June 15, 2019
Warren PattersonAs I write this article the Thursday before the May long weekend, my business partner informed me he was sailing around Georgian Bay the week before, and there were ice bergs floating around.

Well this just sums up the crazy spring of 2019. But for us in the landscape profession, this is nothing to joke at. We have experienced some of the coolest and wettest conditions on record throughout much of the province. This has prevented any meaningful installations and hampered retail sales so far this year. Everyone should take comfort in knowing they are not alone. Everyone in the profession is feeling and fighting Mother Nature. Don’t despair. Just get ready to rock it out when the weather finally changes for the better. Things always have a way of working out in the end.

Home office renovation

The multi-million dollar revitalization of the Landscape Ontario home office in Milton, Ont., is in its final stages. The building has a new sign, lots of glass, an elevator and all-new meeting and lunchroom spaces. The new signage is amazing. It is clean, clear and simple. For two weeks in May, a 12-foot high dry stone wall was constructed underneath the sign. The result is spectacular.

Completion is scheduled for the end of June, with staff moving in sometime in July. The contractor has also been battling the poor weather — at least we are a sympathetic group.

We should all be proud of our new building. I suspect it will be the nicest, and likely largest, professional landscape and horticulture association office in the world.

We are planning to hold a big ribbon cutting celebration early this fall. Stay tuned for more details.

Plant pricing

The Canadian Nursery and Landscape Association (CNLA), in conjunction with Landscape Ontario and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, have been working on a collaborative research effort to compile data on consumer purchasing habits for plants and what value they place on plants.

This initiative is in the early stages and researchers are also applying for some government grant money. My hope is that this will start important discussions on how plants should be priced throughout the supply chain in order to benefit the stakeholders involved.

We need this valuable data to get a jump on the arrival of wide spread, online consumer commerce for plants. Don’t think that this will never happen. It’s already happening now!

Much like the plumbing and electrical professions, each level of the supply chain needs to receive appropriate pricing based on the full retail price if they are to survive. It all starts with the retail price.

I wish each of you a prosperous season. I suspect this spring will be a distant memory come August — so too will the memories of ice bergs floating around Georgian Bay.
Warren Patterson
LO President