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The UK Perspective: The Impossible Expectations On Landscape Horticulturists

The UK Perspective: The Impossible Expectations On Landscape Horticulturists

This article was originally published on the Garden Co blog by James Scott MGSD and has been reprinted with permission. View the original article at


I watched a recent episode of The Apprentice with increasing exasperation – and almost switched off altogether. Very wise, those of you that generally avoid reality TV might be thinking – but my reaction was nothing to do with the ‘falseness’ of a reality TV format, it was all to do with the misleading image that was portrayed of our landscaping and horticultural industries.


As the programme format dictates, two teams of young business people were set a task by Lord Sugar.  The teams were briefed to set up their own urban gardening businesses, carrying out commercial and domestic jobs across London.  On day one, both teams visited corporate clients to pitch a plan and secure a price for a large rooftop renovation.  On day two, the work was carried out and client feedback was given.  The outcomes were not good. One client was presented with a badly-painted bench and various plants randomly scattered about the space (she did not pay up).  Overall, the picture was one of shoddy work and despite our heritage as a nation of garden lovers and years of popular TV gardening programmes, it seems that we still have difficulty portraying the services offered and the skills deployed by those working in landscape and horticulture industries accurately and positively.


Why does this matter?  In my opinion, this recent example highlighted two key issues:


– Issue 1 – how can we expect to attract people into landscape and horticulture roles if the work is so misunderstood and undervalued?  With Brexit on the horizon combined with an ageing workforce, employers and managers across landscaping and horticulture are faced with an ever-more challenging ‘war for talent’ and urgent skills shortages.


– Issue 2 – how can we expect our clients to appreciate the ‘value-add’ in our services, if it is seen as such low-skilled, low-budget, quick turnaround ‘stuff’?  The Apprentice contestants were actually on a hiding to nothing – it was completely unrealistic of the producers to expect them to do justice to the roof garden projects with the tiny budget allocated and a few hours to carry out the works. I am sure I would have been unsuccessful too in their shoes!


In the real world, there is some good news with regard to attracting new talent to the industry. I know in my role as MD of The Garden Company that there are a number of hugely talented young people already enjoying early success.  Last week, I enjoyed attending Pro Landscaper’s presentation of awards to the Next Generation 2018: 30 under 30.  This is a wonderful initiative that seeks to recognise and reward the achievements every year of 30 inspiring young people in our industry.  The youngest winner this year was only 21 and the range of roles encompassed by the group was inspiring in itself, including landscapers, garden designers, maintenance services, landscape architects, arborists and suppliers specialising in technical products.


It’s great that Pro Landscaper is driving this forward, and of course there are other initiatives that share the goal of inspiring more young people – I would like to give special mention to BALI’s Golandscape and the Landscape Institute’s #ChooseLandscape career campaigns, along with the Green Plan It challenge for schools led by the RHS.


However, with regard to the TV programme makers, the media and the wider public’s perception of what we do and how we do it: there seems to be very long way to go to get people ‘on side’.  Of course, every time we talk to prospective clients we need to demonstrate our value and results, and help people to appreciate the range of disciplines that we draw on – design, hardscaping, softscaping, horticulture, planning regulations …. I could go on!  I have always seen this as part of the ‘day job’ – but I would love to think that it could be made easier in future through a wider understanding of our services.


So … What else can we each start doing (or do more of) in our ‘day jobs’ to address both the skills shortages and the general lack of insight into our services?


  • Education, education, education – We need to keep shouting out about how rewarding it is to have a career in landscape design, construction and horticulture… to schools, colleges and anyone with an influence on shaping young peoples’ career choices and aspirations. By helping to reassure doubtful parents, teaching staff and careers advisers then we can show school-age children what the industry is really all about in the 21st century – and its advantages over other jobs and career paths that may be in decline. I always to try to respond helpfully to any requests for information/careers guidance etc from education providers,  but it strikes me that I could also ‘push’ for the opportunity to do so.
  • Create opportunities for work placements/internships. A common complaint within British businesses is that colleges and universities do not prepare their graduates for the real world. Our industry is no exception – new job starters need to be ready to work in challenging situations, for discerning clients, applying the skills and knowledge that employers reasonably expect them to have. A vital ingredient here is the availability of work placements and internship. We are delighted to offer 2-3 students a paid work placement every summer at The Garden Company and we are just starting to explore design placements as well as more operational site-based roles.
  • Promote apprenticeships. Real apprentices (unlike Lord Sugar’s candidates!) carry out real jobs while they study, learn and acquire relevant skills and knowledge. Many employers use apprenticeships to upskill existing workers as well as providing training for new employees. At the Garden Company we have benefited greatly in the last few years from ‘growing our own’ team members and team leaders through our own apprenticeship programme.  We aim to do a lot more of this going forward.


In summary, the recent Apprentice episode illustrated a couple of very real business challenges for providers of landscape and horticultural services (although not the ones that the programme-makers intended). We are lucky to have various trade associations, societies and others working hard on our behalf to address both the ‘war for talent’ and our industry’s professional reputation.  Those of us that are ‘oldies’ with years of experience of fighting these two familiar battles must continue to play our role – I hope this blog post has prompted some ideas about where we can build on our efforts … your thoughts and comments, of course, are very welcome.

TED: A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA

TED: A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA

“I live in South Central. This is South Central: liquor stores, fast food, vacant lots.

So the city planners, they get together and they figure they’re going to change the name South Central to make it represent something else, so they change it to South Los Angeles, like this is going to fix what’s really going wrong in the city. This is South Los Angeles. (Laughter) Liquor stores, fast food, vacant lots.

Just like 26.5 million other Americans, I live in a food desert, South Central Los Angeles, home of the drive-thru and the drive-by. Funny thing is, the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys. People are dying from curable diseases in South Central Los Angeles. For instance, the obesity rate in my neighborhood is five times higher than, say, Beverly Hills, which is probably eight, 10 miles away.

I got tired of seeing this happening. And I was wondering, how would you feel if you had no access to healthy food, if every time you walk out your door you see the ill effects that the present food system has on your neighborhood? I see wheelchairs bought and sold like used cars. I see dialysis centers popping up like Starbucks. And I figured, this has to stop. So I figured that the problem is the solution. Food is the problem and food is the solution. Plus I got tired of driving 45 minutes round trip to get an apple that wasn’t impregnated with pesticides.

So what I did, I planted a food forest in front of my house. It was on a strip of land that we call a parkway. It’s 150 feet by 10 feet. Thing is, it’s owned by the city. But you have to maintain it. So I’m like, “Cool. I can do whatever the hell I want, since it’s my responsibility and I gotta maintain it.” And this is how I decided to maintain it…”


National Award Judges Declare Boardwalk a Winner

National Award Judges Declare Boardwalk a Winner

Media Release

30 November 2018

Council’s Park Road boardwalk upgrade has been hailed a “shining example of what’s possible when industry, community and professionals collaborate on a shared vision for public benefit”.

Michael Casey, President of the Australian Institute of Horticulture (AIH), added that the project ticked all of the judges’ boxes to take out this year’s AIH Regional Greenspace Award.

“The judging committee all agreed that a project of this calibre, with the involvement of industries and communities working together to green our built environment, echoed why we had introduced these Green Space Awards,” he said.

Mr Casey presented Mayor Tony Wellington with the award at the boardwalk’s official opening today.

Awarded under the AIH annual awards program, the national gong recognised Council’s efforts to retain existing vegetation by designing the new boardwalk around it.

“The project comprehensively covered all the criteria of the Australian Institute of Horticulture’s Regional Greenspace Award,” Mr Casey said.

AIH presents awards in recognition of achievement of excellence in professional horticultural practice.

Council designed the boardwalk upgrade with a community reference group, made up of residents, plus environmental, business and tourism representatives.

“It was always Council’s intention to retain all the trees between Little Cove and the National Park,” the Mayor said. “Peregian-based architect Grant Calder managed to achieve this by incorporating many of the trees into the actual design. Of course quite a few are koala food trees.”

He said it took significant planning to overcome numerous engineering and geo-technical constraints, preserve the environment and ensure the new design preserved visual amenity from the beach.

“The end result is a bigger and better boardwalk, which meets the needs of a wider variety of users. Many millions of people will walk the new boardwalk during its lifetime. This is a real signature project for Noosa and we’re thrilled to see it recognised with this respected national award.”


Media enquiries: Heather Williams. Phone 0416 292 665.


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Media Release AIH Awards 2018: Former Governor General Wins Top Horticulture Award

Media Release AIH Awards 2018: Former Governor General Wins Top Horticulture Award

Australia’s 24th Governor General Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery has been chosen as the winner of the prestigious Silver Gum Award at the 58th Australian Institute of Horticulture (AIH) Awards at the Mercure Gold Coast Resort on Saturday October 27.

General Jeffery’s AIH Silver Gum Award for his Post-Regal work as Australia’s first ever National Advocate for Soil Health joined other skilled horticultural practitioners being acknowledged and rewarded for their work in the profession. Retiring Institute President of four years Wayne van Balen said the quality of project work, high powered skills and the Institute’s Registered Horticulturist accreditation program played a defining role in horticultural practices by members over recent years.

Well known and respected garden educator Annette McFarlane won the top Golden Wattle Award. Acclaimed arborist Jan Allen was the Institute’s Choice of Horticulturist of the Year, Sonny Morrison from Kurri TAFE NSW the Student of the Year.  Three high powered AIH Green Space Awards to Noosa, Western Australia and Australia’s biggest Breathing Wall in Melbourne were the standouts of the night’s Awards.

Michael Casey of MJC Horticulture  (Melb.) was elected new National President of the Institute.


Contact Michael Casey 0411 520 796

Kim Morris 0409 59 11 33

NGIA: Blockchain Technology: How to Unblock Your Supply Chain

NGIA: Blockchain Technology: How to Unblock Your Supply Chain

By Gabrielle Stannus, Nursery & Garden Industry Australia

By now, most of you have probably already heard about Bitcoin. This so-called ‘electronic cash’ is now just one of many cryptocurrencies floating on the market. Using blockchain technology, this digital money can be sent from user-to-user on a peer-to-peer (p2p) network without the need for intermediaries such as a central bank. Blockchain technology is now also being taken by businesses seeking to improve supply chain processes at all points from production to consumption. The potential applications of this technology should interest growers and retailers alike.

What is a blockchain?

Blockchains are a form of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in which transactions are recorded in a shared ledger with stored information time-stamped. Each entity has its own copy of the ledger. When a new transaction is made, a new record (or block) is added to the blockchain, and is verified by all the other entities. This provides transparency within the network and allows for secure and real-time interactions between businesses. Transactions on a blockchain can only proceed when all the entities involved agree to the transaction taking place. Each “block” is encrypted so it cannot be deleted, reversed or edited. The distributed ledger exists on multiple computers, often referred to as nodes. In commercial applications, these nodes remain within a private network, accessible only by permitted users, unlike the less regulated cryptocurrencies.


Credit: World Economic Forum


David Thompson, Communications Manager with the Australian Institute of Horticulture, says blockchain technology may soon provide multiple benefits to the nursery and garden industry.


David says: “The value of a horticultural product relates significantly to its provenance and the ability to verify claims of heritage, quality, cleanliness and true to type. If you think of a supply chain as being about aiming to increase the relative value of a product as it goes from production through to retailing, then you understand also how important it is to be able to check those claims about what is done or not done at each level of the supply chain. Did the product really come from the farm it claims? Was its chemical treatment really at that dosage?”

“What blockchain could potentially enable is an addition to the QR code-style scanning technologies where it creates a transparent, clearly-provable set of records throughout the supply chain that a buyer can use to create confidence and therefore maintain the value in the supplier and in the system” adds David.


For growers seeking to reduce their incidence of pest and disease in their nurseries, blockchain technology may be part of the biosecurity solution. “Let’s imagine you are paying good money for a product that is claimed to be virus-free, disease-free stock on which rests your ability to grow a future crop worth millions of dollars. How would you have faith that it is true what you are being told? How do you rely on the validity of the supply chain records?” David asks.

David says blockchain technology may provide the means of maintaining those attributes of cleanliness, superb quality backed by clean production, good record-keeping and variety innovation that asks customers to value a good product of known origins. This technology could potentially also help to trace the source of pest and disease outbreaks more quickly, thus improving response rates.

Plant Breeder Rights

Blockchain technology may also provide better protection of Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) where the value of a variety is controlled by the limit on its production and propagation. “To enforce and maintain that value, there’s an opportunity to use something like blockchain to say that we can categorically prove that this plant has been produced in accordance with PBR, and here is the ledger that shows proof of this particular plant being true to PBR production and variety type” says David.

Other benefits

In addition to plant transactions, other potential horticultural applications include the transfer of import and export certificates, more inclusive development by enabling smaller businesses to access better market and better payments of financing possibilities, and better automation of business processes (e.g. via smart contracts)2. When used in conjunction with QR code-scanning technologies, blockchain technology may even help retailers gain a better understanding of changing consumer preferences helping them to improve their marketing.

Ready for action?

Blockchain technology is still in its infancy in Australia. Whilst agribusiness is getting in on the act, with early players including Rabobank and KPMG Australia, few blockchain applications have gone beyond the ‘Proof of Concept’ phase. But it is coming soon. AgriDigital claim to have completed the world’s first sale of wheat on a blockchain by a farmer to a buyer in 20161. So get online now and familiarise yourself with this supply chain innovation. Your business may just thank you for it.



1. Lisk 2018, ‘What is Blockchain?’, viewed 25 October 2018,
2. Ge, L, Brewster, C, Spek, J, Smeenk, A & Top, J 2017, Blockchain for Agriculture and Food: Findings from the pilot study, Wanginen Economic Research, Wanginen, December 2017, viewed 25 October 2018,
Further reading
Australian Digital Commerce Association:
Blockchain Association of Australia:
Passkit: (4 minute video explaining what blockchain technology is)
Presentation by Emma Weston, CEO AgriDigital, to Hort Connections conference, 17 May 2017, ‘Blockchain: What is it and what can it do for fresh produce’:

Greenwalls and Rooftops (Including Community and Food Usage Visit)

Greenwalls and Rooftops (Including Community and Food Usage Visit)

Mark Paul MAIH RH, one of Australia’s leading Greenwall experts took us on a guided tour of some iconic greenwalls in Sydney. Visiting the Calyx in the Botanic Gardens, Inner City sites and the Broadway greenwall.

Sincere thanks to organiser Chris Poulton MAIH RH, Mark Paul MAIH RH and all members and guests that came and enjoyed a truly fabulous event.


Image credit David Ting MAIH RH 2018 — at Central Park Sydney.


Green wall display at the Royal Botanic Gardens.


Image credit David Ting MAIH RH 2018 — at Central Park Sydney.


The beautiful display that is The Calyx – one of the finest vertical plantings you will ever see.


Image credit David Ting MAIH RH 2018 — at The Calyx.


Plants with bite!


Image credit David Ting MAIH RH 2018 — at The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.


The other Costa.


Image credit David Ting MAIH RH 2018 — at The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.


Green roof


Image credit David Ting MAIH RH 2018 — at Central Park Sydney.


Image credit David Ting MAIH RH 2018 — at The Calyx.


Image credit David Ting MAIH RH 2018 — at The Calyx.


Image credit David Ting MAIH RH 2018 — at The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.


Image credit David Ting MAIH RH 2018 — at The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.

President’s Report October 2018

President’s Report October 2018

Dear Members

This will be my last President’s report after four years at the helm. In a very genuine sense, it has been an honour.

For those that wonder, “why be a member?” albeit at some expense, personally I have regularly travelled to most regions, made great friends in Western Australia, South Australia, even Tasmania and Cairns – as well as the diverse regions in Victoria and New South Wales. I have represented the institute in Singapore, Jakarta, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. I have met the International Presidents of organisations such as the Institute of Landscape Architects, Horticultural Scientists and Production Horticulturists, and these have been wonderful opportunities resulting from belonging to my professional organisation. I have been privileged to work with many dedicated Regional Conveners and Councillors who are passionate about our association and profession. I can assure you that they are committed to the membership.

In recent years, Kim Morris has served tirelessly even through recent periods of ill health. We owe him a great deal. My wife Jane has made it possible through her technical support in the office and her counsel in relation to tricky situations.

I can report that there are ever increasing wonderful career opportunities for people entering our profession with issues like organic food production, food security, biosecurity and the benefits of green space in our urban environment. Horticultural therapy and understanding alternative pest and disease management systems are other realms that have been developing. Industrial contracts are increasingly calling for qualified horticulturists and in fact, contracts are beginning to require registered horticulturists on construction and management assignments. More recently, I have been involved in government initiatives that realise the benefits of our registered horticulturist scheme in communicating developing horticultural standards and methods. The Australian Garden Council does a large amount of work on identifying and discussing with Government the importance of Horticulture and gardens in relation to our tourism sector and this needs to be a continuing and growing focus.

I congratulate our Gold Sponsors Botanica Nurseries Pty Ltd and Fitzpatricks Insurance, who have joined with us to support our endeavours to improve skills and professionalism. We look forward to honouring their commitment. The regions have been rallying for us to provide more clarity to the public as to why they should use professional horticulturists. I thank Tom Lantry and the NSW Hunter/Central Coast group which is going national

Recently I attended the Botanical Bazaar on the Gold Coast where we had an AIH tent and answered questions to the public. We signed up many new members and took registrations for our awards night. The success was similar to that achieved at the Plant Collectors Fair in Sydney and the wonderful networking that took place at the Perth Garden Festival.

We have recently been receiving nominations for the new National Council. I encourage nominations for those who are yet to submit.

Awards Night

While on the Gold Coast I stayed a night at the Mercure Gold Coast Resort, which is the venue of our next Awards Night on 27th October. I am very pleased to advise that the venue is great! In a golf course setting with a very green outlook, excellent pool area, regal staircase, plenty of space and great rooms. So, I encourage you to attend and enjoy a night or two if you can book (quickly!). If you are not already aware, there is a Bus Tour arranged on Saturday 27th (leaving from the Mercure Gold Coast Resort, 64 Palm Meadows Drive, Carrara at 9am) before the Awards night. Many of us are attending and supporting the Horticulture Therapy Conference being held on Friday 26th. Details of these events on 26th and 27th October have been provided later in this newsletter and are on the website. If you have any problems booking, please contact David Thompson or myself or the Secretary to assist.

I should not forget to thank David Thompson and his partner Anna who together make a brilliant website and membership team. Thank you David and Anna for the high standards which you have always adhered to.

Singapore Delegation

This coming week we are hosting a delegation of officials and contractors from Singapore who will spend one day in Brisbane, one day in Sydney and one day in Melbourne (they will visit Perth next year). They will be visiting some iconic developments and we will be sharing industry challenges and learning from each other as part of our Memorandum of Collaboration. A number of senior educators will be accompanying us. Thank you to the Vice President, Michael Casey, Paul Hoffmann in Brisbane and Stuart Pittendrigh, Nic Rivett and Annette Irish who will be assisting. We hope that this will lead to good reciprocal opportunities for our own students and professionals in Singapore.

I wish you all a great spring and hope to see you at the Awards Night – and as many events and workshops as possible.

Best wishes

Media Release: Australian Institute of Horticulture & Therapeutic Horticulture Australia

Media Release: Australian Institute of Horticulture & Therapeutic Horticulture Australia

14 September 2018

The Australian Therapeutic Landscapes Conference (THA) 2018 will be held on 26th October on the Gold Coast with optional workshops running on Thursday 25th October.

On the evening of Saturday 27th October, members, horticulturists, dignitaries and Award winners will attend the Australian Institute of Horticulture’s 58th Annual Awards Night. This will be held on the Gold Coast and full details and booking information can be found on the AIH website.

Wayne Van Balen, President of the Australian Institute of Horticulture said “our members are looking forward to being involved with and attending the THA Conference. This will be followed on the 27th October (Saturday night) by our annual awards night where we will be welcoming attendees from both organisations as well as other horticulturist dignitaries and award nominees and winners. We are also excited about a joint bus tour of professional horticultural interest during Saturday, commencing at 8:30am”.  Get garden bus tour details>

Former Governor General, The Honorable Michael Jeffrey AC, CVO, MC and Mrs Marlena Jeffrey will be honoured at the Awards Night for dedication to improving Australian soil health.

Mr Steven Wells, President of Therapeutic Horticulture Australia said: “we are really looking forward to our THA conference and workshops and to be working in association with the Australian Institute of Horticulture to promote each of our fantastic events. This opportunity provides a valuable chance to connect and network with other horticulturists to further strengthen the field of horticulture and its many ways of benefiting individuals and communities”.

Yours sincerely

Wayne Van Balen MAIH
Registered Horticulturist No. 0027

President’s Report September 2018

President’s Report September 2018

Dear Members

I hope you have all had a successful month as you strive for the best possible standards in your businesses and professional lives. It has been an honour to serve in my capacity for almost four years.

Gold Sponsor

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I introduce you to our new Gold Sponsor, Botanica Nurseries. This well-known nursery is highly regarded and we look forward to working with them. I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr David Hanna, Mr Michael Anderson and other senior staff recently.

National Council Positions

With three months to go for my Presidency, I ask you all to consider whether you may be able to serve on National Council for a period to assist in developing professional standards in horticulture and the stature and commitment to members of the Australian Institute of Horticulture nationally and internationally.

AIH Awards

I would seriously appreciate all members taking time to nominate outstanding students, projects and professional horticulturists who might be worthy of our prestigious awards which will be presented at our Awards Night on 27th October 2018 on the Gold Coast.

Full details of all the awards and nomination forms are on the website or contact the Secretary, your Regional Convener or myself as soon as possible.

BBM Award

The closing date for nominations for the BBM Youth Support Award was on 10th August. This award is available for young Horticultural students under the age of 24 who receive $8,000 towards a study tour to England and other locations.

The Criteria and Application form can be found on our website, or contact myself via email below or the Secretary. The application is relatively simple, but please don’t hesitate to contact us for clarification. Awards are available in both amenity and production horticulture.

Singapore and Indonesia

Your Vice President Michael Casey and myself, visited Asia between 16-23 July. We had an extremely busy schedule with really only one day rest before returning. On Tuesday it was my fourth formal annual meeting with NParks in Singapore although we meet on other opportunities throughout the year.

We had productive discussions on matters of training, encouraging young people into the profession and reciprocal training and knowledge visits between our two countries. There is also much we can learn from each other in relation to Government policies and industry developments and opportunities.

On Wednesday, we attended the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) conference where we facilitated an AIH stand. We met a number of good international contacts and met several new members. We also consider our presence amongst many other international organisations as very important. I would encourage many of our specialist design and Architecture members to consider speaker roles at some of these high-level meetings.

On Thursday, we travelled to Jakarta for the Inaugural GreenUrbanScape Expo Jakarta. We were very well received with many great relationships formed. On Friday morning I presented a paper at the Conference. I was the only one that spoke in English! Luckily most people understood English and by speaking slowly and presenting many pictures, my reports are that the talk was well received. Michael concluded the talk by greeting the attendees in Bahasa and we presented and received gifts. It was an excellent networking opportunity which can definitely be built upon.

On Friday night we returned to the Singapore Garden Festival Dinner invited by our AIH Singapore Convener, John Tan.

A big thank you to NParks who provided us with tickets for the festival. John Tan also had a display garden at the Garden Festival and won a Silver Medal for his design. I also had the opportunity to hold discussions with John and Whye Keet from NParks about a possible joint workshop in April next year.

Best wishes,


The Real Value Of Our Registered Horticulturist Accreditation

The Real Value Of Our Registered Horticulturist Accreditation

A buying decision could come down to whether or not they find an accredited brandmark such as the Registered Horticulturist symbol. Make the right decision….

Two of our current Registered Horticulturists, Adjunct Assoc Prof Andrew Prowse RH 026 and AIH Secretary Kim Morris RH 002, have a range of clients who operate substantial 4-5 star resorts (from the Australian tropics, to PNG and Western Pacific).

Their roles are in the design of tenders and contracts for the purposes of appointing maintenance contractors to substantial developments and properties.

Their work requires setting the specifications and Scope of Works for contractors and how to minimise maintenance costs in often tight budgets, while maintaining five-star excellence in the garden presentation of a large property.

They have been able to convince owners that having one or more Registered Horticulturists on the ground’s teams, amongst a number of pluses, gives better productivity, shows savings by having the job done properly once and expertise that comes with experience and training. These are now written into the specifications of the contracts.

Promoting the value of Registered Horticulturists at an owner or principal level can only help, value and promote accredited horticulture practitioners.