Monday, July 25, 2011

Landscaping the nation's most extraordinary landmark



Even as hundreds of landscapers from around the country descended upon Arlington National Cemetery, the place seemed quiet and still.

Even as they dug, hammered, limed, aerated and cabled, the cemetery resounded with an uncanny peaceful hush, as if the cemetery itself is as resilient as those it holds once were.

Perhaps it was the row upon row of white gravestones, situated in symmetrical straight lines.

Or the grass, so well kept it’s still green in this sweltering summer.

Or the stately towering old trees that show no signs of withering.

Or the striking contrast of green and white everywhere you look.

For whatever reasons, the scene’s all very picaresque, even when you come to the shocking realization that those graves all hold the bodies of people who once were very much alive, people who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

The landscapers were at the cemetery as part of the Professional Landcare Networks’ (PLANET’s) day of Renewal & Remembrance, in which landscapers from across the country flock to D.C. once a year to landscape Arlington National Cemetery.

The Renewal & Remembrance effort embodies the very traits of Arlington National Cemetery itself: duty, honor and strength. Every cemetery is sacred. But there’s something about Arlington that feels just a little more powerful, a little more historic, a little more majestic than the others.

Few tears were shed. There was no laughter, either. Just reverence. For the 15th annual year, landscapers paid their respects in the best way they know how: through their work.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hack job

Chopping down a tree, even the spindliest of them all, is no easy task for yours truly. Persistence paid off, though! I enjoyed trying my hand at arboriculture ever so briefly (with a little guidance), but I'm sticking with my day job.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Notes from NASCAR

The zoom. The deafening drone of the cars' engines. One bright blur after the other. The overwhelming aroma of burning rubber.

NASCAR inundates your senses from every direction. The best way to describe it is to show it through pictures and video. Thanks very much to Warren and Polly and the rest of the folks behind the GIE Expo for hosting us on Saturday! Amazing!

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Surviving the Death Race

Running a business is hard, but it's generally not a life and death experience.

Bruce Allentuck of Allentuck Landscaping recently participated in the Death Race, something that can only be described as one of the most physically and mentally challenging, events ever devised. And Bruce participated not only voluntarily, but eagerly.

Bruce details the experience in his blog here. All we can say is congrats to Bruce for undertaking such a monumental challenge.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

It's things like this that make us all look bad

The city might get the blame, but it's the landscaping industry that looks bad. A news story on KRGV.com which serves Rio Grande Valley, Texas explained how McAllen City contracted landscapers are dumping grass clippings, which get washed down city drains, clogging them, which results in flooding.

The city had been blaming residents for the problem and was quoted as saying: "It gets in the system because it sits in the yards or the parking lots. They'll come through and mow their lawn and blow it into the inlets,” said McAllen Emergency Manager Pilar Rodriguez."

According to one landscaper the KRGV reporter talked to, the only directive workers were given was "keep it out of the streets," so it was being left on the already cut grass next to the roads.

Just wondering who pays the $500 fine if it's the city's workers who are violating the city's ordinance.

You can read the complete story here.