Monthly Archives: November 2012

Doing the ‘Dirty’ Work

Photo courtesy Dirty Girls Lawn Care Inc.

By Molly Doyle

In a male-dominated industry, Ellie Kop is not “one of the guys”—she is a ‘Dirty Girl’ with an all-female landscaping company.

In 2000, Kop worked with an arborist while she went to college and took a small engine mechanics course to learn how the equipment worked. Then in April 2001, she started Dirty Girls Lawn Care Inc., and never looked back.

“I figured if I’m going to own it, and going to do something, I’m going to have a bunch of women right alongside me, doing it with me,” Kop says.

Laying the groundwork
It all started when Kop and her friend were employed at a restaurant, and they both wanted to work outside. As a bit of a joke (at first), Kop did a name search and found “dirty girls.” She wanted to trademark it, but found out a New York lip balm and soap company owned the rights to the name. Kop decided then to jump in hook, line, and sinker, and instead call it Dirty Girls Lawn Care Inc.

Read the full article: Doing the ‘Dirty’ Work

Preventing the Disfigurement of Trees

Photo courtesy Trees and Landscape, City of Surrey

By Steve Whitton

Throughout many Canadian cities there are trees worthy of any arboretum in the world. Unfortunately, these specimens are not the majority—too many trees are never given a chance to mature to their natural shape and size, or able to grow as the designer or landscaper intended.

When planting trees or creating landscapes with trees as part of the design, one can visualize what they will look like in the future when grown to their full potential; they can be seen as assets and ways to benefit and beautify the cities they occupy. However, there are people who view trees as a nuisance or visual barrier. This often leads to trees not reaching their full potential as they are removed or so poorly pruned.

Read the full article: Preventing the Disfigurement of Trees

Country Living by Design: Adapting to the challenges of a rural setting

Photo © Jason Jayne

By Jason Jayne

A family in Caledon, Ont., recently built its dream home. There were many reasons why everyone loved this location, such as the daily sightings of deer in the adjacent farmers fields that terminated in the local foothills. However, as the dust from construction settled, they realized despite their view, they could clearly hear the echo of the major highway just over a kilometre away. This reverberated through the landscape and woke the family up during the night when the bedroom windows were kept open for fresh air.

Additionally, although the bulldozer operator accomplished positive drainage away from the structure during construction, it created a handicap for a landscape designer left with an uninteresting canvas. The clients agreed the prevailing winds not only carried the road noise to their backyard, but was also an issue for living in that space. The family also wanted numerous recreational and entertaining features to fit with the family’s active lifestyle. The design team came up with a plan addressing all of these criterion to create a private oasis designed to encourage human connections. A natural feel was a given in this rural setting.

Read the full article: Country Living by Design: Adapting to the challenges of a rural setting

Meet Your Workmate

Photo courtesy RAM

Compiled by Molly Doyle

From heavy snowfall in winter to rocky, muddy regions in spring, on-road vehicles are designed to handle Canadian weather and various equipment for those in the turf industry.

Utility vehicles, pickups, and heavy-duty trucks are the go-to vehicle for golf course superintendents, sports turf managers, parks and recreation managers, and lawn care companies during the busy summer, and are ready to go in the winter for snowplowing, salting, and related business activities. There is no job too small or too large for today’s workmate.

Read the full article: Meet Your Workmate

Open for Golf: Winter maintenance programs for a 12-month season

Photo courtesy Dean Piller

By Dean Piller, AGS

As superintendent of the Cordova Bay Golf Course in Victoria, B.C., I have seen player expectations increase every year since we opened more than 20 years ago. Today’s winter maintenance programs are aimed at providing reasonable course conditions on a daily basis, while at the same time completing important cultural and course improvement projects required at a time when most of Canada is frozen over and covered in snow.

Fall preparation
There is a period of time in the fall between Labour Day and the end of October that many of our daily activities focus on preparing for the winter. Aside from the normal tasks required to ready the course for daily play, staff are busy behind the scenes prepping the golf course, and more specifically the soil, for the wet winter months that lie ahead.

Read the full article: Open for Golf: Winter maintenance programs for a 12-month season