July 15, 2008
Denis Flanagan CLD
Manager, membership services

Denis FlanaganJust over a year ago, Ken Pavely and I gave public presentations in a number of communities across the province. Healthy Lawns and Gardens provided information from Health Canada and other sources on how to develop and maintain gardens with minimum use of pesticides and herbicides. Those meetings were fairly well attended. Often several people in the audience expressed anger with their local council for banning the use of products upon which they had always relied.

This spring we did a similar road show, and we experienced a whole new attitude from the public. Most sessions were jam-packed, with people genuinely interested in learning how to garden from a different perspective. I think this was the result of a lot of work from many levels, including municipalities and our members’ involvement in educating public on the basics of good gardening practices.

The use of water barrels, green bins and composters has exploded. The garden revolution has begun in earnest, and our LO members are in a prime position to be leaders. The consumer is looking to green professionals for guidance and service.

Let’s not disappoint them. We have the opportunity to make a difference in how we design and maintain landscapes, what products we sell, how we train our staff and how we educate the present and future generations of gardeners.

If we connect our expertise in horticulture with our new commitment to branding LO, members should take their rightful position at the tip of the canopy of the green business world.
Denis Flanagan may be contacted at dflanagan@landscapeontario.com.

Caption: Volunteers staffing the community booth added the essential personal touch.