July 25, 2008

Fish Branch Tree Farm: Live Oak Cultivars

After a decade-long process, Fish Branch Tree Farm has developed two new cultivars of the native Live Oak. Owners John and Linda Conroy and environmental horticulturalist Lloyd Morgan have narrowed their selection through a careful and scientific process to produce two proud and perfect parent trees, each with a different set of desirable characteristics for today's landscape applications.

The Boardwalk(R) has an upright growth habit with excellent branch attachment, and the Park Side(R) has a classic Live Oak canopy with a strong central leader. In addition, Fish Branch grows a third cultivar, the Cathedral (R), which has an easily maintained central leader and wide-angled branches.

Live Oaks grown from acorns are highly variable in their development. There are several varieties, as well as hybrid crosses, which contribute to inconsistency. The need for predictability in the landscape industry has sparked an interest in the selection and propagation of Live Oak cultivars. Cultivars are genetic clones that replicate the traits of their parent trees. This ensures a uniformity that is impossible to achieve through seedlings. If 100 acorns are planted, 100 aesthetically different Live Oaks will grow, each with a unique branch structure. However, when 100 cultivar oaks are planted, the result is 100 genetically identical trees.

It was not until about 15 years ago that a commercially viable propogation method was developed for cloning Live Oaks. Fish Branch owner John Conroy saw a need for cultivars that addressed not only the structural requirements of the landscape industry, but the aesthetic desires as well. Cultivars were being created, but the results were "simply not pretty enough," says Conroy. He began the propogation process by selectively taking cuttings from Live Oaks that displayed exceptional examples of the characteristics the industry desired. These traits, along with Florida's Grades and Standards for evaluating trees, have guided Fish Branch in the selection process.

Under Conroy's direction, Fish Branch environmental horticulturalist Lloyd Morgan has rejected hundreds of trees and taken thousands of cuttings to create two distinctly different Live Oaks that are unique in today's landscape. "After a rigorous selection process and years of experimentation, we have two cultivars that should satisfy the desires of the industry," says Morgan.

Kangaroo's scope of services includes project placement, industry research, information circulation, and media and consumer relations.

July 24, 2008

Marcy Chapman: Compositional Watercolor

Celebrating the work of watercolorist Marcy Chapman is nothing short of a pleasure. Recently planted in Sarasota, Marcy's unique use of layering, color, and light brings nature's treasures to life on canvas. She has developed techniques for transparent watercolor painting and mixed media applications that draw the eye to the glow within the colors she uses.

Marcy's work has been celebrated and published worldwide. Her love of the watercolor medium has inspired her to offer classes and workshops on the subject, including instruction at the John C. Campbell Folk Art School in North Carolina, and this fall at Glenridge on Palmer Ranch. Marcy's paintings have sold at art festivals and galleries nationwide, including the famous Woolworth Walk art district of Asheville, North Carolina. It was there that she and her husband Clint owned and operated Artists' Loft, a bed and breakfast artists' retreat and gallery.

Currently, Marcy Chapman is planning a retrospective art opening to kick off her fall collection. The event will feature the work of thirty years, yet she is full of new inspiration. "I always feel like I'm bursting with ideas. There are a million paintings swirling in me," she says. The fall collection celebrates color, and features realistic subject matter superimposed upon exactly composed collage elements.

Kangaroo is proud to assist Marcy with media and consumer relations, publicity, grant research and web coordination as she takes root in our community. She welcomes your commissions and specializes in site-specific pieces that set the tone for a room. Often, her commissions include large scale focal pieces (such as in a great room, hotel lobby or hospital waiting room) that will begin a series of smaller pieces throughout the space.

July 23, 2008

Michael A. Gilkey, Inc.: Landscape Architects

Our second project is a natural marriage; a marketing package for Sarasota's premier landscape architecture studio, Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. Our scope of services includes press coverage, awards submittals, website coordination and presentations to universities.

Michael A. Gilkey, Jr. was raised and influenced by the area's finest and most established
landscape architect, his father, Michael A. Gilkey. Growing up on drawing boards and jobsites, Michael learned every facet of drafting, design, installation and maintenance. He received a classical education at the University of Florida, where he received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with high honors. Since his graduation in 1999, he has become a licensed and registered landscape architect, Vice President of the design-build firm Michael A. Gilkey, Inc., and has taken over company operations since his father's retirement.

Through a passion for pure design, Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. creates expressions of outdoor space that are direct translations of clients' visions. Working with their highly experienced landscape contracting team, their professional maintenance technicians, and the community's finest tradesmen, Gilkey ensures accurate implementation and continuity of each unique concept through every phase of the design process.

July 22, 2008

A Labor of Love: The Business of Being Born

Our first event was a passion project: the Sarasota screening of The Business of Being Born to benefit Florida Friends of Midwives. The event was held at Lakewood Ranch Cinemas on May 3, 2008. Following the screening were two panel discussions featuring area midwives, educators, birth practitioners and advocates.The screening and discussion preceded a reception catered by Whole Foods Market and Wired Whisk Bakehouse. Guests bid on over $9,000 in donated goods and services for our silent auction and raffle while listening to the sweet sounds of Radio-Free Carmela and Tanya Radtke. Graphic design for the event was generously provided by Lucky Design Studio. The event was co-sponsored by Rosemary Birthing Home and Birthways Family Birth Center.

coordinated all event planning, local press coverage, promotions, and graphic design for the benefit. With just over six weeks to plan, we organized a dynamite team of volunteers and garnered over $5,000 in donated services, including corporate sponsorship, signage, catering, graphic design, advertisement with mommy magazine and Positive Change Media, music, lounge furniture, delivery, and printing. Over 300 people were in attendance, it was a fabulous evening, and we earned over $5,000 in net proceeds for Florida Friends of Midwives.

"Your event was certainly one of the better planned events that we had the opportunity to host."
Jerry Kovar, Executive Director, Sarasota Film Society