By David DeJohn, NHCLP
As I write these notes for the October/ November issue it’s early September and still more summer than it is fall. High 80s and low 90s for the past several weeks and still dry, dry, dry. Trees and shrubs are really showing signs of stress and up and down our road in Canterbury the Maples (not just the Swamp Maples) Birches, and Pagoda Dogwoods are turning color or going straight to brown. My Hostas, Heuchera, Pulmonaria and Eupatorium are still doing well so those are definitely going to the front of my plant palette as are my Physocarpus and Buddleia, while my Heliopsis is wilted and sad in spite of this morning’s thunderstorm, and the forsythia is just totally ready to call it a day. Some clients have called and canceled lawn and planting jobs – with my blessing for sure – while others have asked about overseeding an existing lawn or seeding a new lawn with white clover in the mix and using more drought tolerant plants instead of what they originally had in mind. I see this as a positive sign, that people are starting to get it, especially about lawns. Tell them that white clover is great for attracting pollinators and they get even more excited! This is certainly a good time to educate our clients about using natives, cutting back on lawn size and water usage.
September is also the time of year that renewal notices have gone out and this year you will have seen that we now have the capability to receive payments with credit cards. We have been trying to do this for quite a while now with the hopes that this makes it easier and more convenient to renew. A huge amount of thanks go out to Pam Moreau, our treasurer, for researching this and getting it set up.
Throughout the year we gain a few members here and there and then at renewal time there are always a few who decide not to renew their memberships. One of the biggest reasons given for deciding not to renew is that they don’t see the value in it, they’re not getting anything out of it. I’m always a little surprised at this, so usually my question/answer to that is, “What do you put into it”? By that I mean do you take advantage of all the educational opportunities put together by the Education Committee offered throughout the year? Do you attend the Winter or Spring Conferences or any of the Twilight Meetings? Have you been to any of seminars and workshops put on by our partners at UNHCE or any of the other events always found on the calendar page of the Newsletter? I know it’s hard to take time out of a day during the season to go to a talk or Twilight Meeting, almost impossible some times, but if you do take the time you might just learn how to properly prune a dwarf conifer in the true Japanese style or how to install landscape lighting and irrigation or about the little but powerful and all but hidden Holocaust Memorial Park in Nashua.
Another benefit of being a member, although it may be less tangible than the educational things, is the networking. I have always loved the fact and have taken full advantage of it; when I have a question about something there is always someone I know within NHLA that either has the answer or can lead me to someone who does. This season I relied on that networking a lot. When I needed a roller compactor I made a few phone calls and was not only given leads of where I might find one but also to rent or borrow their own machine if I needed to. In the end I was not only able to rent the compactor from a landscape company near me, but they showed me all of the other equipment they rent for the season from a rental company in Manchester. Valuable information for the next time. I’d never done any coping around a pool before and I don’t do a whole lot with mortar but through the advice and help of several NHLA member companies about materials and installation, I got it done and it came out great. Whether it was a pruning question, advice on an evergreen hedge for an exposed site or even advice on an estimate for a cobblestone driveway that I thought I might be under bidding, there was always someone who’s knowledge and generosity with that knowledge I could tap into. There are hundreds of years of combined knowledge and expertise within our organization – take advantage of it!