The first live plant collection to focus exclusively on top performing plants for the Western gardener—the Sunset Western Garden Collection—will debut this spring with 23 new introductions, according to Sunset magazine and Plant Development Services Inc.
“We are thrilled that Sunset’s garden experts and Plant Development Services have collaborated to develop this unique line of high quality plants specifically for Western gardeners,” said Barb Newton, president of Sunset Publishing. “Gardening continues to be a core interest of our readers, and it is exciting to be able to introduce our favorite plants directly to them in a launch that coincides with this spring’s publication of The New Sunset Western Garden Book and the re-launch of our popular online Plant Finder database that includes the introduction of a companion mobile app.”
The Sunset Western Garden Collection will hit retail shelves beginning in April 2012 in California. Distribution will expand to the 13 Western states in the Sunset magazine reading area in the coming years.
“We’re really excited about these new introductions. They’re water-wise and easy care and uniquely fit the needs of the Western gardener,” said Kip McConnell, director of Plant Development Services.
For more information, or to become a wholesale grower or garden center partner, visit www.sunsetwesterngardencollection.com.
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- The second annual National Green Centre welcomed an enthusiastic turnout that grew as the day progressed Sunday. By the time the Day One highlight event got underway, the Sweet Melissa Plant Fashion Show played to a standing-room-only crowd gathered “on the runway” to ogle and cheer some 50 new plant introductions.
Some 1,800 attendees either made it to Overland Park Convention Center on Sunday or have registered to attend Monday, when the show concludes. National Green Centre executive director Sarah Woody Bibens said the unseasonably pleasant weather this weekend – which is projected to last through Monday in the greater Kansas City area – should ensure a big walkup crowd on the show’s last day. In turn, the show, which debuted in St. Louis last year, should match attendance numbers of the inaugural National Green Centre in 2011 (approximately 2,200).
“With the nice weather we’re expecting a good turnout [Monday],” Bibens said. “Today’s attendance is encouraging. It should make for a great show for everyone.”
Here are some highlights from Sunday:
Hottest ticket: Dr. Michael A. Dirr’s early morning seminar attracted virtually attendee at the center in the early going. Dirr, an internationally renowned plantsman, whose teaching, lectures, seminars, garden center tours and plant introduction programs have touched literally millions of lives through the years, talked about “The Flowering Shrub Revolution.” He told the receptive audience that customers are telling hort specialists that green is not a color and that they are hungry for new introductions that span the color spectrum.
Hottest 60 minutes: The Sweet Melissa Fashion Show created a buzz appropriate for the runway. Models from the area showcased 50 new plants from dozens of prominent plant companies, as the audience took notes on what will be “hot” for 2012. Growers, retailers, landscapers and garden writers alike were treated to the beautiful – and in some cases, the unusual – new offerings that should literally shape the landscape this year.
Hottest new product: The new containers from Flat Tire Décor drew steady crowds to that company’s booth, keeping company spokesman Mike Hottinger very busy throughout Sunday. Flat Tire Décor designs, develops and markets unique and innovative products from tires that have reached the end of the road.
With a little creativity and concern for the environment, these tires are getting a shot at a repeat performance. Because of the uniqueness of the tires and the manufacturing process, each Flat Tire Décor product has its own distinct character, texture, and story. No two products are ever identical.
The National Green Centre concludes Monday, with a full schedule of educational seminars, as well as hundreds of plants and hard good items that are making their 2012 trade show debut in Kansas City.
OFA—The Association of Horticulture Professionals—released a statement this morning from its president, Michael McCabe of McCabe's Greenhouse & Floral in Lawrenceburg, Ind. The letter to members offers more details about OFA’s new joint venture with the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA).
The multi-faceted horticulture industry is undergoing dramatic changes. Economic strains, generational differences, and the changing interest in and need for gardening and landscape products are altering the way our products and services are valued by consumers. Governmental activity and inactivity, financial uncertainty, and environmental changes are altering the way plants are being produced, bought, and sold.
Our volunteer leaders have been considering how to best address these issues. In light of future opportunities and threats in this quickly changing environment, one solution is for trade associations to work together to build the capacity and governance structures to properly serve their members and the industry.
I am pleased to share with you that OFA—The Association of Horticulture Professionals and the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) are responding to industry challenges head-on together. The two national organizations are expanding on previous collaborations and forming a joint venture that involves sharing resources, including appropriate staff, to expand the capacity of the organizations to better support our members and advocate the horticultural industry's interests before government and the general public.
We Are Listening to You
Recent research conducted by OFA indicates that both OFA and ANLA members want their industry association to be all encompassing—one that touches and links all pieces of the horticulture industry together in a comprehensive manner to assist in the growth of the industry.
The research also indicates that members feel very strongly that the associations should be attracting the next generation of the horticulture profession; actively pursuing market development and promotion; pursuing advocacy and legislative issues; becoming more involved in regulatory issues; more involvement in business management and technical/product education; and conducting trade shows. It is very clear that the joint venture is the right thing to do.
An Expanded Partnership
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.
This 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.
Working together, we will represent the whole of the ornamental plant industry, including greenhouse growers, nurseries, breeders, distributors, retailers, interior, and exterior landscape professionals, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers and all those who work in the plant supply chain. The combined 215 years of leadership, service, knowledge, and history will result in a more robust experience for our members and ensure the vitality of the horticulture industry.
I hope you find this to be an exciting opportunity for your business and your association. We value your input and will keep you informed on the progress of the joint venture. Thank you for your continued support of OFA. More information can be found by reading our FAQs document.
We welcome your feedback on our Facebook page.
McCabe's Greenhouse & Floral
Breaking news: American Nursery & Landscape Association just announced a joint venture with OFA, the Association of Horticultural Professionals, which could lead to a future merger. Nursery Management publisher Todd Davis caught up with Bob Lyons, ANLA president and owner of Sunleaf Nursery in Madison, Ohio, to find out the implications of this joint venture.
Q: So let me get this straight, this new joint venture doesn’t mean the end of ANLA and its 135 years of history?
A: You are correct. ANLA is not going away. We are combining some of our strengths with theirs to provide the members of both organizations a combined 215 years of leadership, service, knowledge and history to better meet the needs of both groups in these challenging times.
Q: How long have these discussions been going on with OFA, and how were they different from the merger discussions you had with PLANET several years ago?
A: We have been having discussions about working with them since 2008, but with the untimely death of their executive director, John Holmes, it was not until 2011 that we renewed our discussions in earnest.
With PLANET we were seeking a true merger in short order. The proposed joint venture with OFA will focus at first on education and advocacy. As we move forward, if it makes sense to collaborate on more things, then we will certainly consider it. Both organizations have many strengths and we want to focus on those strengths and avoid duplication of efforts. It’s the same sort of thing that’s going on with strategic alliances in our industry businesses.
Q: The ANLA Management Clinic is your organization’s premier educational event. Do you see it continuing beyond 2012?
A: We are in the process of deciding what will follow this year’s Clinic. This joint venture offers some exciting opportunities for a premier educational event in 2013 that will attract both organizations’ owners and senior management teams using the strengths of both the ANLA and OFA staffs.
Q: How do you think ANLA’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill be affected by the joint venture. Will our leaders in Washington have to be reintroduced to our industry association?
A: There will be no re-introduction. The ANLA’s lobbying and regulatory staff will remain in Washington, D.C., and will be configured to meet the needs of both ANLA and OFA members. Many of the concerns of government intrusion and regulations are the same for members of both organizations so it is a natural fit.
Q: Will there be a joining of the boards of directors of both OFA and ANLA? Is there going to be a new leadership structure?
A: There are no current plans to join boards and leadership structures. It is easy for the mind to jump forward and say, “This is going to be one organization.” At some point in the future it might be, but currently we are focused on education and advocacy. We need to be successful at these things before we think about doing more.
Q: What about the Wholesale Nursery Growers of America and the Horticultural Research Institute? How will these groups that share ANLA staff be affected?
A: The same holds true for these groups along with the retail, landscape and distribution divisions. The “community within the community” that they represent will remain an important part of our organization. It is our hope that HRI will attract new donors as we do more activities with OFA and their members see the valuable research that is being done.
For more: Bob Lyons, email@example.com.
Metrolina Greenhouses is turning to some Detroit muscle to find new ways to make its 6.1 million square-foot Huntersville greenhouse more environmentally friendly, The Herald Weekly reported.
The company’s owners recently announced they were teaming up with Chevrolet to install a biomass boiler that will burn waste wood rather than gas or oil.
“As a large-scale operation delivering approximately 70 million plants a year, we’re committed to activities like this that help us become a greener greenhouse,” said Abe VanWingerden, co-CEO of Metrolina Greenhouses.
Read the full story here.