2017 APLD Conference Recap

2017 APLD Conference Recap

“APLD is about people joining people!” Here’s a recap of the 2017 International Landscape Design Conference in Boston, MA!

Association of Professional Landscape DesignersBy Joe Salemi, Product Marketing Manager, DynaSCAPE Software, APLD Member and Sponsor, and APLD Board of Directors

As a landscape designer or a business owner that has landscape designers on staff, if you haven’t been to an APLD conference you’re doing yourself a serious injustice. The 2017 International Landscape Design Conference was in Boston this past July. A few hundred landscape designers arrived in Boston eager to hear from some pretty incredible speakers on VERY relevant and timely topics and tours of private gardens only available through the APLD conference.

In her closing address to conference attendees APLD’s President, Lisa Port (by way of Seattle, WA) said “APLD is about people joining people.” There is no truer statement. APLD as an organization started because people felt like there wasn’t any other group that best represented their interests. It grew with more people. More people joined because they believed in what their peers were doing.

If you haven’t ever been to one of APLD’s landscape design conferences, here’s what you have missed:

  • meeting some of the most influential landscape designers in the profession
  • listening to some of the most engaging and dynamic speakers unpack uber valuable content specifically for landscape design
  • seeing and experiencing some of the most amazing private gardens

This year in Boston, speakers were incredible, the networking opportunities were out of this world, and the private gardens were what landscape designers dreams are made of. It’s always fun going to the New England area, and who doesn’t love going to Boston? The food scene in Boston is off the charts! The local organizing committee did an outstanding job selecting the private gardens we would be seeing.

The format of the conference goes something like this:

  • Pre-conference tour/activities and reception with sponsors and delegates on Thursday
  • Full conference with keynote speaker and educational sessions (lots of CEU’s!) on Friday
  • More keynote speakers and garden visits on Saturday
  • Full day of garden visits on Sunday
  • Post conference tour on Monday

Save the date for next year, the APLD conference is coming to Toronto, Ontario Canada! September 13 – 17, 2018!! 


Here is a little photo gallery of some the experiences I had during the conference!

About APLD

The Association of Professional Landscape Designers is dedicated to advancing the profession of landscape design and to promoting the recognition of landscape designers as qualified and dedicated professionals. Members receive a myriad of benefits and opportunities that support that core mission. Through volunteer efforts by those who are committed to its growth, APLD includes members throughout the United States who support multiple state chapters as well as individual international members. The association’s day-to-day management is headquartered in Harrisburg, PA.


DynaSCAPE is proud to be APLD’s Gold Sponsor!

Frustrated With Your Systems

Frustrated With Your Systems

Frustrated Landscape Contractor

May 2017 — The landscape season is in full boom mode all over North America. You’ve planned for this. You spent the latter part of last year and the early part of this year getting ready for it. What you have planned for is here upon you and your team, working the plan and striving to achieve the goals you put in place.

We’ve been fielding lots of phone calls and emails from landscape professionals like you that are in full operation of their season but have found quickly that there are some significant pain points with the design and business systems that they have in place. Some of the common pains we have heard about are:

  • Leads are falling through the cracks
  • It takes too long to do take offs from the design so the estimator can do their work
  • Working from a generic estimating system that their shoe-horning for landscape construction jobs and maintenance services
  • Estimating based on a gut feeling or experience
  • Not any real systems in place
  • Many software applications in place that don’t speak to each other contributing to disjointed operations
  • No mechanism in place to track actual costs of doing the job

This is really where DynaSCAPE comes in. We have been helping these landscape professionals by expediting the setup of their systems, getting them enrolled in our training sessions, and outfitting them the software solutions that are right for them. Alleviating frustrations in the way you manage your back office everyday is a core strength of our implementation and training specialists. It’s at the foundational level that our software solutions are based on.

Our team here at DynaSCAPE is ready to assist you in working through some of the most difficult time of the year to help you run a efficient, effective, and profitable operation.

If any of this sounds remotely familiar, let us know. The DynaSCAPE team is ready to help!

Get in touch with the DynaSCAPE Team!

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The APLD Conference Experience

The APLD Conference Experience


I thought I would share my experience of travelling to Santa Fe, NM for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers’ annual conference. I’ve been going to the APLD conference for four years now with each experience being better than the last, making great connections with landscape designers from all over the United States.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend, boy you’re missing out. Landscape designers from everywhere come to get inspired and network with their peers. The personal fulfillment you receive from attending this conference will refuel your batteries and will have you anticipating the next one.

The basic framework of the annual APLD conference is an optional pre-conference tour, a full day of educational sessions with world class speakers, an awards of excellence gala, two full days of garden tours (handpicked by a local site committee), and a post-conference tour of more gardens.

This year, we were in for a treat, getting to tour through public and private gardens in the Santa Fe, NM area. Some of the gardens were in quiet residential areas, some were in the mountains with elevations of near 10,000 ft! I took quite a few photos of the different gardens we toured and the conference festivities. One thing I did expect more of, and I don’t really know why perhaps it was because I was heading to the desert, but I was expecting to see more cactus in natural areas. There were lots of planted cactus but not very many in natural areas.

A good many of the gardens we saw had quite a bit of very expensive art pieces integrated into the landscape. It was beautiful to see how some of the landscape designers integrated some of the homeowners’ art pieces into their projects.

Check out the photo gallery!

About APLD

The Association of Professional Landscape Designers is still dedicated to advancing the profession of landscape design and to promoting the recognition of landscape designers as qualified and dedicated professionals.


Technology is replacing the pencil

Technology is replacing the pencil


Written by Patrick DuChene, DuChene Design Solutions

IMG_0143This project was a revolutionary breakthrough in the DuChene Design Solutions workflow.  Workflow is such a crucial aspect of the design, estimating and presentation process and I am always looking at new ways to increase my productivity and quality of my product.  With the introduction of the new iPad Pro to my toolset, my ability to communicate with my designers has just gotten better by leaps and bounds. 

This was a pilot project where I integrate hand sketching into the process to communicate with my designer.  She created a base sheet for me of the house and existing conditions in DynaSCAPE Design and was then saved as a PDF.  I opened the PDF on the iPad Pro, and using a PDF Expert 5, I created a labeled hand sketch that communicated my ideas for this project.  Color coding plant material, hand written notes and dimensions were included for her to understand my intent.  Once this was completed, she opened up the PDF back into DynaSCAPE Design and was able to very easily and quickly create the design almost exactly how it was sketched.  Once she completed the design, I opened the design in DynaSCAPE Color and applied the color textures to the design to create a great looking final drawing for the client.

Experimenting with this workflow was a great experience as I was easily able to do some hand drawing that I do not often get to do, all without picking up a single traditional pencil and no paper used at all.  DynaSCAPE Software is such a powerful standalone product, but when you think outside the box of how you can use it with other products, the sky is the limit for what you can produce and provide your client! 

Benefits of Landscape Design Software

Benefits of Landscape Design Software

Design software can save you time, give you more flexibility and increase your sales. So why aren’t you using it?


Drawing by DuChene Design Solutions using DynaSCAPE Design and Color

No one likes change, but, like death and taxes, it’s one thing you can count on in life. You can’t stop it, so why fight it, right? But fear of change is exactly why the use of design software is not as widespread in the design/build industry as perhaps it should be.

Patrick DuChene knows firsthand the benefits of design software. As the owner of DuChene Design Solutions, which provides design services to landscape design/build companies, he has been using it since 2006. At that time, he was running a large landscape design/build division and had multiple responsibilities. He felt that hand-rendered designs were starting to become a drain on his time.

Check out the full article in Turf Design Build magazine: http://www.turfdesignbuild.com/technology/landscape-design-software-benefits/

Designing with Drought Tolerance

Designing with Drought Tolerance

Designing with Drought Tolerance

by Mike Tripp, DynaSCAPE Account Manager

California has now gone through four years of severe drought causing water shortages and forest fires, all at a great impact to the state’s economy and businesses. To account for the difficult climate, the landscape industry has been forced to change its practices.

Many landscape contractors are turning to “drought-tolerant” plants, which require very little water in order to survive, in lieu of traditional plants. One landscape company is very familiar with this practice, Taryn Tree, of Treehouse Landscape Design. Taryn became comfortable working with drought-tolerant plants in the High Desert area of California where she worked for several years as Ambassador for the Indian Wells Water District before moving to Camarillo. With her knowledge of Xeriscaping, landscaping that uses “various methods for minimizing the need for water use”[1], Taryn is able to reduce the home’s dependency on water for plant material. Taryn says she has seen a rise in homeowners requesting contractors to rip out all turf and opting instead to go with synthetic turf, resulting in at least a 50% decrease in the amount of water needed. Taryn is happy to see that several nurseries in her area, such as Bamboo Pipeline (www.bamboopipeline.com), are stepping up and becoming a source for drought tolerant plants and information.

Rob Henderson of Artisan Outdoor in Irvine has also witnessed the impact the drought has had on his business. In response to the crisis, new municipal regulations have been adopted making permits for things such as pools more difficult to get. He has also had to purchase new equipment to cut and install for artificial turf. As a result of the drought, Rob has seen drip irrigation, which is a “method of irrigation which very efficiently delivers water to the soil surface or the root zone; this is done by having water drip slowly from emission devices, most commonly called ‘drip emitters’ or ‘drippers’”[2], become more mainstream. Rob has seen some positive increase from the drought for his business as homeowners see companies like his who have become experts in the field of drought management as important resources.

Designer, Charlene Brum  of San Martin, has also seen a big increase in customers wanting to retrofit their homes to incorporate more drought-tolerant plants and become less dependent on water. She has seen at least a 50% increase in designs and customers wanting to retrofit existing lawns and gardens to properties less dependent on water. She has been doing many more designs that incorporate boulders and dry creek beds in replace of plant material in front yards. In the back she will utilize pergolas, arbors and walkways to offer additional interest in addition to a selection of drought tolerant plants. The challenges of the drought have given Charlene opportunities to be creative in new ways with her designs, for example, replacing the natural curves of the lawn with hardscaping lines.

Homeowners in California are doing their part to conserve water.  Water use in the state has dropped 27.3%,[3] more than the mandated amount of 25% set by the governor. Rebate programs are offered through the state to encourage water conservation. Some programs, such as the turf removal program, were so successful they had to be shut down as they had insufficient funds to meet the demand.[4] Homeowners and landscape contractors alike are also starting to make decisions on what to plant based on the ever-growing chance of fire in California. There is a growing trend of ‘fire-smart’ landscaping that aims to control a fire should it break out near your home.[5] Tactics such as using wide paver walkways at least 4 feet wide to divide up garden sections, use low-lying and compact shrubs, trees and perennials so as to not completely cover a home in foliage and clean up dead branches and leaves from around the garden.

The ongoing water shortages and increasing risk of forest fires in California have brought changes and challenges to how outdoor spaces are utilized in California. The landscaping community is responding by finding creative ways to reduce water use and protect homes against fire while continuing to provide unique, relaxing outdoor spaces.  Designers and Contractors in California will no doubt be looked upon for ideas as water shortages and drought spreads to other areas outside of the state and water conservation methods continue to be sought after.


[1] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/xeriscape

[2] http://www.irrigationdirect.com/tutorial/irrigation/view/drip-irrigation-history-and-benefits/expert-advice/id/6/

[3] http://ca.gov/drought/topstory/top-story-43.html

[4] http://www.cadrought.com/southern-california-water-district-ends-turf-removal-program-due-to-unprecedented-demand/

[5] http://www.bhg.com/gardening/landscaping-projects/landscape-basics/fire-smart-landscaping/?socsrc=bhgpin062815tameaslope&crlt.pid=camp.LOWw4uKyR9BJ