As a professional landscaper, I am no stranger to the benefits of the winter months. It is a perfect time for us to gather our thoughts from the previous season and assess how we would like to make things better for ourselves, our company, and our clients.
This winter allowed us to attend the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association (NJNLA) and New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA) awards dinners. For the NJNLA, we received an Award of Merit for the Design/Build category and an Award of Excellence for Residential Maintenance. For the NJLCA, we received an Award of Merit for Commercial Maintenance and two Awards of Distinction for Residential Maintenance and Design/Build. The NJNLA and the NJLCA are the two biggest professional landscaping associations in NJ and we were very pleased to receive these honors. We have many exciting projects on our calendar this year and hope to be contenders once again for the 2017 awards.
During the winter months we are busy with new planting designs and other projects our clients request for the upcoming spring. It is also a perfect time for professional development and continuing education. I am currently taking two winter classes at Rutgers University studying Landscape Plants and Landscape Architecture Design. I graduated Rutgers with a degree in Professional Golf Turf Management and worked as an Assistant Superintendent on a golf course for over 10 years. My knowledge of turf grass and turf grass diseases is extensive. Yet, to better serve Siciliano Landscape and our clients, I wanted to make sure I was proficient in understanding any needs, requests and expectations that could come my way this year. I signed up for classes at Rutgers because they are the grandfathers of agricultural studies.
My Landscape Plants class is all hands on. Lecturing about specific trees and shrubs is only one third of the class while the other two thirds are spent outside at the Rutgers Gardens. The primary focus of this class is identification. Getting to know the plants on a physical level while learning the pros and cons of each, helps me better understand what a client wants and how to design a landscape accordingly. This brought me to the idea of taking Landscape Architecture Design. This class has not only renewed my passion for conceptual design, but has allowed me to express those ideas when I do virtual design. Much of my time in class is spent hand drawing and sketching. It is very helpful to have an idea in mind and be able to portray it quickly on a piece of paper and then perfect it on the computer. Realtime Landscaping Pro is an excellent product that helps us bring our designs to life. It has always been a passion of mine to work and design with clients who love their property and want to make it distinctly their own. I am excited to begin another season with Siciliano Landscape and look forward to making everyone’s property pristine.