Rundown of MANTS
My compadre at GrowerTalks, Jennifer Zurko, was kind enough to thoughtfully put together a listing of items she spotted at the recent MANTS show in Baltimore, Maryland, along with some generalities about the show. Here’s what she has to offer:
It sounds cliché, but the mood at MANTS surrounded visitors and exhibitors with a very pleasant atmosphere. Seriously, people were in very good spirits. Many of the aisles were so crowded you couldn’t move through them, which proves that what McHutchison’s Keith Cable told Chris Beytes was true: When Keith went to the hall before the show opened, he found the lobby “just jammed” with attendees waiting to get into the show. “I haven’t seen a line to get into a trade show in quite a while,” he said. The attendace was reported to be upward of 11,000.
Chris MacLaggan from Fall Creek Nursery agreed that this year’s show was extremely busy, while Bill Swanekamp of Kube-Pak said it was the busiest he’s seen since 2008, noting that “people are more positive about the spring and the business.”
Here are a couple of highlights:
Goji Berries from Spring Meadow Nursery/Proven Winners ColorChoice: The Lifeberry goji berry plants from Spring Meadow offer the consumer the opportunity to grow their own stash of these healthy berries without having to pay the high prices at the store. Under the Lifeberry umbrella, they’re introducing two different varieties—Sweet Lifeberry and Big Lifeberry. Each was selected in China and has become very popular in Europe during the last few years. Hardy to Zone 5, gojis are a spreading-type shrub with long flexible stems. The bright purple flowers appear in late spring/early summer, turning into small, bright red fruits, which sweeten as they mature. The plants continue to produce fruit through the first heavy frost.
Cultivated Gardens porcelain pots: New to the MANTS scene is Cultivated Gardens, designer Rosie Sauser’s company that produces high-end porcelain garden containers. Every style features soft, muted tones like the Classic Conical pots in the photo.
A few deadline-driven notices for you today.
Paul Ecke Jr. Scholarship
The American Floral Endowment (AFE) is accepting applications for the Paul Ecke Jr. Scholarship up until February 1. Applicants must be in the process of successfully completing either a BS or a MS degree in Horticulture or a related field at a U.S. Land-Grant University, and must have the intention of pursuing a MS or PhD degree on a full-time basis. The Scholarship honors the late Paul Ecke, Jr. who believed in the value that research and education brought to the floriculture industry.
Applications can be downloaded HERE.
Young Retailer Award
Folks, we’re about halfway through the nomination time for the 2013 Red Fox/Young Retailer Award. For the last seven years, Green Profit has been recognizing and rewarding all the hard work that under-35ers put into making their mark on this garden retail business with this prestigious award.
Nominate your hard-working retail employee—or nominate yourself! It’s easy to do on the following PAGE.
GrowerTalks is now on its ninth annual Red Fox/Young Grower Award, and you if you have a candidate in mind for that honor, you can easily nominate him or her HERE. You can find out all the details about the nominee requirements on those pages as well.
Deadline is March 1.
Mother’s Day Ideas
Folks have submitted some good ideas for how to make Mother’s Day magical at their garden center—beautiful grab-and-go container gifts, a garden tour-type event and “done up” potted orchids, to name a few. Thank you!
I’m looking for MORE ideas to share in our March issue. Maybe you growers out there have some special Mother’s Day items for retailers, or perhaps you retailers offer a special service or event for Mom’s big day. Whatever it is, send it in! Email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additions to Shrub Collection
HGTV HOME Plant Collection is at it again, adding 12 new items to its Smart & Stylish Shrub Collection. They’ve brought some regionality to the line, too, so you’ll get the “right plant in the right place” even though it’s a national program.
Some of the items included in the Collection include Always Azaleas, Barberry Sidekicks, Happy Berry Hypericums, Pretty Potentillas, along with hydrangeas, roses and even a Thuja. Check out the entire line of Smart & Stylish Shrubs by contacting Maria Zampini at email@example.com.
Outdoor Living Extravaganza
Proven Winners is hosting its fifth season of Outdoor Living Extravaganzas, this time with three day-long events in Boston (March 2), Chicago (March 23) and Vancouver (April 20).
Specifics about each of the Outdoor Living Extravaganzas can be found on the Proven Winners website, but they’ll follow the same recipe that has made these events popular in the past: nationally recognized speakers, raffles, prizes, a catered lunch and a fully loaded gift bag.
Proven Winners is looking for local garden retailers to help them spread the word about the event in their area. In return, Proven Winners will point each participant back to the retailer’s store with a coupon in each gift bag for a free plant or a discount. Find out more about the event and how your store can get involved by contacting your preferred Proven Winners propagator or by emailing Sandy Wentworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring Trials with the Professors
There are still a few seats available for what I’m betting will be the best bus tour of this year’s California Spring Trials. How so? It’s led by horticulture academics Mark Bridgen, Neil Mattson and Roberto Lopez, so you have access to loads of technical info—plus those guys are more fun than a carload of clowns. Their trip is also condensed into just three days, hitting most of the key locations along the way. Even better—all the hotels and stops are booked for you. Just get yourself to San Jose on April 5 and arrange to leave LAX or the Burbank Airport on April 9.
This trip is designed for growers, hort professionals and other hort academics. For more details of the trip, contact Dr. Mark Bridgen at email@example.com or at (631) 727-3595.
If you haven’t heard, I’ve signed on as Associate Editor at Leaf Magazine, a digital consumer garden and home publication.
No worries—I’ll still be doing all that I do with buZZ and Green Profit, too! I’m super excited to have my hand in the consumer end of the biz now, and I’m sure some of what I learn there will inform what I do here. Best of both worlds, I say.
By the way, you need to check out Leaf. The folks behind it have a great eye for design, trends, new products and all that makes up your ideal garden customer. I’m gonna love working on it!
That’s it for me this week. As always, if you have any comments or questions or soup recipes (we could use them with this cold snap!), send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,
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