October 9, 2018
By Denis Flanagan CLD
LO Manager of Membership and Public Relations

AsDenis Flanagan the autumn weather sets in, Landscape Ontario members start looking ahead to next season and focus on retaining employees and improving operations to become even more profitable in the future.

Many LO business owners and their staff enrol in courses offered under LO’s Professional Development Guide or attend a local chapter meeting, sector-specific conference or one of many events in order to better themselves or their business. It continues to amaze me how diverse and wide-reaching our network of partners, presenters, topics and chapter events have become. Given the multitude of skills upgrading offered by LO, it’s not surprising to hear many members comment that one of the main reasons why they renew their membership each year is to stay connected to these opportunities for both personal and business growth.

This point was reinforced at a recent meeting when the topic of business improvement was discussed. Everyone in the room agreed they have benefited immensely from peer interactions — whether in the form of a one-on-one discussion, small group session, or a large scale event, that were made possible because of their involvement in the LO community. Many of those same people noted that their interaction also led to them hiring a business coach to help drill down on specific issues.

Because of this huge benefit to members in our community, LO has once again organized a winter season that is jam packed with opportunities to network, compare notes and grow your business. For details on these upcoming events, visit HortTrades.com/events or check out LO’s weekly enews. Here’s a tip: your employees can also subscribe at HortTrades.com/subscribe.

Another benefit of membership in LO is being made aware of the latest trends in horticulture. Your clients will certainly appreciate that you are taking time to stay current on issues that are important to them, such as environmental issues, water conservation, sustainability, etc. Once again this year, the important role of pollinators certainly garnered a great deal of media attention. It seems pollinators were promoted by everyone from small school groups and horticultural societies, all the way up to large corporations. On your behalf, LO featured the topic in our annual consumer magazine, Garden Inspiration that was distributed for free at Canada Blooms.

Garden Inspiration 2018 showcased several pollinator plants, such as butterfly weed, zinnia and smooth oxeye. The article includes an insightful quote from University of Guelph Trial Garden Manager, Rodger Tschanz: “Why should we care about conserving pollinators? Roughly one-in-three mouthfuls of food that we eat depend on the pollination services of insects. Almost 90 per cent of flowering plant species worldwide rely on animals and insects for pollination, making pollinators, particularly wild bees, an essential part of natural ecosystems. Reports surrounding global pollinator decline raise concerning issues of reduced agricultural productivity and reduced biodiversity due to pollinator deficits, in short pollinators are beautiful, fascinating, diverse and essential creatures that we can not afford to lose.”

This is a good reason why we partner with the University of Guelph to include hundreds of annual and perennial plants in the Landscape Ontario trial gardens each year — pollinators are a resource we need for our future. It’s also why we have been supportive of the Bee City Canada organization who offer programs which recognize communities that are taking steps or are committed to future initiatives to help pollinators. Their efforts have met with success. They now have over 20 cities, schools and businesses who have joined the cause to protect our pollinators and preserve the beauty of nature.

Another reason we need pollinators is because they play an essential role in the making of mead, which is an ancient alcoholic beverage created by fermenting water, honey and various fruits spices and hops. This leads me to my final point: another benefit of membership in LO is the fact that many of our meetings and events are often held in casual surroundings, such as a local restaurant or legion, where members can chat over a beer after a hard day’s work. And if beer is your thing, I encourage you to take advantage of the great deal LO’s Waterloo Chapter has made available to members again this year: free tickets to Oktoberfest.

We look forward to renewing your membership and mailing out your 2019 membership certificate so you can continue to reap all of the benefits that will help your company to flourish.


Denis Flanagan can be reached at dflanagan@landscapeontario.com or at 905-875-1805, ext. 2303.