking honors among UF/IFAS faculty and students in environmental horticulture were: Professor Kim Moore, a faculty member at the UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center; Professor Gary Knox, a faculty member at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center; Associate professor Mack Thetford, a faculty member at the UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center; Krisha Bhattarai, a doctoral student working under the supervision of professor Zhanao Deng at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center; and, Pearson’s master’s student, Richard Smith, won third place among graduate students in the oral competition for his presentation on hops research.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33693Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Garden Media Group Releases 2017 Trend Report: 8 Trends Inspire Clean Gardening 365 Days-a-YearThe backyard and kitchen counter have a lot in common this year; they’re both ideal places to grow.

New changes in indoor gardening technology combined with an ever increasing demand for clean food means it’s easier than ever to garden 365 days-a-year.  

Garden Media Group’s annual Garden Trends Report for 2017, Grow 365, introduces eight industry trends that inspire gardening year-round. It reflects consumers’ increasing desire to access healthy food, fresh air and clean medicine no matter the season. 

The 2017 report mirrors what modern technology has known for years: Mother Nature doesn’t have jurisdiction indoors. 

“Gone are the days where we have to limit our growing options based on our climate, soil conditions, water or space,” said Susan McCoy, president of Garden Media. “New technology turns any kitchen counter or almost any indoor space into a vegetable garden. Clean, healthy and delicious food is now at our fingertips all year long.”  

The report emphasizes the clean food movement and how it is redefining indoor gardening for the modern age. Millennials, especially demand to know where food comes from and what’s in it, so more people are growing their own groceries than ever before. 

“The stigma once placed on hydroponics is long over,” she explains. “The demand for clean food, the surge in canna-businesses and the concerns about the environment are just a few reasons why growing 365 days-a-year is booming.” 

The Grow 365 report also notes the elevated consumer interest in both indoor and outdoor growing is creating a love of flowers and plants, and, as a result, more interest in horticulture not only as a hobby but as a career. 

The complete 2017 Garden Trends Report: Grow 365 is available for free download now: http://grow.gardenmediagroup.com/2017-garden-trends-report.

Read Garden Media’s GROW! blog for weekly trend updates and industry news: http://grow.gardenmediagroup.com.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33692Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT
October is “Farm-to-School” Month 
October is National Farm to School Month and the 2016 theme, One Small Step, highlights the simple ways one can take small steps to get informed, get involved and take action to advance farm to school in their own communities and across the country. 

During October, the One Small Step program features weekly themes to advance its mission: Education (October 3-7); Healthy School Meals (October 10-14); Farmers + Producers (October 17-21); The Next Generation (October 24-28).  Learn more at: http://www.farmtoschool.org.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33691Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Florida and Mosquitoes: Putting Things Back into PerspectiveLet’s put things into perspective: With Zika as the latest mosquito-borne virus to hit Florida, bromeliads in South Florida are getting an unfair rap because they hold small quantities of water. Over-the-top press are fanning flames of unneeded hysteria over the small quantity of water collected in bromeliads. Let’s face it, as a subtropical state, Florida has lots of mosquitoes. With mosquitoes come lots of health risks such as dengue, chikungunya, encephalitis, West Nile and, now, Zika viruses. Of course, public health is absolutely paramount. Yet, it is unreasonable to expect homeowners to eliminate standing water by taking hammers to their birdbaths; emptying their swimming pools; or, dismantling the gutters on their homes. Local officials are not going around filling in potholes and ditches. And, unless the canals, ponds, lakes and the Everglades itself are drained, Florida will always have water. So, it’s a logical assumption: As long as Florida has water, Florida will have mosquitoes. 
Compared to these scenarios, bromeliads are a vastly smaller concern. It is unreasonable for these iconic bromeliads to be ripped from beautiful and functioning Florida gardens and landscapes. If people wish to eliminate mosquitoes from their yards, one of the simplest things they can do is manage their yards, gardens and landscapes by flicking the water collected in all containers and plants. FNGLA is working with Miami-Dade County, UF-IFAS Extension, Florida Department of Agriculture and Miami-Dade Farm Bureau and FNGLA Chapter to develop and make widely available a consumer fact sheet based on common sense, science and research. Rather than overreacting by removing or stop buying these popular colorful and drought tolerant plants, consumers and public officials will be informed they have opportunities to use simple precautions. 

Final touches are also being made on a “Florida Nurseries Flip Before We Ship” campaign so buyers can be confident growers are shipping plants without standing water. Buyers also need to understand there is no Zika in Florida’s bromeliad production areas. Besides, bromeliads shipped out-of-state are used primarily as indoor foliage plants, so mosquitoes are of no concern. FNGLA has been working with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services which has now released an official statement underscoring how Florida nursery growers promote safe handling and shipping of plants to prevent the spread of mosquitoes.  Access the FDACS statement here.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33690Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Communication is Key in Moving Science from Lab to Lips

By Jack Payne, University of Florida senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources and leader of IFAS, jackpayne@ufl.edu | @JackPayneIFAS

While the public has embraced the latest technological advances putting ever more sophisticated smartphones into your hands, agricultural scientists feel there hasn’t been the same openness to technology to improve what’s on your plate or in your yard.

Kevin Folta, according to one of his colleagues, has done as much as anyone in the past decade to help the public understand the biotechnology behind its food and plants.

His work in getting the public excited about science has been compared to that of Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, and Carl Sagan.

Folta chairs the UF/IFAS Department of Horticultural Sciences and does pathbreaking research on the use of light to manipulate the color, flavor, and nutrient content of fresh produce. He also crisscrosses the country to explain the evidence-based risks and benefits of agricultural biotechnology.

Few scientists do this as effectively as Folta. That’s why the Iowa-based Council of Agricultural Science and Technology is recognizing him with its Borlaug CAST Communication Award in October during a side event at the World Food Prize gathering.

It’s also why he’s been attacked relentlessly, from obscenity-laced social media messages to death threats.

Folta wants to help people conquer their fears. Because we live in an age of so much information, we also live in an age of misinformation. Oftentimes, I find the very point of misinformation is to induce fear.

Activists and celebrities have wide audiences for their messages biotechnology is a threat to healthy food – messages that are not backed by evidence.

Relying on misinformation can lead to unhealthy choices, food shortages, and a drag on efforts to put a stop to 3.1 million children a year worldwide dying of malnutrition.

Folta wants to replace fear with fact. He’ll do this almost anywhere he can, from elementary schools to retirement homes. He has a highly rated science podcast on iTunes. He Tweets out science. He blogs it. He meets people where they are.

He does this because getting science out of the lab and to the people who can benefit from it is as important to him as discovery itself.

Fear is among the most powerful things of emotions. It’s up to scientists to help remove one of its leading causes – the unknown.

We don’t have enough scientists yet who have conquered their own fears of being targeted because they bring people the science to help conquer theirs.

It’s the hope of CAST, of Folta, and of me that the recognition he’s getting in Iowa this month will inspire more scientists to talk more to the public and not just to their peers.

Jack Payne is the University of Florida’s senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources and leader of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

More detail on Kevin Folta: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Folta#Research

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33689Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Great Reasons to Exhibit at TPIE 2017 TPIE is the place where interior design and plant design connect and where the industry looks to discover new products and technologies which can lead to enhancing their business. It’s also a venue for energizing creativity and an opportunity to meet new people, see new business opportunities and old connections with a new perspective. If you’re not exhibiting, here are a few great reasons to be a part of TPIE:

1. Gather qualified leads for post-exhibition company follow-up.

2. Introduce new products or services to market: Showcase your new products on the show floor at the Exhibitor Showcase.

3. Give your customers the opportunity to meet the expert: you!

4. Connect face-to-face with buyers not easily accessible to your sales force. Over 10% of TPIE buyers travel from out of the country. TPIE brings these buyers to you.

5. Take advantage of advertising and sponsorship opportunities to enhance your presence outside of your booth.

6. Network with industry professionals and colleagues.

7. Open doors for future sales calls.

8. Directly influence top decision makers: 84% of TPIE buyers are direct influencers or final decision makers for purchases.

9. Reach dealers, reps and distributors and further develop these relationships.

10. Reinforce your company brand.

For more information on TPIE, click here

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33688Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Launches New Series: Education On the Go!

Coming to industry members this Fall, FNGLA has partnered with Envisor’s team to offer a series of business-oriented workshops for landscape professionals who want to grow, prosper and succeed. Two workshops are offered, each with two different dates and locations: Keys to Business Success and Account Manager Boot Camp. Whether landscape professionals are looking to build their business to the next level or strengthen their middle management team, these programs will show them how.

Gain a greater understanding of how to business life cycles work. Find ways to foster stronger communication and develop lean application strategies. It’s time to engage in a systematic approach to top-notch customer service.

Upcoming workshops:

Keys to Business Success

November 18 | Clearwater, FL

January 17 | Ft. Lauderdale, FL

This workshop led by Gandy.

Account Manager Boot Camp

December 9 | Orlando, FL

February 24 | Jacksonville, FL

This workshop led by Thomas.

Meet the Workshop Instructors: Envisor Consulting – www.envirorco.com:

Ben Gandy

Ben has developed operating systems and implemented key strategies that have propelled several businesses to profitability, market leadership, and successful transitions including Scapes Landscape, one of the top 100 companies in the US. Ben’s lean production expertise is unparalleled, having spent several years working with the nation’s largest landscape provider deploying their lean initiatives on a national level. He has been to virtually every landscape market in the US implementing lean on a cultural and practical level. A long time PLANET member, Ben has a down to earth, practical approach. He is committed to simple solutions that drive results. With a passion for operations; systems based management strategies and lean thinking, Ben is positioned to guide others in pursuit of their vision.

Ken Thomas

Ken started his first business fresh out of college with $1,000 and a pickup truck. From there, he grew to $5 million before selling to LandCare in 1998. Ken is also the former owner and managing partner of award winning Scapes Landscape, which was one of the top 100 landscape companies in America. Scapes was acquired by ValleyCrest in 2008. Ken spent 2 years in leadership at ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance as Sales Leader for the southeast region. During his 30 year career, Envisor founder Ken has owned three of Atlanta’s most successful landscape companies. An astute businessman who’s not afraid to dig in the dirt, Ken knows the secrets and systems of thriving landscape operations. A long-standing member of PLANET/ALCA and past president of the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association, Ken is a true visionary with a down to earth approach.

For more information about the program and registration, click here, or contact Linda Reindl, lreindl@fngla.org.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33687Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT
The Landscape Show/SHARE Golf Tournament Tops Fundraising Goal

  With 100 golfers registered and an elevated level of sponsor support, The Landscape Show/SHARE 2016 Golf Tournament brought in more than $13,000 to support FNGLA’s Endowed Research Fund at SHARE/UF. The FNGLA Golf Fundraising Committee had set an ambitious goal of $10,000 to raise this year, and with the committee’s extra effort and enthusiasm in getting new sponsors and players, they were able to well exceed their goal.

The annual tournament took place Wednesday, September 14 at Celebration Golf Course, held in conjunction with The Landscape Show. The new location was well received by the golfers, many of whom found it more challenging than the average golf course, and also more fun.

Trophies were given to first, second and third place winners:

First: Eric Kellough, Doug Barber, Steve Edwards and Brad Carter

Second: the AG3 team, led by Mike Rinck and Tyler Donn

Third: Richard Courville, Scott Lowdell, Jerry Pioneer and Cameron Pioneer

Special recognition was given to the new Champion-level Sponsor SiteOne Landscape Supply, Lunch Sponsor, Syngenta and Breakfast Sponsor, FIS Outdoor. These three new levels of sponsorship were important to the success of the fundraising.

The Golf Tournament Committee worked hard not only to increase the financial success of the tournament, but to add more contests, prizes and give-a-ways. Committee members included Chairman Matt Antos, LPL Financial; Peter Goodwin, ILC Specialty Fertilizers; Jason Platzer, BWI; Ed Bravo, Big Tree Plantation; Will Womak, Tampa Bay Landscaping and, Dennis Mahr, Ted Mahr Supply.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33686Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Another 2016 Success: The Landscape Show!Lush, towering palms canopied the ceiling while nature’s vibrant hues adorned the aisles at the Orange County Convention Center for The Landscape Show 2016. The three-day event drew more than 7,000 industry professionals from across 38 U.S. states and 16 countries. More than 400 vendors were spread across the convention center space this year in over 800 booth spaces. 

“It was a great show,” said Pete Dunnington, Chairman of the 2016 Landscape show. ““Business seems to be picking up, and the attitude on the floor was very positive. It’s one of the better shows we’ve had in quite a few years since the recession,” Dunnington added.

Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Steve Crisafulli was a special guest at the event on opening day.  He spoke with industry members as he made his way around the show floor.

As an accent to this year’s theme Where Business Makes Sense was a Trend Stage Sensory Garden. The garden featured plants and products which engaged the five senses. 

The Trends Stage also served as the backdrop for various awards presentations and events including the “Cool Products” presentation where a team of industry buyers selected 15 unique products from exhibits at the show considered especially business-worthy. 
Also taking place at the Trends Stage were the Fresh From Florida Yard-To-Table Chef’s presentations. 

“The Chef’s presentations put the sensory theme of the show in action, offering a chance to use almost all the senses, especially taste,” said Linda Adams, FNGLA’s Chief Operating Officer. “With edible landscaping still a big trend, the chefs provided several creative food offerings using herbs and foods from the landscape. Attendees enjoyed samples of pickled vegetables, nutty pesto, flavored salts and tangy drinks as a few inspiring yard-to-table ideas.”

FNGLA also recognized The 2016 Landscape Show Awards winners at the event. FNGLA’s Landscape Awards program recognizes exceptional landscape projects designed and installed by industry members. The prestigious Roy Rood Award winner was Groundtek of Ocoee (landscape contractor), and Larry M. Smith of Maitland (landscape designer), for their maintenance of the Orange County Convention Center Maintenance. The FNGLA Floriculture Award went to Nanak’s Landscaping, Inc. of Deerfield Beach (landscape contractor), and Lifescapes International of Newport Beach, CA (landscape architect) for their project at the Margaritaville Hotel & Resort. This project was judged to show the most effective use of plant material, creating color and texture in the landscape. 

Adding a level of excitement on the show floor were this year’s booth award winners. Included was one award for Most Unusual Plant Specimen, which went to Sunscape Landscape Nursery, Inc. for Dracaena draco. The Best of Show award went to Excelsa Gardens.

Aside from all the activity on the show floor, attendees had the chance to mingle and network during several Ideas & Sharing Sessions, and at the Opening Night reception, sponsored by TreeTown USA. Catering to the under 40 crowd, the Tapped In networking reception also drew dozens of young industry professionals who shared a chat and a cocktail at The Rosen Plaza.

The Knowledge College, the show’s primary education element, saw 475 industry professionals attending one or more of the 18 specialty workshops. Attendees were provided both classroom and hands-on training. From learning how to increase sales through their landscape designs; how to implement innovative design techniques with landscape lighting and LED usage; to a new plants session to create successful pollinator gardens, attendees were able to take practical tools back to their business and easily implement new ideas into their business strategies.  

Special thanks to all of the 2016 presenters and participating companies. Along with our sponsors, Disney’s Horticulture team, SeaWorld, Florida Coast Equipment and Ameriscapes Landscape Management Services provided time and resources to make the 2016 Knowledge College a very successful event.

FNGLA also put on a career showcase, which attracted almost 300 students from across the state. “As part of FNGLA’s initiative, the mission is to welcome incoming members of the workforce, and provide some mentoring to help make our industry successful for generations to come,” said Merry Mott, FNGLA’s Director of Certifications. 

Also taking place at the show was the FNGLA Certifications Showcase, hosted by Certification Committee Chair Gary Weitermann, FCLMT of SeaWorld Horticulture. The Certifications Showcase included information on the five professional certifications the Association offers. 

“We highlighted the opportunity for attendees to test their skills in Plant Identification, Job Evaluation, Irrigation Parts Identification, Plan Layout and Grading & Drainage,” Mott said. “They each represented actual exam sections of a variety of FNGLA’s certification exam offerings.” Part of the certification showcase were also representatives of three state water management districts who highlighted the Florida Water Star Accredited Professional certification.

Teeing off prior to the Show kick-off was the annual golf tournament, held on Wednesday, September 14. That event drew 100 golfers, and raised around $13,000 for the FNGLA endowed research fund at SHARE, a program that supports agricultural research and education through the University of Florida. 

Next year’s Landscape Show will take place September 14-16 at the Orange County Convention Center’s North building. The anticipation has already begun, according to Dunnington. “People are already talking about what to expect from next year’s show.”
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33685Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT
100 MPH: From Many Industry Happenings & Events to The Landscape ShowQuite a bit of activity has happened since my last article.  There has been a hurricane, a FNGLA Chapter installation dinner, another Chapter meeting, industry issues with mosquitoes and most importantly, a fantastic tradeshow in Orlando in case you weren’t aware.  It always seems this is the time of the year when everything starts moving one hundred miles per hour.  I am enjoying my travels around the state visiting different FNGLA Chapters and events.   I seem to work better when there is more on my plate than not. 

In my last article, I mentioned hurricane season was upon us and we had been lucky for the past several years.  Not more than a week after writing that, Hurricane Hermine took some crazy turns and decided to make a trip through North Florida.  I spoke with several growers from the area hit and it seems they did get very lucky.  Except for a few downed trees, the storm spared us for what could have been much more serious damage.  Hopefully, industry members took Hermine as a practice drill and have prepared their properties because now we face Hurricane Matthew and we might not be as lucky this go-around.

Earlier in the month, I had the pleasure of attending the FNGLA Palm Beach Chapter’s installation dinner.  President Brandon Balch did a nice job hosting the event staged in conjunction with the Chapter’s golf fundraiser.  It was a packed house and everyone seemed to have a fun time.  I am curious as to where they come up with all the great raffle items.  I was fortunate to walk away with two gift certificates to Home Depot.  Congratulations to the new officers and board members in FNGLA’s Palm Beach Chapter.  

My next trip was up to FNGLA’s Treasure Coast Chapter hosted at Calusa Creek Tree Farm for its monthly meeting.  UF/IFAS Dr. Tom Yeager was on hand to discuss best management practices.  I am a firm believer in the BMP program and I actually had a hand in helping rewrite the manual several years ago.  Our industry has really stepped up to the plate in helping to conserve and protect Florida’s most valuable natural resource - water.  Without a doubt, water is one of the biggest issues facing our industry and every nursery should be doing its part to help.  By signing up for the BMPs, you are doing your part as well.  There may even be some cost share money available as well.   I wish to thank Deb Joneck and Cindy Hall for inviting me to participate in this informative meeting.  I also wish to thank Dr. Yeager for all he has done for the BMP program and our industry.

In case you haven’t noticed, a problem in Miami has come up related to mosquitos and the Zika virus.  Unfortunately, several local officials have placed blame on bromeliads because they hold small quantities of water.  After doing some research myself, it seems the claim is unfounded and unfair.  There are two species of Wyeomyia mosquitos which will lay eggs in bromeliads, but these are not necessarily the type of mosquitoes which carry the Zika virus.  There is no research showing the Aedes aegypti mosquito (which is the most common species spreading Zika) breed and live inside bromeliads.  It is very unfortunate this kind of ‘knee jerk’ reaction to this public health issue unsupported by scientific research has already put fear in the public eye.  Several landscape contractors have told me they have cancelled orders and have ripped out bromeliads on existing landscapes.  Hopefully, with the right information putting things into the proper perspective, people will realize removing bromeliads or not planting them in the first place is not the answer.  FNGLA is working with the Department of Agriculture as well as the University of Florida (IFAS) to get the right information out to the public.  The fact is we live in Florida and everywhere you turn you will run into water.  

Last, yet certainly not least, my month’s activities wrapped up with The Landscape Show.  A big hat’s off to the Landscape Show Committee and the FNGLA staff for putting on a fantastic show. The seminars were packed and the exhibit halls were loaded with attendees.  It was great catching up with all the folks I haven’t seen since last year.  Pretty much everyone with whom I spoke was positive and optimistic regarding business. There seems to be quite a bit of work coming through the pipeline.  Product is still more on the scarce side, yet that should start to catch back up in the next year or two.  

I had the privilege of walking the show with Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli.  He is a powerful ally for FNGLA and our industry, as well personable and friendly.  Hopefully, he will decide to run for Commissioner of Agriculture in 2018.  Congratulations to the winners of the booth awards.  There were some spectacular booths this year. I also wish to congratulate the winners of the prestigious FNGLA Landscape Awards.  There were some really beautiful projects submitted.  The award recipients took center stage at the show to accept their accolades to the delight of a nice crowd. Remember to submit your projects for consideration in next year’s show.  Until next month, here’s to cooler weather and a busy and safe fall.

Robert Shoelson, FCLC
Getting Green Plant Service, Inc. (Davie) & 
Betrock Information Systems, Inc. (Hollywood)

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33684Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Bracing for the storm: Links to federal disaster relief programsAs we continue to hope for the best - but prepare for the worst, here are some helpful disaster assistance links to federal programs in the event you incur crop loss or structural damage:

Farm Service Agency (FSA)
FSA Emergency Conservation Program
FSA Noninsured Crop Disaster Program
FSA Tree Assistance Program
Small Business Administration Disaster Programs

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=33683Wed, 05 Oct 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Florida Water Star Begins Fall Training Season

  The Florida Water StarSM Accredited Professional (FWS-AP) training and testing schedule kicks off in October.

Join the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) and FNGLA in this statewide training and testing program for water conservation education focusing on Florida-friendly landscape alternatives and irrigation requirements that may have a major impact on water usage.

Florida Water Star returns to Gainesville October 26 & 27. Those who earn the FWS-AP designation qualify for self-inspection under Alachua County’s new Landscape Irrigation Design and Maintenance Standards ordinance. To sign up for the Gainesville class, click here

Citrus County welcomes Florida Water Star November 1 & 2, bringing water conservation education to area professionals – and providing Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to FNGLA Certified Professionals and licensed irrigation professionals and Registered Landscape Architects.To sign up for the class/test in Citrus County, click here.

Participants who complete the training can choose to sit for the exam to earn their Accredited Professional designation. SJRWMD has contracted with FNGLA to administer the FWS Accredited Professional exams in irrigation and landscape. Nearly 250 professionals have earned one or both of these designations since testing began in 2010. For more information, see FNGLA’s certifications Facebook page or contact Merry Mott at FNGLA at 800-375-3642.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=32681Mon, 19 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Endowed Research Fulfilment: Leaching Fraction Research Study Results Released

The leaching fraction (LF) test is a valuable tool for monitoring the effectiveness of an irrigation program, and when performed routinely, can be used to schedule irrigation efficiently. This is the core finding of Drs. Tom Yeager and Jeff Million, both members of the UF/IFAS Department of Environmental Horticulture.

Cherry Lake Tree Farm (Groveland, FL) and Hibernia Nursery (Webster, FL) implemented the LF test for selected crops. For crops where LF testing was used, water use decreased while maintaining similar plant growth as plants irrigated with the nurseries’ traditional irrigation practices. The research and testing provides nurseries with a defensible justification for the amount of irrigation applied. This will be very important in the future as water resources are subjected to restrictions due to population increases. Additional observed benefits of improved irrigation efficiency include reduced fertilizer nutrient loss and reduced incidence of plant disease.

Read the six-page research findings for details on conducting an LF test in your nursery here

You can also contact the study researchers at yeagert@ufl.edu or jmillion@ufl.edu. This study was funded by the FNGLA Endowed Research Fund.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=32680Mon, 19 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Sponsors Indoor Plants Awards Contest to honor the grassroots efforts of local businessesDo you marvel at the savory spathe that line the counter top of your morning coffee spot? Or have you appreciated, lately, the ambiance a few floor plants have contributed to the waiting room at your doctor’s office? Nominate them for a Florida Gardeners Interior Plant Award.

Florida Gardening, a gardening informational, and inspirational website, is a consumer effort from the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association.

In honor of National Indoor Plant Week (yes, that’s a thing), the initiative seeks to recognize the grassroots efforts of Florida-based business owners who beautify their interiors with plants. Anyone can submit a nomination.

To nominate a business: Just snap a pic of the business’s plantscape you love and enter it here.Be sure to also include the name of the business.

Winners will be selected by a jury of professionals in the plant industry, and the top entry will earn both the submitter and the nominee a pair of tickets to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The deadline for entries is October 28, 2016.

More than one winning location is expected/awarded on merit of the location.  Winners will be announced on FNGLA's website, Facebook, and Twitter pages, and notified independently.




http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=32679Tue, 13 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Monitors Workers’ Comp Rate Changes

 When the Florida Supreme Court recently ruled a cap on attorney’s fees was unconstitutional, we fastened our seat belts because we just knew workers’ compensation insurance rates would rise. We found out just how much, and it is not pretty. The National Council on Compensation Insurance, which submits the rate proposals, calls for a 17.1% spike in premiums. Not only does NCCI call for the hike to be effective as of August 1, the group also proposes it be retroactive on a pro-rata basis to all existing policies through the remainder of their current terms. Fortunately, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation must still decide whether to approve the proposed hike, or adopt a different rate change. It is expected OIR will hold a hearing next month. The Associated Industries of Florida is already assessing possible remedies and FNGLA is working with AIF.

On the heels of this decision, the Florida Supreme Court then ruled a second provision of Florida’s workers’ compensation system as unconstitutional. This case centered on workers’ compensation benefits being cut-off after two years which, in the eyes of the Supreme Court, created an unconstitutional coverage gap. This high court decision adds fuel to a legislative debate about how to change the workers-compensation system to ensure workers are properly covered without burdening businesses with spiraling rates. Where that seemingly elusive balance rests will be the focus of much legislative and regulatory wrangling.

As soon as the Florida Supreme Court invalidated the second workers’ comp law (a 104-week cap on temporary total disability benefits), FNGLA expected an even higher rate increase would be filed. Sure enough, an amended request was filed on July 1. The National Council on Compensation Insurance filed a 19.6% rate increase request with the Florida Office of insurance Regulation (OIR). The proposed effective date of the increase to existing and new policies is October 1, 2016. OIR will schedule a public rate hearing to consider the requested increase and then issue its final rates ruling. Meanwhile, legislative remedies in Tallahassee are being assessed. Stay tuned.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=32676Mon, 12 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT
2016 FNGLA Action Chapter Batson Award Winner: Ty Strode, Agri-Starts

Sponsored by Farm Credit of Cental Florida, the Gene A. Batson Award was established in 1995 by the FNGLA Action Chapter Board of Directors and is considered the chapter’s highest honor.

 Winners are selected based upon their leadership and service to FNGLA & the Action Chapter. The 2016 award was presented to Ty Strode, Agri-Starts, Inc. (Apopka).

 Following in his father’s footsteps, Ty is an FNGLA-advocate and has shown leadership on the chapter level as well as within state FNGLA happenings. He has served as the TPIE (Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition) chairman and currently serves on the state-level Board of Directors.

Farm Credit of Central Florida is a member-owned cooperative serving 13 Central Florida counties including, Polk, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Sumter, Lake, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Volusia and Brevard. Part of the nationwide Farm Credit System established in 1916, Farm Credit of Central Florida provides loans, leases and crop insurance to over 1,000 farmers, ranchers, growers and rural homeowners.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=32675Mon, 12 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Young Professionals Tap Into Fun at The Landscape ShowJoin the industry’s emerging professionals at Tapped In, the perfect spot to make connections with others who are making an early mark in the nursery and landscape industry. Here’s a chance to build your network, share ideas and enjoy a drink and appetizers.

Now in its 4th year, the evening event kicks off Friday night’s happenings on September 16 at 5:30 p.m., just after show hours at Club 39, Rosen Plaza Hotel. At least $500 worth of prizes to be given away thanks to SiteOne Landscape Supply. Arborjet will also give away an autographed Cal Ripkin baseball to one lucky young professional attendee.

While others are back in their rooms "tapped out," you can be Tapped In at THE place to connect with the 40 & under crowd while at The Landscape Show! Mark yourself as going to this event here.  Special thanks to the many Tapped In sponsors. 

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=32674Fri, 09 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Where Business Makes Sense: The Landscape Show!Whether it’s the springy feel of a shaggy tuft of moss, or the crisp aroma of ripe citrus, it’s all about the senses this year as more than 7,000 nursery and landscape professionals will soon head to Orlando to exhibit their freshest trees, plants and equipment at the FNGLA’s Landscape Show 2016. The theme this year is, "Where Business Makes Sense."

Attendees can also expect to get the inside track on real-time plant availability, view yard-to-table cooking demonstrations, and connect with industry insiders from more than 400 exhibiting companies in over 800 booth spaces during the three-day event which kicks off September 15 in the West Building of the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando.

"The Landscape Show is where our community gathers to not only stay in touch with important aspects of business, but also to stay in touch with the people who have become more like friends and family over the years," said Linda Adams, FNGLA’s chief operating officer.

At the center of the show will be the Trends Stage, home to many of The Landscape Show’s signature events. The stage touts a Sensory Garden which features plants, trends and ideas to engage the five senses.

"This a place for people to not only learn, but also to be inspired," said Adams of the sensory garden.

The sensory garden will also serve as the backdrop for several planned "Ideas Sharing Sessions" where attendees can collaborate with others in the industry on topics including hops production and brewing tips, edibles, children’s gardens, and art and wellness gardening.

"The Ideas-Sharing Sessions are an informal time and place to come together to talk about something in which people have a joint interest," said Adams of the sessions.

Taking place on the Trends Stage will be daily Fresh From Florida Yard-To-Table Chef’s presentations, with each chef offering new ideas and combinations of herbs and edibles straight from the landscape. Presentations take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Also taking place on the Trends Stage, FNGLA will present its annual Landscape Awards winners on Friday at 3 p.m., including announcement of the winner of the prestigious Roy Rood Award. FNGLA’s Landscape Awards program recognizes exceptional landscape projects designed and installed by industry members, and has been in place since the 1970’s.

The Trends Stage is also home to the "Cool Products" presentation. A team of industry buyers select 15 unique products from exhibits at the show which they consider especially businessworthy. The winning items will be presented on Friday at 1 p.m. at the Trends Stage by Danny Summers, president of The Garden Center Group.

Beyond the Trends Stage are numerous learning opportunities through FNGLA’s Knowledge College, with 18 workshops offered over the course of the three-day show. FNGLA CEUs are available by attending these programs, with additional industry CEUs available for selected sessions.

The FNGLA Certification Showcase will showcase mock testing stations from FNGLA’s landscape certification exam, including a plant identification station for people to test their plant ID skills. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to give guidance and preparations tips related to the FNGLA’s various certification exams.

The Rosen Plaza is this year’s headquarters hotel, and will host both the show’s Opening Night cocktail reception (courtesy of TreeTown USA); and Tapped In, a networking reception for the young professional crowd. Both events are free for attendees.

Those planning to be in town a day early for the show have the chance to compete in a golf tournament to benefit the FNGLA endowed research fund, SHARE/UF, a program that supports agricultural research and education through the University of Florida.

The cost to attend the Landscape Show is $30 and tickets can be purchased here.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=32673Fri, 09 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Overcoming Our Plant Shortage: Look to The Landscape Show and BeyondFall is here, yet you wouldn’t know it from the temperature. It still feels like it is the middle of June outside. Aside from the heat, this is my absolute favorite time of the year.  Preparations for the holidays begin, football season starts, and business starts to ramp up.  Along with all the good comes a little bad.  This is around the peak of hurricane season and by the looks of the activity so far, we may need to keep our fingers crossed and hope lady luck stays on our side.  We have been very lucky over the past few years avoiding hurricanes and hopefully that trend continues for a few more.  Another exciting event that goes hand in hand with Fall is The Landscape Show. 

This year’s show will be held September 15-17 in Orlando.  This year the show moves back to the original hall across the street from last year’s show.  From what I hear, there are going to be quite a few new exhibitors this year.  I mentioned in my article last month, one of the issues facing our industry right now is the lack of plant material. More specifically, trees and palms. Shrub production seems to be caught up to the demand, maybe having to sometimes sacrifice a little height on the specs.  I have been brokering plant material for over 20 years and this is the worst I have seen it in all that time.  There are several factors which I believe have contributed to this shortage.  The Great Recession most importantly… while business was slow, growers were potting up and planting fewer trees and palms. The number of growers has also declined over the past few years. It was discussed at the FNGLA Growers’ Leaders meeting last month that an estimated 10% - 15% of growers have closed their businesses.  It was also noted that not too many new nurseries, especially tree farms have opened during this same period.  The last reason for the shortage is the increase in new construction and renovations that have started since the economy bounced back.  It is harder than ever to locate quality trees and palms that meet the minimum specifications that many cities require. 

One positive from this shortage of material is the increase in the prices of trees and palms.  While this is great news for growers, it is not so for landscape contractors.  I get a lot of calls from customers stating they have bids they need to honor from a year out. Having to honor those prices poses challenges that are sometimes impossible to overcome.  Trying to find quality material at bottom-line pricing is almost impossible.  Finding new sources and new suppliers is now vital for a landscape contractor’s survival.
The best place to find these vendors is at The Landscape Show.  Nowhere else can you find the largest number of growers and suppliers under one roof. 

Every year, my staff and I get the opportunity to network with many of the vendors and customers that we deal with on a day to day basis.  Every aisle of the show is packed with beautiful material from liners to specimen trees.  With close to 450 exhibitors and nearly 5 acres of trees, palms, shrubs and equipment, this is one event during the year any landscape contractor cannot afford to miss.   I have attended The Landscape Show for about 25 years and I understand the value and importance of taking the time that we do to exhibit and attend this fantastic show.

If those reasons weren’t enough to get you to the show, The Landscape Show also offers up The Knowledge College.  Come learn from industry professionals who share their expertise and knowledge on a wide variety of topics.  With 18 sessions to choose from, this is an affordable way to learn about the specific topics and trends affecting your business.  Did I mention you also get CEUs?  The Knowledge College is not the only place to find exciting learning opportunities, check out the Trends Stage Garden Sessions to see what hot topics are being discussed. 

Are you looking to get certified? Stop by The Certification Showcase and try your hand at one of the stations. From plant ID to Grading and Drainage, you can get all the information you need to become an FNGLA certified landscape professional.

Speaking of certification, every Fall the Broward Chapter holds a review and test for the FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician exam. This year the review was held on September 2 and the test will take place on October 7.  The exam is held at the IFAS center in Davie, FL.  We have about 17 applicants signed up for the exam so far.  We would not be able to host this event without the cooperation of the IFAS center and more specifically Dr. Kimberly Moore. Dr. Moore lends her time and her staff twice a year which makes it possible to put on a successful event. I also want to thank all the judges who volunteer their time each year. These exams and certifications would not be possible to put on without the help and time these people offer.

I look forward to seeing everyone at The Landscape Show as well as the various chapter events I will be attending in the upcoming weeks!

Robert Shoelson, FCLC
Getting Green Plant Service, Inc. (Davie) &
Betrock Information Systems, Inc. (Hollywood)

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=32670Thu, 08 Sep 2016 00:00:00 GMT
Knowledge College Offers 18 Opportunities to Expand Your Industry KnowledgeIn a place "Where Business Makes Sense", it makes "sense" to choose one or more of the 18 different workshops offered at The Knowledge College, The Landscape Show’s educational sessions. From classroom to classroom, mixed with practical demonstrations on the show floor, attendees will learn real-workplace principles which are easily applied to their own businesses. The Knowledge College is also a great place for cutting-edge training to spark creativity, deepen your knowledge and bring you new ideas and inspiration to sharpen your skills.

Topics, such as landscape design, container gardening, irrigation, pruning, new trends and labor workshops, will help industry members tackle the everyday challenges of running a business. Programs such as the Pollinator, Landscape Efficiency and Pest Management workshops will provide keys to safeguard business investments and keep liabilities down.

Choose one or multiple workshops to build a program tailor-made for you and set yourself, knowledge-wise, above your competitors! Register by September 2 at $75 per workshop. Continuing education units (CEUs) for FNGLA certifications as well as other certifications such as ISA, Landscape Architect and Pesticide Applicator licenses are available for attending. To register to attend, click here.

Meet our 2016 Knowledge College Experts here.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=32660Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA’s Business is Also a Pleasure: Thank You for Your Involvement

Is it me or does it seem the older you get, the faster time seems to go by?  In the blink of an eye, July is over and the summer is drawing to an end. 

The first month of my presidency was not all work though.  I had the pleasure of attending a couple of chapter installation dinners around the state which were very enjoyable. So perhaps the right saying would be, “Time flies when you are having fun.”  Not all of the duties of this position are work, there is some fun involved.

The first event I attended was the FNGLA Miami-Dade Chapter Installation Banquet and Casino Night.  After a brutal two hour trek through Friday rush hour traffic, I arrived at the Women’s Club of Homestead where the event was held.  I probably shouldn’t complain since Ben Bolusky, Billy Butterfield and Billy Deal made the trip down from Orlando.  This was the first installation I have attended outside of the Broward Chapter.  It was great to see some familiar faces as well as getting the opportunity to meet some new folks.  Incoming President Peggy Machin did an excellent job hosting the festivities and I congratulate and wish her luck in the upcoming year. 

Florida Representative Holly Raschein was also on hand to install the incoming officers.  This was the third time in about two years I have run into Holly at an FNGLA event.  She is a great ally for our industry and always seems to have our best interest at heart.  I wish to congratulate Kim Hosang for being awarded the Babe Greer award.  It was the first time I met Kim, but heard lots of wonderful things about her. The evening was fun, entertaining and the food was delicious. I am glad I endured the traffic and got to experience this great evening.

The following Tuesday evening had me heading up to the Rocking Rabbit Brewery in Mount Dora for the FNGLA Action Chapter’s Installation Dinner.  Once again it was great to see many of my friends from the Orlando area and meet new ones as well.  Vera Gasparini did a wonderful job conducting the meeting as she welcomed new President Katy Steinkamp.  Katy seems like she is ready to lead the Action Chapter for the upcoming year.  It is great to see young leaders rising up and volunteering their time to their chapters.  I wish to congratulate Ty Strode for the Gene Batson Award.  Ty works very hard for the chapter as well and is very deserving.

The month ended with another trip up to Orlando for the Grower Leaders Meeting.  This trip was more on the work side than it was pleasure.  Some of the top growers from around the state gathered to discuss important issues facing this segment of our industry.  Some of the issues discussed deal with labor, water, workers comp, as well as pests & diseases.  It is estimated the number of growers is down approximately one-third throughout the state.  FNGLA needs to remain proactive in protecting growers’ interests and there is no better way to do this than by hearing firsthand what issues are on the table.  For the most part, it sounds like business is up or remaining steady. There are serious issues regarding availability of trees.

On the way home from this meeting, I participated in a conference call regarding FNGLA’s Political Action Committee.  The purpose for the PAC is to increase visibility and provide campaign assistance, on a bipartisan basis, to Florida state legislators and candidates who actively support our industry. We are coming up on a very important election and need ensure that the right people for our industry are elected.  If you are ready to donate, please go to FNGLA.org or call the office. This is money very well spent.

I want to thank the members of the FNGLA Miami-Dade and Action Chapters for inviting me to their installation dinners.  I especially want to thank those who step up to lead their chapters. It is never easy finding people who are willing to give their time and dedication to fill these positions. Often it is the same people who volunteer time and time again. This is the case in my Chapter, Broward, and I see it happening in these other chapters around the state. This is an exceptional Association and hopefully more folks step up to help out in these roles. If you are too busy to take on a leadership role, at least come out to support your Chapter and the men and women who keep it going. Thanks for your time and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Robert Shoelson, FCLC
Getting Green Plant Service, Inc. (Davie) &
Betrock Information Systems, Inc. (Hollywood)

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=32656Mon, 22 Aug 2016 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA’s Annual Convention: Where People Power & Flower Power Met!
New this year was a landscape service project at a local Central Florida Boys and Girls Club. As a pre-convention optional activity, 20 volunteers representing most of FNGLA’s chapters worked together planting trees and shrubs to enhance the landscape and add shade to the new playground.  All of the plants and trees were donated by FNGLA members from our Frontrunners and Action Chapters, while lunch was provided by Sun-Fire Nurseries (Sarasota). FNGLA members shined with their generosity, hard work and eagerness to serve.

FNGLA Convention registrants who attended the tour at Harry P. Leu Gardens received VIP treatment as garden director Robert Bowden and his horticulture staff gave an exclusive tour of one of Florida’s most impressive botanical gardens.  As an extra-special treat, several FNGLA members enjoyed a delicious breakfast cooked and served by Robert in the garden’s beautiful Outdoor Kitchen Pavilion.

FNGLA convention goers went backstage at SeaWorld as its horticulture team provided a private tour of the theme park’s horticulture facilities complete with production and supply areas. The SeaWorld horticulture facility serves as the Central Florida FNGLA Certified Landscape Exams site, so the tour included a walk through the exam stations with certification judges on hand to explain each station.

The Welcome Reception at Sea World’s Port of Call offered folks a chance to connect with friends and colleagues while interacting with SeaWorld animals and their trainers. In addition, student magicians from the local middle school entertained folks with card tricks and disappearing coins. The event ended with a tour of SeaWorld’s colorful landscape led by members of SeaWorld’s horticulture staff.

Saturday was a full day of activities beginning with FNGLA’s Annual Membership meeting and ending in a grand finale at the President’s Gala. The afternoon allowed for networking by the pool or walking the nature trail at the Rosen Shingle Creek.
Seven FNGLA members were recognized as the 2016 Industry Awards Winners, including P.J. Klinger (Brantley Nurseries) as this year’s inductee into the FNGLA Hall of Fame and Bob Cook (Southern Agricultural Insecticides) as the 2016 Wendell E. Butler Award winner which is FNGLA’s most prestigious award.  Access each award winner’s video presentation: http://www.fngla.org/recognition/industry-awards/ and FNGLA’s Year-in-Review Recap Video: https://vimeo.com/171442123.

Other highlights of the Membership meeting were the presentation of FNGLA’s Year-in-Review video; the State-of-the-Association address by FNGLA CEO Ben Bolusky; and, the election of FNGLA’s new slate of officers, including Robert Shoelson, FCLC, of Getting Green Plant Service and Betrock Information Systems as FNGLA’s incoming 2016/17 president.

Members of the Central Florida Boys and Girls Club led the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem at the Membership meeting, and provided a brief history on the Pledge.  FNGLA was honored to have Gary Cain, President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida as the keynote speaker during the President’s Gala. Twenty Boys and Girls Club members, from elementary school to high school, provided a grand finale to the Gala with a musical revue dance performance, bringing everyone to a standing ovation and leading many FNGLA members to the dance floor to join in the fun. 

FNGLA Action Chapter members and friends deserve a round of applause for serving as the convention’s host chapter this year.  Convention attendees received a jam-packed welcome bag of goodies from the Chapter upon arrival.  The Action Chapter added flower power to the convention with colorful plant décor and flower box windows in the main meeting room.  It also contributed to people power by hosting an inviting hospitality suite where FNGLA friends and colleagues had time to relax and catch up on business and family news.

Next year’s convention is in the works as dates and locations are already under consideration.  For now, plan to be in the Fort Lauderdale area in June 2017 for another inspiring, informative and fun convention weekend!]]>
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=30645Wed, 06 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Names Industry Award Winners: Celebration to be held June 18 in Orlandohttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=28632Thursday, May 9, 2016See Many of the Industry's Up and Coming New Plants at Florida Flower Trials This Week, Orlando!http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=28631Thursday, May 9, 2016TPIE Elevated Expectations for 2016 & Beyondhttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=24618Thu, 28 Jan 2016 00:00:00 GMTTPIE: You We're Looking Forward to a Great Show Elevating Expectations!http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=24613Wed, 13 Jan 2016 00:00:00 GMTRegister for TPIE by January 8 for Lowest Prices!http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=23609Mon, 04 Jan 2016 00:00:00 GMTThe Landscape Show Spotlighted The Best of the Best: FNGLA's Landscape Award Winnershttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=23586Tue, 20 Oct 2015 00:00:00 GMTThe Landscape Show Focused on Growing Your Tomorrowhttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=23585Tue, 20 Oct 2015 00:00:00 GMTThe Landscape Show/SHARE Golf Tournament Moves to Shingle Creekhttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=23567Mon, 24 Aug 2015 00:00:00 GMT The Landscape Show: Growing Your Tomorrowhttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=19556Tue, 14 Jul 2015 00:00:00 GMTRegistration is Now Open for The Landscape Showhttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=18550Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:00:00 GMTFNGLA Names Industry Award Winners: Celebration to be held June 13 in Coral Gableshttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=13516Wed, 15 Apr 2015 00:00:00 GMTStart 2015 with WOW At TPIE!



Contact: Jennifer Nelis, FNGLA Director of Communications & Public Relations


Phone: 407.295.7994 or 800.375.3642


Start 2015 with WOW At TPIE!

It’s the only national trade event which links your business to the beautiful and profitable world of tropical plants and foliage. You’ll love the show. You’ll love the people. You’ll love Fort Lauderdale! TPIE offers the widest array of unique and new tropical plants and products from hundreds of the industry’s leading companies. With nearly 6000 industry professionals gathered in one place, you’ll have access to a large network of smart and creative people who speak your language.

Don’t Miss These TPIE Key Events:

TPIE Road Show: It’s Education on the Go!
Tuesday, January 20, 7:30 a.m. — 5 p.m.
Choose from one of two creatively designed tours with both classroom instruction and on-the-go training. Attendees will start their day in the classroom to learn how to enhance their designs and marketing skills. The groups, one targeting Garden Center owners and managers and the other for Interiorscape professionals, will then board the bus for a fun-filled and educational tour. Ticket is required and lunch will be included in both tours. Garden Center participants will be led by Tom Shay, Profits Plus and Ernest Wertheim, Wertheim/van der Ploeg & Klemeyer.  While interiorscape participants will learn from Dr. James Del Prince, Mississippi State University and Kathryn O’Donnell, Botanicus Interior Landscaping.

TPIE Opening Session

Wednesday, January 21, 9 a.m.

TPIE’s Opening Session Trends & Mindsets – Creating Success Today by Anticipating Tomorrow’s Consumer Trends and Needs presented by Christine Boland

Here’s someone you will want to meet and learn from at TPIE – Christine Boland. Christine is a top international trend watcher and analyst. Take in TPIE’s Opening Session Trends & Mindsets – Creating Success Today by Anticipating tomorrow’s Consumer Trends and Needs on Wednesday, January 21 at 9 a.m. to get Christine’s take on social, retail and consumer trends and how to apply her information to your products and business for increased sales and profits. Sponsored by Live Trends Design Group and SK/Soendgen Keramik.

TPIE Happy Hour
Wednesday, January 21, 5 p.m.
It’s always a surprise what will happen at TPIE’s Happy Hour! In 2014, a flash mob of local horticulture students took center stage in the courtyard and wowed everyone with their dance moves. End the first day of the show on a high note, don’t miss this year’s Happy Hour: share stories and a drink, continue business deals and enjoy special entertainment.
All compliments of Suntory.

TPIE Exhibitors' Showcase (also called TPIE’s Innovation Lounge) offers the industry's newest tropical plants and related products in a lounge atmosphere where attendees can relax, view industry-related innovative and creative thinking videos, and even recharge their mobile devices. Exhibitors have the opportunity to feature plants and products in this special area. Stop by after 3 p.m. Wednesday to see which items have been voted as the favorite new plants and products for TPIE 2015. Sponsored by Farm Credit.

Complimentary Demonstrations via the TPIE Create Theater
Free, informal workshops, administered by AIFD (American Institute of Floral Design) professionals will take twice daily at TPIE.  Wednesday’s focus is Plant Design Trends (11 a.m. and 2 p.m. sessions).  Thursday we’ll shift to
Plants with A RePurpose! (10 a.m. and 1 p.m.) And Friday closes out with The Art of Plants (10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.).  Each session is unique!  See the Show Directory for specific session detail.

About TPIE
TPIE 2015 marks the 42nd year of this unique event taking place.  TPIE 2016 is scheduled for January 20-22, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. TPIE is produced by FNGLA, the nation's largest state nursery and landscape association. FNGLA is the nation's largest state nursery and landscape association and represents Florida's environmental horticulture industry, which in 2010 produced $15.3 billion in sales and directly employed nearly 205,000 Floridians. 

For more information on FNGLA, visit www.fngla.org or call 800.375.3642.


http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=11494Wed, 14 Jan 2015 00:00:00 GMT
The Landscape Show Seized the Momentum!http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=11477Mon, 20 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMTFNGLA Welcomes New Director of Association Serviceshttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=10467Thu, 10 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMTFlorida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association Celebrates Industry Award Winners & Industry Sucesseshttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=10466Thu, 10 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT FNGLA Nominating Committee Sets Slate for 2014-2015 Officershttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=10450Fri, 02 May 2014 00:00:00 GMTTPIE Brought Inspiration, Innovation and Creativity!http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=10426Fri, 07 Feb 2014 00:00:00 GMTInspire, Innovate and Create at TPIE 2014!http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=10423Thu, 16 Jan 2014 00:00:00 GMTBusiness Was Blooming at The Landscape Showhttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=9413Wed, 25 Sep 2013 00:00:00 GMTThe Landscape Show Takes Place September 19 - 21 in Orlandohttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=9412Wed, 18 Sep 2013 00:00:00 GMTFlorida Citrus Nurseries Running At Full Capacityhttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=9399Tue, 11 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMTFlorida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) Announces 2012 Industry Award Winnershttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=9392Wed, 17 Apr 2013 00:00:00 GMTFNGLA Sadly Reports Member Deathhttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=9386Thu, 04 Apr 2013 00:00:00 GMT5 Questions with … Flower Farmer Rick Brownhttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=8380Mon, 18 Feb 2013 00:00:00 GMTFNGLA, OFA, and PLANET Announce Educational Partnership http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=4362Wed, 12 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMTFNGLA Announces 2012 Industry Award Winnershttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=314Thu, 19 Apr 2012 00:00:00 GMTFNGLA's Landscape Awards are Back!http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=309Wed, 21 Mar 2012 00:00:00 GMTFNGLA Announces the 2012 Florida Garden Select Plantshttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=298Tue, 14 Feb 2012 00:00:00 GMTTPIE 2012 was a Tropical Escape! http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=292Tue, 31 Jan 2012 00:00:00 GMTBen's Bullets: January 3, 2012http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=323Tue, 03 Jan 2012 00:00:00 GMTThe Great Southern Tree Conferece Pre-Registration Pricing Ends November 18: Register Today!http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=270Wed, 09 Nov 2011 00:00:00 GMT2012 Starts with a Tropical Escapehttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=268Wed, 09 Nov 2011 00:00:00 GMTIt was Full Sail Ahead at The Landscape Showhttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=264Fri, 14 Oct 2011 00:00:00 GMTIt’s Full Sail Ahead at The Landscape ShowSeptember will be here before you know it and with it comes The Landscape Show! Mark your calendar now to attend Florida’s premier trade show for the nursery and landscape industry, September 29 – October 1 at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL.


Everyone’s business is changing and evolving in the new economy. There’s no better place than The Landscape Show to gain the resources and information to move your business Full Sail Ahead.  The Landscape Show offers the most convenient, affordable venue to meet vendors, take classes, get new ideas, network with colleagues and keep up with the latest trends and forecasts.


Complimentary Opening Session: Adam Putnam, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services

Take advantage of The Landscape Show’s complimentary opening session, sponsored by Farm Credit, to meet Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam and hear how this bright and dynamic state leader is working to move Florida agriculture and consequently Florida’s economy forward. If you’ve heard Adam Putnam speak before, you know this is a session not to miss! If you haven’t heard him speak, this is your opportunity to be engaged and encouraged by Adam’s real-world views and the exciting opportunities he sees for Florida agriculture, including the nursery and landscape industry.


Outdoor Equipment Area

New this year at The Landscape Show will be outdoor exhibits for those equipment dealers who wish to demonstrate their machines! Here’s your chance to not only see the latest landscape equipment, but actually try it out. Located near the parking area of the convention center, a limited number of exhibitors will have equipment available to test ride. Try before you buy!


Top-Notch Short Course Sessions Planned for The Landscape Show

Education excels at The Landscape Show with a multi-track program available through the FNGLA Short Course, as well as product and informational demonstrations. See the newest products and meet new exhibitors who are eager to learn about your business needs.


While at The Landscape Show, expand your knowledge and take part in the top-notch FNGLA Short Course! Learn from leading experts on everything from current economic conditions to the latest trends in landscapes.  A combination of general sessions and targeted breakouts in the areas of landscape design, landscape maintenance, merchandising/marketing and plants/products are offered.



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

1:00 – 4:00 PM

Orlando Landscape Tour

Orlando has some of the most state-of-the-art landscapes in the State of Florida and this tour will give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what it takes to design, install and maintain these gardens and landscapes. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. BREAKOUTS

Design Like An Artist

Gary Smith, W. Gary Smith Design, Austin, TX

While designers solve problems, artists raise questions. Step beyond making “solutions” in garden design and explore a world where there are more questions than answers. With his award-winning work in botanic gardens and arboreta, landscape architect Gary Smith blends artistry with sustainability. After observing the visual vocabulary of patterns and processes that drive the Universe, you’ll learn some simple graphic techniques for recording it all. Unleash the artist within yourself, and make meaningful gardens that express the relationship between the site and your own creative spirit.


Ten Most Common Mistakes in the Landscape

Lloyd Singleton, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Looking for a solution? This session will not only look at common mistakes in the landscape, but provide practical ways to eliminate, fix or improve.


Outrageous Marketing: How to Create Outrageously Effective Marketing Materials

Ron Rosenberg, QualityTalk, Inc., Raleigh, NC

Getting the same tired results from your marketing materials? It’s probably because your sales letters, magazine ads, and brochures look just like everyone else’s. Isn’t it time to try something different…and incredibly effective? In this highly interactive and entertaining workshop, you’ll learn how to apply Ron Rosenberg’s outrageous marketing strategies to improve the effectiveness of your own marketing communications.


Show Stopping New Varieties

Heather Will-Browne and Melissa Shepherd, Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL

Spring exploded with lots of color at the 2011 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. This year, Walt Disney World (WDW) helped tell the story of how plants get their start at FNGLA’s Floriculture Field Days. Evaluators Heather and Melissa will share with you some great finds to incorporate into your designs or add to your inventory.


11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. LUNCHEON

The Road to Remarkable

Doug Stephens, Retail Prophet Consulting, Toronto, Ontario

Consumers have less time and more choices. Success today means being remarkable and standing out from the competition. Remarkable businesses develop a loyal following, uncontested market space and ultimately survive the test of time. The Road to Remarkable will spark your company’s imagination providing proven strategies to move your business from ordinary to extraordinary.


1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. AM BREAKOUTS

Designing for Maturity

Phil Maddux, Sanchez and Maddux, Inc., Palm Beach, FL

When starting a new landscape design, how much thought goes into the way the landscape will look in 15 years? Phil Maddux, a landscape architect in South Florida, has spent many years specializing in residential and estate master planning. Come see how the elegance of classic gardens immersed in lush foliage can withstand the test of times.


Practical Biological Control for the Florida Horticulture Industry

Identifying key pests in your ornamental/nursery system, and the available beneficial insects, mites, or nematodes that could help control these pests, is the focus of this two-part educational session sponsored by the Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers (ANBP)*.  Experts will present targeted talks that zero in on your most important plant pests emphasizing pest identification, natural enemies that are commercially available, and techniques for proper timing and application to maximize control. 



The Business Owner’s Survival Kit  

Ron Rosenberg, QualityTalk, Inc., Raleigh, NC

Come hear seven proven strategies to get more done, grow your business, and take back your life! You’re under constant pressure from the realities of the economy, the difficulties of finding qualified staff, and the overwhelming weight of being responsible for the long-term success of your organization. Despite your best efforts, you always seem to run from one crisis to the next, never truly finding the time to implement all the great ideas you know will grow your business. In this highly interactive program you’ll discover proven, in-the-trenches and easy-to-implement strategies to keep your business strong.


Care and Maintenance of Palms

Tim Broschat and Monica Elliott, University of Florida, Fort Lauderdale, FL

This session will look at the installation and maintenance of palms in the landscape including a segment on disease issues that are specific to palms.


2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. BREAKOUTS

Using Inspiration for Realistic Landscapes

Carla Shuman, Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL

Where does the inspiration come from when creating realistic landscapes? Are there key elements around which every design is built? Or does the inspiration build the design? Carla Shuman, Walt Disney World landscape architect, will share what goes into the behind-the-scenes planning of many gardens for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.


Going Green with Your Fleet - Alternatives Fuel Sources

David Rigney, Heritage Propane, Port Orange, FL; Randy Coventry, Roberts’ Supply, Winter Park, FL; and Glen Hammond, Gardner, Inc., Jacksonville, FL

Are you looking to sharpen your numbers on fuel costs? Do you know alternatives to what you are currently using? This session will look at LP, diesel and fuel-injection options to make your fleet run more efficiently and be more environmentally conscious.


It’s A Wired, Wired World: The Future of Retail Technology

Doug Stephens, Retail Prophet Consulting, Toronto, Ontario

Today’s tech-savvy customer may know more about your products than your best-trained staff. Technology is changing the way consumers shop and, most importantly, it’s arming them with unprecedented amounts of information. Attendees will gain a fascinating view of key technologies shaping the future of retailing and consumerism, as well as a framework for deciding which are the best technologies in which to invest.


Sexy Succulents Take the Heat! Tips for Success with These Hot Plants

Mark Russell, SeaWorld, Orlando, FL and Kristin Pategas, Hortus Oasis, Winter Park, FL

Succulents are great in a landscape design or featured in a container. Mark Russell will share insight as to how SeaWorld incorporated succulents into its new SeaGarden and discuss the maintenance program. Kristin Pategas will show how creative use of succulents in containers will jazz up any outdoor living space.



9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. BREAKOUTS

Shabby Chic to Recycled Art

Carol Reese, University of Tennessee, Jackson, TN

Ever think about adding windows, bicycles, stoves or old trucks to your designs. This presentation will show you how to turn shabby into chic and create some very elegant designs. Come see how to create fabulous new landscapes with plain old stuff. It is fun, affordable and maybe a little far out. This will be a session not to miss!


Sustainable Maintenance of Turf in the Landscape

Lee Bloomcamp, Syngenta, Gainesville, FL

Properly managed turf can enhance landscape aesthetics and space utilization.  This session will offer practical information on how to manage turf as part of the landscape.  See how selection of the suitable turf species, and appropriate maintenance play an important role in the success of the modern landscape. 



Enhancing Your Marketing with Video

Chris Beytes, Ball Publishing, Chicago, IL

Are you looking for ways to stretch your marketing dollars? You don’t have to hire a movie crew. Chris Beytes will show attendees some great tips for making short in-house videos for Youtube and share how industry is using as an easy marketing tool.


Edible Landscapes: Fruit and Espalier

Paul Fisher, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL and Robert Bowden, Harry P. Leu Gardens, Orlando, FL

As the theme “Home Grown” still remains in the minds of today’s consumers, Dr. Paul Fisher will highlight some of the new varieties of fruits being developed at the University of Florida.  And, Robert Bowden will offer instruction on a special technique called espalier. Espalier can be used not only as a decorative element in landscape designs but for gardens with limited space.  It’s just another way to incorporate edibles in the landscapes.


10:15 a.m. -11:15 a.m. BREAKOUTS

Make Your Container Gardens Sizzle

Sharon Lovejoy, South Bristol, ME

Sharon Lovejoy is an award-winning author and illustrator, including recognition from the American Nursery and Landscape Association. For 13 years, Sharon was a contributing editor for Country Living Gardener magazine with an award-winning feature column. She currently is a regional contributor for Lowe’s home improvement. Her homes and garden designs have been featured in countless books and magazines throughout this country, England, and Japan. Come hear what inspires her container gardens.


Case Study: Techniques for Efficient Irrigation Water Use  

Dr. Michael Dukes, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

This session will provide an overview of Dr. Dukes’ research on residential irrigation water use in Florida. Dr. Dukes will offer landscape professionals insights on design, efficiency, optimization of irrigation systems and key things to help their residential customers be more successful with their landscapes. The use of smart irrigation control technologies will be highlighted.


Making Your Own Road to Success

A panel of industry members will be invited to share their insights on how they have remained successful through the economy’s recession and recovery. Come see how they’ve sharpened their pencils and kept their business running smoothly.


Integrating Natives in Formal Settings

Sponsored by Florida Association of Native Nurseries (FANN)

Craig Huegel, Ecological Services Associates, LLC, Seminole, FL

Come learn how you can install beautiful, practical landscapes in a formal setting while conserving natural resources and restoring wildlife habitat. Learn about native trees and shrubs which perform well in the landscape and provide great food and resources for a variety of residents and migratory birds and butterflies.


11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. - LUNCHEON

Botanical Version of Peyton Place

Carol Reese, University of Tennessee, Jackson, TN

After this luncheon session, your outdoor walks will never be the same. Carol’s talk will not only indelibly remind you that flowers are sex organs; she will expose the more deviant forms. Beyond the blooms are bizarre stories of the sex lives of frogs, dragonflies, bees, butterflies and moths. Yes, Carol does make it funny, but it is actually a wonderful trip through the intimate interactions just outside the window, and the only frontal nudity is of flower parts and garden statuary.  In addition, you will get some fabulous ideas on garden design from Carol’s slides of gorgeous plants and imaginative structures.



The Landscape Show/SHARE Golf Tournament

Get your game on, golf game that is, at The Landscape Show/SHARE Golf Tournament! Taking place on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 held at Marriott's Grande Pines Golf Club in Orlando, FL.

This annual fundraiser, hosted by FNGLA's Allied Division, all proceeds from the annual golf tournament will benefit the FNGLA Endowed Research Fund in the University of Florida's Foundation. The division has raised a grand total of $155,000 since 1994 through the golf classic.

More fun has been added to the tournament with package prices for mulligans, red tee shots and a new Par Three Challenge. Registration includes green and cart fees and lunch. Awards will be given to the top three teams, closest to the pin and longest drive.


About FNGLA & The Landscape Show

Plans for an even larger 2012 The Landscape Show are already in the works.  The trade show returns September 27 - 29, 2012 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.


The Landscape Show is produced by the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association (FNGLA). FNGLA represents Florida's nursery and landscape industry, with an estimated $15.2 billion in industry-wide sales. For more information contact FNGLA at 1533 Park Center Dr., Orlando, FL, 32835.
info@fngla.org, (800) 375-3642




Editor’s Note: For pictures of 2011’s The Landscape Show, visit www.thelandscapeshow.org post-show or contact Jennifer Nelis, jnelis@fngla.org for images and details

Live show updates will be provided via Facebook at www.fngla.org/FNGLA or via Twitter at www.twitter.com/FNGLA.

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