- FNGLA Newshttp://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/?z=2FNGLA news articles for all web users to see.Spring Landscape Certification Events Abound

Several training and testing dates have been announced for both FNGLA's Certified Landscape Technician and Landscape Maintenance Technician certifications:

FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician:


Friday, March 16
What: FCLT Certification Training (in English)
Where: UF Ft. Lauderdale Research & Education Center, 3205 College Ave., Davie, FL
For more information, visit the event's registration page.

Friday, March 23 and Saturday, April 7
What: FCLT Certification Training (in Spanish)
Where: Miami-Dade Cooperative Extension Auditorium, 18710 SW 288th St., Homestead, FL
For more information, visit the event's registration page.


Friday, April 27 
What: FCLT Testing (Bilingual)
Where: UF Ft. Lauderdale Research & Education Center, 3205 College Ave., Davie, FL
To register, visit the event's registration page.

FNGLA Certified Landscape Maintenance Technician:


Saturday, March 24
What: FCLMT Training
Where: Jenkins Landscape, 14005 SE Kitchen Creek Rd., Hobe Sound, FL
For more information, contact Merry Mott at FNGLA.


Saturday, April 14
What: FCLMT Testing
Where:  Jenkins Landscape, 14005 SE Kitchen Creek Rd., Hobe Sound, FL
To register, visit the event's registration page.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42910Mon, 12 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT
Guest Column: Jack PayneMaybe you saw the headlines a couple of years ago proclaiming the American lawn as the nation’s largest “crop.”

Bigger than corn. Bigger than soybeans. That calls for big science. Producers in the nursery and landscaping industry and the scientists who support them are playing on what is arguably American agriculture’s biggest stage.

The University of Florida Institute of Agricultural and Life Sciences faculty do this quietly, in the wings, on most days. But the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology has its annual day on center stage on March 14. The Urban Landscape Summit is at the UF/IFAS Straughn Center.

You can register up to the day before the event by visiting the event's registration page. I hope you’ll consider joining Ben Bolusky, CLCE Director Michael Dukes, his team of scientists, and me for an information-packed day.

Dukes and his faculty are there for you all year long. But if you want one-stop shopping on best management practices, the causes of urban tree deaths, pest control, and more, the summit is a great crash course.

As the leader of UF/IFAS, I often talk about the challenge of feeding 10 billion people worldwide by 2050. Here in the U.S. we face a similar challenge from growth. We’ve got 1,000 people a day moving to Florida, and they want the same palms, lawns, flowers, shrubs, and vegetable gardens that are part of the allure that brought them here.

In fact, Basil Iannone, who’s on the summit agenda, speculates that urban landscapes are the fastest-growing land cover type in the U.S. We see throughout Florida how fast the built and engineered environment is growing.

The CLCE’s annual science fair for landscape professionals gets as deep as turfgrass genetics while at the same time remains accessible as the new mobile weed app we’ll demonstrate.

The demands on solid science for nursery and landscape professionals are greater than ever before. We need to know more about what consumers want – even when they don’t articulate it. We need to discover and diffuse practices for the landscaping industry to be good environmental stewards. We need to help producers make a living.

The summit is a good example of how IFAS provides science for both agriculture and natural resources instead of viewing the two fields as in competition with one another.

It is also the land-grant mission in action. The partnership among academia, government, and industry will be on full display at the summit. Such partnership helps great land-grant universities such as UF stay relevant to the 20 million Floridians it serves.

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.


What: The Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology’s third annual Urban Landscape Summit

Where: Straughn Center, University of Florida, Gainesville

When: March 14, 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m; on March 15, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Center will hold training sessions for Extension agents

Who: Agricultural scientists presenting the latest in science and technology advances of interest to the nursery and landscaping industries

Information: www.clce.ifas.ufl.edu 

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42909Mon, 12 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT
A Recap on the Good Being Done Within the IndustryVery few things worry a grower in North Florida more than unseasonably warm weather in February or early March. Plants and trees responding to the higher temperatures are near impossible to keep dormant and are susceptible to damage from a late winter blast. We just had two weeks of 80-degree days and are now forecast to drop to 35 degrees with lower temperatures possible. Hang on to your ‘Bloomers,’ winter is not over yet!

On the morning of March 1, FNGLA CEO Ben Bolusky and I met at UF with Drs. Traci Irani and Heidi Radunovich in an ongoing effort with the Southern Coastal Center for Agriculture Health and Safety to create an opioids information resource program for FNGLA member companies and, potentially, all of Florida agriculture. I am now optimistic SCCAHS’ and FNGLA’s websites will be populated with many necessary components and available soon. We will see a presentation at the FNGLA Board of Directors meeting in Bonita Springs at the front end of the annual FNGLA Convention.  

During the evening of March 1, FNGLA Secretary-Treasurer Shawn Thomas (Amigo #3) and I finally visited with the good folks of FNGLA’s Big Bend Chapter at Oglesby Plants International. We toured the high-tech tissue culture lab and impressive production facility before being treated to a fine rendition of Florida-style Brunswick stew. We had a great time getting to know the chapter members and leaders and also discussing the issues important to these growers and vendors. I wish to thank Martin Hackney, Mark Clikas and the Oglesby staff for a wonderful tour and the ‘down home’ hospitality!

FNGLA is widely known to provide members and the industry-at-large with world-class tradeshows, cutting-edge educational programs, statewide-recognized professional certifications and highly valued member benefits. Yet, did you know FNGLA has promoted industry research for decades through the National Horticulture Foundation (formerly the National Foliage Foundation - NFF) and FNGLA’s Endowed Research Fund at the UF Foundation (SHARE)?

In 1987, NHF started with $73,500 in hand and a mission to support and organize charitable, educational and research activities to address specific problems affecting the green industry. This research attracted some of the most skilled researchers, dedicated educators and promising students. According to NHF (and FNGLA) past president Joe Cialone, “The Foundation has now provided over $500,000 to researchers to solve industry problems and over $400,000 in scholarship funds to hundreds of students – many of whom have become leaders in our Industry.”

The National Horticulture Foundation continues to grow and provide answers to industry questions through research and education. With a conservative approach taken by NHF’s Board of Directors, the portfolio value of its fund has weathered an ever-fluctuating financial market and changing market influences. It now has a portfolio value of $2,788,372 and an additional $549,683 endowment within the UF Foundation bringing the total assets to $3.3 million! 

You can see the current members of NHF’s board of directors here: http://bit.ly/NHFBoard.  And, you can read about NHF-funded research here: http://bit.ly/NHFResearch

The FNGLA Endowment Fund at the UF Foundation (SHARE) was created to address the problems and questions important to Florida’s nursery industry. The Endowment supports and encourages research on: environmental resource management; pest management practices and strategies; production system practices and strategies; genetics/breeding; and, enhanced quality of life for Floridians.

The FNGLA Endowment retains all of its principal too, so its base grows for the future and all new gifts are added to the principal. Only the interest generated each year is made available for research grants which are often submitted by UF/IFAS researchers. Each year at The Landscape Show, a committee of FNGLA members from diverse backgrounds and areas of the state, deliberate on which projects to prioritize the available funding. The principal balance of the FNGLA Endowment now exceeds $1.35 million and a total of $43,895 was recently awarded among nine research projects.

Please consider enhancing these two vital investments to our Florida green industry with your time, experience or capital.


Ed Bravo

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42908Mon, 12 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT
Certification Heads to the Treasure Coast

FNGLA's Treasure Coast Chapter and Jenkins Landscape have teamed up to bring FNGLA's Certified Landscape Maintenance Technician (FCLMT) program to Hobe Sound.

The training program, slated to begin March 24, joins FNGLA's handful of testing/training sites located across the state of Florida. The Hobe Sound location is situated squarely in the center of the Treasure Coast Chapter's borders. And, chapter members haven't missed a beat, stepping up to welcome and assist with this training/testing opportunity for local landscape professionals. 

The FCLMT review course will take place Sat., March 24 at Jenkins Landscape, 14005 SE Kitchen Creek Rd., Hobe Sound. The cost to attend is $25. To sign up, email FNGLA's Merry Mott.

The FCLMT exam is slated for Sat., April 14 at the same location. For more information on the exam, visit FNGLA's website

For those located in Central Florida who are interested in taking the FCLT-Installation exam, it will be given in Orlando on Sat., March 17 and in Davie on Fri., April 27. For more information on those exams. visit FNGLA's website. 

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42906Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT
CEUs to Suit Your Style

Whether you are looking for online CEUs, business classes or even events to prepare you for another level of certification, a variety of options are available to you this spring:

For online CEUs: visit the FNGLA's website.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

What: Basic Irrigation & Pump Troubleshooting
Where: North Florida Irrigation, 227 SW 54th Ct., Ocala, FL 34474
For details, visit the event's registration page.

Friday, March 9, 2018

What: Outdoor Tree School
Where: Moss Park, 12901 Moss Park Rd., Orlando, FL 32832
To register, visit the event's registration page

Friday, March 9, 2018

What: Landscape Management with Storm Hardy Trees
Where: Miami-Dade College, 11011 SW 104 St., Miami, FL 33176
For details, visit the event's registration page.

Friday, March 16, 2018

What: FCLT Review Course
Where: UF/IFAS Ft Lauderdale Research Center, 3205 College Ave., Davie, FL 33314
To register, visit the event's registration page.

March 19-20, 2018

What: LMN's Build a Better Landscape Business
Where: CAT Rental Equipment Kelly Tractor Co., 9651 Kelly Tractor Dr., Ft. Myers, FL 33905
To register, visit the event's registration page.

Monday, March 19, 2018

What: Build a Better Landscape Business
Where: Kelly Tractor Co., 9651 Kelly Tractor Dr., Fort Myers, FL 33905
To register, visit the event's registration page

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What: Irrigation System Installation Basics (morning)
Drip Irrigation Design and Installation (afternoon)
Where: Tampa Bay Water, 2575 Enterprise Rd., Clearwater, FL 33763
For more details, visit the event's registration page

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What: Sustainable Landscapes for Trees & Shrubs
Where: UF/IFAS Palm Beach Ext., 559 N Military Tr., West Palm Beach, FL  33415
For more details, visit the event's registration page

Thursday, March 22, 2018

What: Irrigation System Installation Basics (morning)
Drip Irrigation Design and Installation (afternoon)
Where: SiteOne Landscaping, 6055 Clark Center Ave., Sarasota, FL 34238
For more details, visit the event's registration page.

Friday, March 23, 2018

What: Sustainable Landscapes for Trees & Shrubs
Where: Hillsborough Community College, 1206 N. Park Rd., Plant City, FL  33563
For more details, visit the event's registration page.

Friday, March 23 

What: FCLT Review Course
Where: UF/IFAS Miami-Dade Extension, 18710 SW 288 St., Homestead, FL 33033
To register, visit the event's registration page.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

What: FCLMT Review Course
Where: Jenkins Landscape, 14005 SE Kitched Creed Rd., Hobe Sound, FL
To register, email Merry Mott at FNGLA

Thursday, March 30, 2018

What: Planting and Establishment with Grades & Standards
Where: UF-IFAS Leon County Ext., 615 Paul Russell Rd., Tallahassee, FL 32301
For more details, visit the event's registration page.

Friday, March 31, 2018

What: Planting and Establishment with Grades & Standards
Where: UF-IFAS Duval County Ext., 1010 N McDuff Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32254
For more details, visit the event's registration page.

Tuesday-Wednesday, April 3-4, 2018

What: Tree School: An Applied Arborist Short Course
Where: UF/IFAS Orange County Ext., 6021 S Conway Rd., Orlando, FL  32812
For details, visit the event's registration page

Friday, April 6, 2018

What: Shade Tree and Palm Species in South Florida
Where: Miami-Dade College, 11011 SW 104 St., Miami, FL 33176
For details, visit the event's registration page.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

What: FCLT Review Course
Where: UF/IFAS Miami-Dade Extension, 18710 SW 288 St., Homestead, FL 33033
To register, visit the event's registration page.

Monday, April 9, 2018

What: Landscape Irrigation Water Conservation Technologies
Where: Tampa Bay Water, 2575 Enterprise Rd., Clearwater, FL 33763
For more details, visit the event's registration page

Friday-Saturday, April 27-28, 2018

What: Florida Wildflower Symposium
Where: UF/IFAS Orange County Extension, 6021 S Conway Rd, Orlando, FL 32812
For more details, visit the event's registration page.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42905Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT
Cert. Talk: 5 Questions with Ed Bravo

Being a Florida Water Star Accredited Professional has its benefits, according to FNGLA President Ed Bravo. Bravo, who heads Big Trees Plantation, a nursery based near Gainesville, shares how being certified has helped his business:

FNGLA: What was your motivation for getting your FWS-AP certification?

Bravo: My motivation to become a Water Star AP was the Alachua County Irrigation Ordinance which went into effect last year. It requires all irrigation systems to be approved by the DEP and inspected upon completion by DEP -- or a Water Star A.P. In my mind, self-inspection was the only way to ensure staying on schedule with contracted obligations. (Editor's Note: irrigation systems within county lines must be approved and inspected by Alachua County DEP)

FNGLA: How has it helped you and your business to be FWS certified?

Bravo: Having the Water Star certification has been good for Big Trees Landscape. It speaks to our ability to design and install highly efficient irrigation systems and also use the principles of Florida Friendly landscapes. It has helped with our transition into the new regulations with very few issues or delays. It has also made me a better designer and project manager because of the design criteria. Also, the right to self-inspection can be revoked.

FNGLA: Any suggestions/tips for those who may benefit from having this cert?

Bravo: I suggest every irrigation company and municipality in Florida have at least one person take this course and exam. You will confirm what you think you know, and identify where you need to catch up. The future of the irrigation industry is clear - more people, and less water for landscapes. Water Star maximizes the resource through design criteria specific to Florida’s horticulture.

FNGLA: What was your initial reaction when Alachua County began strengthening its water codes, and how has your certification helped you navigate these tightened guidelines?

Bravo: I disagreed strongly with several elements of the Alachua County Irrigation Ordinance and still do! But, after many projects large and small I have slowly changed my opinion about the cost benefits. The new designs absolutely do save water and the savings will pay for the additional installation cost. The issue is getting the builder to now pay for the home owners’ savings later. The Water Star program has given me the tools I need to market irrigation efficiency along with a horticulture component that guarantees compliance if properly applied.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42904Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT
Looking Ahead to Another Busy February at FNGLA

First, chiefly to the men out there: Valentine's Day is Wednesday, February 14. You’ve been warned... make it special!  We all put in long hours and hard work to grow and maintain the world's greatest plant materials and landscapes. Yet, please take the time to let the loves in your life know how special they are to you.

As for FNGLA, February is shaping up to be another extremely busy month. Post- TPIE and its success, your FNGLA staff and state volunteer leaders are full-throttle on some very interesting and impactful initiatives. FNGLA’s Knowledge College Committee met on February 9 to work on educational programs.  FNGLA’s Membership and Marketing Committee meets on February 20. Thank you to those who participated in the recent member benefits survey so FNGLA knows how to serve you even better. More to come on this in the months ahead. And, FNGLA’s state Board of Directors meets on February 21.

As I write this column, I’m in my hotel room in Jacksonville where I’m attending the FNGLA Northeast Chapter's Jacksonville Landscape Show. It may be small in scale compared to TPIE or TLS, yet it’s every bit as impactful, warm, gracious and a boon for those participating. If you haven't attended, be sure to put it on your schedule for next year. The Northeast Chapter is well known for its hospitality at this event and it may interest you to know the show’s proceeds are used to fund many scholarships and community programs for kids.

FNGLA’s state officers (aka "The Amigos”) will visit FNGLA’s Broward Chapter social on February 22. To be held at Parrish Gardens, it will be a roundtable of local members and nonmembers to discuss trends, needs, business practices, and generally aid one another. The mission of FNGLA is "... to promote and protect the interests of Florida’s nursery and landscape industry."  FNGLA’s Broward Chapter is doing just that. I encourage each of our chapters consider holding a meeting each year utilizing this type of interactive format.

The host committee of my FNGLA Frontrunners Chapter, FNGLA’s Royal Palm Chapter volunteer leaders, and Linda Adams (FNGLA’s stalwart COO) are finalizing your upcoming annual FNGLA convention experience in Bonita Springs. I never make a promise I can’t keep, yet I guarantee this year will be special! We are very excited about this year's venue and events and I am so proud of their efforts.

Lastly, and arguably, the biggest challenge continuing to impact all sectors of our industry is labor. As we all know, Washington, D.C. is, well, dysfunctional at best. As much as I would love to report (and we are working on it), comprehensive immigration reform is a unicorn. 

So, how do we make headway? Well, what do we do for a living? We grow! Your FNGLA staff, passionate chapter leaders, such as Stefan Liopiros, and political leaders, such as Adam Putnam, are looking to "grow" future team members for each of us.  Florida Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is keen on starting vocational programs as early as middle school!

Merry Mott and Linda Reindl of FNGLA’s staff are working tirelessly to liaison with FFA programs and their influential teachers to drive young future employees our direction. And, FNGLA Past President Billy Butterfield is working with a group of Orange County political leaders to roll out pilot agriculture programs (including horticulture) with a sharp focus on career development. 

Very exciting solutions and your help is needed! We will not be able to lean on others to solve this problem. There is no magic bullet. We - individually and together with our FNGLA chapters - need to invest our time, products and expertise to make these initiatives work on local levels to impact our future workforce.

With just under four months remaining in my year as FNGLA president, please let me know if there is anything further I can do to better serve you.


Ed Bravo


http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42902Mon, 12 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT
Volunteers Sought for FFA Career Development Event

Can you volunteer?

FNGLA’s Director of Certifications Merry Mott is looking for volunteers to help assist at the Florida FFA’s upcoming Career Development Event February 22-23.

Volunteers will help in a variety of capacities including setting up the plant identification competition or guiding horticulture students through their nursery and landscape activities.

Volunteers can earn up to 12 CEUs over the course of the two-day event.

“It’s a terrific opportunity to interact with students, and get to know the future leaders of our industry,” Mott said. “It’s also a great, one-stop-shop to make a big dent in your CEU requirement for renewal.”

Long-time supporter Don Schoonover makes a point of volunteering every year.

“I became a part of the FNGLA back in 1991 when I was first certified FCHP, and that made a remarkable difference in my life -- and to those in the future I would teach and help in the area of agriculture," Schoonover said. "It made such an impression on me and it was something that I just knew I wanted to do for the rest of my life and share."

Schoonover added, "When I see these kids come for the FFA competition, these kids are focused. They are polite, they present themselves well, and they are focused on the future of the green industry in Florida and I think that’s a wonderful thing. I want to be able to give back to the community that is learning in the green industry.” 

The Career Development Events take place at the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research Center in Apopka. Volunteers can choose to take part in one or all of three shifts: Thursday afternoon set up, Friday morning floriculture or Friday afternoon nursery and landscape.

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Mott by phone at 407-295-7994 or via email at: mmott@fngla.org.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42901Fri, 02 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT
Action Chapter to Hold Free Landscape Training Class

Offering more flexibility for certification training, FNGLA’s Action Chapter is hosting a free evening training class.

“We wanted to do something new and, hopefully, more convenient than ever for industry professionals to take advantage of,” Linda Reindl, FNGLA’s director of Education, said of the chapter-sponsored event. “This class will help prepare industry professionals to take FNGLA’s horticulture professional, landscape technician, and landscape maintenance technician certifications.”

The class is offered as part of FNGLA’s Education on the Go series, a training initiative aimed at making career-advancing training convenient by bringing it directly to industry professionals, according to Reindl.

Billy Butterfield of AmeriScapes Landscape Management Services will head up the hands-on practical training, bringing in a variety of industry specialists.  As FNGLA Certified Landscape Contractor #39, Butterfield has judged certification exams for many years and has identified the training needs of those seeking certification.

The four-week training class will meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 4:30-6 p.m., beginning Feb. 20 at UF/IFAS Orange County Extension in Orlando. For more information, or to register, visit the event registration page.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42900Fri, 02 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT
How to Squeeze in Your CEUs
The new year has entered with a vengeance, seemingly speeding up the time continuum making weeks now feel like mere hours. We know the feeling. That's why we've compiled some great upcoming opportunities to help you squeeze in your CEUs:

Monday-Wednesday, February 5-7, 2018

What: Urban Forestry Institute Natural Disaster Preparation & Response
Info: 4 CEUs per day can be earned for FNGLA
Where: UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research Center, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma, FL 33598
To register, visit Urban Forestry Institute's website

Beginning Wednesday, February 7, 2018

What: FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professional Class
Info: 8 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA
Where: UF/IFAS Ft. Lauderdale Research Center, 3205 College Ave., Davie, FL 33314
To register, call Carl Wallack at 954-802-0951 or email him at: carl.wallack@gmail.com 

Wednesday-Thursday, February 7-8, 2018

What: Florida Ornamental IPM Workshop
Info: 4 CEUs per day can be earned for FNGLA
Where: UF/IFAS Extension Straughn Professional Development Center 2142 Shealy Dr., Room C, Gainesville, FL 32608
To register, visit the event registration website

Thursday-Friday, February 8-9, 2018

What: Jacksonville Landscape Show & Seminars
Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA
Where: Jacksonville Fairgrounds, 501 Fairgrounds Pl., Jacksonville, FL 32202
To register, visit the NEFNGLA's website

Monday-Friday, February 12-16, 2018

What: Hunter Training Roadshow
Info: 4 CEUs per class can be earned for FNGLA
Where: Feb. 12 Jacksonville, Feb. 13 Orlando, Feb. 14 West Palm Beach, Feb. 15 Estero, Feb. 16 Tampa
To register, visit the event registration page

Monday-Friday, February 12-16, 2018

What: Rainbird Academy Irrigation Technician Course
Info: 4 CEUs per class can be earned for FNGLA
Where: Holiday Inn at Universal Studios, 5905 S Kirkman Rd, Orlando FL 32819
To register, visit the event registration page

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

What: Identification and Control of Tree Borne Insects
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA
Where: UF/IFAS Broward County Extension, 3245 College Ave, Davie, FL 33314
To register, visit the event registration page

Tuesday-Thursday, February 13-15, 2018

What: Florida Turfgrass Association Turf Seminars
Info: 2 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA
Where: February 13th Milton February 14th Tallahassee February 15th Jacksonville
To register, visit the Florida Turfgrass Association's website

Monday-Wednesday, February 19-21, 2018

What: Grow! 2018 Marty Grunder Landscape Business Conference
Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA
Where: Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 2900 Bayport Dr., Tampa, FL 33607
To register, visit the conference page

Tuesdays & Thursdays, February 20-March 15, 2018

What: Action Chapter Education On The Go FNGLA Certification Training
Info: 8 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA
Where: UF/IFAS Orange County Extension, 6021 S Conway Rd, Orlando, FL 32812
To register, visit the event registration page

Thursday-Friday, February 22-23, 2018

What: FFA Career Development Events
Info: Up to 12 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA by volunteering
Where: UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research Center, 2725 S Binion Rd, Apopka, FL 32703
To register, contact Merry Mott at: mmott@fngla.org 

Friday, February 23, 2018

What: Royal Edger & Mower CEUs Day
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA
Where: Holiday Inn, 3535 Ulmerton Rd., Clearwater, FL 33762
To register, visit the event registration page

Beginning Saturday, February 24, 2018

What: FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professional Class
Info: 8 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA
Where: Miami-Dade College Kendall Campus, 11011 SW 104 Street, Miami, FL 33176
To register, 305-237-0905 or visit Miami-Dade College's website.  

Beginning Tuesday, February 27, 2018

What: FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professional Class
Info: 8 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA
Where: St. Pete Water Resource Campus, 1650 3rd Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL
To register, Bonnie Desmond by phone at 727-712-6243 or via email: bonniej1990@yahoo.com 

Tuesday-Wednesday, February 27-28, 2018

What: Parks Management Institute
Info: Up to 8 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA
Where: Venice Community Center, 326 S. Nokomis Ave., Venice, FL 34285
To register, visit the Institute's website

Friday, March 2, 2018

What: Water Conservation Expo
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA
Where: S FL Water Management District, 3301 Gun Club Rd., West Palm Beach, FL 33406
To register, visit the SFWMD's website.

Friday-Sunday, March 2-4, 2018

What: National Floriculture Forum
Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA
Where: Lakeside Inn, 100 Alexander St., Mount Dora, FL 32757
To register, visit the event's registration page

Friday, March 9, 2018

What: Outdoor Tree School
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA
Where: Moss Park, 12901 Moss Park Rd., Orlando, FL 32832
For more details, view this flyer.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42899Fri, 02 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT
Bridging the GapFNGLA’s Frontrunners and Northeast chapters team up to help provide materials, equipment to Florida’s agriculture curriculums

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL - Harrison Love, now employed with Rode Groundcovers, earned his FCHP certification while enrolled at Williston High School in Levy County, Florida.
Hoping to bridge the gap between industry and agriculture curriculum in Florida’s schools, members from two FNGLA chapters have teamed up to offer personal support, equipment and materials. 

“Our main goal is to become a resource for all nursery, landscape and irrigation Career Technical Education programs, while also bringing awareness to our industry and informing students of the opportunities and careers available to them,” Shawn Thomas, FNGLA secretary/treasurer, said. “Our hope is we broaden the scope of what is available to these students.”

Members from FNGLA’s Frontrunners and Northeast chapters last month laid the groundwork for the outreach campaign, which aims to connect with school officials and teachers and provide what is needed to fortify nursery and horticulture programs. 

How Can FNGLA Chapter Members Assist Horticulture Curriculums?


•  Serve as a guest speaker

•  Host a field trip/use of business facilities

•  Provide student scholarships, internships and sponsorships

•  Serve as a contest judge

•  Serve on an advisory committee

•  Become a mentor

•  Host a student for career shadowing

•  Help students and teachers prepare for industry certification exams

•  Provide teacher externships  

• Volunteer for mock job interviews for students

• Provide technical assistance for teachers

•  Advocate for Career and Technical Education

•  Participate in  career fairs and community service events

• Provide new/used equipment

This includes furnishing equipment, donating materials, and potentially even offering internships for students, according to Thomas. 

The hope? Better qualified future entry-level workers, stronger relationships with educators, and direct career paths into Florida’s horticulture industry, Thomas said.

Northeast chapter members last month formed a subcommittee to plot a course.

Chapter members also plan to create a master calendar of events which will include upcoming career fairs, contests and speaking opportunities so chapter members can also get involved.

Stefan Liopiros, past president of FNGLA’s Frontrunners chapter, said the effort will ultimately strengthen the future of Florida’s horticulture industry. 

“If we are smart and work to help strengthen the horticulture curriculum in agriculture classes, and actively get in front of these kids and show them our industry, it will pay dividends to FNGLA, and Florida agriculture, in general, with quality future employees,” Liopiros said.
Liopiros added he hopes the project yields a template for all FNGLA chapters to embrace. 

For more information, or to request or offer support to this project, contact FNGLA's Kate Clary at: kclary@fngla.org 
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42896Wed, 31 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
Plants are 'hip', Pantone's Ultraviolet is in, and cacti are all the rage as the Tropical Plant International Expo celebrated its 45th yearTPIE celebrated its 45th year bringing together buyers and sellers of interior plants and related products. Taking place in Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA, the Tropical Plant International Expo this year attracted more than 6,000 industry professionals during its run from January 17-19 at the Broward County Convention Center.

Indoor plants are hip as if it’s the 1970’s all over again. So, it’s no surprise TPIE, the world’s most popular tropical and indoor plant trade show, was abuzz with energy and excitement. Wholesale buyers took in the newest selections of cool and beautiful plants now available from production nurseries.

We saw an increase in available succulents and cacti at TPIE from growers. We also saw them utilized by brands in finished products such as living décor elements, container gardens, terrariums and larger specimen being sold in decorative containers as finished patio décor.

ON DISPLAY -- One of many booths at TPIE which displayed the latest trends involving cacti. FNGLA PHOTO

Color is always in and TPIE exhibitors provided an abundance of plants offering every color and color combination of the rainbow. Plant breeders continued to bring plants of varying hues, intensities and characteristics to the market - and TPIE did not disappoint in showcasing the newest colors plants are wearing this year.

TPIE’s New Plants and Products Showcase offered 35 new varieties, many of which were orchids and bromeliads of extravagant colors.

With Pantone naming Ultraviolet as the color for 2018, it was easy to find a wide variety of plants which flashed the purple color, including a new purple rose, with real old-fashioned rose scent.

As the first tropical plant show to kick off each year, TPIE annually offers information on ‘big picture’ trends at its Opening Session and educational sessions. Max Luthy, international consumer trends analyst with TrendWatching, presented to a full house his top insights on current consumer trends – specifically tailored for the plant-selling industry.

INSIGHTS ENLIGHTENMENT — Max Luthy, director of trends & insights, and head of the North America office of TrendWatching, shared the top consumer trends — and how to turn insights into income — at the Tropical Plant International Expo’s Opening Session. FNGLA PHOTO

Two additional sessions on trends in the marketplace, and two off-site tours of local landscape designs and production nurseries took place the day prior to the opening of the show as part of the TPIE Road Show. Additional sessions and demonstrations also took place on the trade show floor during the show at the TPIE Create Theater area.

A session by Suzi McCoy and Katie McCoy Dubow from the Garden Media Group provided finely-focused trends related to interior plants, wellness and nature. Anyone who took part in any or all of these sessions left with a multitude of ideas and inspiration to connect to today’s marketplace and buyer.

TPIE’s tagline is Elevating Expectations and it’s marvelous to see how our exhibitors show their innovation and creativity through the products they offer and how they display them at the show. Of the 350 plus exhibitors, 15 companies left with a coveted TPIE Booth Award. Yet, many more exhibits were award-worthy.

As the year progresses, it will be gratifying to see how the plants featured at TPIE show up in supermarket floral departments, in garden center foliage sections, in retail super stores, as florist gifts, in on-line stores, via wholesale distributors to interior designers, and wherever people are searching for that unique and beautiful element of nature, the plant, to bring happiness and wellness into their lives. It’s like 1970 all over again, but even better!

More Photos From TPIE 2018:

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42894Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
President's Letter: A Round-up of Chapter Activities, and a Spotlight on Opioid AbuseDecember was a whirlwind of chapter Christmas parties for the Amigos and FNGLA staff. There were events at country clubs, antique bowling alleys, pole barns with live bands, restaurants, church reception halls, hipster bars and even one party onboard a ship. FNGLA chapters reflect the industry-at-large in that we are diverse, unique and generous. Thank you all, for the warm reception and gracious hospitality! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays — freezing temperatures excluded! By now, the lights are off the house, the brown Christmas tree is gone from the end of your driveway and the last relative is finally out of the guest room. Time to get back to work!

I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate my business partner, Luis Diaz, for being recognized as the Builder of the Year for North Central Florida at last month’s BANCF annual banquet. His commitment to innovative design, community involvement and tireless leadership with governmental affairs and building policy are just a few of the reasons he was awarded this prestigious honor. I am proud to work at his side and I am grateful for his support in my role as FNGLA President.

TPIE is just about here and I hope to see many of you there. If you have never been, you are missing a fantastic display of everything tropical, cutting-edge educational programs and a unique opportunity to see the latest in plants and products showcased by the world’s leaders in their field.

On Dec. 6, FNGLA’s Marketing and Membership Committee met. It was noted it would be wiser to find out what our members want rather than provide you with what we think you need. So, the committee decided to survey FNGLA’s members to learn what benefits and services are most important to you. In this way, the committee can best direct programming efforts.  If you have not yet done so, please take a minute to complete the short survey at: http://bit.ly/FNGLASurvey

The Northeast Chapter is helping to connect FNGLA member businesses and FFA students through direct involvement in events such as their competition held last month in Middleburg. FNGLA Secretary/Treasurer Shawn Thomas was the keynote speaker for the event, while Stefan Liopiros (Lawn Enforcement Agency Gainesville) and I were invited to act as judges for the competition. Stefan judged Tractor Driving and, ironically, I was asked to judge the Public Speaking contest. They must not have received the memo about my personal abilities in that particular skill set.
Hurricanes, such as Irma, are not the only crisis leaving devastation in the heartland of Florida agriculture. The opioid epidemic is leaving broken hearts, broken lives, broken families and communities. According to government estimates, approximately 64,000 Americans died from opioid overdosing last year –a 21% increase from 2015. And, the increase continued in 2016, according to government data. The synthetic opioid, Fentanyl, which is said to be 100 times more potent than morphine, has recently come into focus as a contributing factor.
Infographic reprinted courtesy of American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union

Beginning in the 1990s, there have been three separate epidemics, with compounding death tolls, according to an article in the International Journal of Drug Policy. The first wave involved prescription opioids. Thanks to heroin, the second wave emerged around 2010, according to the article, which added heroin-related overdose deaths have since tripled. The current third wave of overdoses are attributed to synthetic opioids including “illicitly manufactured Fentanyl and Fentanyl analogues,” the article stated.  As a result, overdose deaths between 2013-2014 doubled. Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood recently testified before the Health Policy Committee telling the Associated Press in all of his years in law enforcement, he hasn’t seen anything like the current opioid epidemic in Florida. 

Chitwood, telling the AP added, “When I first started in law enforcement in 1987, it was crack cocaine and open-air drug markets. Then it moved to houses, now the addicted person sits in front of a computer and the postal service delivers to their homes.” 

On Jan. 4, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and National Farmers Union (NFU) announced they’re teaming up to confront the opioid crisis facing farm communities 
nationwide.  This “Farm Town Strong” campaign comes on the heels of a recent survey which shows massive opioid impact in farm country. The groups launched FarmTownStrong.org to provide easy access to information and resources to help struggling farm families in rural communities. 

“Opioid addiction – along with all of its consequences – is a silent, but very real, crisis for our farming communities,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The lack of services, treatment and support exacerbates the issue in rural areas, and the negative stigma associated with addiction makes it hard for farmers to discuss the problem. Too often, those struggling with addiction and their family members don’t seek the support they need. Through the Farm Town Strong campaign, we’re tackling this crisis head-on by encouraging more dialogue, more information sharing, and more farmer-to-farmer engagement.” AFBF President Zippy Duvall similarly encouraged those struggling with addiction and their families to talk about the crisis so others know they are not alone. 

FNGLA is working with the University of Florida/IFAS to create a similar program and survey to best serve the specific needs of our member businesses and families. In the meantime, I feel the need to provide this information and these resources and also to explain why this can’t wait any longer. 

For the past ten years, my family has been dealing with this issue. We have been affected by every destructive element of addiction you can imagine. Please believe me, addicts are not the only casualties in this epidemic. 

Not long ago, I gave the eulogy for a fellow grower. I believe his abuse of the prescribed opioids contributed to his final act of desperation. The same year, a friend and successful landscape contractor lost his home and thriving business – not because he was an addict – but because he spent his last dime trying to help his brother resolve his cycle of addiction, incarceration and rehab. The contractor is now greeting folks at Home Depot. 

In 2016, I hired three young men from the rural part of our county. They were smart and worked very hard - at first. As time went by, one would return late after lunch on Fridays (after payroll checks were handed out) and then they would all be late on the following Monday. Eventually, they all started to miss Mondays altogether. I should have seen the pattern – yet I wasn’t looking for it. Ultimately, they were fired and one admitted he needed help. So, I drove him to rehab. 

Please open your eyes and look around you. Someone you know is going through this and needs your help. FNGLA cannot solve this problem – yet we can give you tools you need to help each other! •

Ed Bravo 

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42892Tue, 23 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
Trending at TPIE: Innovation, Style - and PLANTS!International trends expert Max Luthy kicks off with an Opening Session on what’s hot in consumer trends and innovation
Setting the stage for three days inside a virtual tropical plant wonderland at TPIE, trends expert Max Luthy plans to kick off the Opening Session by imparting five consumer trends with major  implications for 2018.

“We’re going to boil all five of them down,” said Luthy, who serves as director of trends and insights at TrendWatching. “We don’t just want to tell you five trends and you have to learn five new buzz words and how to respond. Our whole approach is to make it as actionable as possible.”

Based in New York City, TrendWatching assists companies around the globe in connecting their brands and products with the whims and wants of an evolving consumer marketplace.

Luthy also plans to hone in on what he sees as the best opportunities for live plant and related businesses.

“There’s a huge focus on wellness that we’ve seen — from how people eat, to the clothing they wear,” Luthy said. “Live plants allow people to implant health and wellness into their surroundings
– and their mental and physical well-being.”

Luthy added, “I think this is just a huge, almost positioning, opportunity for the industry.”

Another trend on the agenda to discuss at the Opening Session involves expectations related to how businesses credit and acknowledge their influences, according to Luthy.

“If you’re doing textiles which pay homage to a North African artifact, you don’t just rip them off,” Luthy cautioned. “Consumers want to see, if you’re going to have something with a hint of it [homage], you’re paying tribute to them.” 

Luthy added he will also impart a few tips on ways to better tell the story of one’s brand – a business initiative which has in recent years taken a front seat, thanks to social media. After all, as Luthy, perched at the epicenter of trending tastes puts it, “consumer expectations are higher than ever before.”

TPIE takes place Jan. 17 – 19. Opening Session takes place 9 a.m., Jan. 17. Admission to the session is free with a show badge. •

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42891Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
Upcoming Landscape Irrigation Certification Takes Shape

FNGLA’s upcoming Landscape Irrigation Technician certification continues to take shape as irrigation industry heavyweight Kurt Thompson has signed on to draft both the certification manual and exam. Thompson, whose certifications include the Irrigation Association's Certified Irrigation Contractor, has worked with FNGLA for more than a decade, particularly on the Florida Water Star Accredited Professional program.

FNGLA’s Landscape Irrigation Technician certification is slated to launch in 2018 and will focus on irrigation system service. FNGLA’s Kate Clary spoke with Thompson to get a sneak peek on what he plans to focus:

FNGLA: Tell us about how you’ll approach putting together the curriculum for the new certification.

Thompson: The certification is based on the job task analysis for an irrigation service technician in the State of Florida.  This was completed in November 2017 after nearly six months of polling and discussions led by FNGLA.  The certification testing (both practical and written) is now being developed using the job task analysis to define the critical skills and knowledge. From there, a manual will be created for use by certification candidates to prepare for their exams. Additionally, there will be classroom and on-line training courses to help the candidates prepare.

FNGLA: What is the most important element you hope to test/impart on those who earn this certification?

Thompson: Like the other FNGLA certifications, this certification is being designed to serve multiple purposes:

  • Provide a path for personal growth and achievement.
  • Offer a credential to assist the consumer of irrigation service in the selection of a service provider.
  • Provide a “system” for an employer to use when hiring irrigation personnel.
  • Assist the landscape and irrigation profession to develop irrigation professionals
  • Demonstrate to the State of Florida how the landscape and irrigation profession is committed to the highest level of skills and knowledge possible.
  • Give employers a means to attract potential new hires by providing a key element they seek in prospective employees: training and development.

FNGLA: Who will this certification help most?

Thompson: As with all certification programs, this is a significant tool to attract and retain young people to the landscape and irrigation profession as a legitimate career path.  As THE leader in the landscape and irrigation profession in Florida, FNGLA recognizes the efficient use of water in the landscape is essential to preserving the state’s water quality and quantity.  Professional credentials require continuing education to achieve that goal.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42888Fri, 05 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
Resolve in 2018 to Complete Your CEUs

Get out in front of your 2018 by getting a head start on your CEUs. The Tropical Plant International Expo, which runs from Jan. 17-19, offers a host of opportunities to do just that. There are online CEU options, which were recently expanded through the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program's six online CEU courses. These courses are self-paced and can be completed on your mobile device or computer.

Here are the full details on upcoming CEU opportunities for January-February: 

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Online CEUs 

What: FFL self-paced courses completed on your mobile device or computer 
Info: 1 CEUs can be earned for each one-hour course 
To register visit the UF/IFAS website.  

 Tuesday-Thursday, January 9-11, 2018 

What: Florida Turfgrass Association Turf Seminars 
Info: 2 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: January 9th Plantation January 10th Lake Worth January 11th Port St. Lucie 
To register, visit the Florida Turfgrass Association's website.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 

What: Advanced Arboriculture: Wood Decay Biology and ID 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: UF-IFAS Extension Orange County 6021 S. Conway Road, Orlando, FL 33812 
To register, visit the event's registration page

Thursday, January 11, 2018 

What: FCHP Preparatory Class (14-week class) 
Where: Parkway Baptist Church 6211 Briarcliff Rd, Fort Myers, FL 33912 
To register, visit the class website.

Thursday, January 11, 2018 

What: ISA Arborist Certification Exam Preparation Class 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Leon County Public Works Center 2280 Miccosukee Rd., Tallahassee, Florida 32308 
To register, visit the event's registration page

Friday, January 12, 2018 

What: Advanced Arboriculture: Wood Decay Biology and ID 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Pat Larkins Community Center 520 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd (NW 3rd Street) Pompano Beach, FL 33060 
To register, visit the event's registration page

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

What: Vertical Garden Workshop at TPIE 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE) Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 
To register, visit the event's registration page.

What: Trends and Marketing Relevance Workshop at TPIE 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE) Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 
To register, visit the event's registration page.

What: Designing With Tropicals Workshop at TPIE 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE) Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 
To register, visit the event's registration page.

What: Interiorscape Techniques Workshop at TPIE 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE) Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 
To register, visit the event's registration site

Wednesday-Friday, January 17-19, 2018 

What: Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE) 
Info: 2 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 
To register, visit the trade show's website.

What: Gulf States Horticulture Expo 
Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Mobile Convention Center, Mobile, AL 
To register, visit the Expo's website.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

What: Pipeline for Professionals – Irrigation Troubleshooting 
Info: 3 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: North Florida Irrigation Equipment 3200 Powers Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207
To register, 904-733-8720, ext. 8020 or email: nicole.mosteiro@nfie.net 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

What: Pipeline for Professionals – Basic Backflow Preventer Troubleshooting 
Info: 2 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA Where: North Florida Irrigation Equipment 3200 Powers Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207 
To register, 904-733-8720, ext. 8020 or email: nicole.mosteiro@nfie.net 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

What: Pipeline for Professionals – Advanced Lighting Design 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: North Florida Irrigation Equipment 3200 Powers Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207 
To register, 904-733-8720, ext. 8020 or email: nicole.mosteiro@nfie.net 

Friday, January 19, 2018 

What: 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 
To register, visit the event's registration website.

Saturday, January 20, 2018 

What: Winter Ornamental & Turf Workshop 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: UF-IFAS Extension Orange County 6021 S. Conway Road, Orlando, FL 33812 
To register, visit the event's registration website.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

What: Introductory Irrigation for the Landscape and Irrigation Professional 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: UF/IFAS Extension Duval County 1010 N. McDuff Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32254 
To register, visit the event's registration website.

Tuesday-Thursday, January 23-25, 2018 

What: Florida Turfgrass Association Turf Seminars 
Info: 2 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: January 23rd Ocala January 24th Orlando January 25th Cocoa 
To register, visit the Florida Turfgrass Association's website.

Wednesday-Friday, January 24-26, 2018 

What: Georgia Green Industry Association WinterGreen 
Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Infinite Energy Center, Duluth, Georgia 
To register, visit the event's online brochure.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

What: Florida Water Star Accredited Professional Training/Testing 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research Center 2725 S. Binion Rd., Apopka, FL 32703 
To register, visit the event registration website

February through April 2018 

What: Native Plants of South Florida Online Class 
Info: 6 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
To register, visit the class website.

Thursday, February 1, 2018 

What: Pruning, Chainsaw Maintenance & Safety 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: UF/IFAS Extension Osceola County 1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane, Kissimmee, FL 34744 
To register, visit the event's registration website.

Thursday, February 1, 2018 

What: Pipeline for Professionals – Basic Irrigation Layout and Design 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: North Florida Irrigation Equipment 3200 Powers Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207 
To register, 904-733-8720, ext. 8020 or email: nicole.mosteiro@nfie.net 

Wednesday-Thursday, February 7-8, 2018 

What: Florida Ornamental IPM Workshop 
Info: 4 CEUs per day can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: UF/IFAS Extension Straughn Professional Development Center 2142 Shealy Dr., Room C, Gainesville, FL 32608 
To register, visit the event registration website.

Tuesday-Thursday, February 13-15, 2018 

What: Florida Turfgrass Association Turf Seminars 
Info: 2 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: February 13th Milton February 14th Tallahassee February 15th Jacksonville 
To register, visit the Florida Turfgrass Association's website.
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=42887Thu, 04 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
TPIE Offers In-Depth Ticketed Learning Sessions & Road Show Tours: Tuesday, January 16TPIE’s Workshops and Road Shows offer the opportunity to extend your experience past the show. FNGLA PHOTO

Tradeshow attendee surveys show, education is a top priority when it comes to calculating overall show value. Aiming not to disappoint and on top of TPIE’s already great complimentary sessions, there are four amazing workshops, from cutting-edge trend and knowledge specialists, designed to meet attendees needs. Sessions run concurrently on Tuesday, January 16 from 8:30 to 11:45 a.m. Purchase your seat for just $75 (if registered by January 5), and $90 thereafter. 

Vertical Garden Workshop: Design & Maintenance 

Presented By Dan Ballay, Debbie Kotalic and Hal Thorne, this workshop takes a closer look at the design, maintenance and installation of green walls. These beautiful works of art are in big demand! Find out how green walls are not just aesthetically pleasing to consumers, but can offer an increase in worker productivity, noise reduction, and lower heating and cooling costs. 

Trends & Marketing Workshop

Presented By Sandra Könings-Blokdijk and Andrew Hermann, you’ll discover ways to target new consumers, and how to beat others in the Millennial Gold Rush. This session shows attendees how adding relevant beauty to brands and products is how businesses can drive retail sales. This session is sponsored by Pottery Direct and by Bower & Branch. 

Designing with Tropicals Workshop 

Presented by Andrew Bunting, Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, and Thomas Guice, this session brings unique perspectives from an educator; a lifelong gardener and houseplant guru; and, a grower-- all of whom are experienced tropical designers. Take home the best of each with this unique blend of expertise. 

Interiorscape Tech Workshop 

Presented by Dr. Romina Gazis; Dr. Cindy McKenzie; Dr. Lance Osborne and geared specifically for Interiorscape Technicians, this workshop focuses on general maintenance techniques, watering issues and replacement practices. Attendees will spend time understanding how to identify pest and disease issues along with treatments. The importance of pruning, care and maintenance to secure the health of plants and proper techniques for the removal of diseased or non-productive portions will also be covered. 

TPIE Road Show Tours 

And, when the workshops wrap-up-- TPIE offers two value-packed bus tours, a traditional favorite among education participants. One tour focuses on garden design and the other focuses on production. Taking place following the workshops on Tuesday, January 16, from 12 noon to approximately 5 p.m. Priced at $60 per seat (if registered by January 5) and $75 thereafter. A boxed lunch is included in tour fees. Learn more on each opportunity at: http://www.tpie.org/shortcourse.aspx.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=41886Fri, 29 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Higher Ground: FNGLA is the Pulse of the IndustryA chill is in the air and the leaves are beginning to turn vibrant colors here in North Florida. Thank goodness hurricane season is finally over and the Holidays are quickly approaching. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends and you were able to forget about work and the weather for at least one day. 

This is also the time of year when Gator fans and Seminole fans alike, eagerly await bowl games and the national rankings. Unfortunately, we are all more likely this year to watch the Hallmark Channel than football bowl games. 

As part of our chapter outreach, The Three Amigos recently attended FNGLA’s Action Chapter chili cook-off. We ate our weight in chili dogs and Shawn Thomas walked away with a $500 cash drawing, which he quickly donated back to the Chapter’s Scholarship fund. Folks, this is leadership by example! 
Earlier in the day, FNGLA’s Landscape Irrigation Technician Certification Committee met in Orlando to develop a statewide outline for testing and certifying landscape irrigation workers for knowledge and competency. It will be similar to FNGLA’s other professional certification programs with written and field exams. And, it could potentially lead to higher levels of landscape irrigation certification.

On September 28, the new FNGLA Landscape Irrigation Committee met for the first time at FNGLA’s office. The committee roster of 19 members includes landscape/irrigation contractors and designers; irrigation suppliers and manufacturers; UF/IFAS; and, water management districts.  And, it has a fair balance of folks from different parts of the state. There to facilitate the process were FNGLA staff - Ben Bolusky, Merry Mott and Billy Deal. Also, present were the three FNGLA officers to lend a hand when needed. 

Rick Manley of Juniper Landscaping of Florida (Fort Myers) was elected chair and three task forces were formed: Advocacy; Education; and, Public Relations. Each will wrestle with action items from the priorities and projects identified in FNGLA’s Landscape Irrigation White Paper report back to the full committee in January. We hope to create, strengthen and streamline a statewide uniform set of landscape irrigation design standards and build Florida partnerships to maximize landscape irrigation efficiency and achieve water savings.

On November 6, FNGLA was invited to participate in a meeting with Florida’s major agriculture associations in Gainesville. The meeting opened with a conference call with Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to discuss the political situation in Washington and the need for flexible, supplemental USDA disaster assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irma’s destruction. This group of ag association leaders also discussed legislative issues at the state and federal levels. We also discussed ways to promote Florida agriculture and the need to meet more frequently as a group.

The FNGLA/PAC Annual Meeting was postponed this year along with The Landscape Show in September, so a conference call was held on November 30. As FNGLA-PAC chairman, FNGLA past President Paul Polomsky led the meeting which included a review of FNGLA-PAC finances, as well as recommended contributions to Florida House and Senate allies for their election campaigns. 

We discussed different ways to generate needed income for FNGLA-PAC given the pivotal election races in 2018 of state legislators and the four Florida Cabinet positions (Governor; Commissioner of Agriculture; Attorney General; and, Chief Financial Officer). We were also informed of two dark clouds advancing through the Florida Constitution Revision Commission.  They are proposals to mandate all Florida employers use the federal E-Verify automatic employment authorization, as well as a seeming ‘private right of action’ for anyone or group when their proposed “right to a clean and healthy environment” is perceived to be threatened. FNGLA is watching these initiatives very closely.

FNGLA staff and officers are determined to attend as many FNGLA Chapter Christmas Parties as possible - ‘Ugly Sweaters’ and all!  I wish to thank Colin Friedrich and 
the entire FNGLA Palm Beach Chapter for their gracious hospitality. We had a great time and it was well worth the drive to be with the volunteer leaders in your area of our state. Be on the lookout for a band of FNGLA “Gypsies in Ugly Sweaters” at a Chapter Christmas party near you!

Ed Bravo
Big Trees Plantation (Gainesville, FL)
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=41883Fri, 22 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT
2017 Financial Management Conference Benefits Florida Agriculture Commodities

The 2017 Florida Agriculture Financial Management Conference (FAFMC) was held November 2 & 3 at the B Resort and Spa, Lake Buena Vista, FL and addressed key financial issues growers and producers face. This is the conference’s eighth year. 

From touring a new state-of-the-art packing facility where millions of blueberries are packed to a fourth-generation citrus grower, then ending up at a 40-acre U-Pick operation, the 2017 FAFMC attendees started their conference experience in the heart of the what make agriculture strong in Florida.

Some of the nation’s leading agricultural and economic experts provided information on the latest trends and tools to assess and manage the overall financial health of their business. Back again as one of the conference’s dedicated presenters, Dr. Edmond J Seifried, Professor Emeritus of Economics and Business at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, provided an economic outlook for 2017 and shared his view on how the current administration and policy agenda will affect the US economy.

Analyzing financial performance, evaluating new market opportunities such as solar energy, cyber security and adapting to regulatory and technology changes were just some of the highlights of the conference.

Regina Thomas, co-organizer of the Florida Agriculture Financial Management Conference and senior vice president/director of financially related services for Farm Credit of Central Florida, said the conference began eight years ago during the recession that rocked the entire U.S. economy. 

“We had a lot of nursery growers and farmers that were struggling, and financial management was really something that they needed to help pull them through,” said Thomas. “We always have a tax strategy speaker, and a financial management speaker,” Thomas said. 

And, she adds, the conference usually has information about succession planning and encourages young farmers to attend. Solar energy was a topic of interest at this year’s conference. A panel of experts discussed incentives to benefit Florida’s business owners and residents who choose to implement solar energy systems on their property. 

“We’re just now seeing solar get to be one of those things that is starting to pop up,” she said. “It’s definitely an alternative source of revenue for farmers.”

The FAFMC conference content is applicable to all segments of agriculture. Sound financial management remains a top priority among many of Florida’s agricultural businesses. This conference hits this facet.

Planning for 2018’s conference will begin soon. Look for details as they develop at www.FAFMC.org!
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40880Wed, 06 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Prepare For Professional Greatness in 2018

To help set you on the path to professional greatness in 2018, we've compiled a list of upcoming CEU opportunities in December and early January of which you can take advantage. Here's your chance to get out in front of the pack:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

What: Landscape U – Trees and Shrubs

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF-IFAS Orange County Extension
6021 S. Conway Road, Orlando, FL  33812

To register, visit the event's registration page.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

What: New Production Technologies for the Container Nursery

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Hibernia Nursery

1176 C. 478A Webster, Florida 33597

To register, visit the event's registration page.


Friday, December 8, 2017

What: ISA Master Arborist Class

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Fort Walton Beach Rec Center

132 Jet Dr., Fort Walton Beach, FL

To register, visit the event's registration page.


Sunday-Thursday, December 10-14, 2017

What: Association of Zoological Horticulture Annual Conference

Info: 4 CEUs per day can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Naples Zoo and Caribbean Gardens, Naples, FL

To register, visit the the conference's website


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What: UF/IFAS Evidence-Based Zoysiagrass Management Workshop

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Florida SouthWestern State College, Lee Campus

8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers, FL 33919

To register, visit the event's registration page.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

What: UF/IFAS Evidence-Based Zoysiagrass Management Workshop

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Palm Beach County Extension Office

559 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33415

To register, visit the event's registration page.

What: Florida Water Star Accredited Professional training/testing

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Alachua County Health Department, 224 SE 24th St., Gainesville, FL 32641

To register: Visit the event's registration website 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What: Advanced Arboriculture:  Wood Decay Biology and ID

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF-IFAS Orange County Extension
6021 S. Conway Road, Orlando, FL  33812

To register, visit the event's registration page.


Friday, January 12, 2018

What: Advanced Arboriculture:  Wood Decay Biology and ID

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Pat Larkins Community Center
520 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd (NW 3rd Street)
Pompano Beach, FL  33060

To register, visit the event's registration page.


Wednesday-Friday, January 17-19, 2018

What: Tropical Plant International Exhibition (TPIE)

Info: 2 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

To register, www.tpie.org

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

What: Florida Water Star Accredited Professional Training/Testing

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: University of Florida/IFAS Mid-Florida Research Center, 2725 S. Binion Rd., Apopka, FL

To register, visit the event registration website.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40879Mon, 04 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Florida School Offers Unique Horticulture Curriculum
Teaching Horticulture -- Middle and high school students at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind run the D & B Garden Center as part of their horticulture class curriculum. FNGLA PHOTO 

Nestled in the heart of America's oldest city, lies a garden center unlike most others. The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, located in St. Augustine, Florida, is home to the D & B Garden Center. It is a place where Instructor Jenny Palmer is using a unique curriculum to help students with varying degrees of hearing and vision challenges develop a love for plants.

Palmer uses hands-on activities, large print and plant images in her teaching exercises. 

Gage Vanderwef is a sophomore in his second year in the school's horticulture program.

"Color, sometimes, it'll have to be described...or the shape of the plant and, like, how it's shaped," Vanderwef said of plants. "Because, with me, I mean, I can look at these plants here, but on a picture, it's harder for me to see because, I guess, the contrast," he said, examining a plant leaf in his right hand." 

"That's one of the struggles, you know, of being visually impaired."

Palmer teaches agri-science standards to middle and high school students at the school as part of the career and technical education program. Her classroom includes several hundred square feet of flowering plants and succulents under shade cloth and a greenhouse currently having rolling nursery tables installed thanks to a recent grant. As part of the class curriculum, students run the D & B Garden Center where they care for the plants and offer them for sale to the public during the week and on some weekends.

The campus business allows Palmer to help students learn career skills to help prepare them for careers both inside the agriculture/horticulture industry and elsewhere.

"Right now, they're working on growing some plants and they're doing grafting skills," Palmer said, pointing out a few burgeoning green plant stems in front of the greenhouse on campus. 

The school, an FNGLA member, also provides students the opportunity to obtain industry certifications including FNGLA's Certified Horticulture Professional designation. 

"We have a minimum of three courses that students can move through," said Andrea Williamson-Armstrong, director of career development. "It increases their skill level and their knowledge as they go through the sequence of courses."

The ultimate goal of the program is to prepare students for and connect them with jobs in the horticulture/agriculture industry and beyond. 

One major way Williamson-Armstrong said she hopes to do that is through the help of industry professionals. She extended an open invitation for industry stalwarts to "come and talk about careers in the future, how to best prepare for jobs -- what kind of education that they need to be thinking about preparing for..."

Williamson-Armstrong added, "We do that here, but I think it would be really more impactful if somebody from the industry would come."

For more on the D & B Garden Center, visit Palmer's class site or send Palmer an email
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40878Mon, 04 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Chapter Spotlight - FNGLA Frontrunners Chapter
Strength Through Unity and Service

Team effort -- FNGLA volunteers lend a hand in clean-up efforts at Orban's Nursery in Bradenton, Florida. PHOTO COURTESY FRONTRUNNERS CHAPTER 

Amid tattered shade cloth and strewn-about ground matt converged nearly a dozen FNGLA volunteers last month to right a wrong started by Tropical Storm Emily, but exacerbated by Hurricane Irma. 

Members from a handful of chapters took to Orban’s Nursery in Bradenton, Florida to assist Owner Marty Orban in cleanup efforts. 

Volunteers replaced shade cloth, and -- perhaps, most valuable of all -- offered a hand of friendship and camaraderie at a time when those in the industry need it most. Owner Marty Orban said the effort was nothing short of awesome. 

“We put up half an acre of shade cloth and almost an acre of ground cover,” he said. “Like many I am having trouble finding help so the FNGLA members coming in was amazing.” 

FNGLA President Ed Bravo helped coordinate the effort: 

FNGLA: How did the plan to help come about? 

Bravo: Soon after Tropical Storm Emily made landfall in Bradenton, Florida on Monday, July 31, someone posted pictures on Facebook of tornado damage at Orban’s Nursery. Eric Smith from the Action Chapter brought it to my attention within minutes of seeing it on social media. He is from Bradenton and Orban’s had sponsored the Little League team he had played on years ago. He asked that we check on Marty and see if there was anything FNGLA could do to help. 

FNGLA: How did you round up volunteers? 

Bravo: Originally, we had 20-30 volunteers signed up to help, then Irma changed everything. On the actual volunteer day, we had a total of 11 volunteers, plus Marty and his son. The actual volunteer work day ended up being postponed until October 7. Four chapters had at least one volunteer. Action Chapter: Billy Butterfield, Eric Smith; Tampa Bay Chapter: Will Womack; Lake Region Chapter: J.R. Reiner; Frontrunners Chapter’s Joe Eslik and Stefan Liopiros, and Local volunteer Steve Sutton. Myself and four other Big Trees Plantation staff also assisted. Manasota Chapter also donated $2,500 toward materials. Steve Sutton donated all grounds staples and General Cordage sourced and expedited all the needed materials. 

FNGLA: Why was it important to undertake the effort? 

Bravo: I promised I would help not knowing that Irma would make it very challenging to honor that promise. And, FNGLA chapter members are not just a list of companies we are extended families, when the opportunity to help arises, FNGLA members should be prepared to do what they can. My main objective for this project was to set an example of what FNGLA chapter members could accomplish if they work together. 

FNGLA: Where did you start? And what progress did you make during the effort? 

Bravo: I called Marty to make sure he and his family were OK. Then, I called folks in the area to see if they would stop in and let me know the extent of the damage. After assessing the damage, we began to help coordinate how the materials and a volunteer work day could be scheduled. We were able to replace all the shade cloth and ground mat in one section of the Orban’s Nursery (approximately three acres) operation. One week after the work was completed, I received pictures from Marty showing the area full of new plants under production again. 

BEFORE -- Volunteers lend a hand to repair shade cloth at Orban's Nursery. PHOTO COURTESY FRONTRUNNERS CHAPTERAfter -- Plants once again sit atop shade cloth at Orban's Nursery in Bradenton, Florida. PHOTO COURTESY FRONTRUNNERS CHAPTER

FNGLA: How did you feel after the effort was complete? 

Bravo: I slept very well that night knowing that I had followed through on my promise even though by that point many of us were in the same boat.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40877Mon, 04 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT
PHOTOS: Landscape Design Wonders - Holiday Edition
Who needs snow when you have palm trees to string your holiday lights to? It may be a little more difficult to get into the winter wonderland-y state of mind as Florida 2017 winter temperatures continue to remain as balmy as ever. That's why we thought to offer a bit of a jump-start this year with a holiday slideshow featuring displays from FNGLA certified professionals around the state. You're welcome, friends.


http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40876Fri, 01 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT
The Landscape Show Redux Sets Brisk Pace for Moving Forward

Originally scheduled for September, The Landscape Show came to a quick halt when Hurricane Irma blew into Florida the day the show was to move into the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Acting with quick, yet effective, measure, FNGLA staff and volunteer leaders determined it was not only possible, yet in the industry’s best interests to reschedule this significant marketplace event. November 2 - 4 was selected as the show’s new dates.

Dubbed Redux and tagged as “Resilience. Rebuild. Reconnect,” 65 percent of exhibitors scheduled to be at the September event were on-hand and 80 percent of buyers were anticipated to attend. The doors opened to The Landscape Show Redux on November 2 for an action-packed three-day event.

No one seemingly knew what to expect from the scaled-down event, yet a positive tone set the pace for a bustling show floor filled with industry professionals ready to talk and make purchase decisions.

“Reinvigorating” and “reassuring” were two words commonly heard throughout the rescheduled Landscape Show Redux. Other frequent refrains were “impressive,” “very pleasantly surprised,” and “excited to see so much here!” 4,250 industry attendees came to The Landscape Show Redux to find plants, products and community support among the 270 businesses exhibiting in more than 500 booths! 

>> Access The 2017 Landscape Show Redux Photo Gallery <<

The Knowledge College attracted 230 attendees to its solid lineup of 13 workshops and seminars. 

In FNGLA’s Resources Pavilion, officials of USDA’s Farm Service Agency, USDA’s Risk Management Agency and Florida’s Small Business Development Center were all on-hand to offer disaster assistance guidance. Nine unique and outstanding landscape projects were celebrated and presented FNGLA Landscape Awards. For those 40 and under, FNGLA’s Tapped-In network attracted nearly 100 young industry professionals. The Landscapes Show Redux Opening Reception, sponsored by Tree Town USA, gave colleagues a relaxing atmosphere to share storm status and business news.

Huge thanks go to The Landscape Show Redux exhibitors, attendees and the volunteer Landscape Show committee for what proved to be a very successful industry event!

The Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association (FNGLA) produces The Landscape Show which means it’s designed by the industry for the industry. Mark your calendars now for The Landscape Show on October 4-6, 2018 in Orlando!
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40871Tue, 28 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT
We are FNGLA Strong: A Tribute to One of Our Industry’s Greats!A successful Landscape Show Redux is now in the books, thanks to The Landscape Show committee and our fearless FNGLA staff. The herculean task of re-planning, organizing and executing this event with all its moving parts could not and would not have been possible without the seasoned experience and professionalism of all the folks who clock in and out at the FNGLA State Office. This show above all that came before it, was truly for the benefit of members that we serve. 

There were companies who could not attend because of scheduling conflicts and others who were still dealing with the trauma and damage from Hurricane Irma. They are never far from our thoughts and remain in my prayers. We have witnessed great destruction on recent trips, but we have also seen a resolve and determination to rebuild. This industry and the people who operate the farms, nurseries, and landscape companies in it are bending but will not be broken – they are FNGLA Strong. 

There was one company who missed The Landscape Show Redux for a very different reason. Their creative costumes and award-winning theme booth displays will be sorely missed. Earlier this year Alan Shapiro announced Grandiflora would be closing after 36 years in business so that he and his wife Ellen Shapiro could retire. 

I first met Alan Shapiro in 1981 when he had just started San Felasco Nursery Inc. on a 15 acres parcel in Gainesville. He had one employee, a shed for an office/storage and was beginning his second overhead mat, all on less than 1 acre. In 1985, San Felasco purchased an additional 16 acres at the Stein’s Greenhouses’ location on Millhopper Road and a retail store in town called The Plant Shoppe, which Ellen Shapiro would manage. Between 2001 and 2005, San Felasco had consolidated to one location with over 100 acres in production; a state of the art chemical mixing facility; cold frames; potting barns; shade structures; and, a 2-acre retractable roof ‘Cravo Greenhouse.’ 

San Felasco became Grandiflora in 2004 with a new logo and branding program “Grandiflora grown… long lasting southern blooms.” Grandiflora weathered four hurricanes in 2004 and the recession beginning in 2008 by maximizing efficiency, eliminating wastefulness, streamlining the infrastructure and upgrading its marketing/website. 

Grandiflora and Alan have had many trade affiliations over the years. FNGLA, GCS, FNPS, AFNN, ANLA, AHS, ALNLA, The Florida Museum of Natural History (Butterfly Rainforest) and NFBS (Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.) Alan and Ellen have also supported many other groups with their time and generosity, the FFA Student Contest, Master Gardeners and Extension Services, Orchid Society, Camelia Society, Arbor Day programs, Horticulture Career Day, Sensory Garden for the Blind, Keep Alachua County Beautiful, The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Boys and Girls Club, Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society, St. Francis House, Hope House and the Hospice of North Florida. 

San Felasco was recognized as the top operation of the year in 2003 and listed in the top 100 growers for 1998, 1999, 2000 by Ornamental Outlook Magazine. Grandiflora has won so many booth awards at trade shows that it is sad to see them coming off the office walls and into the boxes and stacked up like cord wood on table tops. Alan has also received many awards for his contributions to the horticulture industry. 

Accolades - Alan Shapiro accepts the Wendell Butler Award - FNGLA's most prestigious honor, in 2000. FNGLA PHOTO
From the City of Gainesville, The City Beautification Award in 1987, The Teeny Thomas Tripp/Service Award in 1989 and the Bob Gasche Award in 1995. 

From FNGLA, the Outstanding Committee Chairman from 1990-1991, Spring Garden Festival – Leadership and Service Award from 1991-1994, Silver Leaf Club Member in 1995, Golf Leaf Club Member in 1996, Platinum Leaf Member in 1999, and Outstanding Floriculture Division Member in 2007. In 2010 he received the Balentine Award from Southeast Horticultural Society, and in 2000, the Wendell Butler Award - FNGLA’s most prestigious honor for lifetime achievement. 

As ambassador for our industry Alan has represented FNGLA in many educational events as a speaker, writer, and even hosting many workshops, conferences, and tours; including the IPPS Symposium in 2005. His concept of an annual Perennial Field Day and open house would ultimately become the FNGLA Flower Trials. In 1998, Alan served as FNGLA State President and focused his attention on the members and their issues. He served as FNGLA Frontrunners Chapter President in 1982 and again in 1985. Alan was co-founder of the Spring Garden Festival at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and serves on the Spring Garden Festival Committee to this day. 

Every year since 1999, Alan has decorated the O’Connell Center with plants and trees in conjunction with a theme for the Stop Children’s Cancer fundraiser “Putting on the Ritz,” which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years. Ellen served on the Board for the Stop Children’s Cancer until 2012 and has been the driving force behind landscape projects with Habitat for Humanity, Secret Garden Tours, Women’s Garden Club, the Children’s Garden at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and was co-founder of the Gainesville Junior Women’s Club festival of trees. 

Grandiflora/San Felasco Nursery has also won several local and statewide awards for their recycling efforts. Alan and Ellen are legendary for a lifetime of community service here in Gainesville. They loan or donate plants on a regular basis for charity fundraisers, local garden projects, schools and educational facilities. The entire company participates in the annual United Way Drive, contributing thousands each year from their paychecks. 

After 36 years of leadership and service to FNGLA and the Horticulture industry, Alan Shapiro has earned the respect of his peers and the gratitude of those of us who now stand on his shoulders to see into the future. “We are FNGLA Strong” 

Ed Bravo 
Big Trees Plantation (Gainesville, FL) 
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40869Wed, 22 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT
CEUs come in all shapes and sizes at The Landscape Show Redux

Whether your specialty is landscape, growing, irrigation or retail, you can earn CEUs in the subject of your choice at The Landscape Show. Attending the show is free and the following workshops are an affordable way to get all your CEUs in one place:


Landscape Design Feature Presentations

Thursday, November 2 – Basic Drafting and Design

Make your landscape design presentations go from mediocre to magnificent by learning the fundamentals of speed graphics, bold symbols, and high-speed title blocks. All drafting supplies are included. Cost: $200

Friday, November 3 - Creating the Ultimate Landscape Design

This hands-on workshop weaves sustainable, earth-friendly principles into traditional design with a look at design theory. Cost: $200

A Look at Irrigation

Thursday, November 2  – Advanced Irrigation: Design & Troubleshooting

Learn a standard process of diagnosing the mechanical and electrical problems found in an irrigation system, with an emphasis on productivity. Cost: $75

Friday, November 3  – Basic Irrigation: The Technicians’ Guide to Irrigation Hydraulics

Water source, pipe sizing, and elevation changes affect the efficiency and performance of the sprinklers. This workshop is filled with practice sessions to use math and theory on paper to get it right in the field. Cost: $75

Garden Center Merchandising

Thursday, November 2  – Summer Reset: The Season Isn’t Over; It Is Just Different

Spring isn’t enough anymore. In this program, learn when to schedule your spring, fall and holiday resets and what to focus on to increase average sales. Cost: $75

Business Management

Thursday, November 2 – Increasing Margins: Sales and Job Costing

Lean how effective job costing allows a company to understand where its best profit comes from. Cost: $75

Friday, November 3 – 50 Ways to Find, Recruit and Hire Superstar Employees

This workshop takes an in-depth look at how to effectively find, hire and build your company’s successful team. Cost: $75

Friday, November 3 – Account Manager Master Track

This workshop looks at the keys to customer service excellence along with strategies and tactics for service recovery to increase productivity and work smarter. Cost: $75

Landscape Techniques

Thursday, November 2  – Hardscaping Workshop: Ultimate Enhancements to Your Landscape Designs

This hands-on workshop shows how to define themes, character and space through creative patterns of concrete pavers, retaining walls and innovations of construction materials. Cost: $75

Friday, November 3  – Well-Designed Mixed Gardens: Building Borders with Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Annuals & Bulbs

This program discusses the design fundamentals of border building using a wide palette of plant material. Cost: $75

Friday, November 3  – Advanced Pruning Techniques

Back by popular demand, focus on pruning from the ground up featuring shearing, selective and rejuvenation pruning skills. Cost: $75

Friday, November 3 – Zoysiagrass in the Florida Landscape

This session will explain the history of zoysia in the marketplace, its successes and downfalls, and give tips for proper management.  Information about further developments of zoysiagrass in Florida will also be shared. Cost: $75

All workshops will take place at the Orange County Convention Center’s West Concourse, located in Orlando. For more information, visit The Landscape Show’s website.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40864Wed, 01 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Green Industry Entrepreneur Offers Tips for Job Seekers

As the economy continues its upward trajectory, it seems nearly every sector of Florida’s horticulture and landscape industry is keeping an eye peeled for qualified employees. Green industry entrepreneur Tony Bass coaches hiring managers on how to hire successfully. In his upcoming workshop at The Landscape Show Redux, 50 Ways to Find, Recruit and Hire Superstar Employees, Bass plans to coach industry hiring managers on how hiring successfully.

 “Today, the rules have changed for those employers seeking new or better employees. The NEW RULES include a healthy use of technology and effective marketing to help employers find employees – automatically,” Bass says. “Traditional job interviews and resume reviews are almost worthless to employers today. Job advertisements of the past no longer work.”

FNGLA spoke with Bass on ways industry job seekers can get an edge on the competition:   

FNGLA: How can job seekers set themselves apart when looking for a position in the landscape industry?

Bass: Job seekers must be prepared to "self-sort" and accept "robo-interviews." The most advanced companies are asking applicants to PROVE they are a motivated person BEFORE they ever get an interview.  Rigorous pre-interview hurdles are a sign the employer wants the best applicants and expects serious candidates to follow instructions thoroughly before an interview.

FNGLA: What are some rookie mistakes hiring managers often see in applicants’ applications?

Bass: Experienced hiring managers look for a great attitude, intelligence, honesty and alignment with company values. Rookie mistakes? Failure of applicants to sell themselves regardless of their background. Failure to accept an entry-level position. Expecting too high of starting pay.

 Bass’s workshop will take place from 9 a.m. – noon Friday, Nov. 3 at The Landscape Show Redux. The cost to attend is $75. For more on Bass’s workshop, visit The Landscape Show’s website

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40863Wed, 01 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Certifications Experts Offer Career Coaching at The 2017 Landscape Show Redux

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering which FNGLA certification is the right fit for your career path, The 2017 Landscape Show Redux is your opportunity to get some personal time with certification experts.

“The plan for FNGLA's certification booth is to provide a place where people can get some one-on-one time to talk turkey about which FNGLA certification will most help them advance in their career,” said Merry Mott, FNGLA’s director of certifications and career development.

Both Mott and longtime certifications expert Gary Weitermann will be on hand during the show’s three-day run at the Orange County Convention Center’s West Concourse in Orlando, Florida.

 Next door to the certification booth, FNGLA is transforming its booth into a Resources Pavilion in response to Hurricane Irma.

Officials from three agencies will be available to discuss disaster assistance. Those agencies include the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), and the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Both the FNGLA Resources Pavilion and its Certification Booth will be located on aisle 1700.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40862Wed, 01 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Florida Water Star Kicks off Fall CEU Events
Highlighting this month’s CEU opportunities is Florida Water StarTM training on Sept. 27 in Apopka.

FWS training teaches professionals how to create water efficient landscapes and irrigation systems. The optional exam offered the following day provides the opportunity to earn the Florida Water Star Accredited Professional designation.

The morning session takes a look at landscape design with an emphasis on Florida Friendly LandscapingSM and selecting the right plants that will thrive in a chosen area.  The afternoon session delves into irrigation, creating efficient systems that are zoned properly for maximum success.

To register for FWS training, visit the event’s registration page.

Aside from FWS, there are also a multitude of other upcoming CEU opportunities:

Wednesday-Saturday, September 6-9, 2017

What: Society of American Florists Convention

Info:  CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: The Breakers

One S County Rd, Palm Beach, FL 33480

To register, visit the event's registration page.

Thursday-Friday, September 7-8, 2017

What: Irrigation Workshop

Info:  4 CEUs can be earned each day for FNGLA

Where: Volusia County Health Department

1845 Holsonback Dr. Daytona Beach, FL 32117

To register, visit the Florida Irrigation Society's website.

Thursday-Saturday, September 14-16, 2017

What: The Landscape Show

Info: 2 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

To register, The Landscape Show's website

Thursday-Saturday, September 14-16, 2017

What: FNGLA’s Knowledge College at The Landscape Show

Info: 3 CEUs can be earned for each workshop

Where: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

For information, visit FNGLA's website.

Sunday-Wednesday, September 17-20, 2017

What: Association of Zoological Horticulture Conference

Info: Up to 16 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

1590 Goodlette Rd, Naples, FL 34102

To register, visit the event's registration page.


Friday, September 22, 2017

What: Landscape Technician Hands-On Training

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Florida Gateway College, Lake City, FL

To register, visit the event's registration page.

Friday-Saturday, September 22-23, 2017

What: Florida Wildflower Symposium

Info: Up to 8 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Orange County Extension, Orlando, FL

To register, visit the event's registration page.

Monday, September 25, 2017

What: Hunter Training Road Show

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Embassy Suites

9300 Bay Meadows Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

To register, visit the event registration page

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 

What: Hunter Training Road Show

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: DoubleTree SeaWorld

10100 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32821

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 

What: Central Florida Agritourism Conference

Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Polk County Extension Service

1702 Hwy 17 S., Bartow, FL 33831-9005

To register, visit the event's registration page.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What: Hunter Training Road Show

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Benvenuto

1730 North Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, FL 33435


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What: Florida Water Star Training

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: University of Florida Mid-Florida Research Center

2725 S. Binion Rd. Apopka FL 32703

To register, visit the event's registration page.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What: Practical Tree ID

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Naples Botanical Gardens

4820 Bayshore Dr., Naples, FL 34112

To register, visit the event's registration page.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

What: Hunter Training Roadshow

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Estero Country Club

19501 Vintage Trace Circle, Ft. Myers, FL 33967

To register, visit the event registration page.

Thursday-Friday, September 28-29, 2017

What: FL Green Building Coalition Annual Meeting

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned per day for FNGLA

Where: 25 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, FL 32801

To register, http://www.greentrends.org/

Friday, September 29, 2017

What: Hunter Training Roadshow

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Embassy Suites USF/Busch Gardens

3705 Spectrum Blvd., Tampa, FL 33612

To register, visit the event registration page.


Friday, September 29, 2017

What: Practical Tree ID

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension

12520 Ulmerton Rd, Largo, FL 33774

To register, visit the event's registration page.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What: Landscape University

Info: 4 CEUs per session can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Orange County Extension

6021 S. Conway Rd., Orlando, FL 32812

To register, visit the event's registration page.


Wednesday-Friday, October 11-13, 2017

What: ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification

Info: 4 CEUs per day can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF Ft. Lauderdale REC

3205 College Ave., Davie, FL  33314

To register, visit the Florida ISA website. 

Thursday-Friday, October 12-13, 2017

What: Bio Controls USA East Conference

Info:  CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Hyatt Regency Orlando

To register, visit the event website. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

What: FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician and Maintenance Technician Exam

Info: CEUs can be earned for judging exam

Where: Florida Gateway College, Lake City, FL

To register, visit FNGLA's website. 

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40861Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Growing Industry SkillsInmates Earn Horticulture Professional Certification

It was one of the more unlikely places one would expect to see the pomp and circumstance of a graduation ceremony. Past the guard shack and deep into Florida’s heartland, roughly two dozen family members, prison officials and horticulture enthusiasts came together in a mid-century administration building located in the center of the Avon Park Correctional Institute to celebrate a career milestone for seven inmates.  

Proud planters -  Two Avon Park graduates show off plants inside one of four greenhouses they and other inmates are caring for as part of Institution's horticulture professional training program. 

On this balmy July morning, as the humidity begins to rise toward the increasingly intense sun, these graduates are being awarded their FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professional certification -- a distinction at least six months in the making. The program’s curriculum includes identifying more than 185 different plant varieties and properly caring for plants.

A side benefit for many in the program is also the peace that comes with putting one's hands in the soil.

“Whoever came up with the saying ‘Therapy through plants’ got it exactly right,” one graduate offers prior the ceremony’s start.

The program is collectively administered by the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association, the University of Florida IFAS/Highland County Extension and the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs whose officials each dedicate time and resources.

The low security prison established its nursery in 1963. Inside the nursery are four greenhouses, a propagation house and a shade house. There, inmates learn to take care of a variety of plants at each stage.

Inside the operation looks identical to what one might expect of a commercial garden center. There’s pot after pot of shrubbery, foliage and rows of hanging, colorful orchid varieties. With the plants, the prison holds two plant sales per year which raise funds for the program to continue.

Back inside the administrative building on this particular morning, during his remarks at the small commencement gathering, Avon Park Nursery Officer Tommy Sauls sentimentally congratulates the graduating class.

“My enjoyment comes from watching these guys succeed,” he says. “Our main objective at the institution is to present the inmates something before they get out… to where they have a job skill where it can deter them from the lifestyle they had before.”

Officer Sauls also seizes the optimistic spirit in the air to offer a little advice: “Take what you got today and then when you get out, go ahead and you can provide for yourself, your family -- and do great things with what you got."

Avon Park is one of three correctional facilities in the state of Florida to offer the FCHP certification and training program. Federal Correctional Institution - Coleman and Federal Correctional Institution, Marianna are the other facilities with FCHP training programs. Eligibility for each program depends on one's good behavior, and willingness to commit to the at-times grueling physical commitment.

Charlie Reynolds, a master gardener through the University of Florida’s UF/IFAS, has been volunteering as the program teacher at Avon Park for the past three years.

Reynolds, as he addresses his graduating class, looks back at the ground they’ve covered to get here.

“You guys have taken the ball and ran with it,” he says.

Merry Mott, director of certifications and career development at FNGLA, also takes the opportunity to congratulate the men.

“You’re joining a group of almost 2,500 other FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professionals, so you’re in good company.”

After the ceremony, the families are invited to tour the nursery as the men showcase how they care for plants from cuttings to fully grown material. The men each take turns proudly pointing out the tasks they’ve been charged with.

Now that they’ve earned their certification, the men will continue to work in the nursery as a way to keep current on their CEU requirement for the certification. So, when each man is released, the hope is they will have a marketable skill to push past whatever circumstances they faced before they arrived at Avon Park.

Graduates - Avon Park inmates celebrate completing horticulture training course in which they earned their FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professional certification. FNGLA PHOTO

As the ceremony winds down and graduates soak up the remaining time with their families enjoying peanut butter cake and punch, one prison guard, acting on the spirit of the occasion, commands the room’s attention, telling the men he wasn’t planning on offering any words, but was moved by their achievements to address them “man-to-man.”

As he paced the room, looking each man in the eye, the prison guard spoke from his heart, encouraging them to move past the mistakes of the past, and to only let them be defined by their new achievements.

His parting words articulating the hopeful spirit which has dominated the morning: “It shows that you can work well with others. We hope that you’ll take what you’ve learned here,” he says. “There’s a good living to be made with this certification. Use it.”

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40860Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Workshops at The Landscape Show for Certified Professionals

Whether it’s irrigation, landscape design, pruning, or just getting a foot up in the business side of the industry – there’s a workshop for that. The 2017 Landscape Show will include a grab bag of workshops during its three-day run. FNGLA’s Merry Mott offers her top five choices for workshops of particular interest to FNGLA’s certified professionals:

Basic Irrigation -The Technicians’ Guide to Irrigation Hydraulics

This workshop is filled with loads of practice sessions to using math and theory on paper to get it right in the field. Learn to troubleshoot problems on existing system or in the design of a new system. Attendees should have a basic understanding of the components of an irrigation system.

Keeping Up on Florida’s Grades and Standards

Take a hands-on approach to understanding the proper grading of several varieties of trees, palms and cycads. Come see if your landscape trees are up to standards and what vital information is needed to properly incorporate into your landscape designs.

Container Workshop: Catchy Containers

Want to use more containers in your landscape designs? Come get your hands dirty and create some magic of your own.

Account Manager Master Track (Two-Part Workshop) 

This two-part workshop (choose one or both) will spend the morning looking at the keys to customer service excellence along with strategies and tactics for service recovery. Part 2 to be held in the afternoon which will focus on how to maximize time and efficiency of a routine site visit.

FCLD Review Course

This course will introduce attendees to the principles tested in FNGLA’s Certified Landscape Designer (FCLD) exam, with a look at the required plan submittal process. 

To register for any of these workshops, visit The Landscape Show’s registration page. The pre-registration deadline for The Landscape Show workshops has already passed, but fear not! ---  Certification News readers can add the promo code: CERT17 to get pre-registration pricing.

To do so, enter your promo code on the same screen you enter your contact information. For more information or questions, contact the FNGLA office at 1-800-375-3642.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40859Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Drive, Unity & Collaboration Strengthen FNGLA
We, the FNGLA officers for 2017/18 are off and running! Within the first 30 days of our tenure, we’ve installed seven chapter boards and traveled in excess of 2,000 miles to deliver this message to the membership: “We are here to serve you and to find out how FNGLA can help your chapter with local issues and concerns.” 

Will Womack, Shawn Thomas, Robert Shoelson and I are committed to visit as many FNGLA chapter events as possible this year to learn what unique needs a chapter may have and if there’s something we can do to help. So far, we’ve identified a variety of issues we are already discussing with staff and seeking their assistance on behalf of each chapter. 

While visiting each chapter, I will also continue to investigate the complex issues related to opioid addiction and its effects on our labor force.  I hope to create a program for FNGLA member businesses to help us identify the problems, treatment options, as well as employer responsibilities and liabilities. You will be hearing more on this important subject very soon.

As I sit to write this article on hurricane preparedness, Tropical Storm Emily is breaching Florida’s west coast and forecast to cross the center of our state with sustained winds of 45 mph, gusts up to 60 mph and rainfall at 1-3” per hour. Although this will not be a major storm, I hope and pray our FNGLA members and their families are safe and prepared their homes and their operations with an emergency plan for this hurricane season. 

Using FNGLA’s Hurricane Preparedness guidelines, my Frontrunners Chapter created a Hurricane Guide in 2006 in response to the devastation of our industry and members left in the wake of Hurricane Wilma which surpassed the combined impacts of Katrina and the infamous storms of 2004. This is a quote from a letter by then Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson to Governor Jeb Bush: “Horticulture - agriculture’s leading sector - has suffered catastrophic losses. Greenhouses and packing facilities are in shambles. Nursery plants that survived the initial blast of Wilma are now subject to scalding and other threats. Such a severe blow to this sector could lead to economic meltdown in many rural areas.” 

The purpose of the chapter manual is to help our members plan and prepare their families and businesses in the event of a major disaster so we may help each other to save our inventories. It contains planning instructions and a list of needed items before and after a storm, as well as lists of stockpiles and equipment which members are willing to make available to assist other folks. 
The manual includes tips for: structures; crops and equipment; pre-planning means to communicate with employees and fellow growers; “old-fashioned” written phone lists for employee families, all chapter members, power companies, FEMA, USDA Farm Service Agency; UF/IFAS Extension; FNGLA office, Emergency Management and the U.S. Small Business Administration. It also includes shelter locations and recommendations for documentation before and after, along with crop insurance suggestions. 

The most important aspect to the manual is a map of the location of all the member businesses. With this map, we’ve created a “buddy” system to check and help each other when it hits the fan! Each member is charged with checking on a few of their closest FNGLA chapter neighbors and getting the word out if they need any help. This is done only after your own family and employee safety is resolved. 

I strongly suggest each FNGLA chapter form a “disaster preparedness committee” and build your own list of resources on paper to distribute along with a map and contact information. You can either help each other be prepared or you can dig yourself out! This exercise in group survival builds trust within your chapter and, one day, could save your business. 

Ed Bravo Big Trees Plantation (Gainesville, FL) 
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40858Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT
25 Years Later: Reflecting on Hurricane Andrew’s Impact

Many in Florida’s nursery and landscape industry define their careers, and some even their lives, by before and after Hurricane Andrew. 

August 23, 1992 is not a date easily forgotten for many. Nursery after nursery-- block after block.  Just devastation. The reported 160 mph winds tangled greenhouse structures, scattered shadehouses and redefined South Florida’s nursery industry.

Surveying the damage - Official images from FNGLA’s archives show the widespread devastation. Officially, 65 people perished as a result of the storm, yet speculation puts the number far higher given the destruction of large swatches of migrant farmer housing. Nursery owners reported never hearing back from many of their employees.  Some feared they had died, others believed many simply moved on. FNGLA PHOTO
When all was said and done, the National Hurricane Center and NOAA’s official tally reported the figure of $25.3 billion in damage in Florida. Ground Zero: Cutler Ridge, Florida City and Homestead. 

In 1992, records showed 842 nursery operations were in Dade County and most of these were located in or near Homestead. 

Mainstream media reported officials saying “Homestead Air Force Base no longer exists.” The same was true for Miami-Dade’s nursery industry.  At least for most of it. People were numb and dazed.  And no one really knew where to begin.

Many nurseries were literally blown off the map. Losses accounted for an estimated 25 to 30 percent of the state’s tropical foliage production and, to add insult to injury, very few nurseries had crop insurance. And of those who did, most had minimal coverage. When acres were tabulated, there were 7,200 nursery acres flattened or nearly flattened.

In a measure of solidarity, almost immediately, and true to the salt-of-the earth character of nursery folks, FNGLA (then FNGA) and the Florida Foliage Association joined forces to establish an emergency relief program. Many in the nursery industry in unaffected areas of the state dropped everything to coordinate, gather and deliver semi-trucks loaded with food, water and life essentials to their South Florida counterparts. Costa Farms’ then new loading dock became “relief central.”

The aftermath - Mangled metal adorns a storm-tattered tree at Bullis Bromeliads in Homestead. Structures were shells of what they had been just the previous day and, across South Florida, rebuilding was a slow and arduous task. FNGLA PHOTO
And once the human needs were satisfied, the industry’s character shone brightly as truckloads of shadecloth, pots -- even chainsaws -- and many of the essentials needed to rebuild nursery structures and get people back in business were sent in droves. This is the still the very nature of Florida’s nursery and landscape industry.

As we remember the impact 25 years later, we acknowledge its devastation and remain in awe of the power of Mother Nature.  Yet, 25 years also brings a certain level of perspective from which we can move forward. 

Andrew was the most destructive hurricane ever to hit Florida and the costliest in the U.S. until Hurricane Katrina nearly drowned New Orleans. 

Yet, we use much more than dollars to measure Andrew’s impact: We tally the struggle -- and the faces of those who fought their way back into business in the industry they loved. Industry peers, and even competitors, became family.

For many, the memories of Hurricane Andrew are still clear as day. For the South Florida nursery community, Hurricane Andrew is one storm which will never be forgotten.

First-Hand Account: FNGLA's Linda Reindl Recalls Andrew's Devastation

Lending a hand - FNGLA’s Linda Reindl, 1992. FNGLA PHOTO

FNGLA’s Linda Reindl was in her first year of working with the industry.  She joined an all-industry relief team at ground zero which included Lee Goode (Agri-Starts, Inc.), Mike Rinck (AG 3), Paul Finora (Grandview Botanicals), Debbie Reason, Vincent Rayez Jr., Rex King and Gary Markle (all from Wekiwa Gardens), and then FFA Executive Director Steve Munnell. More industry members traveled independently and others stayed in Central Florida coordinating relief shipments from all corners of the U.S.

A newbie to the industry in 1992, Linda was struck at how everyone pulled together at the most critical juncture. 

The group made their way through military blockades setting up shop at Costa Farms. The team tirelessly organized the mass outpouring of supplies from the industry-- servicing anyone who showed up.  And when they realized people couldn’t reach the supply center, they mobilized taking supplies directly into the hardest hit areas.  This was before even FEMA could reach the area.

Linda recalls, “We worked and worked because there was just so much to do.  People were literally left with nothing. And they were counting on the supplies we had so we didn’t hardly stop, even to sleep.”

Among her most vivid memories today, Linda recalls, “The landmarks were gone. There were no street signs. Trees in the landscape had no leaves. There were no bugs, no birds.  It was just plain eerie.”

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40856Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT
So You're Certified...Now What?Now that you’ve completed the heavy lifting of earning your FNGLA certification, there are a multitude of ways to maximize it as a marketing tool. Here are a few quick and easy tips on how to use your new certification to promote yourself online:

  • Be sure to spread the word on social media. Linkedin allows you to list your certification on your profile. Houzz also allows you to do so on your Houzz company profile.
  • If you work for a company, invest in a visit to your marketing administrators' office. Ask them to share your accomplishment on their company Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin pages, and to tag your profile. “Any time someone here gets a new certification, we immediately put it on our Facebook page,” said Debra Morrow, vice president of marketing at ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance and Design, a Venice-based landscape firm. “We always try to include a photo and the background of the person who earned the distinction."
  • Send out a press release to your local news markets and ask them to place it in their business sections.
  • Include your FNGLA certifications in your professional email signature. Most email service providers offer the opportunity to pre-program your email signature to auto-populate with each new email. Take this chance to “set-it-and-forget-it” to show off your professional accolades.
  • Don’t forget to add the FNGLA Certified Professional logo to your website. 
For more information, contact Kate Clary, FNGLA's strategic engagement specialist, via phone at 407-295-7994, or by email: kclary@fngla.org 

To learn more about FNGLA's certifications, visit the certifications page on FNGLA's website.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40854Wed, 09 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Cashews and Compliments: Keeping Your Cool in the Heat of Summer

From the darkened back office of the Orlando-based Ameriscapes office, Owner Billy Butterfield sits taking advantage of this scorching Friday in early August – a company day off – to catch up.

A landscaping industry stalwart of more than four decades, Butterfield has amassed a trick or two, over the years, for remaining calm in the heat of his company’s busy season.

From his perch behind the main reception desk, Butterfield raises and shakes a small plastic bin of cashews in the air, citing an article he recently read which touted the stress-fighting benefits of the coveted cashew.

“That’s all it takes, just eat a lot of cashews,” he offers, with a wry smile.

A sense of humor undoubtedly helps as well.  

This year's wide gamut of drought, then torrential downpours have made it particularly grueling for his company’s roughly 50 employees work their way through challenges.

“This year’s been tough, because we started with a drought, and grass died everywhere,” Butterfield says. “Then, we had rain -- six inches of rain at a time.”

One way to ward off stress, according to Butterfied, is to plan in advance – way in advance.

“The way to keep your sanity is to plan ahead of time,” Butterfield says. “To make it through the summer, you have to have planned in December, January, February -- when everybody is slow.”

Butterfield adds, “That’s when you put on the good people, and you train the people that you had, and you restructure and you think about what you want to do. June, July and August -- you just do.”

Of course, there will always be those unexpected surprises, when it comes to working in this industry – equipment fails, oppressive heat, torrential downpour. Planning to the best of one’s ability, at least, provides a good foundation, Butterfield says.

 “There are things that you can’t plan for, then you just have to be ready.” 

Having a few extra crew members on one or two trucks could also help lessen the burden when unexpected staff absences arise, Butterfield says.

“You can move that person for a day or two if you need to,” he said.

Aside from planning ahead, keeping a handle on your emotions can also keep things from going from bad to worse.

“You kick the wall, you do whatever you can do, you eat cashews,” Butterfield offered with a grin. “You do whatever you can to keep your cool and you don’t show your stress to your people.”

Compliments to crew members who do a good job, and a community Gatorade cooler, Butterfield adds, also go a long way.    

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40853Tue, 08 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT
CEU Bonanza at The Landscape Show
Not only is The Landscape Show the Southeast’s premier trade show, its Knowledge College workshops are a mecca for continuing education for certified professionals.

Interested in landscape design? The Knowledge College has it! Want training in irrigation? The Knowledge College offers it! Business management, tree maintenance, pests, container gardens … You can find it all at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando September 14-16. 

Be sure to check in at FNGLA’s Certification Showcase on the show floor to register your 2 CEUs for attending. And while there, earn even more CEUs by testing your skills at Plant ID, Plan Layout, Job Evaluation and more. Can’t come to The Landscape Show? Checkout the following as a sample of the many programs that provide CEUs for FNGLA Certified Professionals: 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

What: Oldcastle/Belgard Hardscape Seminar An FNGLA Education-On-The-Go/Florida ASLA event 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: World Golf Village 500 S Legacy Tr, St. Augustine, FL 32092 
For more information or to register, access this event description

What: Insect Resistance on IPM from SePRO
Info: 2 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: UF/IFAS Miami-Dade County Extension, 18710 SW 288th St. Homestead, FL 33030

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 

What: Oldcastle/Belgard Hardscape Seminar An FNGLA Education-On-The-Go/Florida ASLA event 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Hilton Garden Inn 3333 Thomasville Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32308 
For more information or to register, access this event description

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 

What: Oldcastle/Belgard Hardscape Seminar An FNGLA Education-On-The-Go/Florida ASLA event 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Hampton Inn 10611 Chevrolet Way, Estero, FL 33928 
For more information or to register, access this event description

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 

What: Oldcastle/Belgard Hardscape Seminar An FNGLA Education-On-The-Go/Florida ASLA event 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA Where: Hilton Garden Inn 5312 Avion Park Dr, Tampa, FL 33607 
For more information or to register, access this event description

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 

What: Tree Law - Your Blueprint for Success 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Emma Lou Olson Civic Center 1801 NE 6th St, Pompano Beach, FL 33060 

Thursday, August 24, 2017 

What: UF/IFAS Irrigation Demonstration at Cherrylake 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Cherrylake Tree Farm 7836 Cherry Lake Rd, Groveland, FL 34736 

Thursday, August 24, 2017 

What: Nematode Management for Ornamentals, Lawn & Sports Turf 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: UF/IFAS Extension Services in Osceola County 1921 Kissimmee Valley Ln, Kissimmee, FL 34744 

Friday, August 25, 2017 

What: Tree Law - Your Blueprint for Success 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Ringling Museum of Art 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243 

Saturday, August 26, 2017 

What: FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician and Maintenance Technician Exam 
Info: CEUs can be earned for judging exam 
Where: SeaWorld Horticulture, Orlando, FL 
To register, visit FNGLA's website

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 

What: Oldcastle/Belgard Hardscape Seminar An FNGLA Education-On-The-Go/Florida ASLA event 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Florida Concrete Products Assn 6353 Vista Blvd, Orlando, FL 32822 
For more information or to register, access this event description

Wed.-Sat., September 6-9, 2017 

What: Society of American Florists Convention 
Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: The Breakers One S County Rd, Palm Beach, FL 33480 
To register, visit the SAF's website.  

Thurs.-Sat., September 14-16, 2017 

What: The Landscape Show Info: 2 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL 

Friday, September 15, 2017 

What: Training Workshop FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician and Maintenance Technician 
Info: 3 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Knowledge College at The Landscape Show Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

What: Training Workshop FNGLA Certified Landscape Designer 
Info: 3 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Knowledge College at The Landscape Show Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL 

Sun.-Wed., September 17-20, 2017 

What: Association of Zoological Horticulture Conference 
Info: Up to 16 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens 1590 Goodlette Rd, Naples, FL 34102 

Friday, September 22, 2017 

What: Exam Prep FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician and Maintenance Technician 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Florida Gateway College, Lake City, FL 
To register, email Merry Mott

Fri.-Sat., September 22-23, 2017 

What: Florida Wildflower Symposium 
Info: Up to 8 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: UF/IFAS Orange County Extension, Orlando, FL 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 

What: Practical Tree ID 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Naples Botanical Gardens 4820 Bayshore Dr, Naples, FL 34112 

Friday, September 29, 2017 

What: Practical Tree ID 
Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension 12520 Ulmerton Rd, Largo, FL 33774 

Wed.-Fri., October 11-13, 2017 

What: ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification 
Info: 4 CEUs per day can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: UF Ft. Lauderdale REC 3205 College Ave. Davie, FL 33314 

Thurs.-Fri., October 12-13, 2017 

What: Bio Controls USA East Conference 
Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA 
Where: Hyatt Regency Orlando 

Friday, October 13, 2017 

What: FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician and Maintenance Technician Exam 
Info: CEUs can be earned for judging exam 
Where: Florida Gateway College, Lake City, FL 
To register, visit FNGLA's website.
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40852Tue, 08 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Fresh From Florida Benefits For FNGLA Members
As the country’s largest state nursery and landscape association, it should come as no surprise that FNGLA membership provides a wide range of benefits and discounts as well as access to benefits from other organizations. For the past three years, this has included access to Fresh From Florida member benefits through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).

What began in 1990 as an effort to increase consumer awareness and expand the market for Florida agricultural products, the Fresh From Florida brand has grown worldwide through domestic and international retail partnerships. 

Fresh From Florida membership gives you the ability to use the widely recognized logo on products, packaging, advertising and promotional materials including your business’ website and social media. Members also receive a choice of customized Fresh From Florida business signage and have access to point-of-purchase materials to display with Florida grown products. 

Researchers at the University of Florida recently conducted a study to determine how consumers responded to the “Fresh From Florida” campaign when applied to ornamental plants. The study found that the presence of the Fresh From Florida logo improved purchase likelihood by 52% when compared to imported plants. Researchers determined that consumer’s positive perception of local plants could increase sales through promotion of the Fresh From Florida logo. Read the full study

Fresh From Florida membership benefits also include assistance with exporting, trade leads and industry trade show participation. Over the years, members have enjoyed opportunities such as participating in the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival held annually by Disney each spring. In addition to member booths, the department also provides a display featuring plants from Fresh From Florida producers, dazzling the park’s more than 30,000 visitors daily. 

In conjunction with growers, marketers and retailers promoting the Fresh From Florida brand, FDACS utilizes the power of social media to bolster brand awareness and support FNGLA members. Most recently, the Fresh From Florida Facebook page featured a social campaign focused on ornamental horticulture for the month of April. Within 30 days, the ad received 803,175 impressions, reached 177,866 people and ultimately resulted in 12,515 people clicking the advertisement which sent them to FNGLA’s consumer website.

In addition to social media, the marketing campaign for FNGLA included advertising in consumer print publications such as Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle. There were also several flights of 30-second television spots that aired in ten major markets across Florida during March and April. 

Harnessing brand awareness of the Fresh From Florida program is a great way to put your FNGLA membership to work for you. See even more of the ways to benefit from Fresh From Florida efforts
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40848Mon, 24 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Our Industry Needs FNGLA & Its Benefits Run Deep

There are many great reasons why it is important for any company-- landscaping, irrigation, designers, lighting, pavers etc.-- to be a member of the FNGLA. 

FNGLA is the #1 and largest association in the State of Florida representing our industry. They lead the charge in all efforts for us. The reasons to become a member are pretty much limitless. Anything you can think of FNGLA can help: networking; political action; trade shows; youth education; certifications; leadership training; discounts on trucks; insurance; equipment; and, on and on. Whether you are just wanting to get to know other businesses in your area; are worried about state and federal legislators; or, maybe you are looking for a friend to help, FNGLA is here for you. I have heard if you do not have a voice at the government level, like FNGLA does, you may wake up and find yourself regulated right out of business. Add this to the list of FNGLA’s core benefits.

When I try to get a new business to join FNGLA, the first comment from them sometimes is, “How is it going to make me more money?” 

The answer? FNGLA is going to help your business grow and they give you the tools you need to get there. Growing your business surely sounds like making money to me!

My personal passion for this Association is the non-monetary benefits it offers. Some could argue they are “priceless.” My three biggest draws to FNGLA are: its dedication to educating and sponsoring youth; its commitment to enhancing the greatness of our industry; and, its networking with the members of the association I have met over the years. 

I really enjoy working with youth, especially those wanting to be part of our industry. If you were to ask any business what is the biggest issue it is facing right now, I am sure all would say we need workers. FNGLA offers many great opportunities for these youth-- scholarships and certifications to name two. Our industry needs these kids and we need them at the higher levels at our businesses, as foreman, superintendents and managers. My local chapter holds an annual trade show and 100% of the money is donated right back into youth programs. There are many other chapters which do the same. These young individuals are the future of our industry. 

FNGLA is always looking out for what is best for our industry. FNGLA has one of the greatest staffs. They are always fighting for our rights as businesses. They don’t just sit back and wait for problems to occur. They find the problems before they even come up and act on finding resolutions, whether it be an educational issue, safety, or regulatory issue. It is always good to know someone is watching out for you-- particularly when you are busy running a business and fear you may overlook something. 

Finally, I have met some of the greatest people in my life through this Association. They are from all different aspects of our industry. If there is ever something I don’t know or an area in which I am unsure, the first thing I do is call on one of the members. I can honestly say I have never been turned down on a question. If they don’t know the answer, they will call someone who does. I would consider the members some of my best friends. As we age in life we lose touch with some of the friends with whom we grew up. I really enjoy the great comradery I have with other members and this is the biggest reason why I love being a member of the FNGLA. 

You Too Can Be A Part of FNGLA

With over 1,900 members from across all walks of the industry, FNGLA is a great resource for both you and for your business. Join Shawn in enjoying the benefits FNGLA’s members enjoy. Join now! 

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40845Thu, 13 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Increasing the GREEN for David Park Community Center

Giving back - More than a dozen volunteers worked to install a new landscape at the David Park Community Center in Hollywood, Florida. COURTESY PHOTO

An FNGLA Convention Service Project, Ft. Lauderdale 

The planting of a new entrance landscape, playground perimeter hedge, and 2 new canopy trees, was a fast afternoon project for our FNGLA volunteers the day prior to the official start of the FNGLA Annual Convention. 14 members from FNGLA chapters across the state and their hardworking family members moving plants, installing shrubs, weeding, mulching, and generously giving back with their efforts. Starting our 2017 Convention with service to a local community center was the right thing to do.  

The choice for bringing a new sustainable landscape to the David Park Community Center in Hollywood, FL, came from a three-month review process of service centers and facilities serving children and special needs populations in South Florida. Our FNGLA President Robert Shoelson had a vision to improve a property where kids can experience the benefits of a well planned, sustainable landscape. A team reviewed, and interviewed, over 22 properties before deciding on the David Park Community Center. Here, there are daytime and evening programs serving children, at risk youth, special need youth, adults, and seniors. It is a busy place all year round. 

Some instant gratification was gained at the end of the afternoon, when approximately 100 children returned from a field trip and were greeted by the new landscape. Yes, excitement was felt by all, and lots of smiles were shared. Volunteers also got to walk through the results with the City of Hollywood’s Dale Bryant (Landscape Architect) and Joshua Collazo (Grounds and Urban Forestry Supervisor). There was a clear and palatable sense of pride of ownership among those who were part of the effort.

FNGLA  succeeds through the leadership and participation of it’s members, and this service project was a GREEN first step into the 2017 Convention-- the place to B!
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40844Wed, 12 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT
From the Field: FNGLA President Ed Bravo Talks Water

Aside from being one of Mother Nature's most precious gifts, water is also currently a hot topic in the landscape industry. No one knows this better than FNGLA President Ed Bravo who during his installation speech, highlighted the issue of water use and conservation, stating it will be a key focal point of his presidency. 

FNGLA's Kate Clary spoke with Bravo to get his thoughts: 

FNGLA: Given water is one of the initiatives you plan to highlight during your tenure as president, how do you see this evolving issue affecting the way professionals in our industry perform their job functions?

Bravo: The way I see it, we no longer have a choice. It's learn to use less landscape water, or we're going to be regulated right out of business. We will all need to apply the Florida-Friendly Landscape (TM) principles in landscape/irrigation design, installation and maintenance. 

FNGLA: As one of the architects of FNGLA's upcoming landscape irrigation technician certification, how do you see it helping to prepare Florida's industry professionals?

Bravo: The irrigation technician certification will create a pathway to new skills and information necessary for employers/employees to successfully prove basic competency. 

FNGLA: As a professional operating in a city (Gainesville) where water regulations are especially stringent, what's helped you keep ahead of water's evolving regulatory landscape? 

Bravo: With the help of FNGLA staff, the Florida Water Star (SM) program has given us the training/testing to improve our landscape irrigation efficiency through specific design criteria for both irrigation and landscape design. These changes were difficult in both time and dollars, but they absolutely do save water. And, with each new project, our crews become more efficient and accustomed to the process. This is not to say I agree with 100% of the requirements nor will I stop pushing back on overreach. The key is for us to stay informed and involved in the process in your area before regulations mandate you do so.

Bravo serves as general manager/owner at Big Trees Plantation, a wholesale tree farm and full-service landscape and irrigation contractor based in Newberry, Florida. He also currently serves as FNGLA's 2017-2018 president.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40843Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Summer Months Bring Hot CEU Opportunities

As workloads heat up during these scorching summer months, take comfort: keeping current on your CEU requirements is easy. In addition to the opportunities below, there are also online CEUs which can be earned from the comfort of your home or office. Here are a few of those: 

 • FNGLA and the University of Florida/IFAS Extension offers 5 online CEU articles. Pass the quiz and earn 1 CEU per article.

 • The Continuing Education University has a variety of online courses which afford the double benefit of applying to Florida’s pesticide and fertilizer licenses too.

 • Or, earn CEUs while working toward an Online Certificate in Horticulture from Florida Gateway CollegeFor more information, contact: Joseph Petersen


And, here is the list of suggested CEU opportunities for July, August and September: 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

What: Irrigation Symposium

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA Certifications

Where: UF IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County

18710 SW 288th St.

Homestead, FL 33030

To register, visit the event's registration page.

Saturday-Tuesday, July 15-18, 2017

What: Cultivate ’17 An AmericanHort Experience

Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, OH

To register, visit Cultivate's website.

Wednesday-Thursday, July 19-20, 2017

What: Florida Water Star Training & Testing

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Environmental Planning Division

115 S. Andrews Ave., Room GC-301

Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301

To register, visit the event's registration page

Friday, July 21, 2017

What: Free Landscape & Tree Workshop

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Oakland Terrace Park, 1900 W. 11th St.

Panama City Dept. of Leisure Services

To register, visit the event's registration page

Friday, July 21, 2017

What: Turf Talks for Professionals: Caterpillars

Info: 1 CEU can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Ewing Irrigation, 11590 Davis Creek Ct

Jacksonville, FL 32256

To register, visit the event's registration page.   

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What: Florida Turfgrass Association Great CEU Round-Up

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Extension Services across Florida

To register, see the event agenda. 

Thursday-Friday, July 27-28, 2017

What: Florida Green Building Coalition Green Trends

Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: In conjunction with Southeast Building Conference, Gaylord Palms, Orlando, FL

To register, visit the conference's website 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What: Tree Law - Your Blueprint for Success

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Emma Lou Olson Civic Center, 1801 NE 6th Street

Pompano Beach, FL  33060

To register, visit the event's registration page. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

What: Nematode Management for Ornamentals, Lawn & Sports Turf

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Extension Services in Osceola County, 1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane

Kissimmee, FL 34744

To register, visit the event's registration page. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

What: Tree Law - Your Blueprint for Success

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road

Sarasota, FL 34243

To register, visit the event's registration page. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

What: FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician and Maintenance Technician Exam

Info: CEUs can be earned for judging exam

Where: SeaWorld Horticulture, Orlando, FL

To register, visit FNGLA's website. 

Thursday-Saturday, September 14-16, 2017

What: The Landscape Show

Info: 2 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

To register, www.thelandscapeshow.org 

Friday, September 15, 2017

What: Training Workshop FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician and Maintenance Technician

Info: 3 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Knowledge College at The Landscape Show

Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

To register, www.thelandscapeshow.org 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

What: Training Workshop FNGLA Certified Landscape Designer

Info: 3 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Knowledge College at The Landscape Show

Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

To register, www.thelandscapeshow.org 

Sunday-Wednesday, September 17-20, 2017

What: Association of Zoological Horticulture Conference

Info: Up to 16 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, 1590 Goodlette Road

Naples, FL 34102

To register, visit the event's registration page. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

What: Exam Prep FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician and Maintenance Technician

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Florida Gateway College, Lake City, FL

To register, email Merry Mott. 

Friday-Saturday, September 22-23, 2017

What: Florida Wildflower Symposium

Info: Up to 8 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Orange County Extension, Orlando, FL

To register, visit the event's registration page.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40842Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Unveils Landscape Irrigation Certification

Just in time for July’s Smart Irrigation Month, FNGLA unveils its plans for a new landscape irrigation technician certification.

The certification, FNGLA’s sixth professional designation, coincides with FNGLA’s just-released public policy recommendations designed to increase landscape irrigation efficiencies and spur water savings for Florida.

“The need to certify irrigation professionals has existed for some time,” said FNGLA President Ed Bravo, one of the certification’s architects. “With continuing regulatory pressure on all water uses and given the Water 2070 Report’s focus on landscape water use, FNGLA is taking the opportunity to lead by example.”

Smart Irrigation Month was launched nationwide in 2005 by the Irrigation Association. The initiative is designed to “promote the social, economic and environmental benefits of efficient irrigation technologies, products and services in landscape, turf and agricultural irrigation.” 

FNGLA’s Landscape Irrigation Technician certification is slated to launch in 2018 and will focus on irrigation system service. This industry certification will sharpen technician skills to not only ensure landscape irrigation systems operate properly, yet are also maintained to maximize their efficiency to generate water savings for Florida and the property owner.

“It is vital Florida’s landscape and irrigation professionals be given the means to prove basic competency, educate newly hired employees, as well as create a pathway which could ultimately lead toward a state irrigation license,” Bravo said.  

Plans are for FNGLA’s Landscape Irrigation Technician certification exams to be held throughout Florida beginning in 2018 in conjunction with FNGLA’s current Landscape Technician certifications. The format for the landscape irrigation technician certification will feature a hands-on portion where technicians can demonstrate their skills.  For more information, contact FNGLA’s Merry Mott at mmott@fngla.org. 
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40841Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Marches Forward With A Humble and Tenacious Leader

I wish to start by thanking Robert Shoelson, Christy Savage-Griffin and the entire FNGLA Broward Chapter crew for a Blast in Fort Lauderdale! It was everything a great convention should be. A first-class venue, topshelf hospitality, fun activities and entertainment, well organized meetings and, oh yeah, Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam as keynote speaker. Truly a memorable experience for all who attended!

Rob held the gavel one last time at the FNGLA Annual and Board Meeting. During these meetings, UF/IFAS-SVP Jack Payne reported to us the effects of the Legislature’s budget cuts on IFAS and its programs, as well as his plans to mitigate the damage to faculty, staff and research projects. Dr. Sherry Larkin, UF/IFAS associate dean of research, updated the Board on the $1.3 million FNGLA Endowment Research Fund at the UF Foundation/SHARE. Will Womack presented his final Treasurer’s report and the Budget Committee’s recommended upcoming year’s budget which was duly approved. A new roundtable discussion was held in the Board meeting as a means to directly hear from each FNGLA chapter about its unique needs, concerns and local business conditions. Will likes to call this ‘touching’ the chapters and insisted on additional programs and funding to reach out to our chapters-- especially those who need it the most. Also on the agenda were updates on the legislative trip to D.C.; the new economic impact study; landscape irrigation policy; National Horticulture Foundation; new Fresh from Florida videos; and, Flip My Florida Yard. We all owe a debt of gratitude to each of the volunteer leaders and FNGLA staff who give their time and talents for the benefit of our Association and industry.

Adam Putnam gave the keynote address at the president’s gala. Without any notes, he spoke from the heart on the issues we face and his plans for the future. I am proud and honored to report FNGLA member businesses heading into the convention raised $50,000 for his campaign for governor! Despite any political slant, I believe Adam Putnam is the right man for Florida -- with a keen knowledge of agriculture and the experience to deal with our issues.

I wish to congratulate all of FNGLA’s Industry Award Winners. You are all so deserving and have the industry’s respect and heartfelt gratitude for your leadership and service. I also wish to thank my colleague and friend, Dr. Tom Yeager, UF/IFAS Professor of Environmental Horticulture, for roasting me in front of my family, peers and industry mentors. Tom is the backbone of FNGLA’s Frontrunners Chapter and has served as an advisor to our chapter board for many years. Tom has my respect and admiration and I only wish I had said so in my speech.

In closing, I’d like to tell you a little story from my childhood when I tried out for little league baseball. I showed up each day with my best glove and cap. At the end of the week, the coaches lined up the kids and selected their teams... I was not one of them. I got cut ! For the next year, I practiced with my dad every day, slowly improving. Two years later, I pitched for the all-star team against the city champions. And guess what? We beat them!

I learned early in life to set the bar high and work towards a goal and adjust the plan as needed. Failure is an opportunity to improve and is only permanent if one chooses to stop trying.
I am humbled to represent you, the members of FNGLA, and I pledge to constantly improve and never stop trying and learning!


Ed Bravo
Big Trees Plantation (Gainesville, FL)
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40840Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Landscape Technicians Advance Careers with Certification

Whether to advance their position at work, or increase the number of contracts on which they can bid, the landscape technicians who took FNGLA’s certification exams this spring had one thing in common: each opened the door to greater career opportunities for themselves.

Two FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician (FCLT-Installation) exams hosted these forward-thinkers at SeaWorld Horticulture in February and UF Ft. Lauderdale Research Center in April. 

The exam tests practicing landscape technicians in a real-world format on a variety of job skills including plant identification and layout; tree planting, staking, pruning, banding and propping; grading, drainage, job elevations; irrigation; and equipment operation. Exam applicants are scored one-on-one by FNGLA Certified Judges.

The certification also seeks to set practicing professionals apart in the industry by giving them a marketable distinction among their peers. 

For more information on the FCLT certification, visit FNGLA’s website.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40836Thu, 29 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Announces New Slate of Officers for 2017-2018
FNGLA’s Nominating Committee announces its recommended slate for FNGLA’s 2017-2018 officers. President-Elect Ed Bravo (Big Trees Plantation, Inc. in Ocala) automatically advances to FNGLA President. FNGLA’s Nominating Committee nominates Will Womack (Tampa Bay Landscaping in Tampa) as FNGLA’s President-Elect. Shawn Thomas (Southern Green Chemical Lawn Care in Jacksonville) is nominated as FNGLA’s Secretary/Treasurer. Current FNGLA President Robert Shoelson (Getting Green Plant Service in Fort Lauderdale and Betrock Information Systems in Hollywood, FL) automatically advances to FNGLA Past President for this membership year.

Incoming FNGLA President Ed Bravo was born in Santiago de Cuba and immigrated to the United States one year later. His family lived in Miami until Ed was nine years old when they then moved to Gainesville. Ed earned an A.A. degree from Santa Fe Community College in 1985. His nursery and landscape career began six years earlier when he started working as a landscape laborer. Within just two years, he became the production manager at a Gainesville area nursery and was the sole proprietor of Moonlight Landscape. In 1996, Ed became the General Manager of Big Trees Nursery and in 2001, he became a partner of Big Trees Plantation in which capacity he continues. He has been a longtime board member of the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Spring Garden Festival. Ed has served FNGLA Frontrunners Chapter in many roles, including president. He represented the Frontrunners Chapter on the statewide FNGLA Board of Directors from 2009 to 2013. Ed is a member of the FNGLA Endowed Research Fund Steering Committee advising the UF/IFAS Dean of Research which industry research projects are worthy of FNGLA funding.

Nominated to serve as FNGLA President-Elect is Will Womack. Will initially considered being a prosecutor and worked briefly with then line attorney Pam Bondi. In 2002, he started Tampa Bay Landscaping. Will has been active in the Tampa Bay Chapter of FNGLA and the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau serving in a variety of leadership roles. He has served on the FNGLA Board of Directors, FNGLA’s Marketing and Membership Committee, the Budget Committee, Certifications Committee, holds two FNGLA certifications and has served as a judge for certification exams. He is also an ISA certified arborist. Will is a graduate of the UF/IFAS Wedgworth Leadership Institute and continues to sit on many local advisory boards and committees.

Nominated to serve as FNGLA Secretary/Treasurer is Shawn Thomas. A Jacksonville native, Shawn began his landscape career with B & L Landscape when he was hired by FNGLA Past President Buck Wurster. Shawn became FNGLA’s Northeast Chapter president in 2009 and chair of its Jacksonville Landscape Show in 2010 in a role he continues today. Shawn was chapter president again in 2012 when he received FNGLA’s Outstanding Chapter President Award. Not only is Shawn an active member of FNGLA’s Marketing & Membership Committee, he represents the Northeast Chapter on FNGLA’s Board of Directors. Shawn is a vice president of the Florida Irrigation Society, serves on Gateway College’s board of directors and is very involved with Duval County Farm Bureau, FFA, and 4-H programs. Running four branches throughout Florida, Shawn is the operations director of Southern Green Chemical Lawn Care based in Jacksonville.

Robert Shoelson automatically moves from president to FNGLA Immediate Past President. Robert grew up in the nursery and landscape industry starting with Betrock Information Systems in 1992 and Getting Green Plant Service in 1998. He is active on FNGLA’s Certification, Knowledge College and Budget Committees. Robert has served on FNGLA’s Board FNGLA of Directors as Woody Division and Broward Chapter Board Representatives. He was president of FNGLA’s Broward Chapter three times and is active in several industry groups, including the Landscape Inspectors Association. Robert is a Certified Landscape Inspector and has earned two FNGLA professional certifications -- Landscape Contractor and Horticulture Professional. Robert is the owner and president of Getting Green Plant Services in Fort Lauderdale and the COO of Betrock Information Systems in Hollywood, FL. 

FNGLA officer elections take place during FNGLA’s Annual Meeting on Saturday morning, June 23 in conjunction with the 2017 convention in Ft. Lauderdale.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40831Mon, 19 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Commissioner Putnam to Speak at FNGLA Convention

FNGLA’s Annual Convention traditionally attracts industry leaders from across the state. For 2017, the list of leaders includes Adam Putnam, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture. Putnam has announced his intent to run for Governor of Florida in 2018 and will speak on Saturday evening, June 24 at the President’s Gala.

FNGLA’s Annual Convention is taking place June 23 & 24 at the B Ocean Resort in Fort Lauderdale. Although tours and meetings take place during the day on June 23, the convention officially starts with the Beach Bash Welcome Reception on Friday evening. This takes place on the hotel’s private beach-- and includes not only food, drink and important networking time-- but also an island drum show!

Saturday starts with FNGLA’s Annual Business meeting. This meeting is open to all FNGLA members and includes a year-end review of FNGLA’s activities, recognition of outstanding FNGLA volunteers and industry leaders, as well as a State of the Industry presentation by FNGLA’s CEO Ben Bolusky. This is an important event! It’s where FNGLA officers are elected as well as FNGLA chapter contributions made to the FNGLA Endowed Research Fund at SHARE.

Saturday afternoon promises extra fun! Not only is a garden tour of nearby Bonnet House available, but several beach games adding fun and camaraderie are offered for FNGLA convention attendees to enjoy. These include volleyball, corn hole toss and a giant Jenga game. Attendees can also take advantage of relaxing at one of the B’s two refreshing swimming pools. From 1 – 2 p.m., schedule a time for a meet up with a live mermaid – a truly unique selfie opportunity. 

Saturday evening’s President’s Reception and Gala brings the convention to its grand finale.  Not only will Commissioner Adam Putnam share his words of wisdom to industry members, outgoing FNGLA President Rob Shoelson, Getting Green Plant Services and Betrock Information Systems, will add his parting thoughts as he passes the “Big Shoes” of FNGLA to incoming President Ed Bravo of Big Trees Plantation. Included in the evening’s activities will be photo booth fun and a variety of music for listening and dancing.

For those who wish to come in a day early, a community service project is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the David Park Community Center in Hollywood. This center offers services to children, families and seniors with special needs. The service project will include basic landscape maintenance chores and enhancements.

Other optional activities include an FNGLA-exclusive walking and boat tour of Anne Kolb Nature Center, a 1,500-acre coast mangrove wetlands preserve on Friday morning and guided tour of Bonnet House and Gardens, 35 acres of themed gardens, tropical courtyards and a historic estate house on Saturday afternoon. These are each optional activities for convention attendees with registration required. The Anne Kolb Nature Center tour is limited to the first 28 registrants.

Register before June 19 for the lowest prices. The Full Package is only $170 and includes a welcome bag, the Beach Bash Welcome Reception, the Annual Meeting Continental Breakfast, beach activities and games, the President’s Gala and access to the Broward Chapter hospitality suites. 

Although the cut-off date for group reservations at the B Ocean Resort has passed, those wishing to reserve a room may call the hotel direct at 954-524-5551 and ask for in-house reservations. Reference FNGLA to determine availability of rooms and group pricing. 

For more details on the convention, contact Linda Adams, ladams@fngla.org, or see convention details online.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40830Fri, 16 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT
A Year Well Vested: FNGLA Proudly Marches Forward

I wish to start my last article as FNGLA President by thanking those of you who have taken the time to read my ramblings and rants each month. My goal here was to be entertaining while providing useful information pertaining to this great association and industry. I can only hope I lived up to my goals during the past twelve months. If you are here reading this current article, I assume mission accomplished.

I had the opportunity to do many different activities over the past year while presiding as FNGLA President.Yet, one of the most recent activities was without a doubt one of the most memorable. Last month, FNGLA’s four state officers - Ed Bravo, Will Womack, Billy Butterfield and I – (along with our CEO Ben Bolusky and lobbyist Jim Spratt) made the trek up to Washington D.C. to discuss the issues affecting our industry with Florida’s Members of Congress. We also had the pleasure of the company of Mary Ann Hooks (UF/IFAS Governmental Relations) who presented some issues in which both FNGLA and IFAS have a common stake.

During our visit, we met with the offices of both U.S. Senators from Florida, as well as many U.S. Representatives throughout the state. We went there armed with the “hot off the press” new Economic Impact Study results which UF/IFAS conducted last year at FNGLA’s request.  When your industry can claim Florida sales over $21 Billion and more than 232,000 jobs, people tend to want to lend an ear. Initially, before we even arrived, I was a little skeptical over how effective our group would be. Yet, meeting after meeting, it was clearly evident we have the support and backing of many of these Members of Congress and all were very interested in what we had to say.  

The biggest issue we brought to the table was immigration and labor. Availability and a stable future workforce is obviously a huge issue affecting our industry as well as several others. While a permanent solution is still to be figured out, it looks as if we are on several potential paths for securing a workforce for our industry. One of the more intriguing is the idea of a new blue card which would be issued to those who can prove they meet the criteria set forth and commit to work towards a legal status. It seems to me this could have the merits to be at least part of a solid solution. However, this approach does not address the need for new foreign guest workers.

Probably the most interesting part of our trip was sitting in the U.S. House Agriculture Committee hearing room listening to the new U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s testimony regarding budget, trade and the state of rural economies. This was an informative and educational experience I will not soon forget. It appeared both sides of the political aisle are looking forward to working with Secretary Perdue. 

In my previous Greenline articles, I’ve mentioned the FNGLA Annual Convention which will be held on June 23 & 24 in sunny Fort Lauderdale at the B Ocean Resort Hotel. Hopefully, your plans are in full motion to attend this fun and informative convention.  During the annual membership meeting on Saturday morning, June 24 from 9-11:30, you will enjoy the opportunity to hear and see what FNGLA has been up to this past year and the future vision for the Association.  

During the membership meeting, FNGLA volunteer leaders are honored for their service and dedication and, last, but certainly not least, our newly elected officers will be sworn into office.  Currently FNGLA’s Secretary/Treasurer Will Womack (Tampa Bay Landscaping, Tampa) will be nominated to be President-Elect. Our current PresidentElect, Ed Bravo (Big Tree Plantation, Newberry), will receive the Big Shoes as the next FNGLA President.

I have known Ed and Will for some time, yet I really got the chance to get to know them even more during our recent D.C. trip.  I must say our Association truly is in great hands. Both of these men have the fortitude and strength to keep FNGLA as strong as it ever has been. I’m looking forward to another year working with each of them as I move into the position of FNGLA Immediate Past President.  

The last item I wish to address in this, my final article, are the volunteers and sponsors who support and make this Association what it is today.  Besides the wonderful Orlando staff we have managing FNGLA, our Association is truly driven by volunteers. These are people who have full-time jobs working in the industry and running their businesses.  People who get involved in everything from Chapter meetings all way to holding positions on FNGLA’s state board. I wish to thank all of these gracious folks for everything they do for FNGLA and our industry.  There are also many members who sponsor a lot of FNGLA activities whether on the chapter or state level. I recently reached out to many of my friends and colleagues asking if they would be a sponsor of FNGLA’s Annual Convention. Many of these folks stepped up to plate which they so often do - time and time again. I wish to thank all of these member volunteers and sponsors from the bottom of my heart.  

It has truly been an honor and a privilege serving as the President of the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association during the 2016-2017 year.

Robert Shoelson, FCLC 
Getting Green Plant Service, Inc. (Davie) & Betrock Information Systems, Inc. (Hollywood) 
http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40829Mon, 12 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Unveils New Website For Certification Exam Prep
Early Preview - A screenshot of FNGLA's new Plant ID website. (FNGLA PHOTO)

FNGLA this week unveiled a new website aimed at making it easier and more convenient to study for its certification exams.

The site, www.FNGLAPlantID.com, will serve as a “one-stop shop” for all things FNGLA certification, according to Merry Mott, director of certifications and career development.

“The central component of the site is a series of plant ID flash cards,” Mott said. “Test preppers can test their knowledge using dozens of digital flashcards which, on one site, show a few pictures of a plant species, then on the back, show the plant’s common and scientific name. There’s also a pronunciation audio clip.”

The site boasts an easy-to-navigate, simplified format, and a responsive design, making it easy to study on both desktop and mobile devices, according to Kate Clary, strategic engagement specialist at FNGLA, the site’s architect.

“The mission was to make this site easily accessible so those who want to use it to study can do so from anywhere they have a few free moments – even if those moments come while they’re sitting in their work truck with their smartphone,” Clary said.

The site also includes instructional videos on several components of hands-on certification exam portions, and a calendar of upcoming certification test dates, according to Mott.

More video additions are planned throughout the summer, Mott added.

The new site replaces an earlier Plant ID CD-ROM program which FNGLA pioneered in the late 1990s.

“The hope with this new site is to empower our certified professionals with all they’ll need at their fingertips to take their career to new heights,” Mott said. 

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40828Mon, 12 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Required CEUs Have You Overwhelmed? Relax, it’s Easier Than You Think

FNGLA makes it easy to keep up on your CEUs as we seek not to place heavy restrictions upon earning the required units for certified professionals. In addition to the listing suggestions below, there’s tons of other ways to earn one's units. It could be a tour of one's local botanical garden, or volunteering in a local school’s vegetable garden. We’re open. After all, it’s about the learning. Below is a list of suggested CEU opportunities for June and July: 

Monday, June 19, 2017

What: Greenhouse 101/Invernadero 101

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Online program through the University of Florida

Use Coupon Code FNGLA17

To register, visit the UF/IFAS website.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What: Florida Plant Health Care Workshop

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Collier County Extension

14700 Immokalee Rd

Naples, FL 34120

To register, Treecare Science's website.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

What: Commercial Hort Talks

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County

1303 17th Street West

Palmetto, FL 34221

To register, visit the event's registration page.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

What: FNGLA Annual Meeting

Info: 1 CEU can be earned for FNGLA

Where: B Ocean Fort Lauderdale

1140 Seabreeze Blvd.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316

To register, visit the event's registration page.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

What: South Florida Aquatic Plant Management

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Green Cay Wetlands and Nature Center

12800 Hagen Ranch Road

Boynton Beach, FL 33437

To register, visit the organization's website.


Friday, June 30, 2017

What: Miami-Dade Nursery Tour

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Departs from UF/IFAS Miami-Dade Extension

18710 SW 288th St.

Homestead, FL 33030

To register, visit the event's registration page.  

Thursday, July 13, 2017

What: Irrigation Symposium

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County

18710 SW 288th St.

Homestead, FL 33030

To register, visit the event's registration page.

Saturday-Tuesday, July 15-18, 2017

What: Cultivate ’17 An American Hort Experience

Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Greater Columbus Convention Center

Columbus, OH

To register, visit Cultivate's website.


Wednesday-Thursday, July 19-20, 2017

What: Florida Water Star Training & Testing

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Environmental Planning Division

115 S. Andrews Ave., Room GC-301

Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301

To register, visit the event's registration page


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What: Florida Turfgrass Association Great CEU Round-Up

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Extension Services across Florida

To register, see the event agenda.


Thursday-Friday, July 27-28, 2017

What: Florida Green Building Coalition Green Trends

Info: CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: In conjunction with Southeast Building Conference

Gaylord Palms

Orlando, FL

To register, visit the conference's website


Landscape Technician Fall Exam Schedule


SeaWorld, Orlando

Saturday, August 26

(includes exam walk-through on Friday, August 25)


FCLT/MT Training

Knowledge College at The Landscape Show

Friday, September 15


FCLD (Designer) Training

Knowledge College at The Landscape Show

Saturday, September 16



Florida Gateway College, Lake City

Friday, September 22



Florida Gateway College, Lake City

Friday, October 13


FCLT/MT Training

UF Ft. Lauderdale REC, Davie

Friday, October 27

FCLT Bilingual Training

UF Miami-Dade Extension, Homestead

Saturday, October 28



UF Ft. Lauderdale REC, Davie

Friday, November 10

For more information on the upcoming FCLT exam dates, visit FNGLA's website.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40826Mon, 12 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Pinellas County Park Rangers Draw From FNGLA Certifications to Care for Public Spaces Among the trees - Park Ranger II Bonnie Desmond stands beside one of the many trees she cares for inside Pinellas County's John S. Taylor Park. (FNGLA PHOTO/KATE CLARY)

Bonnie Desmond’s "office" sits among thousands of winding tree canopies and old Florida-style green spaces inside John S. Taylor Park, a 156-acre public space which rings around a freshwater lake in Largo, Florida.     

A park ranger II for Pinellas County’s Parks and Conservation Resources Department for more than a decade, Desmond has utilized her FNGLA certifications to keep the public space beautiful, safe and functional for the legions of visitors who regularly take advantage of its various offerings including a ball field, disc golf course, playground, picnic areas, and tree-lined trail.

“I do a lot of the herbicide applications, so I’ve got to be able to recognize natives,” Desmond said. “I’ve got to be able to determine what’s a target, and what’s not a target… and how to deal with them.”

Desmond is one of four rangers who regularly perform routine grounds keeping and maintenance throughout the park including tree-trimming, weed-whacking, pruning and herbicide application.

Among the species of plants throughout the winding green space are oaks, sycamores, firebush and, of course, many towering Pines with lush canopies.

“This used to be a turpentine harvesting area way back when, before it became a park,” Desmond said.

The team also performs other important park functions including facility keeping; security; enforcement; and customer service, according to Desmond.

Desmond, who holds FNGLA's Horticulture Professional (FCHP), Landscape Designer (FCLD) and Florida Water Star Accredited Professional (FWS) certifications, began her career with the county as a maintenance worker and credits her certifications for giving her the skills to help set herself apart early on.

“I actually was able to become a park ranger II because of my certifications,” Desmond said.                      

Desmond added her certifications also afford her the tools and confidence to provide exceptional customer service to park guests.

“You’ll have people come up and ask you, ‘What are you spraying?’” Desmond said.

Being able to offer an intelligent and thorough answer to that question has raised Desmond’s customer service to the next level, she explained.

“A lot of what our certifications entail is being able to train us to certain standards, and to understand the principles behind it,” Desmond said.

Desmond added: “When you’re able to do that, I think it helps a lot with the customer service.”

Prior to her work as a steward of Pinellas County’s public spaces, Desmond grew up working at her father’s plant nursery and later, ran a landscape maintenance business of her own.

In her spare time, Desmond serves as an instructor for various FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professional prep courses throughout the year for a number of corporate landscape firms.   

In November, Pinellas County instituted a career ladder program which, among others, utilizes three FNGLA certifications to give County employees a path to earn increased rank and pay within the department,” according to Desmond.

“It’s a way that we’re incentivized to get certifications,” Desmond said.

Paul Cozzie, bureau director for the parks and conservation resources department added of the career ladder program, “We thought it was important for our staff to have curriculum-based certifications that were going to benefit them in their future career endeavors -- as well as benefit the county by having a better-educated, more professional staff.”

For more information about FNGLA’s certifications, visit our website.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40824Thu, 08 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Maximize Opportunities for Industry Visibility & Promotion via FNGLA 

FNGLA members are eligible for an array of discounts and benefits on services essential to a successful business. If you’re a member, maintain your membership and take advantage of these benefits. If you’re not yet an FNGLA member, use FNGLA’s online ROI calculator to see how you can benefit. 

For Growers, Landscape Pros and Retail Members: 

• Group Life Insurance is available from LPL Financial. The plan offers discounted Rates negotiated by FNGLA for all members, spouses, employees and family members; guaranteed Issue Amounts up to $50,000 with no medical exams required, eligible members can elect up to $300,000 of coverage (simplified underwriting); and, easy online enrollment available. The program is offered by LPL Financial: Matthew J. Antos, CFP®, Wealth Management Advisor. Reach Matt at 888-652-6468 or matthewj.antos@lpl.com

• Outsource your company’s payroll without giving up the flexibility and personal attention you need. MasterPay USA will keep you in compliance and make payroll easy. FNGLA members are eligible for an exclusive 15% discount on published payroll processing prices. The discount is immediate and on-going, not an introductory rate and includes free Direct Deposit and Web Access; automated payment of all Federal, State & Local payroll taxes; and, garnishment administration with electronic Child Support Payments. Contact Debbie Sonntag at MasterPay USA: 407-374-1665. 

• Looking for an affordable and reliable credit card processing solution? Transaction Services (TRX) offers huge savings and excellent service. The program was designed to maximize savings, eliminate hidden fees and offer excellent, U.S.-based service. TRX offers a free virtual terminal, next day funding, mobile options, processing of all card types, EMV Chip terminals, ACH, Level 2 & 3 processing and more. Call 888-933-8797 for additional details. 

Grower Members: 

• The FNGLA Locator powered by PlantANT places your product online where buyers search for plants and services every day. FNGLA Members can advertise 5 listings at no cost

• Take advantage of your “Fresh From Florida” membership, provided to you by FNGLA. Your business qualifies to take advantage of customized Fresh From Florida benefits. Fresh From Florida offers a variety of benefits

• PlantFinder, brings together both print and online advertising opportunities.  FNGLA members can choose both print and online advertising with member discounts or up to 5 free online listings. FNGLA members and loyal PlantFinder advertisers also receive free PlantFinder banner ads and an additional 5 listings, over $70 monthly value, free to FNGLA members. Call PlantFinder at 800-627-3819 for more information. 

• It’s easy to order everything from business cards to large signs at FNGLA member discounts! Among its many professional services, Creative offers FNGLA members an exclusive FREE 2-hour marketing consultation (worth over $500) with report & recommendations; 15% discounts off web and logo designs; and, monthly specials & coupons. Contact Randy Pierce at 407-855-0202 for details. 

Landscape Members:  

• Add an Isuzu to your fleet and utilize your FNGLA member benefit.  Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. provides all FNGLA members a special FNGLA-only discount on the purchase of any new Isuzu commercial vehicle from any Florida Isuzu dealership. The member benefit provides an additional discount above any published retail assistance that may be in effect at the time of purchase. The discount is off the selling price of the vehicle before applicable taxes. The discount is immediate, and no rebate coupons are needed. Call Jim Barnes at 770-539-1669 for details. 

• Take advantage of your Fresh From Florida membership, provided to you from FNGLA. Your business qualifies to take advantage of customized Fresh From Florida benefits. Fresh From Florida offers a variety of benefits.

For more information, access FNGLA’s complete Member Benefits Flyer

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=40819Tue, 30 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT
On Deck: President-Elect Ed Bravo is Ready to Lead

Leaders - FNGLA Frontrunner leader Shaun Brown, Florida Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam and FNGLA President-elect Ed Bravo. (FNGLA PHOTO)

He’s next in line for FNGLA’s top seat. Ed Bravo, a native of Cuba, has been involved in Florida’s green industry for more than 30 years. A partner of Big Trees Plantation in Gainesville, Florida, Bravo is well-known for his regular contributions to FNGLA’s Frontrunners Chapter, including his service as its president. FNGLA’s Kate Clary caught up with Bravo to talk about being passed the presidential big shoes:

FNGLA: How does it feel to know you will soon begin your service as FNGLA’s president?

BRAVO: I feel honored just to be asked because of the respect I have for all of the past presidents with whom I have known and worked with. Also I am truly humbled that they think me capable of representing FNGLA despite my shortcomings.

FNGLA: What are the initiatives on which you want to focus during your term as president?

BRAVO: Labor and water issues are the two biggest problems facing us for the foreseeable future. 

Labor: I will advocate for immigration reform and a reliable work force. I hope to promote existing programs to guide young people into our industry and continue to help Will Womack expand his outreach to college horticulture students. 

Water: Landscape water use will continue to be the target of municipal/county regulations so we must be proactive. We must develop an FNGLA irrigation certification program which inspires the use of Florida-friendly landscapingTM principles and sets the bar high. 

Opiate addiction: I wish to begin the conversation about how FNGLA can help members deal with this toxic subject which may be affecting their staff or families.

Ed will be installed as FNGLA president at the Annual Convention June 23 & 24 in Fort Lauderdale.

In 2001, Ed became a partner at Big Trees Plantation in Gainesville having started as the nursery’s General Manager in 1996.  He began his career in the industry very early, in 1979, as an industry laborer and worked his way up.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39816Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA Announces 2017 Friend of the Industry Award RecipientsAn Element of FNGLA’s Industry Awards

Alongside the six awards and seven industry rock stars FNGLA will honor as 2017 Industry Award Recipients, two “Friends of the Industry” have also been selected.

FNGLA’s Friend of the Industry award is typically an individual from outside the association who has contributed to the advancement or improvement of the nursery and landscape industry. For 2017, we reach not-so-far outside the industry to two very special recipients: the dynamic duo behind so much of our industry’s heralded success of the Fresh From Florida marketing program!

Congratulations Jackie Moalli and Melissa Hunt!

Jackie Moalli is the Assistant Director of the Director’s Office at the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS). Moalli provides administrative oversight for the Division of Marketing and Development, its bureaus, offices and programs. She manages the Florida Agricultural Promotional Campaign which has a proven track record in marketing Florida agricultural commodities domestically and internationally. Moalli is often found at FNGLA Board of Directors’ meetings updating Association leaders on how Fresh From Florida is assisting FNGLA members in cooperative branding and marketing efforts.  

Melissa Hunt is a Marketing Representative and Client Relations Manager for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). Hunt is a valued member of its industry relations team and she is also a liaison to agriculture associations and advisory councils. Hunt serves on FNGLA’s Marketing & Membership Committee where her enthusiastic expertise helps to shape FNGLA’s membership recruitment and retention efforts with industry marketing.

Moalli and Hunt are the creative sparks behind the hugely successful Fresh From Florida landscape plant TV/cable advertising campaign in Florida, as well as the Florida tropical foliage promotions throughout the nation. Widely recognized as energetic supporters of Florida’s nursery and landscape industry, Moalli and Hunt are also influential and high-spirited FNGLA cheerleaders.  

FNGLA proudly salutes Jackie Moalli and Melissa Hunt as the recipients of FNGLA’s 2017 Friend of the Industry Award. Celebrate these two special ladies and the other 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=39814Wed, 17 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT
The Place to ”B” – FNGLA’s Annual Convention!

FNGLA’s Annual Convention takes place June 23-24 at the B Ocean Resort in Fort Lauderdale. It’s the industry meeting where business and fun merge. Register today to be one of the 200+ FNGLA members and volunteer leaders taking advantage of the connections and experiences offered at Convention.

“B” there a day early and participate in a community service landscape project on Thursday afternoon. Join the FNGLA all-volunteer team to add landscape enhancements to a local service facility. More details will come as local FNGLA members finalize the plans.

You’ll find plenty of business insights and opportunities at the convention’s main events - with fun on the agenda too!  The Convention starts with the Beach Bash Welcome Reception on the private beach of the B Ocean Resort. This is the place to reconnect with your FNGLA colleagues and expand your business network. It’s also the place to eat, drink and be merry to the sounds of an island drum revue and relaxing ocean waves.

Saturday is jam-packed with business and fun as FNGLA’s Annual Business Meeting starts the day’s itinerary. Every FNGLA member is encouraged to attend the Business Meeting to learn all of the activities, issues and opportunities in which the Association has engaged during the past year. This is also when leaders share their visions, exceptional volunteers are honored and new leaders are sworn into service. 

The President’s Gala on Saturday evening combines insights from keynote speakers to engaging dinner conversation and ends with a burst of energy as the deejay gets the dance floor hopping. Although not officially confirmed, Florida Agriculture of Commissioner Adam Putnam has been invited as the evening’s keynote speaker.

Adding even more fun to the weekend are optional activities - take advantage of the beach and local botanical offerings.

Explore by boat the plant and animal life found in coastal mangrove wetlands at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, a 1,500-acre wilderness preserve.  The tour is Friday, 9 a.m. – 12 noon. Registration is required and attendance is limited.

Saturday afternoon offers two extra-curriculum activities: Right on the beautiful beach, organized beach games and activities will be held, including volleyball, corn hole and more.  Take time to get your photo snapped with a live mermaid. If games aren’t your thing, you can relax by the pool and have plenty of good conversation with FNGLA friends.
An FNGLA-exclusive private tour of Bonnet House will include a visit to the Main House and 35 acres of themed gardens, tropical courtyards and natural coastal barrier island plant communities. Bonnet House is located very near the B Ocean Resort. Registration is required.

And there is more!  

Participate in a turtle nesting walk, take a tour of Fort Lauderdale via the Water Taxi or the Jungle Queen Riverboat, shop and dine on famous Las Olas Boulevard, stroll or jog along Fort Lauderdale’s iconic A1A beachfront promenade – all within an easy distance of the B Ocean Resort.

Thanks to the generous support from convention sponsors and the convention host FNGLA’s Broward Chapter, registration prices are a terrific value.  Register before June 19 for the lowest prices.  The Full Package is only $170 and includes: a welcome bag; the Beach Bash Welcome Reception; the Annual Meeting Continental Breakfast; beach activities and games; the President’s Gala; and, access to the Broward Chapter hospitality suite.  Single tickets are available for the Beach Bash Welcome Reception and the President’s Gala.  

The Anne Kolb Nature Center tour and the Bonnet House tour are not included in the full package and require purchasing separate tickets to take part. 
Make reservations at the B Ocean Resort online or call 1-866-990-6826. Mention FNGLA’s Annual Convention to receive the special group rate of only $149 prior to May 25.  

Do not be fooled by outside companies calling and trying to sell you hotel rooms for the FNGLA Convention. These are not legitimate companies.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39813Tue, 16 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Much To See, Experience: Florida Flower Trials!

Florida Flower Trials delivers direct access to some of the nation’s top breeders so you gain the one-on-one answers you’re seeking all while you assess for yourself the performance of trialed new varieties. Leaders in Florida’s landscape, floriculture and related-interest areas will be there learning and connecting-- and this creates an opportunity for you to empower and move your business forward, ahead of your competition. 

The conference offers details on key ways to sell the purpose and value of color in your designs. Attending FNGLA’s Florida Flower Trials on May 18 & 19 in Orlando is a must-do event! 

In two days, you’ll experience three Orlando-area trial gardens: Harry P. Leu Gardens; UF/IFAS Orange County Extension’s Discovery Gardens; and, Walt Disney World. 

Truly 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. Add to this experience learning sessions and a backstage tour of the Disney horticulture facilities -- with lots of information, collaboration, and networking -- you’ll want to be there to experience it! 

Described by a Florida landscape professionals as “one of the year’s best events,” FNGLA has coordinated a rockstar line-up of sessions aimed at bringing you and your key personnel top-notch and cutting-edge information to enhance your bottom-line. 

You’ll hear from Dan Heims, Terra Nova Nurseries (Canby, OR); Tracy DiSabato-Aust, Horticultural Classics & Consultations (Sunbury, OH); Tyler Chandler, WinField Solutions PPG (Boca Raton, FL) and at least two of last year’s trial garden site managers-- Melissa Shepherd, Walt Disney World (Lake Buena Vista, FL) and, Kelly Greer, UF/IFAS Orange County Extension Services (Orlando, FL) to hear their insights. 

Sit shoulder-to-shoulder with many of the top experts in the floriculture realm at FNGLA’s 2017 Florida Flower Trials! FNGLA Members can attend the conference for just $175 ($200 after May 15). Non-members pay $210 ($235 also after May 15). Full conference registration includes Thursday seminars, lunch, dinner, trial gardens’ open houses and admission to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. 

Thursday evening’s dinner is also the local FNGLA chapter monthly meeting. Attend just the dinner for $25, FNGLA member price and $45 for nonmembers. 
Special thanks to event sponsors Bioworks, Berger, OldCastle and Disney Horticulture; Brad’s Bedding Plants and Speedling -- the official growers for the 2017 trials; and, BrightView -- the event’s landscape contractor. 

For information on sponsoring or to reserve a tabletop 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=39812Thu, 11 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT
FNGLA is Vested in the Industry and Vice Versa
Summer is just about here and temperatures are already on the rise.  Along with the higher temperatures, we are experiencing drier than normal conditions around the state.  These dry conditions are contributing to wild fires throughout Florida. Thousands of acres have been burned along with some homes and businesses. I heard of one nursery which sustained quite a bit of damage in the Naples area and one small nursery which was destroyed in Apopka. 

Hopefully, we will get some much needed help with rain in the upcoming weeks to help combat these fires. These dry conditions are also causing landscapes around our state to show signs of stress. This is a very important time to ensure irrigation is used wisely and efficiently to keep lawns and plants from drying out.

In case you had not heard, FNGLA partnered with the new television program Flip My Florida Yard to educate the public on water efficiency and promote our industry to the consumer. I have already watched three of the four episodes and couldn’t be happier with the shows. Flip My Florida Yard stresses the importance of efficient irrigation and using the right plants in the right places. Every commercial slot has information showcasing FNGLA, Fresh From Florida or UF/IFAS giving homeowners useful tips or websites offering useful information on how to properly take care of their landscapes. Saving water is one of the most important issues facing our industry today.

There are other important events happening during the upcoming months which I also wish to mention. The Florida Flower Trials takes place on May 18 & 19 in Central Florida. This FNGLA event is geared to help industry professionals learn about some of the newest and latest plant releases best suited to deal with Florida’s tough climates.  If you use flowers in your landscape designs, this is a perfect event to help keep you abreast of new varieties you can utilize in your projects. This same week, the officers of FNGLA -- along with Ben Bolusky and Jim Spratt -- head to Washington D.C. to meet with the Members and staff of Florida’s congressional delegation. Some of the key issues we will discuss are our industry’s labor challenges, research to alleviate pest and disease pressures and disaster assistance.  This will be my first visit to D.C. with my FNGLA colleagues and I look forward to speaking with some of the key people to impress upon them how important these issues and challenges are to our industry’s business owners.  Advocacy is certainly one of the most valued pieces of your FNGLA membership.  

Speaking of politics, the Florida House and Senate have been battling over budgets cuts which will affect our industry. UF/IFAS and FDACS appear to be in good shape after dealing with some cuts in their budgets, but the Fresh From Florida program looks as if it will be taking a hard hit on the chin. It appears this program may suffer a budget cut from $12 million down to just $2 million.  This is a program which helps to effectively promote, advertise and market our industry throughout the United States and beyond. These potential cuts are really upsetting to me because Agriculture is the second largest revenue producer for the State of Florida and, in turn, nursery is its largest segment. Hopefully when the dust settles, these cuts will not be as bad as they seem.

On a more positive note, it looks as though President Trump and the Secretary of Agriculture seem to be on the side of Agriculture. The President signed an executive order to promote ‘Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.’ This executive order explicitly recognizes “agriculture needs access to a reliable workforce.” 

A roundtable discussion was held with President Trump and just confirmed Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to discuss labor availability challenges facing our industry. Seated immediately to the right of the President and the Secretary was a nursery grower from Ohio. If you talk with any nursery or landscape business owner, they will tell you labor is one of the leading issues facing their business today. A successful plan will hopefully be put into place to give some meaningful relief to this dilemma. 

This also happens to be the time of the year when FNGLA membership renewals are due.  For those of you who may debate whether or not to renew your membership, look at these very important issues affecting the industry in which you work every day. And, then look at the steps FNGLA is taking to protect, promote and ensure you are able to do the things necessary so you can actually run your business.  If this in itself doesn’t sell you on your renewal, then look at the other strategic benefits of FNGLA: Public Relations and Marketing, Education and Professional Certifications, or Exceptional Member Service and Value. It becomes readily obvious why every business working in this industry should be part of this solid association. Last, but certainly not least, I wish to remind everyone of FNGLA’s Annual Convention to be held in Fort Lauderdale on June 23 & 24.  There is no better time to come out and network with your industry peers and see what has been going on throughout this past year.  Not to mention there will be plenty of sun and fun on the beautiful beaches of Fort Lauderdale. Hope to see 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=39811Wed, 10 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT
From the Field: Lukas Nursery Employs FCHP Certification as Employee Benefit
Sunny smiles - Kyler Walker, FCHP, left, and Hunter Carter-Fredrickson, FCHP, right, take a minute from their tasks to pose for a picture. (FNGLA PHOTO)

As part of its employee benefit package, Lukas Nursery & Butterfly Encounter offers employees of at least 90 days the opportunity to earn their FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professional (FCHP) certification.

It's been more than a decade since the Oviedo-based nursery and garden center installed the employee perk. Since then, it has really taken root among employees, according to Edna Kane, FCHP, a Lukas employee of 10 years who oversees the program. 

“Almost all the employees here are certified,”  Kane explains while standing under the radiant midday sun in front of the nursery’s busy gift shop. “It’s definitely something that we encourage.”

According to Kane, their number of certified employees is around 35.

Employees who earn their FCHP certification also have the chance to receive their own Lukas Nursery business card and company-branded email address, according to Kane. The company also covers the costs for certification and renewals.

The move to provide the opportunity for employees to earn their certification has greatly helped staff achieve an even greater level of customer service, Kane adds.

“It’s not just a certification, it’s a confidence-booster,” Kane says. “When you’re certified, you’re more comfortable walking up to a person and saying, 'hey, this is the plant you’re looking for, this will thrive in your area, this is what you need.’”

Hunter Carter-Fredrickson, a Lukas Nursery employee of two years who is FCHP-certified, says getting certified has increased his skills and made him a more versatile employee.

“It’s helped me a lot; there’s a wider variety of things I can do,” Carter-Fredrickson says. 

Another Lukas employee, Kyler Walker, FCHP, echoed Carter-Fredrickson’s sentiments on FCHP: “It’s a larger variety of knowledge and I can help more customers.”

An FNGLA member since 1974, Lukas Nursery is a fourth-generation family business which offers thousands of plant varieties, a gift shop, garden accessories, landscape and design services. The nursery also operates its Butterfly Encounter, a butterfly and bird conservatory which covers 40,000 square feet. 

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39810Wed, 10 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Busy Summer Brings Unique Education Opportunities

Summer is officially here and our industry is crazy busy. Educational offerings may be a bit limited, but there is still a lot of quality programming to be found.

One wellspring in the desert is your local University of Florida Extension Service. Each county has one, and you can locate yours here. UF/IFAS offers pesticide CEU classes and Green Industry BMP training – all which qualify for CEUs for your FNGLA Certification.

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


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 the event's registration page

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What: Citrus Nursery Workshop

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research Center

2725 S. Binion Rd

Apopka, FL 32703

To register, e-mail to: bbolusky@fngla.org


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 the event's registration site


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 the event's registration site.  


Thursday, June 1, 2017

What: Zoysiagrass Management Workshop

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Callaway Arts and Conference Center

500 Callaway Park Way

Callaway, FL 32404

To register, visit the event's registration site


Monday-Wednesday, June 5-7, 2017

What: Trees Florida

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned per day for FNGLA

Where: Hammock Beach Resort

200 Ocean Crest Dr.

Palm Coast, FL 32137

To register, see more details on the event flyer.


Monday, June 19, 2017

What: Greenhouse 101/Invernadero 101

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: Online program through the University of Florida

Use Coupon Code FNGLA17

To register, visit the UF/IFAS website


Thursday, June 22, 2017

What: Commercial Hort Talks

Info: 4 CEUs can be earned for FNGLA

Where: UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County

1303 17th Street West

Palmetto, FL 34221

To register, visit the event's registration page.

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39809Tue, 09 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT
5 Time-Saving Summer Hacks for Landscapers
As summer temperatures begin to rise and business picks up among those in Florida’s landscape industry, it pays to be prepared. Will Womack, FCLC of Tampa Bay Landscaping shares five of his hacks to save time, and be safe in the field:

1. Ensure every truck has access to safety items: water, first-aid kits.

2. Be sure your crews are up-to-speed on using all equipment in summer conditions – a time period, according to Womack, which typically sees more rain and insects.  

3. Make sure that your crews can recognize signs of dehydration and heat stroke in both themselves and others. Signs of dehydration, according to Mayo Clinic, include fatigue, dizziness and confusion. Signs of heatstroke include confusion; agitation; slurred speech; nausea; vomiting; headache; flushed skin; and, rapid breathing, the Mayo Clinic's website states.

4. Remember: school is out for the summer. This means more kids will be around during the day. Keep everyone safe by being vigilant to watch out for children. 

5. Make sure all equipment is regularly-maintained including keeping blades sharpened, and topping off all fluids. Equipment tends to be used more often in the busy season. Mowers are moving more. Bolts should be tightened and filters should be checked more often during dry weather periods. 

Will Womack and his wife, Kathy, are the owners of Tampa Bay Landscaping & Horticultural Services. Womack also serves as FNGLA's state secretary/treasurer.  

http://www.fngla.org/newsmanager/templates/?z=2&a=39808Tue, 09 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT
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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