Together creating Smart Growth

New Partners for Smart Growth is currently hosting their 13th annual conference in Denver.

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New Partners is all about building safe, healthy and prosperous communities. The origins of the conference trace back to 1995 as the EPA sought to organize a conference that would focus on sensitive growth and development.

We are proud to be working with our partner, James Shaffer, from Streetscapes in Denver. As he says it, he is a “public space fanatic.” James is enthusiastically involved in various types of municipal groups that focus on urban planning and walkable communities, and we are glad to be able to support him and his mission.

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At the conference, Streetscapes arranged for a space to showcase site furnishings and create a space where the public can interact with each other – a parklet of sorts. As part of the installation we have included our Northlakes Collection bench, Zest Planters, Wilshire Collection cube in mandarin, VGP Tray-Based living wall system and a custom bench by our partners at Street & Garden.  In addition, we have included our brand new Wilshire Screen product, Boulevard wood tiles, and a Pebble Stool.

smart growth 3We are also working in conjunction with conference benefactor, PlaceMatters. Place Matters is a Denver based non-profit think tank for civic engagement and inclusive decision making in the planning of vibrant cities and communities.

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Smart growth is being embraced now more than ever as a viable solution to the many challenges in our community. Tournesol Siteworks is enthusiastic to work with many of the New Partner conference attendees who “cross disciplinary lines to share experience, insights, inspirations, and strategies” to create the best that our urban environment can provide. It is our common goal to create safe, economically vibrant and livable communities for all.

 

 

Growing in the snow

Over 10 inches of snow fell around Boston in the past two days, but things are still growing at the New England Grows Show (www.newenglandgrows.org).

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It’s a great event that addresses landscape construction and maintenance companies. Tournesol Siteworks has been in attendance for the last 5 years in collaboration with our local partner BISCO. We always enjoy our participation as it gives us a chance to catch up on the New England market and activities of local customers.

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This year we have been getting a lot of positive comments on our “deck” made of our new Boulevard Structural Wood Tiles, SpiraPave supports and VersiJack pedestals. The thermally treated FSC-certified hardwoods are also available in benches and tables (the Sydney Bench with Boulevard Wood is shown to the right above).

If you haven’t heard the story: Boulevard wood is made of red oak and ash, harvested and treated in a special high-temperature kiln in northern Minnesota. This natural process changes the chemical make-up of the wood, creating a gorgeous dark lumber that has 25-year durability against rot, pest and decay. The Boulevard lumber is 50% lighter than ipe, and is also available in conventional decking boards.

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Of course, attendees to the show have also been stopping and asking us about our planters and irrigation systems – both cornerstones of Tournesol’s and Bisco’s product line over the years.

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The show runs Wednesday, Feb. 5 thru Friday, Feb 7 in Boston at the Convention Center, home of the 2013 ASLA show. A special thanks to the attendees who made an effort to get here despite the wintery weather, especially since many of them were the ones responsible for helping to clear the snow, salt the streets and make the local cities and towns safe for the rest of us!

 

 

PIE in the Las Vegas sky

Several hundred interior and exterior landscapers gathered at the Plantscape Industry Expo (PIE) in Las Vegas this week. From the sights and sounds, the general overall business outlook was positive and there was a high degree of interest in the living wall product options. If you didn’t have a chance to visit us, here are a few pics of those who did.

Mark Whitten of Green House Nurseries in Arleta, CA is having a “first look” at our new product – VersiWall with Jon Willingham, Southwestern sales representative.

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Chicago Flower and Garden Show, Part 2

All photos courtesy School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Last week we posted the layout of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s display at this year’s Chicago Flower and Garden Show. Their creative use of our products as elements in their design deserves another posting. Brian Mitalo, our local sales representative, mentioned that the design is actually a mock-up for a display to be installed in a courtyard at 10 E. Lake Street in Chicago. The SAIC has been working together with the Mayor’s office, Harold Washington College (which owns one wall of the courtyard) and Commonwealth Edison on the project.

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Mixed Signals at the ASLA Conference in Washington, DC

@ the ASLA Conference, Washington DC

We just finished another ASLA conference, this one in Washington, DC.  It was a year for truly mixed signals – at least from our perspective. We were really looking forward to this year’s conference. The Mid-Atlantic/Washington DC market has been a very good one for us, and we anticipated that there would be a lot of landscape architects there.  We feel like the worst of the construction recession is behind us, and expected that would be the case with the visitors to the show.

It didn’t really seem to be the case. We certainly can’t claim that our experience was the same as the other vendors at the show, or that we spoke to a representative sample of visitors. That being said, we’ve done an awful lot of these conferences over the years, and this one definitely had a “mediocre” feel to it.

We’ve pulled together a full laundry-list of observations after the jump…

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ValleyCrest creates living towers at 2010 PCBC in San Francisco

The Pacific Coast Builder’s Conference (PCBC) is the premiere residential home builder’s trade show on the West Coast, and always an important one for ValleyCrest Landscape Development. This year their design team came up with the idea to use living walls for the common areas that they sponsor.  Their first call was to Tournesol Siteworks.

more after the break…

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