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From the editors of American Nurseryman • June 7, 2012

American Nurseryman Magazine, Covering commercial horticulture since 1904

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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 June issue.

ONLAOFA 150th largest U.S. trade show
Are you going? The OFA Short Course, scheduled for July 14 to 17 in Columbus, has been named the 150th largest U.S. trade show by Trade Show News Network. Each year the organization evaluates data from nearly 20,000 trade shows and other events and ranks them based on net square footage of space sold. Plus! If that’s not enough to convince you to go, maybe this will: White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Health Food Initiatives Sam Kass will be the keynote speaker on Monday, the 16th. The 1,500 exhibit spaces already have sold out, so get packing! Read more here and here.

The Missouri Botanical GardensMobot receives $3 million from Monsanto
The Missouri Botanical Gardens has received a three-year, $3 million grant from the Monsanto Company to support the Gardens’ work on the development of World Flora Online (see the May 3 edition of Sprout). Monsanto’s contribution will fund Mobot’s contributions to the collaborative effort until 2015. Read more here and here.

That’s the lifeThe trend? Easy does it
Aahhh … that’s the life. “Undemanding” outdoor space with lots of room for entertaining … . The American Society of Landscape Architects has released the results of its outdoor living survey, and apparently we still want the good life. Across all categories, respondents stated they most want grills (who doesn’t?), followed by low-maintenance landscapes, fireplaces or pits and dining areas. When it comes to gardening, we’d like it to be practical and sustainable with native plants and veggies. Details—which are pretty fascinating, frankly—can be found at the link provided here. Read more>

Food Alliance certificationFood Alliance certification moves to horticulture
Food Alliance, which certifies sustainability claims in agriculture nationwide, has launched a program for greenhouse and nursery producers as well. The three-pronged program includes the FA Sustainability Standard for Nursery and Greenhouse Production, which provides a comprehensive definition to guide growers to achieve greater sustainability; the FA Sustainability Evaluation Tool, which gives growers self-assessment capabilities; and the voluntary FA Sustainability Certification Program. The standard applies to all ornamental plant producers, who may use the information to assure customers that their products have been produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. Read more>

Harvard Business ReviewMore is not more—more or less
We think that our customers and clients want to hear about us all the time. Of course we do; we’ve got a lot to say and a lot to sell. But do customers really want to be bombarded with promos? According to the Harvard Business Review, no. A study conducted by the Review points out three misconceptions about customers: 1) They want a “relationship” with your brand; 2) interactions build relationships; and 3) the more interaction, the better. Apparently not a truism in the bunch. The proliferation of communications tools has made it so much easier to, well, “communicate.” But it must be done judiciously, or you’ll lose your message amid the sensory overload. Not to worry; the fine folks at HBR have offered some suggestions on how to market “differently.” Read more>

American Garden AwardAmerican Garden Award voting open
The American Garden Award, sponsored by All-America Selections, is now open for voting until August 31. Visitors can select from among six plants the one they think has the most appealing gardening characteristics. What does the winning plant get? A lot of attention. The contestants this year are: Angelonia angustifolia ‘Serena Blue’ from PanAmerican Seed; Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’ from Ernst Benary of America; Gazania ‘Big Kiss White Flame’ F1 from Syngenta Seeds; Petchoa x hybrida ‘SuperCal Pink Ice’ from Sakata Ornamentals; Petunia ‘Surfinia Deep Red’ from Suntory Flowers Ltd.; and Sunflower ‘Goldie’ F1 from Terra Organics. Read more>

McConkeyMcConkey acquires Five Boro division
Horticultural goods supplier McConkey Co. has acquired the rPET manufacturing capabilities of Five Boro Plastics Inc., enabling McConkey to increase its product offerings of rEarth containers made of recycled water bottles. Read more>

Farm & Forest Helicopter ServiceWilbur-Ellis acquires Farm & Forest Helicopter Service
Wilbur-Ellis has acquired the assets of Farm & Forest Helicopter Service, augmenting the company’s Christmas tree and forestry herbicide application service in the Northwest. Read more>

People News

Andrew KerinKerin named Brickman CEO
Andrew Kerin has been elected CEO and member of the board of directors for The Brickman Group. Scott Brickman, who served as CEO for 14 years, will become board chairman. Read more>


David GunterGunter joins Everris Americas
David Gunter has joined the ornamental horticulture team of Everris as project manager. He will support the Americas Ornamental Horticulture Marketing Manager in the execution of category marketing plans, development of new markets as well as overall portfolio and project management. Read more>

Don SchnoorSchnoor joins Aquascape
Don Schnoor, former vice president and national sales manager of Aquatic Gardens and Koi Co. Inc., has joined Aquascape as northeast territory sales manager. Read more>


Omar Alcantara, Bill Millward and Kevin WoodNetafim welcomes sales/marketing staff
Omar Alcantara has joined Netafim to oversee sales and marketing efforts in Southern California/South Counties; Bill Millward will represent the company in Southern California/North Counties; and Kevin Wood will cover Louisiana, south central Texas and New Mexico. Read more>

Brock PigliaPiglia joins SWT Design
Brock Piglia has joined the marketing and business development division of SWT Design; he has previous experience as a landscape architect and is pursuing an MBA. Read more>


Nick FederoffFederoff inducted into Green Industry Hall of Fame
Nick Federoff, known as “America’s Natural Master Gardener,” has been inducted into the Green Industry Hall of Fame by the organization appropriately named Green Industry Hall of Fame. Read more>

Web News

Becker UnderwoodBecker Underwood
Improved navigation, better product info and a more streamlined experience for locating products online all are featured on Becker Underwood’s relaunched website. The new site allows customers to quickly find their sales representative through the Find-a-Representative feature for both the Turf & Horticulture and Seed Enhancements sales teams. Read more>

Valley IrrigationValley Irrigation
Valley Irrigation has launched a mobile version of its website——intended to reach audiences using small-screen mobile devices like iPhones and Droids. Read more>

Hot Products

Goldcrest foxgloveGoldcrest foxglove
Be still, my heart! Digitalis Goldcrest (‘Waldigone’) from PlantHaven fairly glows with yellow-peach bells tinged with a blush of maroon-red. Flower spikes emerge from rosettes of glossy, dark green foliage and continue to bloom from midsummer to early fall. Hardy to zones 4 to 9, the plants are well-branched with very strong, upright stems that are perfect for cutting. This compact plant grows to 2 feet tall, just right for a front border, in part shade to full sun. Plants are attractive to hummingbirds and look especially nice when planted along fences, at the wood’s edge, or in large containers. Read more>

Sedum color mixSedum color mix
Emerald Coast Growers takes the guesswork out of buying with its Color Mix, offering 10 starters each of five varieties of succulents in each tray. Color Mix joins the company’s Chicks Mix; plants are suitable for groundcovers, in containers and rock gardens. Read more>

Simply Brilliant rosesSimply Brilliant roses
Certified Roses announces its Simply Brilliant™collection, featuring seven internationally award-winning roses from the renowned Kordes® breeding program. Available for the 2013 selling season, the collection is available exclusively to independent garden centers nationwide. Simply Brilliant combines the elegant look of a traditional rose with environmentally sustainable plants that are low maintenance and naturally disease resistant. Pictured is Kordes Golden Gate™, a climbing selection. Read more>

Dark Star’ eucomis‘Dark Star’ eucomis
Terra Nova Nurseries introduces Eucomis ‘Dark Star’, featuring dark, red-black foliage and pink flowers in late summer. The clumping plant grows about 14 inches wide and 9 inches high (flowers reach about 10 inches); it’s drought tolerant and hardy in zones 7 to 10. Read more>

‘Indian Warrior’ big bluestem‘Indian Warrior’ big bluestem
Intrinsic Perennial Gardens introduces Andropogon gerardii ‘Indian Warrior’ (PPAF), the first of its vegetative cultivars of big bluestem. Indian Warrior was developed for more substantial and darker gray-green foliage, accompanied by burgundy-red tips in spring. Cooler evenings at the end of summer will encourage the red tips to return, which highlights red flowers and stems. The color deepens as fall progresses; come October, nearly the entire plant is red. Upright and clumping, the grass reaches 6 feet tall and is hardy in zones 3 to 9. Read more>

IPMProIPMPro mobile app
Pest management decisions at your fingertips? Yes, with IPMPro, a mobile app now available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Developed by a crack team of hort and plant health experts from seven universities, the app helps field personnel make those on-the-fly decisions for puzzles in hardiness zones 4 through 8, encompassing 22 states from west of the Mississippi River, east and north to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and south to the Gulf Coast. This little beauty does more than you can imagine. Read more>

Aquascape Inc. IonGen SystemElectronic water clarifier
Aquascape Inc. has introduced the second generation of its IonGen™ System, an electronic water clarifier solution for ponds and other water features. The system eliminates unsightly water conditions without the use of chemicals, so it’s safe for fish and other critters who may happen to stop by for a drink. The IonGen™ G2 automatic control panel sends signals that slowly dissolve a replaceable, copper probe: This unique combination of metal ions released into the water improves water quality, clarity and drastically reduces the need for traditional pond chemicals. Okay, how cool is that? IonGen G2 improvements include an easier-to-read digital display panel; greater ability to withstand outdoor elements; enhanced design of the flow chamber and probe, which reduces the chance of the probe bars clogging, thereby lowering maintenance; tool-free probe installation; and keyed slot inside the flow chamber for easy, accurate installation of the probe. Read more>

CleanGrow’s ion sensorsNutrient meter
Curious about your water quality? Dramm and CleanGrow can help: The companies have partnered to offer CleanGrow’s ion sensors to the hort market. Designed to measure the specific amounts of up to six different elements in a solution, the CleanGrow Multi-ion Meter Kits can report exactly what nutrients are in your water. Each meter can be purchased with up to six individual element sensors. Choose from calcium, chloride, potassium, sodium, ammonium, and nitrate ions. The meter also records the temperature of the solution. Read more>

New Steiner 440 Articulating 4WD Tractor4x4 tractor
Features of the New Steiner 440 Articulating 4WD Tractor include:
• Four engine options
• Three wheel offerings (bar, turf and field trax tread) with rugged five bolt 10-inch rims
• Foot pedal control forward/reverse speed control
• Heavy-duty Peerless 2600 dual range transaxles
• Eaton transmission & hydraulic pump – Lift pressure of 1,500 psi for exceptional capability
• Abundant 5 gallon hydraulic oil capacity
• Warner Mag Stop 225 (ft./lb.) electric front PTO clutch
• Large 12-volt 525 CCA battery (630 CCA on diesel engine model)
Read more>

Finally: But where are the daisies?

But where are the daisies?

Upcoming event
What: Southeast Summit: Forging a New Consensus on Immigrants and America
When: June 11
Where: W Downtown Hotel, Atlanta
Read more: Here

Designing and Planting BordersBuy this book!
In Agaves: Living sculptures for landscapes and containers, plant expert Greg Starr—who owns and operates Starr Nursery in Tucson—profiles 75 species, with additional cultivars and hybrids, best suited to gardens and landscapes. Agaves are low maintenance, drought-tolerant and strikingly sculptural, with an astounding range of form and color. No wonder they’re irresistible. Many species are strikingly variegated, and some have contrasting ornamental spines on the edges of their leaves. Fabulous for container gardening or in-the-ground culture, they combine versatility with easy growability. Each plant entry includes a detailed description of the plant, along with its cultural requirements, including hardiness, sun exposure, water needs, soil requirements and methods of propagation. Agaves can change dramatically as they age and this comprehensive guide includes photos showing each species from youth to maturity—a valuable feature unique to this book. Read more>

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