Fashioning Focal Points ~ Connecticut Gardener’s APLDCT Designer Forum

ConnGardener 4-5.2013 APLDCT’s latest Designer Forum for Connecticut Gardener magazine focuses on Fashioning Focal Points. From focal point fundamentals, to movable focal points and using focal points to tell a story, this month’s article helps readers figure out to make their gardens more compelling.

Through our partnership with Connecticut Gardener, three members of the Connecticut chapter of APLD, all professional landscape designers, offer their take on the same topic, allowing readers to gain a small insight into the garden design process.

Upcoming topics for the Designer Forum include Tips for Rejuvenating Foundation Plantings, Groundcovers for Connecticut Gardens and Reducing Your Use of Chemical Fertilizers .

APLD CT at the Connecticut Flower Show

APLD CT at the Connecticut Flower Show

We’d like to thank everyone who stopped by and visited our booth at the 2013 Connecticut Flower Show. It was such a treat to meet you all and to have a chance to see all the amazing displays this year.

APLDCT booth at the 2013 Connecticut Flower Show

APLD CT Booth at the 2013 Connecticut Flower Show

APLD CT Booth at the 2013 Connecticut Flower Show

And a special thank you to our members who volunteered to help out in the booth. We couldn’t do it without you!

Remember, if you live in Connecticut and you’re looking for a professional landscape designer, you can find one on our Find A Designer page.

APLD CT’s Annual Business Seminar for Green Professionals

Grow your business with The Secrets of Successful Online Marketing!

Grow your business with The Secrets of Successful Online Marketing!

The Secrets of Successful Online Marketing!

Friday, March 1st at 10:00 am

Eckstrom Hall, Room E440

Naugatuck Valley Community College, Waterbury

 Walk-ins are welcome!

Please visit the NVCC website for directionscampus map and to check for any weather-related closings.


Update on CNLA’s Landscaper License Proposal

In case you missed this recent update from the Connecticut Nursery & Landscape Association (CNLA), here is the announcement about the status of the Landscaper License sent to CNLA members in early February. The announcement is printed here verbatim.


For the past five years, CNLA has been exploring the value and advantages of a state license for landscapers.  Hearings on our ideas could be held soon by the state legislature’s General Law Committee.  The CNLA Board of Directors has voted unanimously to recommend such a license to our members and asks your support.  Here’s why:

Why A License for Landscapers in Connecticut?

Most landscape contractors are already required to be licensed (registered) as home improvement contractors by the Department of Consumer Protection. CNLA’s proposed license would take the place of this requirement. The current home improvement requirement does nothing to create high standards for landscapers and give the profession public respect and admiration equal to electricians, arborists, and architects who have their own license.

So, what we’re proposing is not “another” license; it simply replaces one most landscapers already have to get.

Licensing Helps Preserve Your Turf.  Think about it: 50 years ago a landscaper had it all.  During that time, arborists got a state license to take over tree care, electricians through their license now have landscape lighting, plumbers and irrigation contractors through their license have landscape irrigation.  In the future, will masons take hardscapes and pavers?  What other lines of work will you give up to other trades without a landscaper license in place?

How the License Would Be Administered. A state board of landscapers would be created to assist the Commissioner of Consumer Protection in procedures for administering the license, including examinations, best practices, qualifications for the levels of licensing, etc. The Governor would appoint the five-member Board from lists of candidates proposed by nonprofit trade associations serving the industry like CNLA, the Groundskeepers, etc. The Commissioner would have legal responsibility to issue regulations for the details of the license.

How the License Would Work. Each company in the state that does at least $5,000 worth of landscape business annually would be required to get the license. Landscapers would be required to carry a sufficient amount of liability insurance, and display their license number wherever they go. Consumer protection would have the power to suspend a license for bad business practices. The term of the license would be five years.

Grandfather Clause. Landscapers who can prove they have been in the business for three years prior to the start of the licensing, could get the license without having to take an examination.

Cost to the State. The cost to administer the license would be paid for by the licensing and application fees, so there should be no fiscal impact to the state budget. CNLA estimates there are approximately 1,200 companies that would fall under this license.

Recertification Required. Landscapers would be required to take continuing education courses to maintain their license, which would be done by trade associations like CNLA, colleges, and other industry suppliers. This would be covered by many of the programs you already attend.  But more than that, it would lift up the landscape professional as someone who knows plants and has the latest knowledge to do things right.

Penalties & Enforcement. A person or company could face fines of $500 per day for violating the license requirements.  Inspectors from Consumer Protection will enforce the law.  Unlicensed landscapers would be reported to the state by the public or other landscapers.

May We Have Your Support?

CNLA has studied this carefully for many years, and we think it’s time to act. We hope you’ll tell your legislator that the landscaper license is long overdue for Connecticut.  We think it would build up the landscape industry, and give the public more pride in what we do out there every day.  Give us your input, or let us know if you would like to see our detailed proposal. Thank you!

UPDATE ~ If you’re interested in learning more or voicing your opinion, here’s info on a public hearing on the proposed Landscaper License.

 The General Law Committee will hold a public hearing on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 1:00 P.M. in Room 2A of the LOB. Please submit 30 copies of written testimony to Committee staff at the time of sign-up. Sign-up for the hearing will begin at 9:30 A.M. in Room 3500 of the LOB. The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislators, Constitutional Officers, State Agency Heads, and Chief Elected Municipal Elected Officials. Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony.



2013 APLDCT Board of Directors

APLD CT logoIt’s official… the Association of Professional Landscape Designers Connecticut Chapter has some new leaders at its helm.

While we thank our prior leaders for their dedication and hard work, we’re excited for what lies ahead for our chapter and its members in the coming year…..

For 2013, the APLD Connecticut Chapter officers are:

  • President –  Mary Ellen Pirozzoli, Verdesigns in Ridgefield
  • Vice President –  Rich Schipul, APLD,  Designing Eden in New Milford
  • Secretary – Dede Delaney, Red Twig Garden Design in Windham
  • Treasurer – Laura Rock, Laura Rock Landscape Design Services in Waterbury

 The Connecticut chapter also has three new Directors at Large: 

  • Scott Hokunson, Blue Heron Landscape Design in Granby
  • Richard Rosiello, Rosiello Designs in New Milford
  • Lucy Van Liew, Lucy Van Liew Gardens in Madison

Congratulations to all our 2013 Board of Directors!

Stay tuned for easy ways you can join in the excitement and get involved in our Chapter.

Polish Your Design Skills This Winter

It’s time once again for CNLA’s annual Design Challenge.

A much anticipated part of the Winter Symposium program, the design challenge is a great opportunity for landscape designers to polish their design skills during the off-season and create a design for a worthwhile local project.

This year’s project involves designing the landscapes around a home for at-risk youths on Valley Street in the New Haven area, Youth Continuum.

How would your design inspire the kids who find shelter and safety there?

At the Winter Symposium, landscape designers across Connecticut — each with their own interpretation of this project – will present their designs.  The designs be on display Friday, January 4th from 3:00-4:00pm  at the Winter Symposium at Manchester Community College.

As an added bonus, if you provide a design, CNLA will give you free admission and free lunch to the January 4th Winter Symposium at Manchester Community College.  Designs will also be featured in the Connecticut Nursery & Landscape magazine.

If you plan on entering the Challenge, please contact CNLA  by e-mail or by phone 800-562-0610. More Info and details for the CNLA Design Challenge 2013 are available for all interested landscape designers.

3rd Annual Holiday Party is a HUGE Success

APLD Connecticut’s 3rd Annual Meeting and Holiday Party held the Gelston House Restaurant & Inn  in East Haddam was a huge success. The Gelston House was dressed up in its holiday finest, the food was great and the staff was attentive.

After a brief annual meeting to review the chapter’s progress over the past year and to update members on recent developments in the state’s landscape professionals license, we all had the opportunity to mix & mingle.

It was a great chance to catch up with old friends, meet some new ones and talk business with other professional landscape designers.

If you weren’t able to join us, here’s a quick peek at the festivities.


APLDCT Sponsors Landscape Designer Showcase in Hartford

The First Annual Landscape Designer Showcase in Hartford for Spring of 2012 takes place on May 5th.  We will be working on transforming one block of Ashley Street in the Asylum Hill Neighborhood of Hartford through the generous donations of NINA and other sponsors as well as Landscape Designers who wish to give back to the community.

Friday, March 30th will be a garden prep day and there will be volunteers from corporate sponsors.

Planting and Judging will happen on Saturday, May 5th. Work will begin at 7 a.m. and Judging will begin at 1 p.m., with prizes awarded directly after. This well publicized event will be judged by Secretary of State Denise Merrill; Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and others.

To sign up contact: