TPIE 2018 Cool Product Awards winners announced

TPIE 2018 Cool Product Awards winners announced

14 products from vendors at this year's Tropical Plant Industry Expo were recognized as stand-outs by industry associations.


The 2018 TPIE Cool Product Awards is a collaboration between TPIE 2018Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) and The Garden Center Group. Winners of the TPIE 2018 Cool Product Awards are listed below by company in alphabetical order:

Wine Cork Magnet Planters, ArizonaEast, LLC

Casey Propkop, 1016 W Summer Ave., Minotola, N.J. 08341 Ph: 856-457-4141 Email: 

Retail buyers were drawn to these two assortments of wine corks made into small planters with either succulents or tillandsia. Both feature a small magnet on the side of the cork to be held on a desk, file cabinet, etc.

‘Golden-Edge Red Sister’ Cordyline, Butler’s Foliage, Inc.

George Butler, 17925 SW 216th St. Miami, FL 33170 Ph: 305-238-1018

There are a number of varieties of cordyline on the market today, but this newcomer caught the eye of our buyers. ‘Golden-Edge Red Sister’ has a distinctive gold trim on the leaf. George Butler says this is a sport off of ‘Red Sister’ and that there will be several other selections coming next year.

Eye-Catching Fruit Image Tags, Dewar Nurseries, Inc.

Patricia Dewar, 625 W. Keene Rd., Apopka, FL 33703 Ph: 407-886-1188

Many fruit tree growers have printed pots these days, but Dewar Nurseries has taken it a step further by designing large fruit tags depicting the actual fruit. At first glance, you can see what the plant will produce. We saw a number of plant types available, such as banana, fig, grape, kiwi, blackberry, blueberry, and more. A simple idea can have a big impact on sales!

Assorted Decorative “Message in a Bottle”, Eve’s Garden, Inc.

Eve Lynn, 19300 County Rd 33, Groveland, FL 34736 Ph: 813-996-5012

We see a number of planters featuring tillandsia today but this creative idea from Eve’s Garden brings a creative touch to the craft. Each glass container has a beach-like setting with a tillandsia and a hand-written scroll message to represent a “message in a bottle.”

New designs for 2017 – Sisal & Vine Gardens, Flori-Design, Inc.
Gail Cash 26753 County Rd 44A, Eustis, FL 32736 Ph: 352-589-4404, Fax: 352-589-2510
Flori-Design introduces a new addition to their many mini gardens. This year, they feature a custom bright vine wrap sporting a bring green leaf or bloom look. Several design shapes are available for 2018 with more coming.



Cousteau Planter, LiveTrends Designs Group, LLC/MAK USA Inc.

Bisser Georgiev, PO Box 2025, Apopka, FL 32703 Ph: 407-814-4907 

LiveTrends caught the attention of buyers again with this new glass cloche-like planter featuring two types of tillandsia. The top one of suspended to appear floating in water like a jelly fish.

Retailing Adjustable Plant Sales Cart, Orlandelli Group, LLC

Andrea Salati, 13165 Notre Dame LN E., Jacksonville, FL 32218 Ph: 305-320-9284 

Orlandelli is known for the well-designed aluminum retail benching systems and they have a unique adjustable plant sales cart to make it easy to quickly feature plants. This design functions as a standard cart and with a push of a lever can shift to a slanted display! They also have the patented mechanism available to transform your own carts (subject to some restrictions of fit of course).

Curly Shell Tillandsia Planter, Russell’s Bromeliads

Bill Fuhrman, 15100 Lost Lake Rd, Clermont, FL 34711 Ph: 407-656-5541

Russell’s has created a unique hanging planter for their Tillandsia. It is a spiral shell that effectively shows off their Tillandsia.

Hand-Crafted Stone Mushrooms, Stone-Age Creations

Bill Fuhrman, 40 South Main St, New London, OH 44851 Ph: 419-929-2250

At first glance, buyers thought they were seeing large mushrooms, but upon closer look they soon realized they are not what they though. They are hand-crafted from stone and make a great garden art piece. Sizes, textures and finishes vary.

Troplicals in Kokodama Planters, Sun Bulb Co., Inc.

James Kinports, PO Box 698, Arcadia, FL 34265 Ph: 863-494-4022 

Sun Bulb is introducing the new Kokodama Planter as part of their topical plant offering, each featuring a Sun Bulb-produced plant. The Kokodama is a new introduction from Holland and has addressed some of the issues with other similar look orbs. Be sure to see the Dutch website that tells the Kokodama story.

Multiple Sizes of European Olive, Sun City Tree Farms

Sean Phillips, PO Box 1809, Ruskin, FL 33575 Ph: 813-645-9527 

Sun City Tree Nursery stunned buyers with a humongus field-grown European olive tree in their booth. They have olive trees as old as 150 years old. They also feature production of container sizes as small as 10 gallons.

Brindabella Shrub Roses, Sun-Fire Nurseries/Suntory

T. Jay Higgins, 7091 Myakka Valley Rd., Sarasota, FL 34241 Ph: 941-924-8676

Sun-Fire Nurseries showed us the new Suntory introductions of Brindabella Roses, developed by John Gray, the Australian breeder, with the focus of a tough shrub rose that is equally disease resistant and also bringing back great fragrances. Watch for Brindabella Roses available for the 2019 spring season at retail, while growers are potting them up this spring for production.

Miniature vinca ‘Soiree’, Sun-Fire Nurseries/Suntory

T. Jay Higgins, 7091 Myakka Valley Rd., Sarasota, FL 34241 Ph: 941-924-8676

Sun-Fire also featured three colors of a new dwarf vinca called ‘Soiree’. They are more elegant than the common bedding plant vinca. These micro blooming catharanthus will light up any garden with their amazing flower coverage, vivid eye-drawing colors with deep glossy green foliage. Keeps habit all summer long (height: 6 to 10 inches, spread: 12 to 18 inches and Zone: 8 to 11), has no leggy branches and has tons of flower power.

Decorative Car & Truck Planters, Theut’s Flower Barn

Joe Houston, 36615 Pound Rd., Richmond, MI 48062 Ph: 586-727-5440

Theut’s has produced many creative winners in past years and this was no different. The new assortment of autos feature their succulents, making a fun plant combination for the office or kids room.