Our Continuing Education and Experience Philosophy
In the world of gardening, there is always more to learn!
The best gardeners know that adapting to changes in plants, soils, weather and trends within the industry are integral to success. Like a good pair of pruners, knowledge about plants and pests is an essential tool for our gardeners. We make education a key component of our monthly garden service meetings where we review seasonal tasks (like the optimal time and methods for pruning Hydrangeas), plant identification (There will be a quiz!), or the latest research in the industry. Included in the agenda is a list of workshops around the area that our employees are encouraged to attend, with financial help provided by Britescape.
Like a good pair of pruners, knowledge about plants and pests is an essential tool for our gardeners.
We are also active participants in the Professional Horticulture Certification (CPH) program through the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association (WSNLA). Myself, Joanna and now one of our leads, Rebecca (Congratulations Rebecca!), have all passed this rigorous exam earning the title of Certified Professional Horticulturist (CPH). The test for certification covers plant identification, biology, chemistry, soil science, sustainability, hydrology, and landscape design for a broad understanding of landscapes. It also provides a foundation for our gardeners by equipping them with the confidence needed to enhance good decision making in the field.
Classes, workshops, and tests, are all helpful, but there really is no better way to learn than through experience. In the gardening world there is almost always an exception to something you have learned by the book. Trial and error in tandem with experimentation is key. I may come to a client and say “We’re going to try this…” from an observation of one of our gardeners or rooted in something we have read or seen. These moments of experimentation are some of my favorite! These situations are rewarding for our team as well as providing a positive end result for the client.
Retention is an important aspect of our education/experience philosophy. Continuing education helps keep our employees excited about their field, helps them grow in the areas that they are passionate about, and helps them to progress within the company. We strive to retain our staff for years as they become the experts filled with knowledge and details ready to teach the components of our client’s gardens to our newer gardeners. This way we can make the best decisions to promote a well-cared for and aesthetically pleasing landscape that lasts for years to come.
Forging connections with local industry organizations is another way we support the education of our employees. As recent members of Plant Amnesty, we now have access to a wealth of information and workshops geared towards the gardening industry and proven horticultural techniques. Britescape is also a member of Washington Association of Landscape Professionals (WALP). At WALP, we learn from and help other landscape industry firms from the area with our industry’s best practices, knowledge and overall professionalism.
All of this information can sometimes be overwhelming, but I love it when one of our team members says that working at Britescape feels like being back in school! Each day is filled with unique, hands-on learning experiences. At Britescape, our goal is to utilize these connections in the industry with a foundational culture of learning, that we hope to make the world a better place…one garden at a time!