Are you a Landscaper?

Are you a Landscaper?

A few months ago, shortly after my weekly Great Idea went out (just like this one did), I received this e-mail from an upset Landscape Architect. Please read it:

“Stop calling people in our industry ‘Landscapers’! That term has such a negative connotation to it. I, like many others in our industry, try to educate our peers that when we refer to ourselves as professionals we will be treated like professionals. When you refer to yourself as a landscaper you get treated like a landscaper. Our industry has a perception problem and you, a consultant, are aiding in that problem. Your news letter, web site, and various posts constantly repeat the grotesque reference. This article contains a little more insight. www.fromdesign2build.com/public/169.cfm?sd=2. The only reason I became a LinkedIn connection of yours was to educate you on this matter. Thank you.”

I’m a landscaper, that’s what I am. Heck, here’s the license plate on my Toyota with over 300K miles on it:

I am not ashamed of calling myself a “landscaper” but maybe I’m missing something. Your comments, please?


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10 Comments

  1. KEVIN KIRKLAND Reply

    INSTEAD OF USING THE TERM “LANDSCAPER” IN MY OPINION IT WOULD SEEM MORE APPROPIATE TO USE A TERM SUCH AS “LANDSCAPE PROFFESIONAL”, THE INDIVIDUAL HAS A VERY VALID POINT AND I DO SOMEWHAT AGREE WITH HIM/HER, ESPECIALLY COMING FROM A FAMILY OF MULTIPLE PROFFESSIONAL ENGINEERS, TWO WHO ARE CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERS AND ANORTHER AN ELECTRICAL ENGINEER. IT ALWAYS BURNS ME THAT INDIVIDUALS WHO SEEK OUR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AS A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECH/DESIGNER EXPECT OUR SERVICES FREE AS OPPOSED TO THE SAME SIMILAR SERVICES SOUGHT OUT FOR AN ENGINEER THEY IMMEDIATLY EXPECT TO PAY FOR ANY INPUT/CONSULTATION FROM THEM JUST AS A PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL CONSULTANT (DOCTOR, TECHNICIAN ETC). THEIR IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PROFFESSIONAL LANDSCAPE ARCHITECH AND A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER, BOTH HAVE MADE A SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL AND PERSONAL SACRIFICES TO EDUCATE THEMSELVES AND DESERVE THE CREDIT FROM DOING SO! AFTER ALL HOW CAN WE BRAND OURSELVES AS PROFFESIONALS IF WE STILL BRAND OURSELVES WITH TERMS USED 60 YEARS AGO WHEN INDIVIDUALS WITH NO EDUCATION STARTED AND CONTINUE TO START BUSINESS IN OUR INDUSTRY THAT DO NOTHING BUT DRAG IT DOWN AND KEEP IT DOWN THUS CAUSING AND BRANDING IT WITH A BAD STIGMA IN OUR SOCIETY, BOTH HURTING EVERY EDUCATED INDIVIDUAL FINANCIALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY!

  2. Chuck Thokey Reply

    I, like you, appreciate this individuals point of view… However, you are a landscaper and a fan good one at that. From lawn mowing professionals to architecture design, you are landscapers… And that is something to be proud of!

  3. Mike Voories Reply

    The landscaper who wrote this note takes himself a little too serious and is obviously not very self confident. His label is very important to him. One day with a little hard work, his success and image will speak for itself; it won’t matter what he’s called. If he’d shut his mouth and open his ears, there’s a lot he could learn from a ‘landscaper’ like Marty!

  4. marty grunder Reply

    What I don’t understand is how can your argument be that the term ‘landscaper’ is not a ‘professional’ term, when you send an e-mail to someone you don’t even know like that? I don’t know this guy…..I deleted him from my contacts on LinkedIn as I don’t work like that. I love a good discussion…and everyone is entitled to their opinion….and the lesson here is, it’s not what you say, but how you say it.

    I can call myself a Landscape Professional, an Elite Gardner, a Landscape Contractor, or even a Horticulturist…all of those sound great, but if my work, my service, my professionalism don’t match up to that, what do we have? We have a fancy name…that’s all we have.

    I worry more about how I act and I am a professional and I would never send an e-mail like that to someone I was trying to convince that their practices or actions where ones I disagreed with. His e-mail had an accusatory tone, not inquisitive and because of that, that young LA has a lot to learn if you ask me.

    I’m a landscaper, proud of that….and a very professional landscaper at that…..and for the record, I will share one of my tenants of Leadership now….that is, you Lead By Example……in other words, people see better than they hear. If you watch me or my entire team work, you’ll see we are a very professional firm committed to excellence in ALL that we do….even when we send e-mails. 🙂

  5. Mark Atteberry Reply

    Hi Marty,
    As with many labeling controversies, I think this one may depend on how the person sees themselves and where they want to take their business. If you own a well established company that is known for high end quality work. What you call yourself and what your clients call you isn’t important as long as they keep calling you. If you’re a small start up that one day wants to be considered a high end design build landscape company, you want to avoid being included in the “landscaper” category. Here in Texas that term usually means that you mow grass, trim shrubs and maybe are trusted to plant anual color. You’re not a designer or plant expert, but you can plant plants where you told to. The large gap in tbe knowledge and expertise of these two categories is why capable up and comers don’t want to be called landscapers in DFW area.

  6. Mark Atteberry Reply

    BTW, Jody is a great guy and like you, he has helped many start ups and stalled outs get focused on improving and taking it to higher levels. He came across real strong because he’s trying real hard to help guys become more capable and more professional so that they can set themselves apart from lesser competition that so many clients think of as “landscapers”. Blessings.

  7. landscaper Reply

    The US is now a police state. There will be a massive protest in Washington, DC starting in May 16, 2014.

    We are past the point of no return, thus must move forward with an effort to save our nation, as there is no other choice. We are asking, pleading with you, and any others that have resources, national voices, email lists, blogs, FB, Twitter, to call for a non-violent American Spring May 16, 2014 in Washington D.C. We must appeal to ten million and more American patriots to come and stay in Washington, D.C. to stop the White House and Congress from total destruction of the United States. It’s now or never. God help us.

    http://patriotsforamerica.ning.com

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