Welcome to 'Sprout,' American Nurseryman's e-newsletter published on the first and third Thursdays of each month. For even more, be sure to read our December issue.
ANLA + OFA = Powerhouse!
You can’t get much stronger representation than this: The American Nursery and Landscape Association and OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals have announced that they’re joining forces in an expanded partnership. In a nutshell, according to a letter issued by OFA president Michael McCabe: “The joint venture between our organizations will: further increase participation in advocacy efforts; further expand and offer more robust educational programs; widen the outreach to consumers; nurture commerce opportunities in order to connect more industry buyers and sellers; enhance support for research and higher education; and unite our thousands of member companies to create a stronger voice and vision for the industry.” McCabe emphasizes that the move is not a merger, “but in several years, if both organizations see the joint venture as a value to our members and further collaboration will better serve you and the industry, the intention is to form a new, single premier horticulture organization serving North America.” Read more>
It’s trade show time!
Do you know where your staff is? Probably at a trade show, where they should be this time of year. If you haven’t already made your travel plans, there’s still time to catch a few of the events—live, in person, face-to-face. Yes, we love the ease (and relative cost!) of electronic communication, but nothing beats the experience of shaking a hand, sniffing a plant or revving up that shiny new machine. Looking for shows? Just click on the link below, then click on “Winter Events Preview” to download a handy pdf guide. Read more>
PlantHaven goes global
Plant introducer PlantHaven International Inc., headed by Geoff and Maureen Needham, has expanded its services worldwide, offering plant breeders across the globe expert assistance in bringing new varieties to market. PlantHaven’s clients include a global family of independent breeders, breeding companies, and universities. Breeding programs represented by PHI include Penhow Alonsoas, Diascias, and Nemesias; Realflor™ Gaillardias and Leucanthemums; University of Hawaii Royal Hawaiian® Colocasias; North Carolina State University Cercis; and Whetman® Pinks Dianthus. Read more>
Hines goes to Europe
Hines Growers will open European markets to the Bloomtastic!™ brand and Hines Growers proprietary genetics in a new partnership with Dutch breeder/grower consortium Breederplants. In turn, new plants from Europe will be offered in the U.S. “This is an industry game-changer,” says Joe Gray, V.P. of Hines Growers. “This partnership plugs Hines directly into small breeders all over Europe. The potential to feed huge collections of proprietary plants to the American consumer is enormous.” Read more here and here.
Direct Solutions launches branding initiative
Direct Solutions, a division of Agrium Advanced Technologies, today launched its new logo and tagline as part of a larger strategic branding initiative unveiling. The decision to enhance the brand and logo stems from the acquisition and integration of Evergro in Canada, making Direct Solutions North America’s largest distributor of slow- and controlled- release fertilizers, plant protection products, grass seed and micronutrients for these specialty markets. Read more here and here.
Slaking plants’ thirst
A University of California researcher has discovered a way to tweak, if you will, the genetic receptor that helps plants cope with limited resources—and may just have opened up a way to engineer plants’ ability to survive and thrive in drought conditions. By heightening a plant’s stress response—essentially urging the li’l guy to kick into survival mode—we may be able to increase yield and help our botanical friends to cope. ’Cause drought’s probably not going away any time soon. Assaf Mosquna and Sean Cutler, an associate professor of plant cell biology in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at UC Riverside, may have cracked the code to limiting plants’ drought stress. (Photo courtesy of UCR Strategic Communications) Read more>
Summit at National Green Centre
Calling all green industry association execs: If you’re planning to attend the National Green Centre (this weekend!), don’t miss the “Think Tank” Summit on Monday, Jan. 9. The discussion will center on the role of the associations and Boards of Directors in creating the next generation green industry. The 2012 National Green Centre Summit will be the first in a five-year series of conversations, discussions and summits. Already registered for the show? Fantastic. Now just RSVP for the Summit at by e-mailing Sarah Woody Bibens. Read more>
Badgers name Plants of the Year for 2012
Isn’t this what it’s all about? Beautiful plants—hearty and hardy—that we grow, sell, promote, spec, maintain. Try these on for size: The Wisconsin Nursery Association’s Plants of the Year for 2012 are two all-time favorites. The woody plant selection is Malus sargentii ‘Select A’, otherwise known as Firebird crabapple. It offers profuse red flower buds in spring, morphing into profuse, fragrant, snow-white flowers, which then morph into profuse small, red crabapples. Representing the perennials is Allium ‘Summer Beauty’, a trouble-free, deer- and rabbit-resistant bloomer with long-lasting lavender-pink globes. Read more>
J Guy joins Briggs
James “J” Guy has joined Briggs Plant Propagators as the company’s chief operating officer. Guy previously owned Carolina Nurseries in Moncks Corner, S.C. Read more here and here.
Culp named VP
David Culp has been promoted to vice president of sales and marketing at Sunny Border Nurseries Inc., Kensington, Conn. Read more here and here.
Steven Babikow, co-owner of Babikow Greenhouses in Baltimore, Md., passed away Dec. 28, 2011. He was 39. Read more>
Nicholas Casertano, owner of N. Casertano Greenhouses and Farms Inc., Cheshire, Ct., and a founder of the Connecticut Greenhouse Growers Association, passed away Dec. 27, 2011. He was 71. Read more>
Conrad Eastman, retired from Western Maine Nurseries, Fryeburg, and a former president of the New England Nursery Association and vice president of the Maine Christmas Tree Association, passed Dec. 20. He was 80. Read more>
Roy Piala, part owner and manager of Piala’s Nursery and Garden Shop, Waukesha, Wis., passed away Dec. 25, 2011. He was 26. Read more>
Dianthus Early Bird™ Radiance
Rich, crimson blooms supported on sturdy, upright stems are the main attraction of Radiance dianthus from PlantHaven. The Early Bird™ series are exceptionally early, long-flowering and fragrant. Masses of double blooms are borne above the dense, mounding, grassy blue-green foliage with a flowering height of approximately 9 inches. Spring- or autumn-planted baskets or containers will repeat flower all summer if deadheaded and fed regularly. No vernalization required for blooming, and they are hardy to Zone 5. With an enticing clove fragrance, this selection attracts butterflies and has the added bonus of being deer resistant. Read more>
Seabrook’s Lavender verbena
This handsome verbena hybrid is smothered with clusters of lavender flowers with a darker lavender eye. It’s extremely floriferous and long flowering, from June until late September. Its low-growing and spreading habit makes it a unique accent for combination pots or as a show-stopping addition to the front of borders. Happiest in full sun, ‘Seabrook’s Lavender’ is a tender perennial (hardy to Zones 8 to 10). Read more>
Aerating fountain pattern
New from Otterbine: The Omega, the 11th pattern in the company’s series of patterns for its aerating fountain line. The Omega incorporates eight nozzles to create a simple, yet classic arch style pattern, producing spray dimensions as tall as 18 feet and as wide as 22 feet. A minimum operating depth of less than 30 inches and 1 hp to 5 hp available in both single- and three-phase are featured in Otterbine’s line. Read more>
LED flowering lamps
Hort Americas offers three different Philips GreenPower LED Flowering Lamps, which are UL Certified. These lamps are energy saving alternatives for extending day length for plants to control flowering and for the production of vegetative cuttings and seedling plugs. The lamps can save over 80 percent on energy costs. The LED lamps have a standard fitting and are suitable for direct replacement of incandescent lamps in existing installations without the need for any modifications. Each of the LED lamps offers a specific light wavelength recipe for different plants. 100 percent far red (FR), 16 watt, 6,000-hour life expectancy; a combination of deep red and white (DR/W), 18 watt, 7,000-hour life expectancy; and a combination of deep red/white/far red (DR/W/FR), 18 watt, 10,000-hour life expectancy. The white color in the lamp creates a pleasant working light, which also enables growers to examine the plants effectively when the lamps are turned on. Read more>
Drought-resistant grass seed
Dog-friendly and drought-resistant? You had us at hello. Pearl’s Premium Ultra Low Maintenance Lawn seed is claimed to grow at one-quarter the rate of bluegrass, meaning fewer mowing jobs; develops 12-inch roots and requires no chemical help and little H2O once established; and maintains its lush, green look even during winter. Check it out. Read more>
Purchase order software
Red Wing Software, Inc. announces the release of a purchase order management module for its CenterPoint accounting software. The new module includes tools to help users keep the best sellers in stock and limit the slower moving items. Standard reports help users monitor stock and order the appropriate quantities for all inventory items. A “suggest orders” function can look at existing sales orders and/or past sales history, and create a suggested orders report from which users can immediately edit or place orders with vendors. Purchase orders can also be generated directly from sales orders. Read more>
Finally: hard at work