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Training and skills development. (Internationally)

BLandscapeDesign No 8

 

We have the expertise to invest in your company with regards to the development of your labour input. We have worked extensively into Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa in the guidance and up-skilling of labour in ensuring the execution of professional landscapes, from installation to consistent maintenance delivery.

 
How important it is to spend time in up-skilling your staff. Some of the key areas for up-skilling as follows:
 
1. Motivational upliftment - Caring to teach and grow people in their positions and giving those employees better skills and opportunities to do the job well, with enthusiasm and enjoyment.P1070861
2. Confidence boosting – Staff who have a good understanding of how the job should be done, will deliver excellence and therefore need to be trained and developed in order to produce an efficient service. The service is important as your client is observing the efficient delivery and will continue to extend contracts as you deliver with better up-skilled staff to do the work.
3. Continued investment – Continued investment in staff development and teaching is vitally important. People forget easily how the job should be done especially when a particular aspect of the job hasn’t been done for a while. It is important therefore that we never forget that as we deliver a service there is continued teaching/reinforcement to be undertaken in getting the job P1070853delivered efficiently and professionally.
4. Your client’s investment – The teaching investment in your staff is vitally important. We cannot afford to loose our staff as clients trust that the work methodology is maintained. Staff turnover results in diminishing the delivery of sills within your business.
Your landscaping business depends on the visual effect that your staff creates. Being a labour intensive industry, worldwide it is vitally important that we can keep a consistency in ensuring that we deliver a well-executed product. 
We have several skill developmental programs that we offer as follows: -
CIMG0430 SupSkillsforLandscaping No 3
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Three Day Landscape Installation & Maintenance Management Programme 
Two Day Garden Workers Training Course
Two Day Advanced Gardeners Programme
Two Day Basic Landscape Design Programme
Four Day Landscape Design Programme 
Three Day Landscape Design Business Practice Programme 
Two Day Green Industry Marketing and Communication Programme BLandscapeDesign No 10
One Day Garden Workers Training Course
Two Day Team leaders programme
These training programmes have been run extensively.
 
Pictures of up-skilling and training of staff in other parts of Africa and out of the country that have been well received by our clients and their own clients are part of this blog.
Continued staff up-skilling is vital and the popular training programmes and options are as follows: -
 
Three Day Landscape Installation & Maintenance Management Programme 
Two Day Garden Workers Training Course
Two Day Basic Landscape Design Programme
One Day Garden Workers Training Course
• Two Day Team leaders programme
Contact us on email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check out our website www.ldconsultantsinternational.com for further details.
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South African grasses in sustainable landscaping.

How important is it to use our South African grasses in creating sustainable landscaping? I have been writing about this inclusion in my previous blogs.
Grass plays an essential role in nature, especially as a source of food, but also to provide shelter and nesting material. 
 
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There are also many food chains that eminate from growing grasses in the landscape and it’s usually the animal and bird life at the bottom of the food chain that utilizes grasses. Some of the important additives to growing grasses: - Our grazers  many antelope species enjoy the grass grazing including Spring hares, rats, eating the grass seeds together with Mongoose and other rodents that will eat the nutritious part of the grass. Birds are also big grass seed eaters and are regularly seen in building their nests with grass and seed distribution. Our insect population also use our grass for food and shelter and the good and the bad are then brought into the landscape, which then creates a strong ecological balance in the garden.
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If you look carefully at the structure of most grass plants - they are fascinating in their different formations in terms of structure and design ability, and also when combining with your indigenous and exotic shrub choices within a landscape, thus transforming the design into an unusual and interesting landscape planting pallette. 
 
Here in South Africa we have grasses that will become the soldiers within the space and combine well with most planting choices including understory planting, shrub and tree coverage. They take well to discipline in terms of cutback and creating effective hedging. They are easily propagated. The bird and insect population, do a lot in terms of repopulation of grasses.20170503 091116
 
 My favourite grasses in the landscape are the Eragrostis species, which are very pretty in terms of movement in the landscape. Together with the Panicum species, which I really enjoy too in combination. The species within the Aristida range are also very interesting, quite delicate within the landscape and lots of colour in their flowers. The Setaria species   called a brittle grass is beautiful, generally with dark green leaves and bring in a strong boldness used in the landscape. 
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Generally all species of grass grown in South Africa can be used ornamentally in the landscape and this is what is exciting as new grass seeds will be brought in by your predators, insect and bird population.CIMG1392 Grasses too are very adaptable in terms of the maturity of the landscape and providing that there is enough growing light, your grass growing population will complement the landscape design that you have planned. 
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Either grasses used in
sways and sweeps in commercial and industrial landscaping is excellent in coverage or utilising your grass species randomly through your planting, providing of course that it combines well with choices of complementary planting and this brings in a very interesting uniqueness to the design.
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I thoroughly recommend using endemic grasses within the landscape and utilising these plants in filling spaces as they bring a lot of movement into the landscape. Allow your grass to flower as the seeds can then be redistributed. See accompanying pictures. We promote this in terms of the new landscaping methodology both here in this county and abroad. 
Regular training in terms of staff understanding and how to work with grasses is offered by our consulting expertise.
Please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and a lot more detail is available on the website for your info. Any queries please contact us on the email address above or visit our website with comments greatly appreciated. 
 

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WHAT IS GARDENING FOR BIODIVERSITY.

“Biodiversity” is a current buzzword in gardening circles but what does it mean?

Biodiversity is short for biologicHardy endemic planting combinationsal diversity and refers to the variety of different life forms – plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain and the ecosystem they form. Biodiversity is usually considered at three different levels of explanation – genetic, species and ecosystem.
Local ornamental endemic grasses
Sustainable landscaping can include the ecosystem diversity and can be described as the level that pertains to gardens and green buildings encompassing the diversity of habitats and ecological processes occurring within an ecosystem type.
Sustainable landscaping is part of creating diverse habitats and ecological processes in order to attract wild animals, birds, butterflies and other insects into the landscape. By planting a selection of endemic plant species this will often provide a base from which these habitats can be created and upon which you can then build on introducing other indigenous species that will also be self-sustaining.
Erythrina humeana and insect life
In particular good biodiversity practises are concerned with birds, butterflies and beneficial insects which are known as indicator species and their presence indicates the ecological health of the garden. 
To ensure that your landscape is a haven for a wonderful variety of bird and insect life and capitalising on the previous blog this provides for a very exciting transformation of a garden over time.
Once the infrastructure is set up you will find that endemic planting particularly utilizing endemic grass species provide the infrastructure for creating a strong biodiversity approach in the design process of a garden.
See our next blog which will be a follow on to the concept of biodiversity. 

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Southern Africa seems to be the leaders in the world in terms of sustainable landscaping practices. 

The reason for this is the stark reality that shortages of water resources and changing climatic constraints are not conducive to creating ornamental landscapes.
These are the practices that we have developed in Southern Africa as follows.
1. Go organic – using less chemicals in a landscape is more ecologically sound and more cost effective. If you are growing food for your family gardening organically is even more important. Start from the ground up by building good soil rich in nutrients; add natural compost to amend the soil. If you discover insects, pest or plant diseases in your garden treat with organic solutions. 
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 2. Mulching the landscape – We in Africa have learned to be more conscious of mulching to prevent weeds in a landscape and it’s an ideal method of conserving soil moisture. Water restrictions are becoming generally more prevalent particularly in Southern Africa and in creating landscapes we are a lot more conscious of insuring that we mulch so that moisture is retained in the soil. The sustainable mulching options include shredded bark, pine needles, grass clippings, sweeping up the leaves and dead branches from trees cut up including vegetable and kitchen waste.
3. Planting indigenous/endemic - Endemic gardens which include locally grown plants to the particular area, requires a lot less work, less water and not necessarily climatically dependent. Additionally these plants often provide the shelter and correct environment for growing the more sensitive plants. Using the local indigenous/endemic ornamental grasses, low growing shrubs or ground covers that are endemic to the area are all good indicators for using plants that would be sustainable and all year round. 
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4. Water less – Around the world water is becoming a commodity that is not easily available particularly for landscaping and restrictions often are evident. Xeriscaping is the method of gardening and landscaping that reduces the need for watering and incorporates a wide variety of attractive drought-tolerant shrubs and perennials. Collection of water with tanks and run off from roofs and going green in terms of creating a greenscape rather than water dependant plants is a vital component in creating sustainable spaces.
5. Grow your own food – Vegetables and sustainable landscaping, herbs etc. in your space neutralizing the grey/green water that is within your space will be conducive to creating a self-generating environment. Beds can be interplanted with hardy vegetable crops including the indigenous herbs that create a sustainable space
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6. Plant Perennials – When plating perennials within a space go the endemic route and ensure that theses perennials will give colour and a different perspective to the landscapes in different seasons. This becomes an exciting experience as you will see varying perennials flowering at different times which brings in a different design focus to the garden.
7. Save seeds – When flowers and grasses particularly endemic grasses get to the end of a season collect the dried seed heads, store them in a dry place all winter and scatter them again in spring. This will then bring the reconstitution of the seed dispersal and will ensure that all gaps are filled in the growing season.
8. Compost – Sustainable gardening does include ensuring that the plant nutrient value from the soil is there. So compost must be well distributed through the landscape. Your own compost can be made from the mulch experience and is a good additive to ensuring that the nutrient value is maintained plus promoting a sustainable space.
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 9. Mow with an electrical mower – Obviously electrical mowers are a lot less polluting for the air and if you would like to reduce your carbon footprint use manually operated lawn-care equipment or electric mowers, trimmers and blowers rather than petrol driven equipment. 
10. Green for go – The carbon footprint of a space needs to focus specifically on power input through solar  power assistance and water treatment plants so that all waste material which includes sewerage and water from drainage is processed. Grey water can then be redistributed into the landscape. This is efficient and effective in promoting good plant growth and is all part of the carbon footprint for green for go. 
Sustainable landscaping is now the focus for worldwide landscaping techniques and education. The availability of localised plants together with their propagation is an important factor in the structure and combination of plant material.  Design focus of the landscape will focus on the combination of mainly green flowering plants or plants that will be correctly matched in terms of opposites in, flower, texture, colour, foliage and shapes.
We are looking forward to introducing this concept worldwide in developing and growing landscaping teams and their focus in sustainable landscaping. Contact us for further information on our consulting services email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website on www.ldconsultantsinternational.com

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