The Guild Report
November 2010    On Structure Landscapes 101 
In This Issue
Point of View
Over Structure Landscaping
Hills Plaza

Point of View
With Employee Owner
Heather Simon
Heather Simon

"I recently celebrated my 20th anniversary working at Gardeners' Guild and I can hardly believe it has been that long!  The days still fly by and I am never bored.  I still learn something new every day.  My co-workers and clients are so great to work with and even after all these years, I still love what I do." 

Heather Simon is a Senior Account Manager, CLT (Certified Landscape Technician) and has been successful in transitioning many of her clients from a conventional landscape program to our sustainable program, LivingSolutions.  Her clients appreciate her knowledge and passion for doing the right thing for them and for the environment.

See the video on our Sustainable Program!



What are you grateful for? 

This time of year I think about this a lot.  Remembering this when the news headlines are quite sobering gives me a better perspective.  One of the things I'm grateful for is - to work for a company that truly operates as a team and whose backbone is integrity.

This month we decided to give an introduction to landscape over structures, since many of you live and work in urban centers.


All the best,
Suzanne Harris

Over Structure Landscapes

Many of the commercial properties in San Francisco and surrounding urban areas have landscapes that have been constructed on top of parking structures or are above ground courtyard spaces on rooftops or balconies.  They are referred to interchangeably as either on-structure or over structure landscapes.

They provide an efficient use of space as well as the ecological benefits of storm water containment and insulation.  As compared to green roof, over structure landscapes are more complex with deeper soils, paving and allow for a diversity of plants and trees.   Employees or residents can enjoy a lush natural setting while still being in the middle of a city.

There are, however, distinct challenges to the design and maintenance of these landscaped areas.  The drainage system, plant selection, amount of direct and reflected sunlight, water/irrigation and maintenance all require special attention.

About Drainage
Getting the drainage system in - correctly and its adequate maintenance is one of the most important aspects of a successful over structure landscape.  Excess water must be able to move along the bottom of a planter to a drain inlet otherwise problems occur.

As these on-structure landscapes age, the waterproofing eventually wears off.  It is common for a planter renovation to be required due to resulting the water leakage as a result of drainage failure.

Heather Simon, Senior Account Manager at Gardeners' Guild has a lot of expertise managing these kinds of sites.  Here is what she has to say:  "A lot of our accounts are over structure or rooftop patios and drainage can be an issue.  Proper drainage is key, especially with these types of landscapes.  That many of our clients have made the change to our LivingSolutions sustainable program helps with older sandy planter bed soil.  But we also need to constantly check that planter beds are healthy all the way down to the drain."

Gardeners' Guild specializes in installation, renovation and maintenance of on-structure/over structure landscapes.  See the photo below.

Sony Metreon