MAHTS and Our Experience

After a few fun days in Atlantic City, Cedar Run Landscapes thought it would be great to share our experiences. Conferences like E. P. Henry’s MAHTS (Mid Atlantic Hardscaping Trade Show) are incredibly valuable to the landscaping business because these opportunities give companies like ours the chance to learn from the leading experts in the industry.

And it just so happens Cedar Run Landscapes President, Alden Zove, is one of those leading experts. Here he explains his experience at the conference as a lecturer and attendee.

“I had been invited by E.P. Henry to speak at MAHTS on two topics, the integration of our rainwater harvest and re-use systems with their new Coventry Eco Cobble, a permeable paving solution, and on the combination of water features with hardscape installations. I offered each seminar twice a day during the three-day show.

I was excited to see the number of attendees that where interested in what I had to present, with over 50 persons in attendance at each lecture. My Rainwater Harvesting presentation included a short video of our most recent addition to the display features at our office; here is a link to that video.  I discussed the many eco-sensitive techniques that we incorporate in our designs, and appreciated the interest that was shown by the audience in wanting to know how they could incorporate these techniques in their own projects.

My discussion on water features and hardscaping was also very well received. There were many comments on how the addition of water added excitement to our hardscape projects by providing an opportunity to engage the senses in the outdoor rooms we created. The educational aspect of water features was seen as a way to have the attendees customers get their children out of doors and away from the computer and television and become involved with the natural world that awaits them outside.

Some of my most memorable moments from the show where when I was on the trade show floor talking to the vendors that were displaying the new products they were offering. I was heartened to see how most of them were adopting the concepts of the green movement by offering more energy efficient equipment, more eco sensitive materials, and the inclusion of products designed to lower the carbon footprint of their customers. I see that the landscape industry is getting well aligned with the need to incorporate the tenants of the Triple Bottom Line. The concept of taking into account the effects of their business decisions on People, Planet and Profits, is beginning to make sense to these companies, and they are adjusting their mindset to include the TBL in their business plans.”

Here is what Bill, Cedar Run Landscapes Project Manager, had to say:

“I had an enjoyable and informative time at the MAHTS show this year.  On display were EP Henry’s brand new products along with new tools available to the hardscaping industry.  There were also educational seminars, Curtis, one of our supervisors, and I both attended the EP Henry Authorized Permeable Pavement Installer class where we were instructed in the proper methods and standards for building pervious pavement systems.  Attending off season trade shows helps all of us at Cedar Run learn about new concepts and stay current with continually changing building codes. “

The one thing that stands out the most at these conferences is the diversity of seminar topics to choice from. As the Landscape designer for Cedar Run Landscapes I had a difficult time choosing which seminars to attend. After careful thought I decided on Contract Writing, Professionalism in the Design Build, Leed in Hardscaping, and Pro Landscapes Fundamentals Training seminars.  My favorite out of these was Professionalism in the Design Build seminar. Joe Palimeno speaking for Vander Kooi & Associates touched on a variety of topics including how to understand the clients needs, develop presentations, and present proposals in a professional manor that will benefit both the company and the client.

All of us at Cedar Run Landscapes had a wonderful time at the event and look forward to the up coming season so we can begin applying all of the wonderful information we learned from this experience.

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Taking a trip to Atlantic City

This week “The Rain Guy” along with his employees will be attending  MAHTS (mid-atlantic hardscaping trade show) in Atlantic City, NJ. This three day event will be filled with interesting exhibitors  and many educational lectures. “The Rain Guy” will be leading several of these lecturers including ‘Water Features and Hardscaping’ and ‘Rainwater Harvesting’.

Check back later this week for an update on this event and what we saw.

Veggie Gardens and Sowing your Seeds

Although snow still blankets the ground and there seems to be no sight of spring, it’s time to start thinking about the veggie garden.  Vegetable gardens are a great way to help out the environment while providing your family with delicious and pesticide free food. By growing your own veggies your keeping food local, which helps lower pollution by eliminating fuel used to transport food from all over the world to your market.

If you want to grow your veggies from seed, starting them inside will offer several advantages.

  • Saves you money by not having to buy seedlings from garden centers come springtime.
  • You have more varieties to choose from.
  • You don’t have to wait until soil outside is warm enough to begin outdoor seed germination.
  • Starting early may help those who are feeling a little cabin fever

Make sure you do your research about what veggies you want to grow and when you should plant them. Most seeds will need about 4 to 8 weeks to germinate before the last frost date. Here are a few links that will get you one your way to starting your own veggie garden. Good Luck.

Starting Seeds Indoors

Best Planting Dates for Seeds

Starting Vegetable Seeds Indoors That 
T H R I V E!



Tips on Deicers

Keeping our paths safe for our friends, family and the public is a top priority in the winter months. At points it can be a challenge keeping these areas clear and we often turn to chemical treatments (deicers) for help. The overuse of deicers can increase concrete deterioration, stunt or kill plants, damage surrounding soil, corrode metals and increase pollution in our drinking water and the local watershed.

There are several types of deicers available. Calcium Chloride, Sodium Chloride (Common Salt), Potassium Chloride, Urea, and Calcium Magnesium Acetate (More Info) are typical deicers found in stores. The chart below compares these chemicals.

Chart courtesy of University of Minnesota Extension Service

To minimize the effects of deicers manually remove as much snow and ice as possible before applying product. Adding an abrasive such as kitty litter, sand, sawdust or cracked corn to icy spots adds traction and decreases the amount of deicer needed. Make sure to clean up an spills and excess product to prevent damage to your property and the environment. For more information on the effects deicers may have on your landscape and the environment use the links below.  

Deicing Links:

Winter Salt Damage to Plants by Ron Wimanovich http://york.extension.psu.edu/Horticulture/Reading Gardener/salt simanovich.html

Winter Deicing Agents for the Homeowner By Jay B. Fitzgerald  http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/live/g1121/build/g1121.pdf/

Deicing, Strategies for Safeguarding Both Guest and the Environment by Doug Kievit-Kyar                                         http://www.vtgreenhotels.org/articles/deice.htm

It is winter and The Rain Guy is going on the road again!

I will be doing presentations for the E.P. Henry Corporation on two topics this winter at their Mid Atlantic Hardscaping Trade show Feb 8-10. My first presentation will be on Rainwater harvesting, rain gardens and permeable paver patios and how they are important elements of an environmentally sound landscape composition. We will be reviewing recent changes in regulations that are now mandating their use, and how integrating these techniques can be beneficial to the homeowner and contractor.

 

Cedar Run Landscapes New Permeable Patio and Rainwater Harvesting System

The second presentation will be on the artistic side of integrating water features, including waterfalls, streams, ponds, water gardens, bubbling fountains and Pondless waterfalls with hardscaping elements such as patios, natural stone features, and permeable patios to create exciting outdoor living spaces.

If you know of a group, school or organization that would like to have a presentation by The Rain Guy at their location, or to arrange a tour of our extensive display of water features at the office, please let me know.

Power and Passion

Introducing the newest addition to Cedar Run Landscapes

Kaitlyn Dibble, our in house landscape designer, has been with us for nearly a year and will be helping to update our weekly blog posts. This week she will discuss the Nursery/Landscape Conference she attended on January 13th at Delaware Valley College.

Conference Logo

Last Thursday I joined my coworkers for an exciting day of learning and networking. Being new to the industry I love the opportunity to be introduced to the newest and greatest plants available and the best management practices used today. But what I most look forward to is learning from the people who have been working in the industry for so many years. This conference was no exception. A new breakout session was added this year that, as a young professional woman, I felt I had to attend.

“Women in the Green Industry”

Gathered around a table in a small conference room close to 30 women began the session by introducing themselves. Many were business owners or had high-ranking positions in the company they worked for. Others had left unrelated careers for one in the industry. All of them had different stories to tell. But the one thing that had been said in so many different ways was that they loved their jobs. Their passion led them to become the successful women they are today. Sure we discussed the complexities of working in a man-dominated industry and the changes they’ve seen over the years. At times it may have been difficult and they may not have always gotten the respect they deserved. But it’s the passion that keeps these women in the business and the reason why they have become some of the most valued professionals in the region. Their enthusiasm has given them the power to prevail. Their power and passion has inspired me. That is the most important lesson I learned at the conference and its one that I hope to pass along as I continue my journey in the profession.

Please check back next week for our post about deicers, the possible damage to your plants and alternatives to keeping your paths safe.

Pond Builder of the Year!

We got some great news this week at Cedar Run Landscapes — our company received an Honorable Mention in the Water Garden News magazine‘s Pond Builder of the Year competition! A profile of Cedar Run, as well as the other contest winners, will appear in an upcoming issue.

We’re very excited and honored to be recognized for our creative design skills in pond-building, and for the ways in which we’ve given back to our local community by educating about rainwater harvesting with water garden features.

From the Rain Guy's beautiful pond at home