Landscape Architects – A Great Career Option

Landscape architecture involves the planning, design, management, preservation and rehabilitation of the land and constructions. To put it simply, the people who perform all the above duties are called landscape architects.

Nature of Work

The design of landscapes involves multiple disciplines like mathematics, science, engineering, art, technology, social sciences, politics, history and philosophy. Landscape architects are responsible for various duties like creating public parks, planning corporate offices, planning highways and bridges, creating forests, tourist and historic landscapes, management and reclamation of the degraded landscapes like mines etc. Their job involves all minor and major tasks. They are the brains behind the various types of construction. They are also responsible for supervising the contracts of construction work and preparing applications for capital or revenue funding grants.

Landscape architects often work with different architects, surveyors and engineers to determine the best plans for roads and buildings. They are also required to work with environmental scientists, foresters and other professionals to find various methods of conserving the natural resources. Once the conclusions are drawn, the landscape architects create a new plan including the new topography, vegetation, walkways, decorative features etc.

They spend most of their time in offices in preparing models, designs, plans and cost estimates. The rest of their time is spent either attending meetings with clients or at the site. However, undoubtedly they need to be creatively inclined.

Requirements

The major requirement is that they need to be nature lovers. People who have no interest in enjoying the beauty of nature may not do well as landscape architects. Needless to say, they must have strong analytical skills, a creative vision and artistic talent. Good communication and presentation skills are a must. They must also possess excellent writing skills and an articulate way of expressing their thoughts. The knowledge of CAD software is also essential.

Some prefer to take up some residential work while others stick to individual homeowners. Residential design projects do not provide huge incomes like those of commercial or multiunit residential projects. They may either be self employed or employed by government agencies or landscape architectural firms. Those employed by government or architectural firms work for fixed timings while self-employed work as per the demands.

Qualifications

- The main requirement for entry-level jobs as a landscape architect is a bachelors degree or a masters degree in landscape architecture. A bachelors degree takes around 4 to 5 years for completion. There are two types of masters degrees. One is a 3-year professional program designed for people with an undergraduate degree in other discipline. The other is a 2 year program for students having completed undergraduate degrees in landscape architecture. Some employers prefer applicants who have completed their internship.

- There is a growing demand for landscape architects for integrating natural elements into manmade constructions. Most are employed in urban and sub-urban areas. Few are employed in rural areas. When they gain sufficient experience become construction supervisors, land or environmental planners, project managers and landscape consultants.

How the Right Commercial Christmas Decorations Can Enhance the Work Image of a Company

Christmas is a time of year when all the stops are taken out when it comes to putting up special decorations. Rarely, will a holiday ignite such excitement and every business owner is only too aware of how important it is to mark the occasion and embrace the spirit of the time of year. It explains, at least in part, why providing commercial Christmas decorations are a valuable part of the services any forward thinking landscaping company offers.

While interior landscaping is certainly a year round service, providing plants and flowers to enhance any office or commercial space, the arrival of special festive occasions is a golden opportunity for companies to change things around to reflect the time of year.

Christmas is perhaps the biggest and most obvious example. The availability of distinctly festive plants, such as poinsettias, for example, and floral arrangements featuring them, brings the time of year into the work place. Even if artificial plants are used, the positive feelings are harnessed and transferred into the office environment itself.

One might wonder how this enhances the work image of the company. Well, the fact is that by actively embracing the occasion, the company shows itself to be open, fun loving and positive minded. The splashes of color seen around the office, the red poinsettias and holly garlands across the ceiling all show the enthusiasm that the office as a whole is feeling.

Many companies choose to hire decorations, and have the professionals design, and decorate everything, and then remove it all when Christmas is over. Of course, there is a vast range of decorations that can be hired, so here is a selection of those that are available, some of which can be considered essential and some as hugely elaborate.

Holiday Tree

A holiday tree should be considered essential. It is almost unthinkable that holiday decorations can be put up, without a holiday tree being erected. The selection of trees is quite varied with different sizes and different color schemes applied to match the particular environment or decor of the commercial space.

For example, a regular office on any floor of an office building can accommodate a tree of perhaps 7 or 8 feet in height, but a business which sports a large lobby area, such as a hotel for example, could house a tree of 20 feet in height. In each case, the tree can come decorated in gold and red trinkets and baubles, or perhaps in silver and gold. The range of colors is extensive.

Garland and Swags

Other holiday decorations that should not be overlook are garlands, wreaths and swags. In retail premises, garlands are ideal to hang along the length of counters where customers are greeted and assisted, while in offices they can decorate desks, drape the length of office walls, or hand on stairwell hand rails. Swags and wreaths are highly popular to decorate centrally located pillars, as well as the doors and windows of a building.

Finally, holiday floral arrangements can enrich lobby areas, boasting an array of colored foliage, flowers and trinkets in elaborately designed Tuscan urns. The display can be very large, creating a focal point, or can be more discreet with several positioned strategically around the space.

Creating a Winter Scene

While trees and garlands are certainly to be expected, it is possible to add something extra special by having a winter scene depicted. Typically, these scenes are simply fun winter themes, using animals like polar bears, penguins, reindeer or even Santa Claus on snow covered stages. Whatever the characters, they are invariable involved in some winter activity. For example, polar bears skiing with a sign post pointing to the North Pole behind them.

Outdoor Displays

Of course, for many businesses there is also a great opportunity to go the extra mile and take their holiday enthusiasm outside for all to enjoy. These displays are generally larger in scale than what has been created inside. So, the number of poinsettia plants being used may be greater, and the garden urn may be bigger and more decorative. And, because it is outdoor, artificial plants are often used to counter the winter elements.

With the right range of commercial Christmas decorations and displays put in place, it is very possible to enhance the work experience for everyone, bringing holiday cheer into the work place.

Just like every other area of interior landscaping, professional designers can ensure that the very best examples are achieved, the positive work image is maintained.

Landscape Lighting – 3 Reasons to Go Solar

Now that the weather has improved, you are finally able pay attention to the condition of the outside of your home. You find that your property would benefit from more light. There are several ways to go about solving your lighting problem and you should weigh the options. If you have special trees or plantings that you would like to highlight then spotlights will do the job. You can get spotlights that are bright white, ones that rotate through a color spectrum, and others that freeze on one color.

You have walkways to your front and back doors that you want to light. Small pathway or rock lights will solve this problem. Perhaps you are decorating for a party and want to brighten up your garden. You can use string lights, hanging lanterns, garden stakes and statuary.

Solar landscape lighting has become popular over the past five years. Solar lighting, decorative and functional, has several benefits over its electric counterpart:

1. Convenient – Solar lights do not need to be placed near an electrical source. So, if you need pathway lights that travel 200 feet down your driveway, you can put solar lights as far away from the house as you choose without worrying about extra wiring. Some are sold individually and others are sold in multiples, connected by a cable. This type of lighting needs to be pushed into the ground and positioned to your liking.

2. Low Maintenance – Batteries are rechargeable. You will not worry about the batteries dying in a solar light because they are constantly being recharged by the sun’s energy. This is not to say that the batteries last forever, you are likely to get two years out of a pair of rechargeable batteries. Solar lights turn on and off automatically. Many, however, have an on/off switch so when you are not home for an extended time, it is best to save the batteries and switch to the off position.

3. Attractive – There are many decorative options. Solar butterfly string lights will draw attention to the boxwoods next to your patio, while solar mission lanterns will give the needed light around your dining table on the deck. Solar wall lights will make your deck stairs safer by being well-marked. Solar floating lights decorate your pool while constantly changing color, and solar garden stakes mark your plantings and make the garden more beautiful.

While electric lights may have more powerful voltage options, they are also labor-intensive to install and add to your monthly electric bill. Solar lights are inexpensive, easy to install and cost nothing to operate.