Impossible plans

No matter how your summer wrapped up, one thing is for certain: This has been a busy season for irrigation professionals of all stripes.
Kyle Brown, Irrigation & Lighting editor-in-chief
(Photo: Nikki Avramovich)

No matter how your summer wrapped up, one thing is for certain: This has been a busy season for irrigation professionals of all stripes. At least, that’s what I can assume from the projects that were submitted for this year’s Changing the Landscape Awards. All of the entries we received showed an incredible amount of ingenuity and expertise across both categories of irrigation and landscape lighting.

From its start, this program has been one of my favorites to see come together year over year. While I don’t get to make the final judgments about who the winners are (a quick thank you to our Editorial Committee for volunteering), I always really enjoy seeing each entry as it comes through. I’m always surprised at the fascinating and unique challenges that industry professionals decide to take on for the sake of giving the client exactly what they want.


Not every plan is going to work perfectly, but when a contractor has the education to put their expertise into a solid design, it definitely makes otherwise impossible projects seem a lot more realistic.


One of the fun parts about connecting with the winners each year is stumbling across common themes. This year, both of the winning projects faced their own individual challenges dealing with the environment where the installation was being done. For one, that meant handling difficult soil and slopes on an expansive property; for the other, it meant literally finishing the installation while on a paddleboard on the water. As someone who routinely trips over his own feet, even considering that last one sounds impossible.

The stories that I heard from the contractors focused on one thing to make those monumental tasks more manageable: design. Each of them took the time to sit down with the client and talk about realistic options to get close to their goals, as well as gently directing them toward better choices based on their own expertise. That education and experience then came into play when building out a solid plan that gave them the reassurance that, yes, this would work even when the trencher broke down again or the ocean claimed a drill. Having a fully developed and considered design even helped keep the client relationship smooth when challenges caused more delays.

Not every plan is going to work perfectly, but when a contractor has the education to put their expertise into a solid design, it definitely makes otherwise impossible projects seem a lot more realistic.

Speaking of planning, here’s a quick reminder that registration and housing have opened up for this year’s Irrigation Show and Education Week, to be held Nov. 27-Dec. 1 in San Antonio, Texas. It’s a great opportunity to network and build on your expertise. If you haven’t made your plans to attend yet, now’s the time! Find out more about the show and register online at irrigationshow.org.

Kyle Brown is editor-in-chief of Irrigation & Lighting magazine and can be reached via email.

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