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Landscape Views Issue 22

This is a column by landscapers, for landscapers. In it, you’ll find knowledge, views and insights from professionals just like you, who are currently working in the industry

Q. How is RML relevant to younger landscapers, and how can it remain so?

Natural Habitats

Interviewee: Dillyn van der Merwe – Leading Hand Age: 19

I think the Young Landscaper of the Year (YLOY) competition makes Registered Master Landscapers (RML) relevant to younger people straight away, as it’s something you immediately associate with the organisation.

I love the competition and I think it adds a lot of value to the industry. I found out about it last year, and it inspired me to get involved and work hard on all of my landscaping skills ahead of 2023’s competition. One thing I really enjoyed was being able to see where my skill level was in relation to others. It's put me in a really good place going forward, as I now know what areas I need to improve on.

In broader terms, I believe organisations can stay relevant with a younger audience by having a larger online presence. Outside of work, I consume a lot of landscaping content on YouTube and other apps, so I’d love to see more from RML on those platforms.

I can definitely see RML having value to me in the future. I’m already thinking about what my career might look like in a few years’ time. For me, RML membership gives a real seal of approval that shows the outside world you’re good at what you do. Anyone can say they’re a quality landscaper, but membership to RML proves it.

Espaso Verde

Interviewee: Cooper Mildenhall – Project Manager Age: 24

For me, RML is relevant and will stay relevant because of what it stands for. I love the idea that if you’re a part of it, you’re a trusted professional landscaper at the top of your game. I’m proud to be part of a company that is recognised by RML. It gives me faith that I’m on the right track in my own career, and confidence that I have the skill level to get to where I want to go in landscaping.

Later in life, RML will remain relevant to me, because it’ll be a goal to join if I start my own company – although, I would want to wait until I’m more established, with a body of high-quality work behind me.

The YLOY competition is an important way RML gets itself in front of the next generation every year. I didn’t know much about the scale of the competition, or how important the overall awards were (including Landscapes of Distinction), until I attended in 2022 and saw how much of a big deal it is with my own eyes!

Aside from those practical considerations, having a strong online presence is important for reaching young landscapers. My social media is full of landscaping, turf care and construction content! I see a lot of professional companies on there, as well as some bloggers, and that helps keep me in the loop with the latest trends and regulation changes.

By Design Concrete

Interviewee: Michael Dudley – Project Manager Age: 30

I have to be honest, I wasn’t aware of the RML before I entered the Young Landscaper of the Year competition. In general, I feel like the organisation could do more public outreach work to help the RML get the public recognition it deserves, and spread the word to make people aware that RML-accredited businesses are good companies they can be sure they’ll get high-quality work from.

Ideally, I’d like more online video content from RML. I think that’s a great way to engage with younger landscapers, because we don’t tend to look at photos or scroll through Facebook.

I think the YLOY competition is the best way to stay relevant to younger landscapers, and the best advert the organisation could have to the next generation. It also showed me that RML plays a really important networking role – especially during the gala dinner at the end of the competition weekend.


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