The Landscape Ontario Podcast
Conversations on the issues shaping landscaping and horticulture in Ontario
Life is better outside, Scott Wentworth
Life is better outside. Scott Wentworth, owner and president of Wentworth Landscapes in Picton, Ont., says this is what drives him and his team. Their mission is to craft outdoor spaces that set the scene for building memories, celebrating milestones, and spending more time in nature.
This mission is integral to onboarding staff, understanding their clients’s needs, and especially building relationships within the community as green stewards. The pursuit to get people to love the outdoors has earned Wentworth Landscapes many awards, including Employer of Choice, the Dunington-Grubb, and the Don Salivan Grounds Management awards at the Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence.
Scott Wentworth has fostered an enviable company culture, and he joins us on the podcast to talk about how they infuse their mission into everything their team does and, more importantly, why.
Landscape Ontario Reconciliation Grove Project
Come Alive Outside Program
Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence
Horticultural Technician Apprenticeship Program
In this episode, we talk with Grant Harrison, who is no stranger to the Landscape Ontario community. Grant originally joined Landscape Ontario as a landscaper in the early 2000s, has held several leadership roles within the association, and is now the principal consultant at his firm, Nextra Consulting, where he generously shares his wisdom with the landscaping community at every turn. That wisdom comes from owning a landscaping business, evolving it, learning from challenges and understanding how to navigate the many pitfalls and opportunities that come with being a business owner.
Listen to our conversation as Grant shares the benefits of attending his upcoming workshop series for business owners (free for LO members), as well as how the “Great Resignation” and the current economy affect those working in the green trades.
Unlock Your Business Potential Education Series
Certified Landscape Horticulture Manager (CLHM) Program
Book Recommendation: Leaving a Legacy: Navigating Family Businesses Succession by David C. Bentall
Engaging Children with Landscape Design
Where do you think you might be in your work journey if you'd understood from a young age that you can build a livelihood by being creative, spending time in nature and digging your fingers into the soil? Landscape designer Heather Jerrard and educator Dawn-Marie Deagle teamed up to develop and implement a classroom experience that aligns with the Ontario curriculum and demonstrates how landscaping and horticulture can have a meaningful career path. In this episode, we learn about the inspiration behind this project, how Landscape Ontario’s Peer to Peer Network gave Heather the confidence to pursue it, and how the program might evolve to encourage more students to consider a green career.
Heather's company: My Landscape Artist
Landscape Ontario's Peer to Peer Network
Thames Valley District School Board Outdoor Environmental Leaders Program
The many benefits of sponsoring apprentices
One of the big pain points for a lot of landscaping companies over the years has been labour supply. We've heard time and time again how difficult it is to find qualified staff. Liana Desmarais, owner and GM of Plantscape, a full-service landscaping company in the Windsor area, has found success by incorporating apprenticeships as part of her employee recruitment and retention strategy. In this episode of the Landscape Ontario Podcast, she tells us how sponsoring employees through the Horticultural Technician Apprenticeship Program has brought fresh ideas, long-term commitment, and a deeper sense of job satisfaction to her company.
Diversity and inclusion creates opportunities to bloom for those with physical challenges
Joe Steeves is a young man from Moncton, NB, who exemplifies how a passion for plants can overcome physical challenges and anxiety. In this episode of Landscape Ontario Podcast, we hear about the transformative effect of being accommodated in the workplace. A few simple gestures by his employers at greenhouses and nurseries have created opportunities for Joe to thrive.
Special Partner Episode: Yes, We Are Open!
Landscape Ontario is Ontario’s premier horticultural trades association. For the past 50 years, they’ve been supporting their members through professional development, trade shows and conferences, consumer events and cost savings benefits. Their premier annual event is the Landscape Ontario Congress, Canada’s largest and longest-running trade show and conference for landscape professionals. While the pandemic might have provided a boon to many of their members, it put the long-running event in jeopardy for two consecutive years. Were they able to pull it off? Listen to find out.
Plants are the lungs of our cities
Alan White is a champion for the power of plants to clean the air we breath, cool our cities, and capture carbon. As Alan says, plants are the lungs of our cities, and landscape horticulture professionals are critical to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Down the Garden Path
Joanne Shaw and Matthew Dressing are landscape designers, podcasters and authors. They recently published Down the Garden Path: A step-by-step guide to your Ontario garden and their podcast, Down the Garden Path, airs weekly on Reality Radio 101 and is available on the major podcast apps. Joanne and Matthew believe it is both important and possible to have great gardens that are low-maintenance. They joined the podcast to talk about their book and to discuss why they are so passionate about sharing horticultural knowledge.
50 years of LO Congress
Tony DiGiovanni is proud to say he’s been at every Congress since he was a Humber College student back in 1975. And now that he has retired from his role as LO’s executive director, he has no plans of breaking the streak. He joined the show to talk about his favourite memories, including how the event helped shape his entire career.
Professional holiday lighting
Have you noticed more and more homeowners and businesses have really stepped up their game with beautiful, classy, holiday lighting? It turns out there is a growing trend towards hiring professionals to make homes and businesses shine through the holidays. On this episode, Scott Sim, the VP of Moon Glow Lightscapes and the chair of LO’s lighting sector group explains why it’s a growing market, and how landscape lighting contractors can take advantage by adding it to their service offerings.
Growth on purpose
Vanessa McQuade and Rob Murray from Intrigue Media join the show to talk about their passion for empowering business owners in the home improvement space to grow and get noticed by A-Level clients. Vanessa and Rob will dive deeper into Growth on Purpose at the Congress Conference Jan. 10, 2023. Learn more at LOCongress.com
Growing through apprenticeship
The Verdant Landscape & Design team joins the show to talk about the benefits of the Horticultural Technician Apprenticeship Program. Learn more at https://horticulturetechnician.ca
New HR Hotline for LO Members!
Landscape Ontario launches a partnership with EIO Solutions to provide Members with a free hotline they can use seven days a week to get professional advice on human resources issues. Domenic Richichi and John Trainor from EIO Solutions join the podcast to talk about the new member benefit, plus they share tips for business owners on getting staff fully engaged with workplace health and safety.
Canadian Trees for Life
Mark Cullen is back on the podcast to talk about Trees for Life’s mission to mobilize, empower and inspire tree planting initiatives across Canada.
Rohan Harrison’s passion for horticulture
Rohan Harrison is deeply passionate about the positive impacts landscapes and green infrastructure has on people and communities. He is a lead in the grounds department at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, and he has been involved with Landscape Ontario for three decades. He joins the podcast to talk about his green career, plus, why he got involved with LO’s diversity, inclusion and belonging committee. *Photo credit: Sunnybrook Hospital
Women in Landscaping
Carla Bailey and Pam Cook join the show to talk about the Women in Landscaping group, which was created to support female horticulture professionals in a comfortable peer environment.
Chainsaw safety with Todd Fritzley
Todd Fritzley is an arborist with the Grand River Conservation Authority and the owner of BPF Safety and Consulting. Todd has over 15 years experience in forestry and arboriculture. On this episode, he dives into the laws that govern chainsaw use in the workplace, some of the main hazards and most common chainsaw injuries, as well as why PPE and training are critical.
Cultivating your green thumb with Leslie Halleck
Leslie Halleck is a Texas-based horticultural author, educator, speaker, and business coach. She does it all. And she’ll be giving two talks at the Congress Virtual Conference on January 20, 2022 including a session on the plant parenting revolution, and another on being digitally relevant. Register at congressredefined.com/conference
How a successful landscape business owner balances work, family and volunteerism
Peter Guinane is one of the most dedicated volunteers with Landscape Ontario. He’s on the provincial board, the contractor’s sector group, as well as the Covid-19 Task Force. And he found time this year to give back with both the LO Garden Makeover campaign, as well as with the Green Cities Foundation #GreenMyCity project at St. Matthews House in Hamilton. All this while running the successful design build company Oriole Landscaping in Toronto alongside his long time business partner George Urvari. How does he do it? And why is it important to him to support LO and the Green Cities Foundation? Find out, on the latest episode of the Landscape Ontario Podcast.
The impact of apprenticeship
What’s the value of apprenticeship? We find out from business owner James Canton, Algonquin College professor Steve Neumann and red seal certified landscape professional Kelsey Harsh.
The Internet of Nature with Dr. Nadina Galle
Dr. Nadina Galle joins the podcast from Amsterdam, NL. Nadina is an ecological engineer and technologist dedicated to working with urban ecologists and planners to apply today’s technology to improve urban ecosystems for future generations. She also the host of the internet of nature podcast, which you can listen to on all the major podcast apps.
Covid-19 vaccine info for employers
Sebastian Huard and Alanna Twohey from Emond Harnden Labour and Employment Law join the podcast to discuss the legal issues employers should be considering regarding Covid-19 vaccinations.
Preventing floods with natural infrastructure
Burkhard Mausberg from Unflood Ontario joins the podcast to talk about the campaign to reduce flooding through natural infrastructure.
Covid-19 Health and Safety Compliance
Jay Remsik from Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) joins the podcast to talk about what businesses need to do to ensure they are compliant with Covid-19 health and safety regulations.
LO’s new Social Awareness and Ethics Committee
Lindsay Drake Nightengale and Ed Hansen join the podcast to talk about Landscape Ontario new Social Awareness and Ethics Committee.
Prevent business owner burnout
Grant Harrison from Nextra Consulting joins the podcast to talk about how business owners can look after their own mental and emotional wellbeing during stressful times. Grant says, "If you work with your hands, rest with your mind; and if you work with your mind, rest with your hands." Find out what that means, and more in this episode of the Landscape Ontario Podcast.
Buildings are cliffs, streets are canyons, roofs are islands
Jonas Spring operates Ecoman, a Toronto-based landscape design and construction business that works to enhance and increase green space through proactive and thoughtful ecological design. Jonas joins the show to discuss REFERENCE 2021, an online symposium for landscape architects, designers, gardeners and trades that examines ecological reference points for design.
Congress Connect Preview
Congress Connect Event Team members Amy Buchanan and Keri MacIvor preview the new virtual marketplace and conference for landscape and horticultural professionals, launching January 12-14, 2021. Learn more about Congress Connect at locongress.com
MPP Norm Miller on Bill 118
Norm Miller, the Member of Provincial Parliament for Parry Sound-Muskoka, joins the podcast to discuss Bill 118, which passed at Queen’s Park in December 2020. The legislation, introduced by Miller, reduces the time period to make a slip and fall claim from two years to 60 days. Miller also talks about potential next steps to address the issue of increasing insurance costs for winter maintenance professionals.
Workplace mental health with Andrew Harkness
Andrew Harkness with the Workplace Safety and Prevention Services joins the show to talk about why workplace mental health is important and what business owners can do to support their employees. Andrew will also join Landscape Ontario’s Covid-19 Task Force for a town hall webinar on Dec. 2, 2020. Visit Horttrades.com to register for free.
The 2020 Trial Garden Season with Rodger Tschanz
Rodger Tschanz talks about managing the trial gardens at the University of Guelph, Landscape Ontario and the Royal Botanical Gardens, including standouts from this year’s gardens: Bee’s Knees Petunia, Precosia Zinnias, Lancelot Salvia, Brainiac Celosia and Serendipity Ornamental Onion. See more exciting new plants in Landscape Trades Magazine.
Town Hall Webinar - July 7, 2020 - Best Practices for Employee Health
Becky Hester from York Region Health joined Landscape Ontario’s Covid-19 Task Force Town Hall on July 7 to talk about best practices for employee health during the pandemic.
Town Hall Webinar - June 23, 2020
Government Programs Update for Landscape and Horticulture Businesses. Judith Andrews - Commissioner for Employers, Employment and Social Development Canada - and Julie Garner - Principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group - joined Landscape Ontario's Covid-19 Task Force on June 23, 2020 to discuss government programs including CERB, CEWS and more.
Celebrating Women in Horticulture
The Landscape Ontario Podcast celebrates Women in Horticulture week by spotlighting three fantastic professionals: Jennifer Lemcke, COO of Weed Man; Jacki Hart of Consulting by Hart and the Peer to Peer Network; and Lexi Dearborn of Dearborn Designs and Associates.
Town Hall Webinar - June 9, 2020
Don’t let your guard down! Kristin Hoffman from Workplace Safety & Prevention Services joined Landscape Ontario's Covid-19 Task Force to discuss practical ways to keep your staff, clients and the public safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Town Hall Webinar - May 26, 2020
With folks back to work, LO moved the Town Hall series to a new schedule. Town Halls will now be held bi-weekly starting May 26 and will move to a new time - 5 pm. This week, hear from prominent business coach Jeffrey Scott and members of the LO COVID-19 Task Force as they share practical advice on how to deal with COVID-19. Find all the Town Hall video replays at Landscape Ontario’s Youtube Channel.
Town Hall Webinar - May 12, 2020
Navigating Your Workforce During COVID While Staying Focused on Health and Safety May 12, 2020 Landscape Ontario's COVID-19 Task Force hosts a weekly town hall webinar to share the latest news and answer your questions. On May 12, 2020, the panel was joined by HR Expert Natalie Hansford from EIO Solutions.
Town Hall Webinar - May 5, 2020
This week, reps from the Ministry of Labour, WSIB and WSPS join Landscape Ontario's COVID-19 Task Force to discuss safe business practices during the pandemic. Watch the video on Landscape Ontario's Youtube Channel and subscribe for the weekly town hall webinars (Tuesdays at 10 am) at HortTrades.com.
Town Hall Webinar - April 28, 2020
This week, Landscape Ontario’s COVID-19 Task Force discusses “Generating Employee, Client and Public Trust” with marketing and communications expert Jason Bouwman from Compass Creative. Watch the video on Landscape Ontario’s Youtube Channel and subscribe for the weekly town hall webinars (Tuesdays at 10 am) at HortTrades.com.
Town Hall Webinar - April 21, 2020
This week, Landscape Ontario’s COVID-19 Task Force members highlight the safety procedures they are implementing in their businesses to keep their employees and the public safe. Watch the video on Landscape Ontario’s Youtube Channel and subscribe for the weekly town hall webinars (Tuesdays at 10 am) at HortTrades.com.
Town Hall Webinar - April 14, 2020
Town Hall Webinar - April 14, 2020 Public policy and government relations expert Julie Garner - Principal, Earnscliffe Strategy Group - joined Landscape Ontario's COVID-19 Task Force to discuss government programs for employers. Watch the video on Landscape Ontario’s Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVZ1wt-gC1I Register for the weekly town hall webinars (Each Tuesday at 10 am): https://horttrades.com/covid-19-town-hall-webinar-series
Connecting kids with nature with natural playgrounds
Adam Bienenstock is winning the war against screen time one natural playground at a time. Experience a Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds play space at Canada Blooms, March 13-22, 2020 at the Enercare Centre in Toronto. See the design for the 8,000 sq. ft. playground at https://info.naturalplaygrounds.ca/canadablooms.
The Canadian Landscape Standard - Christene Stenhouse Levatte
The CLS is designed to be the single authoritative resource for landscape construction projects projects in Canada. Find out why the CSLA and CNLA say it should be on the desk or computer of every landscape professional across the country. Get the CLS at: https://www.csla-aapc.ca/standard
David Lammers & Tony DiGiovanni - Snow and Ice Management
Snow and Ice Management challenges and opportunities with LO Executive Director Tony DiGiovanni and Garden Grove Landscaping President David Lammers
Carly Ziter - Thinking beyond the park
Instead of thinking outside the box, Carly Ziter thinks beyond the park. Carly's landscape ecology research highlights the impact of smaller green spaces - residential yards, street trees, school grounds etc. A healthy city is like a "green patchwork quilt" with each garden, boulevard and soccer field providing ecological services.
Alyssa "Twist" Light - The secrets to hiring great people
Finding and attracting great employees is a massive challenge across the skilled trades. Entrepreneur and marketing expert Alyssa "Twist" Light joins the LO Podcast to share new ideas on attracting talent to your business. Alyssa will also be speaking at LO Congress 2020 on Jan. 9 on the Secrets to Hiring Great People.
Natalie Hansford - What to do if the MoL shows up at your workplace
Have you ever worried about what would happen if the Ministry of Labour showed up at your office or a job site? Natalie Hansford has you covered. Natalie is the director of HR for EIO Solutions and she is an expert in all things HR. She joined the LO Podcast to talk about what it looks like when the MoL shows up at a workplace. What should you expect? How should you react? Find out!
Campaign Chair Mark Cullen looks back at the roots of the HOH Campaign (including Tony DiGiovanni's role!), the challenges it has overcome and previews what's ahead for 2020.
Public health scientist Tara Zupancic outlines the many health benefits green spaces and nature provide to human health. Tara also calls on landscape and horticulture professionals to view themselves as working in health.
Ontario Tree Guide co-author Darby McGrath joins the podcast to discuss what's new in the updates guide. Darby and Scott also discuss some common tree planting mistakes (no more mulch volcanos!) and look ahead to Darby's presentation at LO Congress 2020.