The Awards encourage emerging trends by redevelopment of existing landscapes towards a more sustainable approach. It is more than a mere rejuvenation of the garden, it demands a radical change where the landscape style, character and associated inputs are “recycled” into a more sustainable environment with an ecological aesthetic. This can be achieved through a once-off, high impact redevelopment, or a gradual, phased restoration supplementary to the maintenance contract. It is encouraging to see that this trend is often contractor-driven, and not prescribed by a client brief. It is an indication of an evolving industry, one that is willing to revisit past practices in order to improve.
The SALI Awards of Excellence process evolves, in order to stay current with new trends, improve the viability of some categories and to deal with the increased number of entries in an appropriate way. We hope that the Awards will inspire all to explore, experiment, evolve, and exceed expectations
SALI AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE 2016
As we find ourselves at yet another end of the SALI Awards of Excellence cycle we can look forward to recognising the outstanding work done by the industry.
It must be mentioned that the awards themselves are a huge undertaking and a word of thanks goes out to all the individuals involved in the process of putting together this prestigious awards ceremony.
A huge thank you goes out to all the regional judges for the time spent making my job a lot easier as well as the ladies in the SALI offices around the country for compiling the paperwork and making sure that the process runs smoothly.
I personally would like to thank the SALI executive for putting their faith in me and appointing me as the National Judge. A task that I regard with much personal honor and hope to have performed to the best of my ability.
2016 saw a slight decrease in the total number of projects entered from last year, down from 156 to 144 projects entered. A total of 110 projects were evaluated during the national round, up from 75 last year, giving an indication as to the high level of entries received this year.
The largest number of projects was entered into the Landscape and Turf Maintenance category with 45 entries. Last year we had Landscape and Turf Maintenance with the highest number of entries being 65.
The number of entries received in the other categories were as follows:
• Landscape Construction with design by others : 32 (34 in 2015)
• Landscape Construction with In-house Design :29 (22 in 2015)
• Specialised Turf Construction : 10 (3 in 2015)
• Specialised Landscape Construction : 15 (16 in 2015)
• Environmental Landscape : 4 (5 in 2015)
• Waterwise : 8 (5 in 2015) 5)
During the national round of judging it became evident that during the past year all the regions had to equally deal with the drought and associated water shortages. It is with this backdrop that the low overall number of water wise category entries are disconcerting. Although many water wise practices have become common place in landscape construction, more needs to be done.
SALI landscape contractors need to be adventurous when utilizing plant material and move out of their comfort zone. It is only by using a larger selection of plant species that the landscapes being created will reflect the true diversity of our flora.
With this said I have developed a new respect for the landscape industry and the constant barrage of challenges that is needs to face on an ongoing bases to produce the world class projects that are entered into the SALI Awards of Excellence. From velvet monkeys in Kwa Zulu Natal to Termites in the North West, from the notorious South Easter in the Western Cape to unseasonable frost in Gauteng.
Landscaping remains a multidisiplined field requiring a wide array of expertise and a very specific skill set to remain competitive. It is important that the industry acknowledges this and continues to develop themselves by embracing new operational practices and embraces ecologically sound practices that will keep them one step ahead in an ever changing industry. Congratulations to all the award recipients
SALI National Judge