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On-the-Job Reminiscing

Editor Mike Dahl


This April Fools' Day will be my third anniversary as editor of LC/DBM and one thing is certain - I am a lot less of a fool now about the green industry, and it has been quite an enjoyable experience becoming so.

The wide range of subjects reported on, researched and written about, keeps my interest in ways I could not have imagined when I began at Landscape Communications. Here are some of my favorites:

The artistry of masonry:
This magazine has chronicled the work of so many wonderful craftsman and just to name a few - John August, who fashions ingenious and whimsical hardscapes, and invented completely interlocking concrete pavers called GeckoStones(C), which have been featured in textbooks about tessellation; Kelley Hanna, who builds green walls with rows of succulents planted between rows of broken concrete; Cory Wilkes, whose specialty is decorative concrete walls and water features, shaped and sculpted by hand without molds or forms; Jim and Justin Hampton, a father and son team that are inspired by mosaic tile work from European and Arabic countries, and treat pavers as larger versions of tile; and Scott Cohen, who, among other things, creates intriguing countertops and tabletops from concrete embedded with materials such as broken glass and melted wine bottles, some with fiber optic lighting attached.

Citrus psyllids, webworms, emerald ash borers, trap-jaw ants and their ilk have never bugged me - I have always been fascinated by the little critters, friends and foes alike.

Usually vexing but never boring, issues that LC/DBM continuously covers that have big effects on the landscaping industry include immigration, the Affordable Care Act, water regulations, rights and fights, and the pros and cons of ethanol production.

Green roofs and living walls:
The innovations that green industry professionals have developed to make plants an integral part of the structures where we live and work, and the benefits to our health and the health of the planet is a great example of the critical role the industry plays.

Giving back:
Conveying the many benevolent acts performed by individuals and companies in this industry has been an honor. One that stands out in particular is The Sandy Ground: Where Angels Play - an endeavor to build 26 playgrounds to honor the children and teachers who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, and to locate the parks in communities devastated by Superstorm Sandy, the most destructive hurricane to hit the East Coast in 50 years. Toni Giordano of Giordano Contracting, LLC offered to plan and build these gifts, spearheaded by Capt. Bill Lavin and his peers in the New Jersey Firefighters' Mutual Benevolence Association.

More cool green things:
Such as the house with a front facade comprised of large glass-paneled cells filled with algae that, as it is cultivated, generates more energy than the residents will consume; and floating landscapes designed and fabricated by landscape and urban design firm Balmori Associates from metal culvert pipes turned into planters and made buoyant with the use of coconut fibers, bamboo, mycelium, and recycled plastic, which then filter and clean the water and provide wildlife habitats in Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, one of the most polluted bodies in the U.S.

I could go on and on giving examples but time and space prevent that so I guess I'll get back to work.

To find a listing of the stories mentioned, go to, and in the section below the first brown bar, type Mike's Favorites in the Articles Search field.

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May 19, 2019, 8:23 am PDT

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