It’s a match that makes perfect sense.
For years — decades even — pool and landscape design professionals have lauded the collaboration between the two specialties. Now the organizers of their respective industry events have gotten on board.
For the first time, the Association of Professional Landscape Designers will conduct its annual conference alongside the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo. In the language of convention and conference organizing, the shows are co-locating, meaning both will happen simultaneously at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., with some overlap.
“The International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo has grown over the years to include more than pools and spas, but also other outside elements,” says Ellen Pipkin, senior show manager for the pool industry event. “There are a lot of folks doing high-end pools, and the landscaping designed around them is important. Today that trend extends beyond high-end installations.”
APLD President Susan Cohan hopes this collaboration encourages a pattern between landscape and pool professionals. “I think that pool contractors and landscape designers crisscross each other all the time,” says the principle of Susan Cohan Gardens in Chatham, N.J. “But to be able to work on a project together from concept to completion would make every single project that much stronger.”
As part of the co-location, PSP Expo attendees can attend two APLD events free of charge — the keynote address and APLD Pavilion. The speech, slated for Friday morning, will be presented by renowned Miami-based landscape architect Raymond Jungles, who will show and discuss some of his company’s latest work. With 31 years of experience, Jungles often incorporates pools into his work. He’s a frequent speaker to garden societies and other institutions, has judged multiple design awards and was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, among other recognitions.
“He works in tropicals with lots of color and very naturalistic, as well as clearly defined, spaces,” Cohan says. “He’s considered to be one of the best landscape architects in the United States, as well as the most creative, and an all-around nice guy.”
While attendance to the keynote is free to PSP Expo attendees, registration is required.
APLD also will present a 1,000-square-foot pavilion on the PSP Expo floor. In addition to suppliers of various landscape-related products, attendees can enjoy a landscape vignette and meet with APLD staff and members at its booth.
Attendance to other APLD events and sessions requires registration, with full-conference and single-day rates available.
APLD’s conference kicks off Tuesday night with the Conference Opening Reception and Awards Presentation. Landscape Designer of the Year will be named, and visitors can see project design boards and speak one-on-one with the winners.
On Wednesday, APLD will hold several seminars, including “The Design of Alzheimer’s Gardens” by Jack Carman, meant to respond to the aging of the Baby Boomer generation. “Therapeutic gardens and gardens where we can age in place are going to become a huge factor in terms of design,” Cohan says.
Later in the day, attendees can learn “The Art and Craft of Landscape Photography: Audio Visual Presentation” by Allen Rokach.
The day will conclude with the Design Charette, a highlight of the conference each year. In this exercise, professionals break into groups, each of which designs a section of a garden. They then reconvene to share ideas and hear feedback before finalizing their designs. “[They] solve a design problem in a very quick and synergistic way conceptually,” Cohan says.
Thursday is tour day. “We get amazing access to gardens that sometimes are never open to the public,” Cohan says.
Participants will spend the morning at SeaWorld, then take lunch and view gardens in the high-end, historic neighborhood of Winter Park. The day concludes with a lighting demonstration by the Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals.
Early Friday morning, professionals may also take a Walt Disney World Nursery Tour, then head back to the convention center in time for the keynote.
This isn’t the first time the landscape design organization has paired with the pool industry. At its conference last year, APLD partnered with Genesis 3, which gave presentations about pool, spa and waterfeature design and construction.