Garden Professionals Defined

Summary from January, 2018 Speaker Program
Garden Professionals Defined

tree clipart“Oregon’s Landscape Contractor Licensing Law, ORS 671.510-760 requires anyone who wants to call themselves a landscape construction professional or a landscape contracting business and anyone who wants to perform landscape work to have a valid landscape construction professional license and/or landscape contracting business license. The law states, “no person shall use the title of a landscape construction professional, landscape gardener, landscape contracting business or landscaper, or any title, sign, card or other device indicating, or tending to indicate, advertise or represent in any manner that the person is a landscape construction professional or landscape contracting business unless the person has a valid license.”

A landscape construction professional cannot offer landscape contracting services unless the individual is an owner or in the employ of a licensed landscape contracting business. If the landscape construction professional is the sole proprietor, the landscape construction professional must also obtain a license as a landscape contracting business.” ~State of Oregon: Construction Contractors Board
Landscape Architect: A person who has a degree in the field of landscape architecture. Their expertise includes: site analysis, site inventory, land planning, planting design, and hardscape designs such as paths, walls, stairs, patios, pergolas ,etc.. They are schooled in slopes and grading, storm water management, sustainable design, and construction specification to ensure all plans meet current building codes, and local and federal ordinances. They can design and manage large municipal projects, commercial projects and small residential project. They are required to have and maintain a state Landscape Contraction Professional License for each state in which they practice, and they must complete continuing education to maintain their state license. They are also required to have a city license in all cities were they work.

Landscape Designer: A person who plans outdoor spaces, including gardens. Their backgrounds can be varied from apprenticeships to college programs. They can draw plans to scale, plan simple hardscapes, provide plant lists, select and work with contractors and oversee projects. They help clients clarify goals to personalize their project. In Oregon, a Landscape designer is required to have an Oregon State Landscape Contractor’s Professional License. Continuing education classes are required to maintain this license and a City license is required in all cities where they work.

Landscape Contractor: A professional who implements the plans of a landscape designer or architect. Landscape construction professionals must meet experience and/or education requirements and pass a competency exam to obtain a state Landscape Contacting License. They must complete continuing education classes to renew their license. They are also required to have a city license in all cities where they perform work.

Landscape Maintenance or Gardener: A worker who can install plants and maintains gardens and/or yards. Their expertise can range from unskilled labor to skill craftsman. This category of work is unregulated in Oregon and does not require a state license in the State of Oregon. However, always check with your city or county for local license or permit requirements.  In the Rogue Valley these workers are required to have a city license in all cities where they perform work.


Heuchera ‘Silver Scrolls’

Heuchera ‘Silver Scrolls’Silver scrolls Heuchera
Common Name:  Coral bells
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Saxifragaceae
Height:  plant 8-12 inches, flower stalks 24-in
Spread: 8 to 12-inch
Bloom Time: June to July
Flower: Pinkish White, Showy
Sun: Filtered sun to part shade
Soil: Rich humus, Well-draining
Water Needs:  Average to Moist
Foliage Colorful!  Emerge silver flushed with burgundy, matures into silver with dark purple veins.
Uses: Edging, Woodland gardens, Containers, Foliage Garden Interest, Perennial beds, Mass plantings for ground cover
Attributes: Deer Tolerant, evergreen in warm climates.
USDA Zone: 4 to 9

Plants Chat!

“….experiment showed not only that plants can learnby association — which is pexels-photo-255441.jpegastounding in itself — but also how easily humans underestimate plants. “We are plant blind,”…. Monica Gagliano Ecologist University of Western Australia

There was a very interesting article written by Marta Zaraska in the May 2017 issue of Discover Magazine about the ongoing research on plant behaviors. Gagliano, and other researchers, are discovering how plants talk to each other,  and not only do plants learn by association, but they remember and make decisions. They recognize family members, learn language from their parents, support other plants and warn each other. Some plants even count. They are “brainier than you think”!

Read the full article here….

Winter Gardening Chores

Here are a few thing you can do in the garden while waiting for spring to arrive….

  1. Check yard for damaged plants
  2. Check newly planted and newly staked trees to see if they are still stable
  3. Sharpen gardening tools
  4. Organize & clean greenhouse and/or garden shed
  5. Recycle pots you are not going to use in the spring (see AGC’s article on where to recycle pots in the Rogue Valley)
  6. Clean bird feeders and continue feeding wild birds
  7. Check stored fruits and vegetables
  8. Spray stone-fruit trees with copper or lime-sulfur
  9. Check yard and garden for drainage issues
  10. Check house, yard (and autos) for rodent activity
  11. Read gardening books
  12. Shop seed catalogs, and order your seeds for spring, summer, fall and winter planting

Pear Pleasure

Dessert pears, eating pears, large or small….pears are popular around the world and the Rogue Valley’s climate is perfect for growing pears.  The Rogue Valley was once covered in pear trees and many varieties of extra fancy pears were grown for Harry and David Inc. to ship gourmet fruit baskets nationwide.  So why not grow your own?

In fruit tree catalogs you’ll find European pears,  Heirloom pears,  Asian Pears,  Keeper Pears and pears that are better for espalier.  Dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties of pear trees make it easy for an urban gardener to fit a pear tree into their backyard; some are even small enough grow in a large container.   Pear trees need a pollinator, another pear tree that blooms at the same time to cross-pollinate and bear fruit.  Mostly likely there is a pear tree somewhere in your neighborhood to pollinate your tree, but if not and you only have space for one tree, you can create a combo pear tree by grafting a scionwood branch from another variety onto your tree, or purchase a combo pear tree from a nursery.  Bare-root fruit trees will be arriving at local nurseries soon, so look for fruit trees with healthy grafts, well-balanced branches, and  well-established root systems.

Below are a few heirloom varieties to consider:

Seseckel-pear.jpgckel (Sugar Pear) – American cultivar introduced in 1790. Easy to grow.  Small chubby round pears are small with reddish brown skin,  fine-textured flesh that is sweet richly flavored and juicy. Tolerant of most pear diseases.


 Bosc PearBosc – Originated in France or Belgium, discovered in Europe in the 1800’s, then came to America in 1833.  A large pear with a russet skin and high sugar content, slightly fibrous texture and a spicy sweet flavor.


ComComice pearice –  Originated in France 1848.  A large pear with greenish yellow skin, buttery tender texture, aromatic and very juicy.  A traditional gift fruit.


Green AnjouGreen Anjou – (Beurré d’ Anjou)  Originated in Belgium, introduced to America 1842.  A large conical pear with a short neck stem, it has pale green skin, even when ripe.  Excellent storage pear with smooth texture, lemony flavor, but it’s not very sweet. Good for baking, poaching, roasting, grilling,  and salads.


Red AnjouRed Anjou– Originated as a naturally occurring bud sport on a Green Anjou.  It has all the traits of the Green Anjou, except it’s red.   (Wikipedia: Bud sport is part of a plant that shows morphological differences from the rest of the plant)