Native Land Design Blog

Common Texas Lawn Insects, Diseases & Weeds Every Property Manager Should Be Able To Spot

Ben Collinsworth

There are a lot of problems you face during the growing season on your Texas commercial property. And most of these problems happen in the lawn.

A fine blanket of lush green turf that has blemishes on it in the form of scraggly weeds, brown patches of disease or torn up bits from armadillos trying to get at the insects lurking beneath stands out like a sore thumb. No office park, hospital, retail center, homeowner's association or other commercial property wants its image tarnished by a lawn riddled with blemishes and infestations.

Lucky for you, there are usually a common few insects, weeds and diseases that typically plague Texas lawns. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to recognize them so you can get ahead of the problem and stop it in its tracks before it does too much damage?

The National Collegiate Landscape Competition: “Talent Everywhere”

Ben Collinsworth

As Chris Rhodes looked out on the sea of horticulture students in the community college auditorium in North Carolina, he liked what he saw.

“To sit there at the opening ceremony and see this huge auditorium filled tells me the industry is as healthy as it’s ever been,” says Rhodes, director of marketing and business development at Native Land Design.

He’s talking about the The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC), an annual four-day event that brings together the best landscape and horticulture students, top industry companies and dozens of the biggest industry manufacturers and suppliers.

“I competed here in 1999, and it’s just gotten bigger,” Rhodes says. “And for the larger schools, the students attending are just a fraction of their departments. We just saw the tip of the iceberg. The talent pool seems endless.”

What Landscape Companies Look For When Interviewing Horticulture Degree Graduates

Ben Collinsworth

So, you've graduated from college with your brand new horticulture degree and landed a job interview.

Now what?

You know all the stuff about ironing your shirt and showing up a few minutes early. (If not, iron your shirt. Show up early.)

If you're on your way here to interview at Native Land Design, we can't wait to see you!

Here's what we'd like to see.


Three 2018 Commercial Landscaping Trends Property Managers Should Take Note Of

Ben Collinsworth

Being a commercial property manager in a competitive market like Texas isn’t easy.

You have to market yourself and your skills to the owners of the buildings you manage, as well as the client tenants who rent, work or live in the properties you maintain, while making sure both are content and satisfied.

At the same time, if you work in a competitive market you need to stay on top of trends to ensure your property is appealing to current and prospective tenants. But since you’ve got a lot on your plate, how can you ensure you have fresh, new ideas to present to help contribute to the growth of your property?

That’s why Native Land Design is here: to help you by suggesting these top three commercial landscaping trends.

Employee Close-up: Josiah Ball

Ben Collinsworth

When Josiah Ball was a kid, he’d go “noodling” in nearby rivers, sticking his hands in hollow logs and underwater holes to catch catfish with his bare hands.

He might nab a snapping turtle from the river bottom for dinner. His family hunted for meat in the winter and tended big gardens in the summer, canning the bounty.

He grew up in Illinois loving the land, building tree houses and hunting for cool rocks.

Josiah still loves the land, these days nurturing it with water as Native Land Design’s irrigation manager.

Looking Back, Looking Ahead And Being Part Of A Team: Native Land Design’s Annual Meeting

Ben Collinsworth

Every year the Native Land Design team gets together for a day to review the past year, look ahead to the future and maybe go home with a really big TV.

As all this unfolds, they become a more cohesive team — and get to know each other a little better.

“It’s a sort of state of the union,” says Chris Rhodes, Native Land’s director of marketing and business development.

Rhodes offers a look at the day’s events — and why this meeting matters.

What Makes Native Land Design Different

Ben Collinsworth

Every landscaping company likes to think they’re different — that they somehow rise above.

But are they?

They might tell you about their new trucks, their professional uniforms, their updated equipment.

At Native Land Design, all that’s a given.

That’s not what makes us different.

Chris Rhodes, Native Land’s director of marketing and business development, talks to clients about this all the time.

What really makes Native Land different?

Employee Close-up: Stan Johnson

Ben Collinsworth

Start talking to Stan Johnson about landscaping and he'll tell you, "It's all I've ever done.”

Well, not exactly. He also owns and runs a winery, designs and builds metal and wood furniture, travels the world, hunts, fishes and cooks up a mean crawfish étouffée.

Career-wise, though, Stan's a landscaping guy, to the bone.

“I’ve done everything you can do in the landscaping business,” he says, from digging trees to heading up finances.

“Every mistake that could be made, I’ve made it,” he says with a laugh.

Now he’s president of Native Land Design.

What Are The Pros and Cons of a Self-Performing Vs. a Subcontracting Landscape Company?

Ben Collinsworth

When you’re looking to satisfy the lawn and landscape management needs of your Texas commercial property or properties, and you’ve made the decision to look outside of your current organization for a vendor to help, the market provides you with two choices: hire vendors that self-perform their services or opt for vendors who subcontract their services.

Self-performing the services means the company you hire sends their maintenance crews out to do the work, while subcontracting means they hire another company to do the work for them while still playing the role of account manager. So, in essence, with subcontracting, a truck with a different logo than the company you hired may show up to your property to conduct the duties that need performed on your commercial landscape.

So, which do you choose?

Celebrating Women in the Green Industry

Ben Collinsworth

Did you know March 8th was International Women’s Day?

Around the world, people celebrated women and the amazing social, economic, cultural and political achievements they have made and continue to make every day. They also recognized the strong influence and impact women have on the world around us.

When it comes to the world of landscaping, women also make an impressive impact. In the U.S., the first third of the 20th century saw the rise of women in the fields of landscaping. Today, they are thriving in various areas of the business.

At Native Land Design, we celebrate our amazing female team members. Here is a glimpse inside what some of them do and what they enjoy most about their work making your landscapes better places to work, live and play every day.

How Large is Native Land Design (And Why Does it Matter)?

Ben Collinsworth

Every American loves small businesses. Everyone feels a soft spot for that scrappy start-up or mom-and-pop shop because they are very relatable and have values we admire: creativity, innovation, authenticity, excellent service.

In fact, businesses that operate using these values make a bigger mark on their communities. Even if communities today are much larger, technology has enabled customers to interact directly with each other as if they lived in a small town. People online are banding together in small communities. People want to buy things locally. Being more human and relatable like a small business is the trend consumers are craving today.

In a very natural way, Native Land Design has grown to embody this feeling at its company. We like to say we are “big enough to serve you but small enough to know you.” Let us tell you more about what that means.

5 Multi-family Landscaping Services To Ensure Your Property Always Has a Wait List

Ben Collinsworth

Many property managers struggle to handle the needs of their multi-family properties. Juggling multiple tenants and a surge of incoming maintenance requests requires a significant investment in time and energy.

Turnover is costly. Getting vacancies ready to rent, advertising them, showing them and screening tenants is an expensive and labor-intensive process. Once you find the ideal tenants, the goal is retaining them. In today’s competitive multi-family residential market, struggling with tenant turnover, delinquencies and dissatisfaction is not an option.

Overcome weaknesses and thrive to get your tenants to renew again and again, ensuring your property always has a waitlist, by focusing on these key landscape areas.