Kentucky businesses share business tips, strategies at NALP facility tour


The National Association of Landscape Professionals kicked off GIE+EXPO week with a trip to three landscape companies in Lexington, Ky., on Oct. 18.

Under the microscope for this year’s event were the Klausing Group, Henkel Denmark and Godolphin’s Gainsborough Farm.

The first stop on the tour was Henkel Denmark.

Founded by Gordon Denmark and Bill Henkel, the company is driven by its commitment to employees and dedication to clients.

“Always do your best on every job,” said Henkel. “Never give a client a reason to complain.”

Henkel shared three aspects essential to the success of Henkel Denmark: taking great care of their clients, taking care of the men and women who work for them and, finally, take care of each other.

The partners also discussed how they’ve kept a great working relationship. One thing they do every week—rain or shine—is a 5-mile walk. It’s better to talk about challenges and solve problems not around a table, Henkel said.

Henkel Denmark, which brings in roughly $6-8 million each year, recently changed how its team handles design clients. Instead of going out to a client’s location for the initial consult, the company now has the clients come to them. The initial consult is free, if the potential client agrees to come to the office, and during this time, the client will bring in pictures of the area and a budget. The design team went on to discuss how the move has saved their team time and been an efficient way to weed out the clients who aren’t serious about renovation. Clients can still choose to have the initial consult on-site, with an $125 an hour fee.

Eco-friendly practices at Klausing

Klausing Group started in 1992 and has grown from a small landscape company based out of a family garage to a 70 employee commercial business.

Inspired by stormwater runoff issues in the area and a new grant offering financial assistance for projects that improve water quality, reduce stormwater runoff and educate citizens about stormwater and water quality issues, Klausing Group President and CEO Roscoe Klausing decided to invest in green infrastructure projects.

Sitting on two acres, Klausing Group’s Lexington office features several green infrastructure devices to capture rainfall and minimize runoff from rooftops and ground surfaces.

First off, Klausing chose permeable concrete pavers for the parking lot, which allow for better water flow through the pavement. This results in less stormwater directed to local storm systems and reduced risk of flooding.


Next to the parking lot is the rain garden. Designed to reduce the amount of rainfall leaving the property, the rain garden includes various plants and natural filtration points—for example, a small pile of logs—for the runoff. Excess water that gets through the filtration points drains into the ground or sub-drainage system resulting in cleaner water going back into local waterways.


Another quirk of the office is its vegetated roof. The benefits of having a vegetated roof include reducing stormwater runoff, improving stormwater quality, minimizing the heat island affect, providing wildlife habitat for beneficial insects and small birds, and providing a pleasing aesthetic.

Other projects around the facility include a rainwater harvesting system, a stormwater quality unit and a Monarch way station.

During the “first flush” or the first inch of rain, the area receives about 60,000 gallons of water. Through these efforts, Klausing is able to capture almost 50,000 gallons and provide about 10,000 gallons of clean water, said Klausing’s Director of Employee Development and Outreach Dan Stever.

The facility tour concluded with a visit to Godolphin’s Gainsborough Farm. Godolphin is HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s global thoroughbred stallion operation, which currently stands stallions in six countries around the world.


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