Hello Garden enthusiasts.

Let’s discuss the field I love very much, the landscape field.

Many folks do not know this, but the landscape field is more than just mowing lawns and blowing leaves.

If you love this field, I suggest you take as many college courses pertaining to the field as possible.

Here are a few: botany, soil science, landscape horticulture, agronomy, arborist, viticulture and landscape architecture.

After graduating from college, I knew there was a lot more to learn. I continued reading and watching shows pertaining to the field.

Like a doctor, your education never ends, it’s ongoing.

Most of my career was being a landscape director/manager. Before that, I spent many hours digging holes and trenches, breaking rock with a jackhammer, driving a tractor doing tree work and design work (which I love).

In my later years, before retirement, my responsibility was continuing landscape architecture and arborist work, and holding the title as a Landscape Maintenance Director. Being a maintenance director was definitely like being a plant doctor.

I was often called the “Plant Wizard.” I would diagnose pesticides, fungicides and fertility issues. I also taught and educated our landscape crew, as well as my clients.

I don’t pretend to know everything and this is why I believe in continuing education.

I give credit to my father, who grew up on a farm. He taught me to work hard, but also work smart. Love and treat your plants and trees like your immediate family.

So next time you do garden work, think about what I just said. Plants love to be loved and taken care of, just like we do.

Mark Koehler

Mark Koehler of Los Banos is an arborist and master gardener, who has degrees in Landscape Architecture and Landscape Horticulture from UC Berkeley and Northeastern University.