By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

Landscaping is a process that combines science and art. It involves planning and construction of gardens to enhance the appearance of an area.

A landscape professional uses different elements to transform a plot of land into an eye-catching and well-structured arrangement of flora, terrain, and other available elements.
Godofredo “Fred” Salud, owner of In2Plants, Inc., a local landscaping and management business, spent years understanding landscaping and how everything should be in balance.

“Landscaping is an art form. It takes a certain level of appreciation and people would have a different perspective on how they want their gardens to look,” Salud said.

One of Fred’s creations is the landscaped garden found at the lobby of a high-end resort.

Some essential factors that Salud incorporates in his creations are proper color gradient, a neat overall view, the appropriate allocation of plants according to size, and a touch of space between the elements to keep the scenery from looking too crowded.

Looking for common ground

When it comes to creating a new garden, Salud believes that there must be a common ground between what the artist and the owners want. Aspects such as schedule, budget, and available resources should also be taken into consideration.

There are many options on how a parcel of land can be transformed. These include harmony between softscape, which uses mainly plants in decoration, and hardscape, where other structures like trellises are added.

In other circumstances, homeowners can either be adventurous or practical by landscaping an area to become both a garden and a recreational site such as picnic area, a park, and even a hedge maze.

How he made his way into the business

Landscaping wasn’t Salud’s first interest when he first pursued his enthusiasm for horticulture.

It was decades ago when he first became interested in orchids. Taking it a step further, he joined the Philippine Orchid Society to gain more knowledge about caring for his own orchids.

“I became more involved in the society and know more about orchids. And from there, when I finally decided to leave the corporate world, I went into landscaping [and] ornamental plants which later on became my business,” Salud said.

Salud among his vast collection of ornamental plants inside a greenhouse. (Photo by Regie D. Mason)

Presently, In2Plants clients include a high-end casino resort where Fred’s works are displayed at the lobby and restaurants. In2Plants also renders personal services to homeowners requesting to redesign their property.

Maintenance tips

“I like to transfer the care and maintenance [of the landscaped area] to the owners because I think that is a way how people can learn when it comes to caring for their garden,” Salud said.

Homeowners should be aware of the elements in their landscaped garden, especially the plants.

Salud said that people have to be aware of the resources they can provide to the plants, like air, sunlight, and water, once the new design has been incorporated.

For homeowners who want an area landscaped for the first time, he advises them to be familiar with the components that they will be using with before taking any steps.

Award-winning landscaping

During Flora Filipina Expo 2019, Salud showcased his talent in landscaping and the knowledge he gained about growing orchids.

He managed to bag several awards such as Best Ornamental Landscape Exhibit Booth, Best Variegated Ornamental Plant, Best Cultured Ornamental Plant, and Best Ornamental Plant in Show.

Salud advises plant enthusiasts, particularly the youth, to take the time to learn more about plants as well as to enhance any skill related to it because it can open new opportunities in business and more.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s July 2019 issue.