April Hamilton, Landscape Designer;  Jason Kennedy, Landscape Professional; and B.J. Poindexter, Landscape Team Leader all with Southern Landscape Group, Inc. in Lynchburg, VA have passed the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association’s (VNLA) certification program, earning a Certified Horticulturist designation. The designation certifies a thorough knowledge of a wide range of horticultural subjects, an ability to learn technical information and the desire of the recipient to provide home gardeners with accurate and reliable horticultural information.

To receive a Certified Horticulturist designation, candidates must pass a four-hour exam covering: basic botany; soils and fertilization; insects; diseases; pesticides; plant propagation; pruning; indoor foliage; vegetable gardening; fruits; trees and shrubs; perennials and annuals; landscape design and water quality. Approximately one hundred (100) people receive certifications each year.

“Preparation for the test usually takes up to six months; only about sixty percent of the candidates pass the test the first time,” according to Jeff Miller, Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association executive director. Certified Horticulturists, presently working in the state, must renew their certification every three years.

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