2022 FNGLA Industry Award Winners Announced!

The Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) is the nation’s largest state-wide nursery and landscape association. A member-driven organization, FNGLA members unify to better the industry and raise the bar on professionalism.

FNGLA will host the 2022 Annual Convention on June 23-25 to be held at the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek Resorts in Orlando. A few select members will receive well-earned recognition and awards in one of eight categories during the convention. We are proud to announce that one of those being recognized is (drumroll please)…

FNGLA Young Professional Award Winner!

Erin Jenkins Banas
Vice President
Jenkins Landscape Company

The Young Professional Award is presented to a FNGLA member who is under 39 and has made an outstanding contribution to the industry. It is sponsored annually by the Farm Credit Association of Florida.

Erin’s professional credits from FNGLA include FNGLA Certified Horticultural Professional (FCHP), FNGLA Certified Maintenance Technician (FCLMT), and FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician (FCLT). 

In addition, Erin has been a member of the FNGLA state board, serving on the certification committee since 2014. 

Not neglecting her involvement locally, Erin was selected for the Treasure Coast Chapter’s board in 2018. Shortly after which, she was nominated and elected Vice President in 2019. And then to President in 2021, for which she will hopefully serve until May 2023.  

Seeing the need for a certification exam site on the Treasure Coast, Erin opened Jenkins Landscape’s nursery office off Bridge Road to become a host. Not only does she host the certification exams, she provides a training day prior to the exam. These training events are open to everyone and usually bring people from all over the state. 

In the Summer of 2021, Erin taught a 17-week FNGLA Certified Horticultural Professional (FCHP) certification class and has another class starting May 2022. These classes are not just for Jenkins Landscape employees, they are open to anyone in the landscape industry.

Under Erin’s leadership, Jenkins became one of the first apprenticeship participation employers in the State with FNGLA’s Nursery and Landscape Apprenticeship Program. A recently hired apprentice in our Irrigation Department is the first in the entire state to go through this newly funded grant program with FNGLA.

Finally, Erin is constantly promoting the certification program through FNGLA, not only within Jenkins Landscape Company for their own employees, but even with their competitors —all of which validate Erin’s skills and expertise in the landscape industry and enhance her leadership skills.

“The more companies that embrace the certifications and train their employees, the more we can do for our environment as well as our industry. Landscapers are not regulated by the state like other trades. The only thing we have to distinguish one company from another are certifications through the FNGLA. The other thing I really like about the certification program is what it does for the employees. When an employee receives their certification, it really improves their skills, confidence and knowledge.”
—Erin Jenkins Banas

In fact, all Jenkins Landscape employees are encouraged to earn FNGLA certifications…and Erin will pick up the tab.

It’s Tabebuia Time!

The Fabulous Trumpet Trees

New England is famous its glorious autumn color, but even the most stately oak or maple is able to rival Florida’s burst of color when the Trumpet trees are in full bloom.

For years the horticulture industry categorized/named these blooming trees as the genus Tabebuia under the common name Trumpet Tree (followed by a specified color), but in 2007 a DNA study proved that they don’t all share a common ancestor. Today, what was previously called a Tabebuia tree may be from the genus Handroanthus (read more about this discovery).

Regardless of their scientific name, these medium-sized, lawn-friendly trees are big on personality. Each genus has its own flower and leaf color and a slightly different-shaped bark.

Give a tabebuia tree a little space and good sunlight, and every spring it will give back a show to remember!

The Tabebuia family of trees are excellent for South Florida. They produce a magnificent show each spring, provide pollen for hummingbirds and butterflies, and have a moderate growth rate, resist serious pests and diseases, provide a lovely shade-friendly spread, are fairly drought tolerant, and love the sun. 

Tabebuia impetiginosa is a tall tree with an often sparse canopy. Hummingbirds often prefer this tree over flowers.

Tabebuia aurea is a beautiful blooming evergreen tree 15- to 25-feet tall, deeply furrowed, picturesque and easy to grow.
Tabebuia heterophylla is native to the Caribbean and is widely cultivated for timber. The pink manjack variety is often used for shade in yards and along streets.
Tabebuia roseoablais native to Brazil and cultivated here for its pinkish white flowers that last only about four days, leaving a dense, bluish-green foliage for shade.

Learn more about the Trumpet Trees from UF|IFAS Gardening Solutions.

Living Walls

Living walls are vertical spaces of living plants. In recent years they have become quite popular as an eco-friendly way to add color to a landscape; provide cooling shade and privacy to a courtyard, patio, or outdoor shower; or camouflage utility boxes, pool equipment, refuse cans or any outdoor eyesore. 

living wall installation panel
Jenkins technician installing a living wall

These vertical gardens use a system of panels on which selected plant species are hung from hooks or placed in pockets and receive water and nutrition from specially installed irrigation systems hidden behind the greenery. Our living walls are installed by our trained technicians and lovingly maintained by our Maintenance Technician and Living Wall Specialist, Beth Williams. 

Beth focuses on creating vertical gardens in adherence to her mantra: “the right plant in the right place for coverage and color in all seasons.”

living wall plant collage
Some of Beth’s favorite living wall plants