No one can deny the importance of plants, not only for us as humans but to our planet as well. And yet, there has been an obvious decline in young adults seeking out degrees in horticulture. Likewise, the horticulture departments at major college campuses are disappearing due to lack of participation. This has created an interesting paradox. As more millennials are becoming environmentally-conscious while also seeking a solid career path, why not kill two birds with one stone? Few of these students realize the numerous career paths available to those with a degree in horticulture. Here we take a brief look at what is horticulture, all the different career paths a person with a horticulture degree could pursue and how more horticulturalists could save the world.
What is Horticulture?
Horticulture can be defined as the practice of cultivating fruits, vegetables, flowers or plants for beauty or utility. Truly, it is part art and part science. Horticulture encompasses the process of planting the seeds into the earth, ensuring the soil provides the nutrients that the seed needs while watering, sheltering and nourishing it as it grows into a plant. When successful, the seed grows into a plant and will reproduce in some fashion whether, fruiting, flowering or producing clones. The plant’s offspring can then be used in numerous different ways depending on the industry. What is interesting is how far horticulture can reach within different aspects of society across cultures.
There are five main branches of horticulture:
- Floriculture- production/marketing of flowers
- Landscape- production, marketing and maintenance of landscape plants
- Olericulture- production/marketing of vegetables
- Pomology- production/marketing of fruits
- Postharvest Physiology- Expertise in how to prevent produce from prematurely spoiling.
Horticulture does not only impact the food industry. The pharmaceutical, landscape, lumber, floral, and clothing industries are just a few of the industries that fall under the umbrella of horticulture’s influence.
How Horticulturalists Save the World
“If you want to save the planet, one of the best ways to do it is through horticulture,” said Angus Murphy, Chair of the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture at the University of Maryland at College Park. What did he mean by that? Plants help re-oxygenate the planet and can have dramatically positive effects on the environment. For example, if an area is prone to flooding because of rainfall. You can plant a tree in that location. The roots will absorb the excess water like a sponge, while the leaves will act like little umbrellas. Not to mention, when you facilitate the growth of plants, you are literally helping to generate life which is a pretty commendable and amazing thing.
In an effort to bring much-needed attention to the field of horticulture, organizations are sprouting up and using social media campaigns to attract youth participation and also bridge the gaps between horticulture and “cooler” industries. The younger the people are that get interested in horticulture, the sooner they can begin forming their career goals around horticulture with a sense of clarity and purpose.
What are Some of the Career Possibilities?
- Arboretum Director/Associate
- Botanical Gardens Manager/Grounds Associate
- Business Owner
- Community Garden Planner
- Extension Educator
- Farmer of Specialty Vegetables/Fruits
- Floral Designer
- Greenhouse Manager
- Garden Manager
- Garden Center Operations, Sales, Maintenance, Landscaping
- Golf Course Superintendent
- Horticulture Therapist
- Horticulture Marketing/Sales Manager
- Landscape Design
- Lawn Maintenance Foreman/Technician
- Master Gardener/Landscaper
- Plant Biologist
- Plant Breeder
- Produce Retail Team Member
- Research Scientist
- Urban Garden Manager
According to a study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture in 2015, nearly 58,000 jobs become available each year in agriculture-related fields but only 61% of those jobs are filled by qualified candidates. With so many students entering college and graduating college, horticulture could provide a viable avenue to make it inside the industry of their choice.
Cityscapes has consistent openings in the horticulture departments with training provided. For more information, check out our careers page.
There is something inherently rewarding about growing and attending plants, even on a minimal scale. It is nurturing and gratifying in it’s own completely unique way. You get your hands dirty and you help produce something. You help life, you help the planet and you help yourself at the same time.
When it comes to interior decorating, nothing adds instant beauty and character to a room quite like a fragrant bouquet of flowers or a nice potted plant. Interior plants are the perfect addition to any home or office space and help to bring a touch of nature indoors. In addition to bringing elements of the outdoors into an interior space, plants are proven to have a positive impact on mental and physical health as well. Here are several reasons why you should incorporate plants into your home or office spaces:
Improved Air Quality
Breathing in clean air is important for your overall health and wellness. Unlike with air filtration systems that require constant filter changes and maintenance, all you have to do to maintain a plant is to ensure it gets enough water and sunlight to thrive. Peace lilies, Boston ferns, palm trees, and gerbera daisies are among the best indoor plants to choose from for maximum air purifying qualities. Not only do they look stunning, but they reduce formaldehyde and harmful bacteria from the air.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, you should have one indoor plant per 100 square feet of floor space in order to keep the air clean and pure. Choose a variety of different plants in all colors and sizes depending on the size of each room the plants are going in. Full-size plants and miniature trees are great for conference rooms and living rooms, while small potted plants work well for small offices and bedrooms.
Plants and flowers are attractive to look at and can soothe the soul after a long and stressful day. Whether you work in an office that has demanding deadlines or experience a busy home life, turn your space into a personal sanctuary filled with plants that calm the mood with their good looks and relaxing fragrances. Some of the most popular relaxation promoting plants include lavender, aloe vera, jasmine, and gardenia. These plants also have the natural ability to reduce anxiety levels, so you will be able to concentrate during the day and sleep better at night.
Bringing Nature Indoors
Biophilic Design is based on the principle that people have an innate desire to be connected with nature and is a popular concept in architecture today. Biophilic design is about bringing nature indoors with expansive windows that overlook gardens and shrubbery, interior plantscapes and gardens, and natural colored furnishings that connect the outdoors with indoor living and working spaces. If you are considering a home or office remodel, be sure to tear down the walls, add more windows, and open up the space to promote natural lighting and the ability to feel as though you are outdoors even when you are inside.
With the addition of plants and flowers in your home or office space, you will have the ability to change the look of the space with the coming of each new season. The changing of the seasons opens up the opportunity to start fresh and redesign your space, celebrating the new life that spring brings, the warm and sunny days of summer, the crisp air of the fall, or the warm and cozy ambiance of the winter. Pick flowering plants that suit the seasons and really create the feel of that time of year.
Bring more nature into your life with interior plants and reap the rewards of better health and wellness. Whether you are looking for a way to redecorate the office or liven up your home, plants will enhance your mood and clean up the air. If you are looking for creative inspiration or would like more information on biophilic design, our experts at Cityscapes Inc., can help; contact us today!
With all the conveniences and new technology of modern day life, things seem to get busier, and busier… and busier! We hate to even bring up the word stress, but… there’s no point in denying the statistics; we live in a stressed-out nation!
A study released earlier this year claims that anxiety levels in America have been on a drastic incline, even since 2017! American Psychiatry Association president Anita Everett states:
“This poll shows US adults are increasingly anxious particularly about health, safety, and finances; that increased stress and anxiety can significantly impact many aspects of people’s lives, including their mental health, and it can affect families.”
Individuals all over the nation are simply stressed out about life. But how are we to reverse this negative trend that our nation is spiraling into?
Going Green (Literally)
When the buzz of industry and technology fail to calm the soul, the more primitive elements of nature step up and fulfill their role as the solace and remedy of many ills. That’s right, we’re talking about simple, down-to-earth plants. Why? Even just looking at plants and flowers has been recognized as a mood lifter and anxiety breaker! There’s just something about plant life that really has beneficial effects on mental health.
Anti-Depressants Were Never So Lovely!
Researchers in Canada and America have studied the results of nature encounters among those who are struggling with clinical depression. The studies contrasted individuals who took a walk in a natural park-like environment to those who spent time in a busy urban area. You guessed it; there was a significant increase in positivity and brain function within the group that chose the park.
And don’t forget the timeless expression of love and thoughtfulness humanity shows by giving a friend or loved one a bouquet of flowers. Even though there was no historical scientific evidence of the power of flowers, modern research shows a definite connection between flowers and brighter outlooks of life!
Better Focus, Better Life
In addition to brightening your mood, plants also help your attention span. Scientists have found that being surrounded by a natural foliage-rich environment has “regenerative effects for directed attention“.
In an experiment to see if office work was enhanced by the mere presence of botany, researchers found that individuals who read and recited from memory showed improved performance when working in an office with just four plants nearby!
Did we mention that plants clean the air too? They sure do! Varieties such as snake plant, spider plant, and ferns (to name a few) take toxins and carbon dioxide out of the air, releasing healthy oxygen back into the ecosystem for us to breathe!
Bring Nature Indoors
These are amazing discoveries for managers and business owners all over the nation who are concerned about productivity and, more importantly, the wellbeing of their employees; and seeing how valuable nature and greenery is to health and happiness, it makes perfect sense to bring all of the goodness right into your work environment; after all, that’s where a lot of life is lived.
Fortunately, there are so many creative ways to fill your life with foliage; plantscapes, living walls, living art, and even plant-related holiday decor are some great options that will fill the workplace atmosphere with breathtaking beauty and soul-healing relaxation.
For more ideas about going green and bringing new life to your corner of the world, contact Cityscapes of Boston; no one can create interior biophilic scenery like our team of skilled designers. Our interiorscapes are displayed in leading hotels and offices throughout the city, and our reputation continues to go before us as a trusted and reputable service in high demand. Schedule your complimentary design assessment today!
Employees spend many of their waking hours at work. The office is like a home away from home, so it is important that employees feel like they are at home while they are there. If you have ever worked in a building that boasts furniture representative of a 1980s sitcom or has decor that is discolored, worn, and tattered, then you know it can lower the morale in the office and make people less productive. When employees are proud of their workspace, they are often times more willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, which translates into better productivity all around. Improve office life, motivate your employees and give them a workspace that feels more like a home with these office life altering tricks and techniques:
Update Office Furnishings
Whether your company is large or small, office facelift funds should be worked into every business budget. Presentation is an important part of the package when you are trying to generate new business and keep your current customers coming back for more. A well kept office space conveys professionalism. Employees and clients alike will feel more comfortable negotiating new deals, coming up with the next big concept, and seeing projects through to completion when they have a clean and contemporary space to work in.
The overall image of your company should be conveyed in the furnishings you select for your office space. If you wish to portray a laid-back atmosphere that fosters creativity and allows your employees to think and work freely, go with bold colors and furniture with interesting patterns and shapes. If your business is designed around helping others, choose natural earth tones and portray a look of warmth and compassion.
Get On-Board with Biophilia
Biophilia is a psychological concept that was first used in 1973 by psychoanalyst Erich Fromm who said that humans have an innate need to connect with the natural world around them, and are attracted to things that are considered to be alive and from nature.
It is a concept that is being incorporated more in shopping malls, office buildings, and other public spaces as nature calms the spirit. To engage employees and make them feel more relaxed in the workplace, incorporate landscape art, live plants, natural colors, fish tanks, water fountains, and other earthy elements.
The Little Things Do Matter
Providing simple concessions like a coffee pot and healthy snacks in the break room are little things that matter a great deal to employees. Small gestures of appreciation show employees you care and will help keep them feeling comfortable while they are at work. According to The Balance Small Business, businesses that provide free snacks and drinks to employees are the ones most likely to get the best employees in the job market.
Other gestures of appreciation you can consider to improve life in the office include giving employees gift cards to their favorite retailers for a job well done, providing a relaxing break area that includes comfortable seating, games, a TV, and some live plants for them to look after, and pumping soothing music through the airwaves to promote deep thought and reflection.
Knock Down the Walls
Open office concepts are in and promote conversation and idea sharing in the workplace. An open office concept invites employees to discuss projects and form partnerships among themselves as well as makes their supervisors more accessible to them. When the walls are knocked down, even a small office suite can take on a vast and expansive new life, letting in much more natural light for everyone to enjoy.
When designing your open office concept, remember to keep the cubicles low and try to incorporate more windows and skylights into the construction plans. If your office building needs to have individual offices for key executives to work from, position the offices so that they are in the middle of the building, allowing for lower level employees to have access to prime window seating.
In today’s job market, employees have choices when it comes to where they work, and sometimes the tipping point all comes down to the physical appearance and ambiance of the office space you provide. Give your office a facelift, let nature in, and provide employees with a few small gifts of gratitude, and you will enjoy seeing their smiling faces as they work hard to make the business boom.
Living indoor plant displays adds a touch of class to a busy office or a bit of warmth to an otherwise sterile waiting room. Such a display is an element that stylishly ties your décor together. The right indoor plant combinations make a place look finished, ready and put-together while they are useful for cleaning the air. Easy-care, low maintenance Dracaena plants work perfectly in many such situations.
Dracaena is an exceptional and exciting family of plants that exist happily with limited watering and little pruning. Give them a place where the sun provides a few rays or in bright indoor lighting and they flourish. Consider which dracaena plants work with your décor and indoor lighting conditions. This plant family has something for every office condition.
Dracaena thrives under incandescent or supplemental fluorescent lighting if the ideal lighting situation is not available. Temperatures between 65-80 degrees F., those found in most businesses, are perfect for them. There is a variety of beautiful Dracaena from which to choose. Many have a tree form, taking center stage in a grouping near a window or accenting a corner.
We can even add a wall-hanging featuring this air-cleaning specimen. Include them on a table, wall shelf, in container arrangements, or plant a tropical themed garden outside. Our innovative biophilic designs beautify your space as only nature can do.
Improve Work Performance
Employees find a subtle encouragement in working in such an environment. Processes seem to flow more smoothly; interactions are more meaningful and less problematic. Sources say interacting with nature eases stress, lowers blood pressure, and improves one’s frame of mind. The benefits of cleaner air are endless and immeasurable.
Sources suggest that a 10-inch potted plant for each 100 sq ft of your business effectively purifies the air. We do the measurements and calculations to bring your office up to a standard when installing these plants. A few of the most popular Dracaena are listed below:
- Dracaena marginata Dragon Tree
- Dracaena fragrans Corn Plant
- Dracaena Braunii Lucky Bamboo
- Dracaena Reflexa Song of India
- Dracaena deremensis Janet Craig
Consider these attractive plants as they can be arranged in your workspace. Don’t forget the positive benefits of this type of upgrade. Happier, healthier, and more productive employees is an achievable goal. Anything to make work roll along smoothly. And looking up the line, this makes work easier to manage for higher level employees.
Who’s Trying the Indoor Plant Concept?
Giant corporations Google and Microsoft have taken advantage of this new movement to encourage their employees as they include green spaces in their indoor landscapes, according to NBC News. Not to be left behind, Amazon has jumped on the biophilic bandwagon with new domes in Seattle, called the Spheres. The three glass and steel domes house a proverbial forest of more than 40,000 plants. And, Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA features a nine-acre rooftop park, while Microsoft uses treehouses to allow employees to work outside. Apple has a 30-acre park, orchard, and pond for its workers to satisfy their outdoor urge.
You may rely on our experienced team of biophilic designers for a complimentary assessment and to explain the advantages in detail. Our designer meets at your convenience and can advise how to fit the Dracaena family into your offices. Rest assured, our design will work perfectly with your existing space and design.
Perhaps you will choose plant material other than the Dracaena. We offer a wide range of air-cleaning plant choices, something that is compatible with any design. From the front office to the outdoor break room and even the roof, we’ve got you covered.
According to the United Nations World Cities Report, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in urban environments by the year 2030. That means 1 in 3 people will reside in cities with a population of at least half a million. As a result, architects, scientists, and organizations are working together. They are studying the dynamics of the human-nature connection. In addition, how this connection can be incorporated into the concrete jungle. The answer to this challenge is biophilic design.
As defined by the International Living Future Institute:
“Biophilic design is the practice of connecting people and nature within our built environments and communities.”
An analysis of the data collected by the Labor Department revealed that the average U.S. employee works 1,811.16 hours every year. An estimated 40 percent work more than 50 hours a week, while 20 percent work more than 60 hours per week. This means that employees spend a lot of time in the office. Maybe even more than they do so at home. As a result, companies are increasingly focusing on providing an office design that creates a holistic, productive and collaborative atmosphere for their employees.
In 2014, the EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) Human Spaces Report analyzed the impact of biophilic design across eight countries. Recently, the second wave of data was collected on workers in 16 countries. Statistics on workers in office environments with natural elements, such as greenery and sunlight, reveal the following:
- 85 percent of the workers surveyed were employed in an urban environment.
- Workers who functioned in airy, well-lit and green spaces, reported 15 percent higher levels of well being as well as lower levels of stress than their counterparts.
- Offices that incorporated biophilic elements increased their productivity by 6 percent.
- Employees’ ability to think, innovate and perform creatively increased by 15 percent.
Some of the first organizations to jump on board the biophilic design philosophy are big weights such as Apple and Amazon. In doing so, they have helped make the movement mainstream through high profile successful projects.
Amazon’s new office in downtown Seattle features three glass and steel domes occupying a forest area of 40,000 plants. Known as the ‘Spheres’, the glass orbs have been an instant hit with employees. From the 4,000 square foot living wall to the 55 foot high treetops, Amazon has created its own unique urban workplace ecosystem.
As part of its outdoor districts in its Redmond campus, Microsoft has built three treehouses to empower its employees to work and interact in new ways. Created by renowned builder Pete Nelson, the treehouses feature unique details. This includes weatherproof benches, rustproof rocking chairs, charred wood walls, and skylights.
Compared to a UFO, Apple Park has aptly been nicknamed the ‘Spaceship’. One of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world, this architectural wonder in Cupertino, California is fitted with solar panels and has its own on-site low carbon central plant. The landscaping includes more than 7,000 trees including indigenous plants of the Mojave Desert and apricot orchards.
While the majority cannot afford grand projects, there are some simple principles which can be easily incorporated into any workplace.
- Increase accessibility to natural light and views of the outside to boost employee productivity.
- Use outdoor spaces like roofs and balconies to create creative working spaces for employees.
- Experiment with bright, vibrant colors like orange and blue.
- Utilize natural textures like wood and stone that imitate the outdoors.
- Bring in plants to increase oxygen levels, which in turn brings down mental fatigue.
- Avoid congested, cramped spaces, and keep the office design open and airy.
In conclusion, biophilic design marks a revolution in office architecture. With scientific backing, it proves that architecture makes a difference in workplace health, employee productivity, project teamwork, and stress management. In the words of Amanda Sturgeon, biophilic design expert, and CEO of International Living Future Institute:
“What could we learn from what makes us love being outside and incorporate it into the design of our buildings?”