The Knowledge College is the place for cutting-edge training to become the best industry professional you can be!

For 2017, The Knowledge College brings 24 thought-provoking, relevant and hands-on workshops to keep participants in-step with industry competition. Attendees build a program tailor-made to meet their uniqoe business needs. Most sessions are priced at $75 per workshop, pre-registration pricing. Four sessions are priced differently -- two higher and two lower.


Thursday, September 14

Full-Day Session, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (lunch not included)
Design Seminar I: Basic Drafting and Design (W1)

Dr. Richard Ludwig, Bill Slack and Vicki Proano,
Landscape Design & Graphic Workshops, Gainesville, GA

Make your landscape design presentations go from mediocre to magnificent by learning the fundamentals of speed graphics, bold symbols, and high speed title blocks. It is first impressions that make a difference. Learn how to package a complete presentation. All drafting supplies included.

Morning Session, 9 a.m. – 12 Noon
Well-Designed Mixed Gardens: Building Borders with Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Annuals & Bulbs (W6)

Tracy DiSabato-Aust, Columbus, OH

This interesting and informative lecture discusses the design fundamentals of border building using a wide palette of plant material. How do we effectively combine the plethora of woody and herbaceous plants available today? Design steps, color, texture, form, design principles of order, unity, and rhythm, garden art, maintenance of the mixed garden, as well as mixed garden designs, vignettes, and combinations will be highlighted. Learn from an artist and keen plants woman about creating gorgeous and environmentally sound mixed gardens.

Afternoon Sessions, 1 – 4 p.m.
Design and Maintenance of Vertical Gardens (W2)

Jim Mumford, Good Earth Plant & Flower Company, San Diego, CA

Whether you call it a living wall, vertical garden, or green wall, these beautiful works of art are vertical architecture facilitating plants. This workshop will take a closer look at the design, installation and maintenance of exterior living walls. Find out how green walls are not only aesthetically pleasing to consumers but can offer an increase in worker productivity, noise reduction and lower heat and cooling costs.

Basic Irrigation: The Irrigation Installers’ Guide to Sprinkler Coverage (W3)
(Presented In Spanish)

Raul Gonzalez, Ewing Irrigation, Los Angeles, CA

An efficient irrigation system is more than just making the water come out of the sprinklers. This 3-part program will take the installation or service technician through the principles of sprinkler coverage that minimizes water waste and optimizes plant health and appearance and how they can incorporate them into their jobs every day. The training is ideal for the irrigation installation or service technician who wants to expand beyond assembling components. Sprinkler nozzling, sprinkler pressure and placement will all be discussed.

Sprinkler Nozzling: It is not the sprinkler that controls sprinkler coverage. It is the nozzle. This session includes reading nozzle charts to select sprinklers, determining gallons per minute, create even application rates, and minimize wasted water.

Sprinkler Pressure: Every nozzle only has one optimum pressure, even though they work within a range of pressures. Knowing the optimum pressure and how to build a system that can deliver that pressure to the sprinklers is at the very foundation of efficient irrigation. This session covers source pressure, understanding pressure losses, and sizing the components to minimize the pressure losses.

Sprinkler Placement: There is more to overlapping coverage than just head-to-head placement. This session explains how sprinklers work together, how to position sprinklers in irregular shapes in the landscape, and how nozzle selection and sprinkler pressure affect placement.

Advanced Pruning (W4)
(On Show Floor)

Jeff McManus, Director of Landscape Services, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

Back by popular demand, Jeff McManus will focus on pruning from the ground up featuring shearing, selective and rejuvenation pruning skills. If pruning like a pro is what you are looking to master, this fun and engaging workshop will provide sustainable pruning strategies to maintain a long-term and beautiful landscape design.

Maintaining Your Landscape: Keep the Bugs, Disease and Weeds At Bay (W5)

Chris Marbles, Mid Florida Research and Education Center, Adam Dale, University of Florida-Gainesville, FL, and Chris Hayes, BioWorks, Land O'Lakes, FL

The doctors are in the house and ready to provide an in-depth, hands on, evidence-based education and training session. Attendees will leave with key strategies for managing weeds, insects and diseases in Florida’s landscape. This program will provide a great mix between visual and some hands-on identification and demonstration.

Hardscaping Workshop: Ultimate Enhancements to Your Landscape Designs (W7)
(On Show Floor)

Chris Bettinger, Coastal/Oldcastle Company, Longwood, FL

When planning your landscape masterpieces, remember to add the finishing touches with hardscapes to enhance your designs. This hands-on workshop will show landscape professionals how to define themes, character and space through creative patterns of concrete pavers, retaining walls and innovations of construction materials. Attendees will leave with an understanding of how to prepare the site for installation, identify sustainable attributes to paver systems and resources as well as leave with key maintenance tips to guarantee the successful lifetime of the hardscapes.


Friday, September 15

Full-Day Session, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (lunch not included)
Design Seminar III: Creating the Ultimate Landscape Design (W8)

Dr. Richard Ludwig, Bill Slack and Vicki Proano,
Landscape Design & Graphic Workshops, Gainesville, GA

Developed for landscape professionals wanting to formulate their design philosophy and create plans that are stunning, unified and functional. This is a hands-on workshop that will not only increase your knowledge of landscape design but sharpen your pencils because you will leave with a greater understanding of how to draw plans that will amaze your clients. With an architectural approach to design along with an emphasis on form composition and lines of force, the workshop will weave sustainable, earth-friendly principles into the traditional design.

This workshop is geared to train attendees in design theory; moving from a basic understanding to creating a master plan in just one day! Improve your skills as you create and sell beautiful, practical, profitable earth-friendly design solutions for your client.


Morning Sessions, 9 a.m. – 12 Noon
Care and Maintenance of Mature Trees – “A Successful Journey of An Urban Tree” (W9)

Dana Mickler, SeaWorld of Orlando and Andy Kittsley, City of Orlando, FL

From city landscapes to theme parks, this team of presenters has years of experience in meeting the challenges of trees in an urban environment. A successful life of urban trees starts from a young tree and continues throughout its lifespan. Through best management practices, proper pruning, and a clear understanding of maintenance strategies, landscape professionals can meet the challenges of ever-changing surroundings. This hands-on workshop will allow attendees to identify the potential of an urban tree and learn key pruning skills that will create structurally sound trees as their landscape designs mature.

Account Manager Master Track – Part 1 (W10)

Ben Gandy, Envisor Consulting, Alpharetta GA

Want to know what defines a successful account manager? This two-part workshop will spend the morning looking at the keys to customer service excellence along with strategies and tactics for service recovery. Looking for more, join fellow attendees for Part 2 being held in the afternoon where Ben will take a closer look at how to maximize time and efficiency of a routine site visit. Leave with ways to increase productivity and work smarter.

Basic Irrigation -The Technicians’ Guide to Irrigation Hydraulics (W11)

Kurt Thompson, K. Thompson and Associates, LLC, Clover, SC

Water source, pipe sizing, and elevation changes affect the efficiency and performance of the sprinklers. Attendees will find the technicians’ Guide to Irrigation Hydraulics perfect to use when figuring out problems on existing system or in the design of a new system. This workshop is filled with loads of practice sessions to using math and theory on paper to get it right in the field. Attendees should have a basic understanding of the components of an irrigation system.

Container Workshop: Catchy Containers (W12)

Heather Will-Browne and Debbie Mola Mickler, Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL

With years of experience making container gardens come to life and look absolutely magical, Heather and Debbie have teamed to share with attendees the creative way to design eye-catching containers. From color to the type of pot as well as the proper selection of plants, the workshop will offer recipes for success. Want to use more containers in your landscape designs? Come get your hands dirty and create some magic of your own. Container masterpieces will be auctioned off to the highest bidder and proceeds will go to the National Horticulture Foundation.

Strengthen Your Market Presence With Brand Positioning (W13)

Charlyn Shelton, St Petersburg, FL; Timothee Sallin, Cherrylake, Groveland, FL; Liz Lark-Riley, Rockledge Gardens, Rockledge, FL; Debra Morrow, ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design, Venice, FL

Learn the new landscape of marketing your brand to ALL of today's generations. Charlyn Shelton has spent 10 year of speaking the language of social media and marketing strategies. Charlyn brings clarity and ease to applying social media to build your relationships and grow your business. She will bridge the Millennials to the Boomers and the Boomers to the Millennials so your business will have all of the right tools to thrive in the next few years. Hear first-hand examples of how growers, garden centers and landscape professionals are using social media and today’s marketing tools to strengthen their businesses. Timothee, Liz and Debra will share their experiences and sucess stories.

Plant Showcase: It’s All About the Plants! (W14)

Angelica Cretu, Research and Development Director for Annuals and Perennials, Costa Farms, Miami, FL; Robert Bowden and Eric Schmidt, Harry P. Leu Gardens, Orlando, FL: Thomas Guice, Bullis Bromeliads, Miami, FL

This fast-paced workshop is all about the plants! Come get inspired to use more color and creativity in your landscape designs to create beautiful masterpieces. From annuals and perennials to shrubs and tropicals, each presenter will highlight their favorites and offer ideas on how these varieties can be used to add character and quality.

Increasing Margins: Sales and Job Costing (W15)

Mark Bradley, TBG Landscape, Toronto, Canada

Session description to come soon.


Afternoon Sessions, 1 – 4 p.m.
Keeping Up on Florida’s Grades and Standards (W16)
(On Show Floor)

Mike Marshall, Marshal Tree Farm, Morriston, FL and John Conroy, Fish Branch Tree Farm, Inc., Zolfo Springs, FL

This workshop will offer the latest information provided in the revised Florida’s Grades and Standards. Take a hands-on approach to understanding the proper grading of several varieties of trees, palms and cycads. Come see if your landscape trees are up to standards and what vital information is needed to properly incorporate into your landscape designs.

Account Manager Master Track – Part 2 (W17)

Ben Gandy, Envisor Consulting, Alpharetta GA

Looking for more about how to be a stronger account manager? If you attended the morning’s workshop, Account Manager Master Track (Part 1) or just want to learn more about the role of an account manager, Part 2 will take a closer look at how to maximize time and efficiency of a routine site visit. Leave with ways to increase productivity and work smarter.

50 Ways to Find, Recruit and Hire Super Star (W18)

Tony Bass, Tony Bass Consulting, Fort Valley, GA

Tony Bass has hired hundreds of employees to work in his portfolio of companies. He is a JOB CREATOR! During this workshop, Tony will take an in depth look at how to effectively find, hire and build your company’s successful team. He is ready to share over 50 ways to build a team, how to look out for the common hiring mistakes and gain quality employees at a lower cost! You can’t afford to miss this workshop!

Merchandising Magic (W19)

Harold Lloyd, H. Lloyd & Associates, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA and Judy Sharpton, Growing Places Marketing, Savannah, GA

Millions of customers enter garden centers each week. Advertising, habit, and impulse bring them in, but what makes them stay? And what impacts their behavior while inside the store? In short, why do they buy what they buy and how can we get them to buy more? Can we influence shoppers to stay longer, cover more square footage and buy more? In this workshop, attendees will learn how a customer traffic study will change the way you merchandise your aisles and grow sales and take away key merchandising strategies which will positively impact the way customers move through the store and what they buy.

Advanced Irrigation: Design & Troubleshooting (W20)

Kurt Thompson, K. Thompson and Associates, LLC, Clover, SC

Use valves, controllers, meters, wire, etc. in a hands-on format to learn a standard process of diagnosing the mechanical and electrical problems found in an irrigation system, with an emphasis on productivity. The learner should have a basic understanding of the components of an irrigation system.

Designing Landscapes In Big to Small Spaces (W21)

Craig Reynolds, Craig Reynolds, Key West, FL

First a fine artist and then a landscape architect, there is a combination of art and science that goes into every garden design. This session will take a look at landscape design from grand scale to the small and intimate spaces. Landscape Architect Craig Reynolds will show how the completed gardens seamlessly integrate the hardscape and softscape, making them look as if they were always there.

Certification Review Workshop (W22)
(On Show Floor)

Facilitated by Gary Weitermann, FCLMT, SeaWorld Horticulture, FNGLA Certification Committee Chair and Merry Mott, Director of Certification/FNGLA

This workshop will highlight some of the key components on a landscape job site and how to properly execute fertilizer calibration, grading and drainage, along with plan layouts and irrigation.

Zoysiagrass in the Florida Landscape (W24)

Dr. Bryan Unruh, University of Florida/West Florida Research and Education Center, Milton, FL; Dr. Kevin Kenworthy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; and Erin Wilder, Sod Solutions, Tallahassee, FL

Session description to come.



Saturday, September 16

Morning Session, 9 a.m. – 12 Noon
FCLD Review Course (W23)

Steve Fairtrace, FCLD, South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach FL

This course will introduce attendees to the principles tested in FNGLA’s Certified Landscape Designer (FCLD) exam, with a look at the required plan submittal process.


Why Be A Part of TLS Knowledge College?

Who Should Attend?
Retail Garden Center Professionals, Landscaper Professionals, Landscape Designers, County and Municipal personnel, Nursery Growers, and anyone interested in furthering their knowledge of the issues and topics affecting Florida's nursery and landscape industry.

Continuing Education Units

In an effort to help attendees maximize their experience, CEU's are often granted for the following programs:

  • FNGLA Certified Professionals: FCHP, FCLT, FCLMT, FCLD, FCLC
    All workshops approved for 3 FNGLA CEUs each with full-day sessions quailifying for 4 FNGLA CEUs.

For additional details on this or any other FNGLA educational offering, contact Linda Reindl at FNGLA for more information, (800) 375-3642.