Support for colleagues

In the June 1, 1962, issue of American Nurseryman, longtime editor and publisher F.R. Kilner urged the nursery industry to embrace the talents and capabilities of its related profession, landscape architecture. Strength in numbers? Not exactly: more like recognition that cooperative efforts among green industry segments can serve only to strengthen the industry. Today, as we slowly emerge from a long and difficult Great Recession, this kind of cooperation again becomes critical to the health of all related business.

But let’s let Mr. Kilner explain:

“Concomitant with the expansion of the nursery industry as a result of the home building boom has occurred the renewed participation of the landscape architects of the country in the beautification and better use of our environment, particularly in industrial development and beautification, urban planting and suburban development.

In the earlier decades of this century, when large private estates were developed by the millionaires of those days to afford expression to their artistic taste, or something like that, landscape architects were in demand for their guidance, and some prominent nursery firms of those days worked hand-in-glove, so to speak, with landscape architects to the great advantage of both. The American Association of Nurserymen and the American Society of Landscape Architects at times found mutual interests that led to the formation of committees to work together or to cement their relationship.

But the depression ended the golden era of the old-time millionaires, private estates and, in some cases, private practices of landscape architects. That profession found temporary opportunities in the federal government’s big highway plans and other government projects.

When the country returned to something like normalcy, it was not the same; building of millions of small homes became the order of the day. In time some private estate business returned, though far less, since the new millionaires invested in paintings and other art treasures instead. But the public had the same inclinations as before; town planning, suburban development, industrial landscaping and homes of distinction with more than average ground area provided opportunities again for landscape architects and nurserymen to work together. In the increased activity on the part of both, probably not sufficient contact has been kept by either.

In these days, when owners of fine homes desire to make the most use of their grounds and ask vaguely for something superior or else an oddity such as a Japanese garden, water area or whatnot, they need information as to the possibilities. Some landscape nursery firms are equal to occasions like this, but the retail nurseryman or garden center operator who has no personnel trained in designing elaborate plans would serve his customers best by recommending a professional landscape architect in the vicinity.

Many nursery firms are familiar with landscape architects’ work and sometimes are on co-operative terms with them. For anyone who is not, the results achieved with adequate knowledge and training are apparent in some of the award-winning industrial landscape projects in the vicinity, or upon inspection of outstanding edifices designed by landscape architects.”