I have always enjoyed problem solving. As a child, I was always fascinated by mazes. Which turn to take in trying to reach an inevitable goal despite being frustrated by dead ends. So now, as a horticultural salesperson, I encounter equally daunting challenges, some of which also involve twists and turns.
Most recently, a client contact called with a pressing need in a wonderful new building. Upon initial completion, the owner visited the lobby and found it to be cold. “We need plants!”, he said. The next morning, I met with the resident architect who had his mind set on live bamboo in several locations. Unfortunately, the completed conditions did not provide enough light to sustain the plants. Hence, the problem solving. We discussed the necessary additional lighting volumes and a study was conducted. The resulting plan modified the look of the space enough to displease the owner. Next?
I suggested artificial bamboo. Great product is available from a reliable source. Samples were obtained and renderings were done. The answer was “No”. Next?
Never one to be discouraged, I suggested live plantings in the front windows only. Plenty of light but only serving a small area of the lobby. More photos and renderings proved futile. The entire space needed to be treated.
At this point, I began to think of a hybrid approach that would incorporate artificial trees, furnished with real trunks and synthetic foliage under planted with live plants. Could this work?
A very popular atrium tree, Mediterranean Olive, became the leading candidate. The afore mentioned manufacturer sent photos of another project along with fruit bearing foliage, a big hit, and bark samples. Renderings were done and the owner signed on!
A trip to the Midwest factory, involving the resident architect addressed the final touches. The product was then shipped and installed. Problem solved!
Challenges continuously stimulate us to become better at whatever we do.
Rick Butchko, Sales & Design