Monday, August 10, 2009

Social Media for Small Businesses

Dell has a terrific resource guide for small businesses who want to learn about social media:

It's on Facebook - click and go.

Friday, August 7, 2009

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Launches Nationwide I-9 Audit Initiative

Labor, employment, immigration and compliance are big issues for the landscape industry. Troutman Sanders LLP keeps our association informed of important issues and updates.

Click below for an advisory regarding Nationwide I-9 Audit:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Judge rules on water issue

This is not good news for Georgia's citizens - whether in the landscape industry or not.

From the AJC, 7/17/2009:

Federal judge rules against Georgia in water litigation

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Smart Irrigation Month - July 2009

Did you know? July is "Smart Irrigation Month".

The Irrigation Association named July Smart Irrigation Month to promote efficient watering practices, technologically advanced irrigation products, and water conservation.

Smart Irrigation Month is an opportunity to draw attention to water-saving products, practices and services. Check out the Irrigation Association's information at

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Top Ten 2009 Landscape Trends

1) Grow your own is growing! Kitchen gardens produce home grown fruits and veggies. With the trend of buying more local produce, what is more local than growing your own vegetables and fruit? Value-conscious consumers also know that growing their own produce saves money. A kitchen garden of 600 square feet can yield a $500 return on an average gardener's investment in seeds, plants, fertilizer and other garden supplies, according to the National Gardening Association. Besides saving money, earth-ripened fruits and vegetables taste better.

2) "Insert Your Address Here" is your most affordable vacation destination . Uncertainty with the economy is forcing many Americans to curb or cut vacation travel this year, making the cozy comforts of home foremost. This means improving outdoor living areas. You don't have to travel the globe to enjoy the tranquility of an Asian garden or the formality of an English estate. Any back yard can become a personal oasis. Check out the award winning landscapes at for ideas to create your own staycation!

3) Homeowners are using curb appeal as a the competitive edge to sell their homes. High-quality landscape increased home sales prices anywhere from 5.7 to 10.8 percent, compared to average landscapes, according to a home sale study in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture. Research from the University of Minnesota shows that every $1 spent on landscape returns $1.35. Smart sellers know the best way to improve the first impression of a home is to improve its landscape curb appeal.

4) Get going on going green. Sustainable landscapes can be the most efficient because they maximize available resources - water, light, the best plant combinations and use of local products. Reduce/reuse/recycle is being applied to the landscape in ways like a compost pile for the veggies, recycling hardscape materials like boulders or flagstone into new configurations and placing more wood mulch in beds to cut water use.

5) Water-wise awareness is mainstream. Being water-wise is budget and environmentally friendly, sustainable and just common sense. That's why homeowners are renovating and upgrading irrigation systems to cut water usage and costs. Popular items are rain sensors and ET controllers that halt watering when the soil doesn't need it and updated sprinkler heads and nozzles that increase water-efficiency even more. Owners are also managing sprinklers smarter by setting clocks to water early morning or late evening and applying only the amount of water plants really need.

6) Therapeutic gardening is IN. Maintaining your lawn and garden not only makes you popular with your neighbors, it is also beneficial for overall fitness, stress relief and mental tranquility. Gardens are being designed to provide a healing environment for patients at many Atlanta hospitals and medical centers.

7) Mother Nature's AC is A-OK. Trees are nature's canopies for providing shade. They are an investment that provides many returns including the cooling of our homes, reducing summer energy costs and improving our landscape aesthetics and curb appeal. Questions to ask before planting a shade tree include: how much space is available for the tree, will tree roots affect your foundation, what trees grow best in Georgia and how long will it take for the tree to provide shade?

8) Nostalgia is just as 'cool' as the latest trends. Getting back to basics this year means many people are recreating garden memories from mom's and grandma's gardening days using old favorites like peonies and daisies. Ask your landscape designer about new spins on old staples like peonies, daisies, roses and iris, which are now available in more colorful and hardy varieties.

9) Light it up. Night lighting that highlights your house and landscape is one of the fastest-growing landscape innovations. Not only does it look great, but it increases home security. And new fluorescent and LED lighting options mean using less electricity. LEDs even come in multiple colors, adding variety to your nightscape.

10) A place for kids is top priority. Parents who are savvy about "no child left indoors" want to help their kids get outside where they can enjoy the mental and physical benefits of interacting with nature. These parents are creating outdoor environments that attract butterflies and other wildlife, that get kids growing veggies and flowers they can pick and that are lots more fun to interact with than indoor computer games.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Welcome to MALTA's new blog!

MALTA is metro Atlanta and Georgia's premier landscape organization for professionals involved in the landscape design, construction, and maintenance industry.

MALTA helps

...homeowners and property managers locate reputable professionals.

...the industry maintain high standards through association, education, and recognition.

MALTA promotes

...professionalism among its members by encouraging continuing education and adherence to industry standards.

MALTA demonstrates

...its firm commitment to the future of Georgia’s landscape industry through its Code of Ethics.

MALTA offers

...its members the opportunity to improve and support the landscape industry for the common good.

Please contact MALTA for all of your landscape needs.