The Guild Report:   
Tips on Landscape Budgeting           

September 2014  
In This Issue
Point of View
Certified Green Roof Installers
Landscape Planning&Budgeting
Budget Template
Green Approach to Pests
Quick Links

Point of View 
Employee Owner

Yuriza Jared


I heard about Gardeners' Guild from my sister who used to work here.  She told me great things about the company.  I've always had a passion for plants - so it was a good fit for me!


I'm an interior tech and handle accounts in San Francisco and some in Oakland.  Being an early bird I love that my schedule starts at 6am - it's energizing.  


Employee ownership is very motivating. I feel a sense of ownership. It's one of the most important qualities of our company.


When I'm not working I enjoy playing guitar! 



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!

Eco Friendly

No batteries, electricity or wind-up. This "smart" alarm clock runs on water.  Not only is it efficient but This water clock is also colorful and fashionable.  And, it comes in loads of colors. 

Instructions say that the clock will last 8 to 12 weeks between water changes.

The water employs the ions in the clock to generate electrical current.  It's made by a company called Bedol.

I recently checked NOAA for the most up to date information on El Niņo.

The news isn't good.  NOAA's climate prediction center have downgraded the  chances of a strong El Niņo to 65%. (strong = heavy rain).  Furthermore, they predict that if we do see one, it will be weak or moderate.

The hallmark of El Niņo is the warming of the Pacific Ocean.  Depending on the intensity of water temperatures, the result can be significant rainfall and snow in the west.

What happened?

Earlier this year, an unusual warming of the Pacific Ocean was absolutely detected.  By May, the CPC (Climate Prediction Center) was certain we were headed for a El Niņo.  But, the trend unexpectedly stalled leaving climatologists stunned.  Forecasters said it is unusual for this pattern to idle as it has.

Bottom line - nothing is certain yet.  We won't be clear on El Niņo's strength till later this month or sometime in October.  We will keep you up to date.

On another note...this is the time of year when many of you are knee-deep in budgeting.  We have some tips on landscape budgeting and planning that could help you.

All the best,
Gardeners' Guild Inc.
Landscape Planning & Budgeting   
How do you envision your landscape in one year; two years or five years?  Do you live in a residential community?  Are you a resident or a property manager? 

Stop for a minute and look at your property.  If you have a stake in it - there is a vision somewhere inside of you.  You likely notice a handful of projects that need doing: mulching, tree pruning or, say, removal and replacement of old plants with new.

Like most communities you have a finite budget.  The key is educated planning.  One of the simplest and most important tools you can use is a budget template with multiple categories enabling you to plan for short and long term projects. 

Next, it is essential that you get expert advice on prioritizing your projects.  And, have your plan grounded in these realities:

Depending on the age and size of your community, some professionals recommend a range of 20% to 30% of your landscape budget on projects beyond weekly maintenance. 

Environmental Factors
This includes unpredictable weather - drought or El
Mature plants creating shade where there previously was none.
Broken tree limbs. Pests. Storm damage. Excessive heat.

Plant/Hardscape/Irrigation Maturity
Plant lifespan:
The useful lifespan of large shrubs and small trees is 7-10 years.  Your plan should include replacements.  Also, once a young tree matures, its canopy may block the sunlight from a neighboring plant making its removal necessary. 

Turf areas:
long term management should include regular aeration.  Also, top dressing with organic products will improve soil which will make your turf more resilient. 

Long term tree care:
Routine pruning and fertilization are important for the health of your trees.  They are an essential part of your asset.  With proper maintenance trees will last for many years.

Retaining walls last for about 25 years.

A system installed more than ten years ago may be wasting water and your money.  You may also want to consider conversion from spray to drip. 

A good rule of thumb - assume that your landscape will need major overhauling every 15-20 years.
Planning Template
Your landscape plan is your road map of your landscape.  It incorporates all the projects you will need to be prepared to spend money on in the short and long term.

Make sure to include these important spending categories:
  • Tree care planning
  • Shrubs
  • Turf areas
  • Pruning
  • Fertilization
  • Mulch
  • Aeration and de-thatching
  • Irrigation
"Soft Chemistry" Approach to Pests          
A new and exciting trend in lawn and shrub care, soft chemistry refers to products that are milder and have minimal impact on the environment.  Here are a few - 
A bio-herbicide made of chelated iron.  It controls broadleaf weeds such as clover and dandelions in turf grass.  It's a great option if you have children or pets.

An herbicide that is OMRI* certified, with citric acid as the active ingredient.  It's effective on smaller weeds in cracks and shrub beds.

An insecticide that is also OMRI* certified.  It controls aphids, mealybugs, whitefly, thrips and spider mites.

Organic Fertilizers
They are now sold under several brand names. New synthetics are also available that release slowly over time reducing pollution of our waterways.

*Organic Materials Review Institute