The Guild Report:   
More Than Curb Appeal          

June 2014  
In This Issue
Point of View
Certified Green Roof Installers
Interesting Facts
Benefits of Trees
Sustainable Landscapes
Other Elements
Opera Plaza
Quick Links

Point of View 
Employee Owner

Nathan Hill

"I've been at Gardeners' Guild for a month and a half and I like the work.  We have some many different sites and I get to learn a lot of different things.  I work mostly at sites in the east bay,  Being an employee owner is motivating.  I feel more involved with our company.  And, I'm getting to know my co-workers!"





Gardeners' Guild is a
Certified Green Roof

As part of our green roof installation, Gardeners' Guild was certified.

This certification applies for both maintenance and installation.    


It includes installation of plants, soil, drainage and irrigation.   




Gardeners' Guild Our Planet
See the video on our sustainable program!

San Francisco's
Opera Plaza
Gardens Attract
Honey Bees

Many residents say that one of the main attractions to Opera Plaza is the gardens. 

For over ten years GGI has presided over a completely organic landscape management program at the Plaza.

In the past month thousands of honey bees have descended on the flowers.  The beekeeper told us the bees were scouting around for a new hive because their existing one was too large.

He is confident the bees will make some great tasting honey from all of our rosemary and lavender!

Some new garden projects include planting areas for beneficial insects and an expansion of an herb garden.

Our other practices include leaving all of our green waste on site which is good for the environment and enhances the landscape.

For the last couple of months I've been upgrading the garden at my house, adding some new plants, replacing the old with new, as well as pruning and mulching.  It's a work in progress.  I marvel at the colors and textures and how happy they make me feel.   

On the way home from my local grocery store I scan the front yards of homes along the way.  There is a large, well pruned salvia leucantha whose perfect form always makes me smile. 

Gardeners' Guild manages the landscapes for commercial properties, residential communities, assisted living facilities, hotels, schools, residences and municipalities.  Our clients have one thing in common. They enjoy a beautiful and well tended landscape.

This quote from a Texas A&M University study states why they like to look at trees: "just looking at trees can produce 'significant recovery from stress' within five minutes". 

Those of you reading this newsletter know the satisfaction of an attractive landscape.  Some research underscoring its financial advantages just came across my desk.  I thought you might find this information interesting.

All the best,
Gardeners' Guild Inc.
Some Interesting Facts   
An attractive landscape can add up to 28 percent to the overall value of a house says landscape economist John Harris.  It can also cut its time on the market from 10-15 percent.

Most home buyers look for a house with landscaping that is functional and adds resale value.  Source for this information is the National Association of Home Builders' study called "What Home Buyers Really Want." 

A Clemson University Study found that a landscape upgrade from "good" to "excellent" in terms of design, condition and placement, can add an additional 6-7 percent more to a home's value.

Furthermore, Alex Niemiera, a horticulturist at Virginia Tech found that buyers also look for a sophisticated landscape design.

Keep one suggestion in mind.  Any landscape improvements to your home should be primarily your own enjoyment, says Sandy MacCuish, a California appraiser. 
Benefits of Trees 
No Mow Fescue
Here are some tree benefits:

Helps prevent storm water runoff 
Reduces carbon dioxide 
They cool in summer and insulate in the winter

Bruce Hagen, an urban forester with the California Department of Forestry office in Santa Rosa states that trees alone increase property values by 10 - 20 percent.  Hagen goes on to say that "homes built with an oak tree cost $5,000 - $15,000 more than homes without".

One example of how much money a tree can save you annually on energy costs:
A Cork Oak (or Quercus Suber) with a 20 inch trunk in a suburban bay area city will save you approximately $224 per year. 

The above information was taken from The National Tree Benefit Calculator.  If you input your zip code, type of tree and its trunk size it will advise you of savings.    
Sustainable Landscapes   
Cardinale LS email
An increasing number of home buyers are willing to spend more on homes featuring landscapes that create a natural habitat for birds, butterflies and other animals looking for food.

A 2010 National Association of Realtors survey found that 88 percent of home buyers believed that environmentally friendly features were an important consideration when purchasing a home.

Besides being beautiful, using the right plants for your environment can save outdoor water use by 20 to 50 percent, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.  In addition, strategically planted trees and shrubs to maximize shade in the summer and insulation in winter can save up to 40 percent. 

A University of Michigan survey reported that people are willing to pay more for a home with a well designed landscape with native plants rather than one dominated by turfgrass.

30 percent of home buyers surveyed in 2013 by the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) said they would like a smart irrigation controller. 

Hardscape and Other Elements  

Outdoor Lighting

41 percent of home buyers rate it as essential*
49 percent say it is desirable*
*Included in home buyer's "must have" list, according to the NAHB's survey.


They welcome people and offer great curb appeal. There are a myriad of options including stone, pavers, gravel or brick.

Retaining walls

They can reclaim an unusable sloped area and extend yard space.
Control erosion
Add color and texture to a landscape.

Opera Plaza - Mixed Use Pioneer         
Mixed-use construction projects, a building or buildings that combine residential, commercial and cultural venues (many have retail) are plentiful in San Francisco. It allows people to work, play and shop in one place.  The concept is revitalizing neighborhoods.
Surprisingly, this type of urban community development is not new.  It originated in 1982 with the completion of Opera Plaza, an urban center combining residential, retail, cultural proximity (San Francisco Opera House) and near mass transit.  The developers were ahead of the curve with Opera Plaza.  Its popularity has not diminished over the years.  In fact there are often waiting lists to buy in.

We're a bit partial to this San Francisco icon as it is one of our clients.
See side bar for a story about their gardens.