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We have run our Sustainable Landscaping Programme in Mauritius for the leading professional landscape contracting and maintenance company in Mauritius, and offering the latest in practising sustainable and endemic landscaping methods. Very exciting times ahead in terms of restoration and rehabilitation, utilising many of the endemics and indigenous plant material found naturally within their environment.

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Evaluation feedback received from management directing high profile sites:

“The more time we spent in the course, the more beneficial it is for us, as a result it will be advantageous for us as landscapers.”
“Bringing back our species wildlife; environmental concerns; biodiversity and also sustainable gardening techniques.”
“It was excellent”
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“I have appreciated the course; we have learnt many things to upgrade the maintenance of the landscapes we manage.”
“Timing well balanced. Good interaction with the trainer.”
“Sustainability – a big word which has to be communicated to everyone on site and our clients.”
“The endemic plants and the new way to organise our landscapes.”
“Very well-structured course.”
 “Learning about new biodiversity trends in landscaping.”

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“Due to lack of water on site, going for sustainable landscaping.”
“Disease eradication and companion planting.”

“What sustainable landscaping is – very important.”
“Clear understanding of how a sustainable landscape works and also how to create this landscape for biodiversity.”
“We can see the passion you have and you have shared your knowledge and passion with us. Thank you! Now we have a package/a new idea to share with our clients.”

“Content of presentation good. However, the time allocated should have been extended for another day.”
“To be able to create a more sustainable landscape maintenance routine. Helping both the gardener and environment.”

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Contact Landscape Design Consultants International on e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; to enquire about this programme for your company and staff understanding.  Website details are


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By Jo-Anne Hilliar, Landscape Design Consultants International (LDCI)

Jo-Anne Hilliar of LDCI has been involved in landscape maintenance audits for several years, in South Africa and now mainly in Mauritius. The article below explains her work.

A landscape maintenance audit is a comprehensive audit evaluation, together with basic gardening skills training, which goes hand in hand in terms of providing improvement in conducting and ensuring a well-maintained landscape. This will then bring a different perspective to the overall evaluation over time and the audit rating of the site.

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The audits are conducted on foot and highlight issues on site which relate to good garden management and maintenance, together with a considered view on the overall appeal of the landscape. Follow-on audits incorporate basic gardening skills training at the same time, and Hilliar reflects on skills development for the gardeners on site, thus the approach is two-fold. The audits are very comprehensive, incorporating a detailed audit evaluation report, together with on-site feedback on basic skills training as the audit is taking place.

The on-site supervisors or managers are also thoroughly trained to provide the gardening skills that are taught as the audit is being conducted, together with an understanding of improvements to take place.  Audit ratings are conducted every six months. In this way, the sites have to maintain a high standard of improvement in ratings in order to meet the client’s expectations.

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Audit outcomes
Hilliar works closely with site contractual staff and gardening staff as the audits proceed, in order to set goals and objectives for improvement. Regular onsite landscape audits are part of the ongoing management focus.

She assists in organogram structures to assess the ability of staff to do the job and to ensure that consistent delivery structures are in place.

There is a comprehensive report back on all the sites, with contractual staff available to assess the onsite training improvements as the audits progress over time.

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Other aspects of the audit outcome are:
1.    to determine high visual areas and ensure zero tolerance for sub-standard maintenance delivery;
2.    to agree with the site supervisors on an efficient maintenance delivery plan, incorporating onsite skills training development;
3.    to ensure that the onsite supervisors continually communicate the work activities that need to be improved upon, and to ensure that all staff on that contract are correctly allocated and positioned daily to achieve accountability for delivery;
4.    LDCI sets the correct work ethics to get the job done over a specific time frame for each site;
5.    the audits ensure that high standards of maintenance delivery are being achieved daily. There is zero tolerance for basic maintenance activities that are not being achieved i.e. tidy sites, good plant coverage, weed free, correct pruning, sweeping, grass cutting and edging, all professionally executed together with good aeration methodology practiced;
6.    during the audit, the correct spits and divides, and filling of gaps as part of the maintenance contract, are discussed and demonstrated. They are again assessed for improvement as the projects are audited on a consistent basis;
7.    all gardens are assessed in terms of horticultural upgrade, together with specific design issues that need to be undertaken.

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Contact Landscape Design Consultants International on e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;  Website details are

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We have been writing for some time about environmental landscaping and ensuring that our landscapes are self-sustaining.  I have briefly described our sustainable landscaping programme that we have launched internationally and will be running both nationally and internationally.

People working in the landscaping industry need to practice sustainable landscaping and this programme will guide management and supervisory staff in their understanding and ensuring that our landscapes become more self-sustaining. Staff landscaping adopt a different methodology in terms of working with plant material and ensuring that everything that we do in a landscape will be self-enhancing and self-sustaining in the long-term.

The purpose of this course is:

1.    To create an awareness of the struggle between nature and man for space on the planet.

2.    To provide practical information on how to make a difference, even a small one, in your gardens and communities.

3.    To plant indigenous vegetation and to encourage wildlife.

4.    Your garden can contribute to the restoration of the natural ecology in your area.

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•   The process of Biodiversity and Sustainable landscaping.
   The value of preserving biodiversity/sustainability
   Causes of biodiversity/sustainability loss.
CASE STUDY on learning and discussion.
•   Biological Aspects of the Environment and problem plants. (For Country of Origin).
•   Sustainability and ecosystems.
CASE STUDY AND HOME WORK on learning and discussion.
Appendices discussion.

    Impact of AIPs on the Environment and their control. (For Country of Origin).
    Detrimental effects of AIPs on the environment.
CASE STUDY on learning and discussion.
    Indigenous Gardens and Insect Populations
CASE STUDY AND HOME WORK on learning and discussion.
Appendices discussion.

    Working with the soil
    Waterwise gardening
CASE STUDY on learning and discussion.
    Garden Design for Sustainable landscaping.
    Designing a bio-diverse garden.

   Describe the process of biodiversity/sustainability and how you will apply the principles and knowledge learnt on this course into your garden.
Appendices discussion.

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Detailed evaluation on learning outcomes to ensure a change in practising environmental landscaping and an understanding of those processes.
On enquiry we will gladly e-mail the detailed course outline.

Contact Landscape Design Consultants International on e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Website details are

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As our business is already operational in Southern Africa, we are busy researching opportunities to work in other parts of the world and are directly approaching big hotel groups that we believe will have large landscapes to be audited, together with training and consulting input for their gardening/landscaping teams.

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Auditing and making sure that the quality of landscape is maintained is of vital importance. Some of these service are mentioned below:

  • On site auditing of your landscape and percentage rating/reporting.
  • Corporate Consultation and guidance on development of business opportunities
  • Comprehensive on site mentorship of your business – developmental business and marketing practices.
  • Tailor made and unique In-House training which focuses on staff skills and supervisory / management development.
  • Training of gardening skills.
  • Advanced training in maintenance management supervision.
  • Basic and advanced design skills training.
  • Adoption and implementation of sound business practices.
  • Communication and motivational training.
  • Education in Bio-diversity training practices.

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We have the experience and excellence in consulting expertise together with feedback overseeing and training your management team which can be done as part of the auditing exercise for your sites.

Any queries contact us directly on  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Please visit our website on   We look forward to answering your questions.

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Landscapes coping mechanism in times of stress

Landscapers in the world are genuinely expected to survive in stressful conditions. Some of the issues that we have to face as contractors /consultants and designers is the lack of attention to ensure that the corresponding Landscape is a good representation of the hard landscaping elements that it surrounds.

Some of the issues that we have to deal with:

  1. A decreasing budget from our clients from the time of contract acceptance to the final product of hand over of landscape.
  2. Decreasing availability of labour that are willing to produce excellence in the execution of a landscape within a shorter timeframe to accommodate a reducing income .
  3. Soil conditions which are generally of a very low standard and handover to the installation together with the follow-on maintenance of that product becomes an issue long term as nutrients become less available to plant growth.
  4. Selection of plant material from designers through to the contractors is often an issue as the incorrect selection for certain spaces is a problem and can lead to areas of failed landscapes.
  5. Maintenance execution decreases in commitment as the contract possibly comes up for renewal or is in its final phase of handover to the next contractor.
  6. Poor standard of machinery without replacement due to a decreasing budgetary situation can lead to poor delivery and execution of a professional landscape.
  7. Water saving strategies are not practised correctly as the landscapes matures together with nurturing of plant material particularly for the coverage of soil through splits and divides and cuttings.                                                                                  


It is sad that a lot of the points above become issues in executing a landscape correctly. Thus, as contractors we are running the landscape to cope with the stress of many of the issues that arise together with the climatic constraints which are often unpredictable. Poor training of management and supervisory input can result in many of the above issues.

Correct training strategies together with a good commitment to do the job well with clever thought out planning processes in place can be the answer to ensure that we can turn the landscape around in those times of stress.

Contact Landscape Design Consultants International who operate internationaly in the delivery of excellence in auditing and overseeing instalations with detailed report feed back together with results orientated consulting and correct training direction.  


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TEL: +27(0)82 570 5858

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Current Serviced Areas







bulletCorporate Project Management & Consultation

bulletOn-Site Mentorship

bulletDesigning Landscape Training Workshops

bulletOn-Site Landscape Audit

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