on Photos to Enlarge)
Welcome to the winter of 2002! I hope that everyone had an enjoyable and safe
Clients often ask me "what do you do in the winter months?"
and so I thought I would share with you some insight of our typical
winter routine. It is actually a very exciting time of year for us.
This is the time of year that we become renewed, both physically and
mentally. Unfortunately, I am off to a slow start while attempting
to get over my third "cold" since October. Perhaps you can
Vacation!! Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, we do not spend the entire
months of January and February on vacation in some exotic tropical location.
Although we would like to do so, we have many tasks that we need to accomplish
prior to the on-coming spring landscape season. We will spend most of our time
designing new landscape projects. This is a great time of year for us to focus
on quality design projects so that we are organized to perform their installation
in the spring. We often become "booked up" by mid-spring and are forced
to delay projects until summer. If any of you have landscape projects, small
or large, that you would like to have considered top priority, please let us
know. We would be very pleased to assist you.
This winter we will be starting our venture into computer aided design and, once
we have over come the educational curve, should be ready to begin designing most
of our projects via the computer. This will be very helpful in saving and securing
drawings/documents for the long term. Future designs will be saved via compact
We will spend a great deal of time maintaining, re-conditioning, and purchasing
new equipment for the spring. Constant driving and constant use requires that
we perform a lot of maintenance work on our vehicles, trailers, tools, and uniloader.
For example, I average about 30 thousand miles per year on my car (as we do with
all of our vehicles), and shovels do not last forever. We will re-organize our
office, including file reorganization, and the addition of one new computer this
We will also spend time making various staff adjustments. We have had a large
number of requests for us to begin installing and maintaining sprinkler systems,
rather than sub-contracting or referring this type of work. To do so will require
that we staff a sprinkler technician. However, it would allow us to offer a more
inclusive landscape installation package, and would allow our previous clients
one less contractor to rely upon. Please provide us with input if you have a
desire for us to provide such sprinkler services.
As the weather permits, we will attempt to work on landscape projects throughout
the winter. Once the soil freezes to around 6", it becomes nearly impossible
to be productive. Please keep in mind that this is still a great time of year
to plant trees, while they are dormant, and to have us install professional landscape
We will be attending the Western Association of Nurseryman convention in early
January, and perhaps others later. We attend trade shows and seminars to sharpen
our skills and maintain our competitive advantage. We know that you have high
expectations and we plan to continue to meet those expectations by being on the
cutting edge of technology and horticultural science.
Finally, we will spend some time vacationing. As for myself, I have not decided
where to go this winter, although, I can promise you that it will be somewhere
warm! My winter vacations are often combined with several stops at nurseries
and botanic gardens. Some of my recommendations from my past visits include:
the Huntington Library & Gardens, in Los Angeles; the Getty Museum, also
in Los Angeles; the San Diego Zoo; the Horticultural Domes, in Milwaukee; The
Philbrook Museum of Art, in Tulsa; and Disney World, in Florida. All of these
provide outstanding examples of landscaping. Did you know that the San Diego
Zoo is one of the few zoos to also be considered a botanic garden? It may not
be the warmest time of year to visit, but the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is
definitely on my favorite list.