Cutting Edge Education

It’s more than mowing.

Innovation & Value: these words define the nation’s largest member-driven nursery and landscape association, the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA). 

FNGLA helps landscape companies like ours raise the bar on professionalism through education, training, and accreditation. We regularly host FNGLA-sponsored training and certification classes at our Nursery in Hobe Sound.

This past June, under a hot sun, a few showers, and while following CDC Guidelines for face masks and social distancing, we hosted the FNGLA Certified Landscape Maintenance Technician (FCLMT) and FNGLA Certification Landscape Technician (FCLT) exams. The exams were conducted by FNGLA staff members Gary Weitermann, Certification Manager and Director of Industry Certification & Career Development, and Merry Mott, Director of Industry Certification & Career Development.

PLANT IDENTIFICATION

To pass this section, the technician must demonstrate the proper use of sun protection and an understanding of heat-related illnesses, identify a minimum of invasive plants from photos, and identify 50 Central/South Florida trees, shrubs, palms, groundcovers, turfgrasses/vines, foliage plants, and annuals — and do it in no more than 25 minutes with a passing score of 70%.

Can you identify the plants of South Florida? Take the test.

GRADING

Proper grading is vital to the success of any landscape. Here a landscape technician is demonstrating his ability to follow a grading plan and prepare an assigned area using slope and grading techniques that are correct for water drainage requirements.

In future issues, we’ll be sharing more about FNGLA Professional Development Certifications designed to measure the skills of practicing landscape maintenance technicians. Certification relies heavily on Green Industries Best Management Practices.

The Butterfly Garden

There’s a Community Butterfly Garden in Hobe Sound that is home to over 200 species of Florida-native plants — most of which are intentionally planted to attract butterflies.

The butterfly garden had not been tended to for a couple of years, so we donated our time and landscape crew to make sure this tiny park is attractive to both butterflies and people!

Spring is the perfect time to walk and relax among Zebra Longwings and Swallowtails, Viceroy, Monarch, Queens, Peacocks, and other butterflies and moths that are attracted to this special place in Zeus park.

What is a Zebra Longwing?
Click here to learn to identify our South Florida’s Butterflies.

The Butterfly Park is the inspiration of The GFWC Hobe Sound Woman’s Club, a nonprofit volunteer organization focused on providing civic, educational and charitable benefits to the local community, particularly for children, women, and of course, butterflies. These photos were taken shortly after our recent spring cleanup where we cleaned out beds, pruned and trimmed bushes and trees, and laid fresh mulch throughout.

Visitors can stroll along a short walking path among the plants or just sit and watch at a picnic table under the trees.

Plant labels help make a visit to the Butterfly Park an educational experience for kids and grownups alike. Butterflies are picky when it comes to choosing where to lay their eggs, and just as choosy about where they dine on nectar. The Butterfly Park provides for their feeding needs, and also gives them a place to shelter during heavy rains.

This little critter checked in on the work. We think he approved. The Butterfly Park is located in Hobe Sound where Olympus meets Adonis and Venus in the NW quadrant of historic Zeus Park. Parking is free. Volunteers may be needed for continuing park maintenance. If you are interested, we suggest that you contact Belinda Lowe (772) 634-0194 with the Woman’s Club of Hobe Sound.

June is Pollinator Month. Learn how gardens and nursery plants play an important role in pollinator conservation from NICH, the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture.

Chris Jones, FNGLA-Certified Horticulture Pro

CONGRATULATIONS
CHRIS JONES

Did you know that the nursery and landscape industry is the #2 driver of Florida’s economic engine? It’s no surprise that Florida is also home to the nation’s largest state nursery and landscape association — FNGLA.

The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association’s mission is to promote and protect the interests of Florida’s nursery and landscape industry. And of course, Jenkins is a proud FNGLA member! 

FNGLA logo

FNGLA’s Code of Ethics is promoted and practiced at Jenkins Landscape: 
“to deal fairly and justly with our customers and to consistently improve our qualifications and the proficiency of our industry for the advantage of the customers we serve.”

For these reasons, we are pleased and proud to announce that Landscape Foreman Chris Jones recently completed the program considered the industry standard for measuring horticulture knowledge on everything from plant and pest identification to landscape management.

Congratulations, Chris Jones!

Maintenance Supervisor, Suzie Bubla, recently sat down with Chris for a little Q&A:

Q: How long have you been in the horticultural industry?  
A: Four years.

Q: When did you first know that this industry was a good fit for you?
A: Age 5, picking weeds with my Granddad.

Q: Who has influenced you most in your life? 
A: My Dad.

Q: What do you like to do on your ‘off time’? 
A: Go to the beach.

Q: What do you enjoy about working at Jenkins Landscape? 
A: Everyone is friendly.

Q: What did you enjoy most about the FCHP class? 
A: Learning about plant biology. 

Q: How does being certified add to your value as a team member of Jenkins? 
A: It has made me more knowledgeable in this industry which transfers over to helping me in my daily jobs.

During a recent FNGLA program on flowers, a COVID-19-aware member was heard to say…“You’ve heard several sincere, heartfelt salutations lately such as ‘stay safe;’ ‘be careful;’ ‘stay healthy’ …I’d like to add a new, two-word salutation with many benefits: Step Outside!”