by Michael Keenan, ASLA
While plants are a primary color in the landscape architect’s palette, we often fail to grasp the complex challenges, laborious processes, and good luck it requires to bring healthy nursery stock to the market and ultimately to our projects. At the 2018 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Philly, the Planting Design Professional Practice Network (PPN) met to discuss the ever-important relationship between the landscape architect and the nursery grower. We heard from four nursery professionals to learn about the realities of nursery production, incoming production shortages, and how to foster a better relationship with your grower.
We were joined by:
- Steve Castorani, North Creek Nurseries, Inc., Landenberg, Pennsylvania
- Heidi Flemer Hesselein, Pleasant Run Nursery, Inc., Allentown, New Jersey
- Steve Wagner, Affiliate ASLA, Professional Horticultural Services, LLC, Franklinville, New Jersey
- Nancy Buley, Honorary ASLA, J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co., Boring, Oregon
Nancy led off with an insightful presentation of the tree growing process. We all know that trees are an investment in time, but we may not fully appreciate the dedicated efforts that go into growing the trees we specify.
As Nancy says, “Growing trees is an exercise in patience and faith in the future. It takes a long time and many skilled hands to grow beautiful, resilient, durable trees that will cast shade for future generations. Bringing new and improved trees to the marketplace is a collaborative, multi-generational effort that takes even longer.”