Lessons learned at the 2011 GIE Expo in Louisville KY
The GIE Expo in Louisville KY is by far the ultimate tradeshow for the professional landscape industry. The 2011 show, Oct 27-29, did not disappoint. The crowds were overwhelming and the trade show energy through the roof. This show has such a reputation for its professional educational series and high class networking events that many landscape professionals schedule this event as a business development and vacation get-away all rolled into one!
The icing on the cake is the FREE concert that GIE offers to all attendees. This year was bow breaking and classic country icon Charlie Daniel’s with his band! What a show.
Every year the GIE exposes new equipment and trends. This year, it was evident that water conservation and environmental issues are a hot topic with both residential and commercial landscape projects. One topic that is gaining popularity is rain and water gardens. Many companies are featuring new systems, designs and educational materials to promote these environmentally friendly landscape design elements.
Rain gardens play a significant trend in sustainable landscapes. The entire country is buzzing about water conservancy with many states implanting mandatory water restrictions. Adding a rain garden is a substantial for your clients to make a difference in water conservancy issues. Rain gardens are designed to collect run-off or rain water. A newly introduced product by ABS Materials, that when used within a rain garden system shows scientific studies to reduce the amount of pesticide residual and improve the quality of the soil. Consider using ABS Material’s Obsorb product the next time you are tasked with a rain garden product.
Perhaps your client is looking for a smaller water collection system for their landscape. A rain barrel is a great solution. The homeowner collects the roof run-off into barrels. Atlantic Water Gardens has developed a pre-barrel filtration system. The water is passed through the clean rain ultra system, a downspout diverter, prior to gathering into the rain barrel. Your customer can use the clean water gathered to top up cisterns, rain barrels, swimming pools, and water landscape plantings.
One additional trend to that is pushing the water and rain garden trend are materials to educate your clients. Aquascapes has informative pamphlets and marketing materials for you to pass on to your clients. This is an easy way to share the benefits of adding a water feature to their landscapes. Also, by using landscape design software such as EARTHSCAPES, you can communicate to a client how their landscape is transformed when water conserving systems, such a rain gardens or barrel fed water gardens are added to their landscape.