Turf & Rec

Much to see and do at 2019 Congress

Seminars, trade show, networking, symposiums all part of package

December 7, 2018  By Turf and Rec Staff

Canada’s premier horticulture and green industry trade show and conference – Landscape Congress – will be held Jan. 8-10 at the Toronto Congress Centre. The 46th edition of the event will feature more than eight acres of show floor space, three days of educational seminars and workshops, and networking opportunities.

Feature events include an IPM symposium, landscape designer conference, new product showcase, live hardscaping presentations, a garden centre symposium, and a garden centre awards ceremony.

Featured speakers and their education session topics include:

Tuesday, Jan. 8
Take back 40 per cent of your workday with leadership and communication. (Laura Cole, Your Latitude, Dundas, Ont.). Research indicates managers spend 40 per cent of their time dealing with “non-task related issues,” such as employee disengagement and difficult behaviour. Participants will learn proven leadership and communication techniques, specifically designed to support managers in taking back lost time.


Managing your plant community: creative approaches to site preparation, installation and maintenance. (Thomas Rainer, Phyto Studio, Arlington, Va.). A new way of thinking is emerging, looking at site characteristics such as heavy clay, deep shade, high pH, or dry soil, not as stresses, but as assets on which long-term planting is built. New strategies on working with a site, rather than fighting it, will be discussed.

Creating culture in your organization. (David Lammers, Garden Grove Landscaping, Waterdown, Ont.). Company culture is key to both team building and long-term success. Lammers will share insights on the owner’s role in creating, defining, and fostering culture, and the steps to take for implementation.


Log cabin or Taj Mahal: are you really listening? (Bobbie Schwartze, Bobbie’s Green Thumb, Shaker Heights, Ohio). Landscape designers, landscape architects, and landscape contractors should know that working with new clients is not as easy as it might appear. All too often, the installed design that clients get is not what they wanted. Schwartze will outline her approach during the initial meeting with the client plus the ensuing discussions about goals, budget, the importance of soil amendment as it relates to successful planting, and phasing of the installation.

Promoting gardening in the landscape of media clutter. (Frank Ferragine, aka Frankie Flowers, FrankieFlowers.com). With more than 140,000 followers online, Flowers has utilized social media to promote gardening and his brand and will show how he did it.

It’s the end of the world as we know it: prompt payment, adjudication and the new construction act. (Robert J. Kennaley, Kennaley Construction Law, Toronto, Ont.). The Construction Lien Act is now the Construction Act. Many of its new provisions, such as longer lien timeframes, bonding requirements on public projects and broader rights to request information, came into force on July 1, 2018. Other significant changes, including those that establish prompt payment and adjudication regimes, come into force on Oct. 1, 2019. Kennaley will review the changes and outline how they might be used to better protect one’s business.

Pots of bold: designing with containers for drama. (Christina Salwitz, The Personal Garden Coach, Renton, Wash.). Containers have become a practical option in the pricey world of garden design. Key points used in selling containers and designs include choosing containers for customers that sell, colours, styles, and price points; creating designs that sell, demographic information that might not have been considered, and getting repeat sales; designers and buyers working together; and timing for the most efficient container sales.

Wednesday, Jan. 9
Painting with perennials: a landscape artist’s perspective. (Bobbie Schwartze, Bobbie’s Green Thumb, Shaker Heights, Ohio). For years, perennial gardens were designed as side-by-side blocks of colour. Due to European influences over the past 10 to 15 years, these designs have become more impressionistic. In addition, more importance is being given to foliage, deadheads, and lengthening the seasons of interest. The degree of maintenance is also affected by these changes in design and by plant selection.

Growing up your container design and maintenance sales. (Christina Salwitz, The Personal Garden Coach, Renton, Wash.). Maximizing container design sales is easy through simple sales techniques. When sales are turned into maintenance sales, it has added to the bottom line.

Marketing is about belonging. (Alyssa Light, The Profitable Innovator, Waterloo, Ont.). Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. It has to be strategic and intentional. Positioning statements can be used throughout marketing and, when carefully crafted, will draw potential customers in.

Choice plants, proven performers and impactful additions for gardenscapes. (Paul Zammit, Toronto Botanical Garden, Toronto, Ont.). Gardeners and designers must often make difficult choices when selecting plants to maximize visual impact and benefit a particular garden location. For Zammit, a high performing plant is so much more than showy flowers over a long blooming period. Each plant added to the landscape can and should provide much more.

The edible landscape: incorporating edibles into the modern landscape. (Niki Jabbour, author of The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener.). The popularity of food gardening is spilling over into the landscape. The benefits are many, including higher property values and lower grocery bills. Beautiful, low maintenance solutions for adding food plants to the home landscape will be introduced with simple ideas like raised beds, vertical plantings, edible borders, perennial crops, home orchards, and more.

Electrically powered equipment for the landscaping profession. (Michael Gucciardi, International Landscaping Inc., Milton, Ont.). The strengths and weaknesses of conventional and electrically powered equipment will be compared, and some of the challenges associated with transitioning between the two will be addressed. Gucciardi will also provide a background on International Landscaping’s decision to use electrical equipment.

Thursday, Jan. 10
Leading with landscape: designing and implementing urban ecologies. (Michael Ormston-Holloway, certified arborist, The Planning Partnership, Toronto). Topics in this session include resilient species and sustainable models for urban forestry; arboriculture: the good, the bad and the ugly; trees and soil as infrastructure; and new opportunities for city greening: roof terraces and privately-owned public spaces.

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