Professional Development Opportunities

by Cris Blackstone, NHCLP

Whether you are looking for credit for recertification as a Certified Landscape Professional or interested in increasing your body of knowledge of Green Industry trends, there are more opportunities to participate in online workshops or view online presentations than you may have time to even attempt. Take a look at the list of resources later in this article. You might be able to promote your company as having interest or expertise in these topics, helping you reach customers who may be seeking assistance with very specific needs. Previous issues of our Newsletter, available online, also contain lists of resources.

The NH Association of Conservation Commissions is offering a “Lunch and Learn” series on topics of interests to the green industry, including several on groundwater protection and clean water sources. These are free, and presenters are from the NH DES among other professionals directly involved in clean water and updated information and regulations about water use during our severe drought affecting most of the state. Registration is required to get your zoom log in, but your information is never shared with any other group or business when you register for sessions offered through

UNH Cooperative Extension offers a Face Book Live series of presentations on many topics in the horticulture and agriculture industries. Check out the presentations on pruning, extending growing seasons, safety in the workplace, among others. It’s easy to join their mailing list, and their sessions are, for the most part, free.

Responses to the recent survey distributed show that more than half of the responses included wanting more information on “gardening,” so check out the Fall 2020 Literary Series, if gardening books are up your alley. The series is offered biweekly, and includes garden writers such as Bill Noble and Page Dickey, with an extensive list of authors included. Renny Reynolds is among the distinguished list of authors with his book, Design Inspiration from the Gardens at Hortulus Farm in the series. Free, although registration is required, through

The Garden Conservancy’s website is one you may like to book mark, to check on other webinars offered periodically, outside of this regularly scheduled gardening authors’ series.

Garden Writers International offers many workshops on the business of gardening, and sponsors many webinars (generally around $20) about gardening trends. With a pulse on the greenhouse industries and garden center sales, you may find webinars from this group to be helpful. Sponsored presentations from the large growers and suppliers you know such as Proven Winners, Dramm, Corona Tools, Syngenta, are presented through Garden Writers International also. While some of them may be considered “infomercials,” all are rich with details about research and developments in their respective industries.

Here’s hoping some of these organizations and websites offer you beneficial info to help you grow your business and knowledge base.



Landscape Industry Booming Despite Pandemic

The landscape industry has been largely unaffected by the pandemic and is busier than ever, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).

According to the data collected, 60 percent of landscaping companies are seeing revenues exceed pre-COVID expectations and more than 300,000 landscaping jobs lay vacant.

62 percent of lawn care companies report they’ve exceeded revenue projections, followed by 53 percent of landscape maintenance firms and 50 percent of design/build firms.

One of the reasons landscaping companies have easily weathered the COVID-19 storm is the fundamental nature of the landscaping business, says NALP Chief Executive Britt Wood.

“The landscaping business naturally lends itself to this type of crisis,” Wood says. “The way landscapers work means that they just naturally keep their distance from clients and each other. Also, people often use nice spaces to relax and remove stress, and a soothing landscape can help with that.”

Wood stresses that the strength of the landscaping sector in 2020 is ultimately a combination of factors.
People are experiencing their yards, decks, and patios in the middle of the day. Often, for the first time, they’re seeing things they want to tweak or improve. Eighty percent of residential customers have increased spending on these kinds of enhancements in 2020.

Another factor Wood points to are spending habits. Nationwide closures of dining and entertainment venues have opened new opportunities for home improvement projects.

The final factor is one that was unexpected but set up landscapers to thrive for the duration of the crisis. The Department of Homeland Security identified landscapers as “essential employees” in its guidance on critical infrastructure on March 19.

The government deemed essential any businesses that “maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, businesses, and buildings.” Landscapers’ ability to curb pest infestations and remove problematic flora and fauna qualified them to continue operating as normal.

Garden centers in particular are seeing increased business. Back in the spring, some ran out of plants before they ran out of spring.

Customers have found a renewed purpose in gardening since the beginning of the pandemic People are trying something new in the spaces that they have, whether it is trying vegetable or herb gardening for the first time, purchasing an indoor green plant for a home office … or transforming and adding to landscapes. People are enjoying making their spaces a bit more beautiful and useful.

Landscaping professionals work through wet winters in warm climates and, in colder ones, many transition to snow removal services. Time is at a premium right now! Good luck to all of you in filling backorders, completing end-of-season jobs , or preparing for winter.

A Sidenote

Comments from Alan Anderson

I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Peter Kidd in June of this year. We have lost a great one. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

I met Peter back in my days at Tuckahoe Turf and knew that this guy was a character. His sense of humor was funny, but made you think. He was witty and had a sly way of making a joke seem serious. You laughed anyhow. He was highly opinionated. If there was a topic to discuss, Peter was all over it and would advise you to think about all aspects of the subject before coming to a conclusion, mostly his conclusion.

Peter gave you 100% all of the time. I always looked forward to hooking up with him, whether it was a jobsite of his or an NHLA event or to have a beer (and we had a few), or just a visit at his house in Bedford, NH. Peter was just fun to hang out with. His landscape knowledge and passion for this industry was unwavering. He was not afraid to share his knowledge with the “competition” because to him, a fellow landscaper was not competing against him, but the best way to teach is through example.

In his many Sidenotes articles, Peter shared numerous ideas and experiences that he had experienced over the years. Peter gave a lot of time to this Association. Peter gave a lot of ideas and insight to this Association. He ran a successful business and instilled a sense of professionalism to the New Hampshire landscape industry. His philosophy was simple – live by the self, die by the self – and was summed up in a paragraph from his Sidenotes column in December, 1984. This is the way he ran his business and what he cared about most.
He wrote, “ Is my picture rising up? It’s extremely important for an employer to get involved. It’s good sense, sound business, and makes the day pleasing. This deal of using up persons, sometimes friends, for dollar motivation is unjustifiable, schizophrenic, down right unbiblical, for live by the self, die by the self. I’m totally aware of the worth of my workmates, I have not fallen victim to the world of concept or the suicidal belief that it’s just my talent or whatever, that makes this ship fly. Do you thank your employees each Friday when the eagle makes manure? I do. And they thank me, and we all head off into the sunset feeling we don’t owe one another anything because we have already given the fair portion. I think it is this kind of straightforwardness that is the source of magic.”

Peter was 37 years old when he wrote that. It is something that still applies today. Make a note of it.

Take care, Peter, our paths will cross again.