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Breaking Ground
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Breaking Ground

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Welcome to the premiere edition of LandShapes, a magazine for professionals who design and install exterior environments.

With this first issue, we begin a journey that will take us deep inside the landscaping professions to meet the needs of landscape contractors, designers and architects as well as excavators, soil-retention specialists, hardscape installers, lighting designers, arborists – just about everyone who plays a role in the shaping of exterior spaces. Along the way, we will navigate terrain rich with information, creativity and brilliant practitioners.

At heart, our aim is to bridge the gaps between contractors and designers. Whether a project is residential, commercial or institutional, each one requires sets of skills and knowledge drawn from a variety of sources – a set of symbiotic relationships that work to the benefit of clients and landscape professionals on every level.

In my 17 years as a landscape designer, I have experienced the value of crossing over the boundaries of trade knowledge and working toward common goals. I have come to understand the value of learning the vocabularies and practices of my project colleagues and, in turn, witnessed the spread of information and familiarity across trades as a means of redefining and elevating our industry. Finally, I have observed first hand what a good trade magazine can do for its industry, and I know LandShapes is ready to be one of the best.

In each issue, feature articles will profile key projects, offer insights into how various professionals perform their functions, look at historic landscapes and pursue countless additional topics whose level of interest is defined by the fact that all will be written by landscape professionals for the benefit of their colleagues. In addition, regular columnists will share their views on design, construction, plants, resources, techniques – a range of coverage that will anchor the magazine in the day-to-day life of the trades.

This time, for example, we look at the importance of protecting trees during construction courtesy of arborist Nickolas Mook (click here); learn from hardscape expert Bruce Ferguson about the benefits of using pervious concrete as a means of controlling runoff and sustaining plants (click here); lay the foundation for things to come with the first of several articles from teacher and landscape architect Richard Scott on colors and how to use them effectively (click here); and visit a grand project by landshaper Pat Kirk in which everyone’s life was complicated by a dramatic shortening of the deadline (click here).

As the editor of this magazine, it is my privilege to welcome your comments and encourage dialogue among readers via e-mail and letters. Ultimately, our success is an expression of your participation in what we do, and I welcome you to a magazine that will immediately begin integrating our industry into a more cohesive, expressive force.

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