March 24, 2009

Award Established In Honor Of John Holmes

America in Bloom (AIB) has established the John R. Holmes III Community Champion Award to recognize an individual who, in the view of the board of directors, best exemplifies community leadership through actions that reflect the mission of the organization. The award recipient will have demonstrated a vision and selfless commitment to moving the community forward. The individual will come from a city that has participated or is currently participating in the AIB program. Nominations for the annual award will be accepted by the board of directors until July 1 each year. The first award will be presented during the 2009 AIB Symposium and Awards Program, October 1-3 in Hershey, Pa.   America in Bloom will continue to accept contributions for this award given in memory of Holmes, the late CEO of OFA–an Association of Horticulture Professionals, who died unexpectedly in February. An AIB board member and officer since the organization’s […]

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March 24, 2009

AIB Earns Urban Beautification Award

The American Horticultural Society (AHS) will present America in Bloom (AIB) its Urban Beautification Award for 2009. Click here for the full list of AHS award winners. In its first eight years, more than 160 communities have participated in AIB, touching the lives of about 21 million people in the United States.

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March 23, 2009

White House Garden Bodes Well For All

Twenty-six elementary schoolchildren helped First Lady Michelle Obama break ground on the produce and herb garden on the White House grounds late last week. Crops to be planted in the coming weeks are spinach, broccoli, lettuces, kale and collard greens, assorted herbs and blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Michelle Obama said her family talked about planning a garden since they moved to the White House in January. Although vegetables will be sprouting in the White House vegetable garden, the news has generated positive national press for gardening of all kinds. One spot on NBC News last weekend highlighted home gardening and the ability to save money while doing it, and another showed Mrs. Obama breaking ground on the new veggie garden. “Tons of consumer data tells us that most people’s first foray into gardening starts with vegetables, and then if they are successful and enjoy it, they then expand into flowers and […]

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March 20, 2009

Lowe’s Debuts New Easy Planting Program

Lowe’s and have partnered to create an exclusive “plant by numbers” program called Design By Function, complete with 20 free professionally designed plans. The plans range from a window box display and patio gardens to an entire front yard plan. Visitors to the Learn2Grow website can pick the plan they like and print out a plant list, as well as research basic habit definitions and learn about the elements of a landscape design (i.e. foundation plantings, accents, etc.). Once they have their plant list, they can go to their local Lowe’s store and find the plants, which are labeled to match the Design By Function program. The sections are broken down in the store based on the plant functions listed on the site, like flowering shrubs, foundation, accent and more. Customers also have access to a free plant database on the website where they can type in the plant […]

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March 17, 2009

Look For Burpee Home Gardens Online

Check out the new Burpee Home Gardens website devoted to the line of garden-ready plants. The site offers basic gardening tips, variety and growing information, care and maintenance tips and fun facts about vegetables and herbs. You’ll also find recipes for cooking with the Burpee Home Gardens plants. Check the website out at

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March 11, 2009

Proven Winners Launches National Beautification Effort

Proven Winners has launched a national beautification effort through radio stations in California, Massachusetts and Illinois from January until May to promote the benefits of gardening to listeners across the country. The campaign’s objective is to create an emotional connection between listeners and their favorite radio personalities through gardening competitions, contests and hands-on experience. “Our goal is to encourage women of all ages to enjoy the benefits of gardening, utilizing quality products that are easy, fun and deeply rewarding,” says Marshall Dirks, director of marketing for Proven Winners. “We also seek to support the efforts of local garden centers by promoting the gardening experience to a large audience.” For more on Proven Winners’ radio efforts, click here.

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March 9, 2009

Walters Gardens Launches Consumer Websites

Designed to inspire and inform home gardeners about perennial gardening, Walters Gardens has launched two new consumer websites: and Both sites feature retailer locators to help consumers find retail stores that sell the plants they see online. They can search by zip code and easily get directions to the businesses. The Perennial Resource website has been rebuilt to include an encyclopedia of more than 1,500 varieties. The encyclopedia is searchable by botanical or common name and more than 40 plant characteristics, including water, sun and soil requirements and more. The site also contains a “Design & Grow” segment: six steps to designing, creating and maintaining your own perennial garden.” The Grow Designer Plants website is dedicated to the Designer Collection of hostas and daylilies from Walters Gardens. Targeted towards younger gardeners who love designer products, the site features glamorous photos of the perennials in the collection. A Grower’s guide […]

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March 6, 2009

Park Seed’s New Website

Park Seed relaunched its website earlier this week. The look is different, but you can still operate there as you have in the past. Check it out at

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February 27, 2009

Study: Houseplants Great For Retirement Communities

A recent study published in the American Society for Horticultural Science journal HortTechnology finds an activity as simple as caring for houseplants can have positive effects on residents of assisted-living communities. The four-week study by Claudia C. Collins and Angela M. O’Callaghan involved participation by 18 residents in a weekly, two-hour interactive horticulture class taught by a social horticulturist and a sociologist. Residents were given interactive lessons on the care of houseplants, choices of what plants to bring home and care for and different options in potting containers. The classes offered residents an opportunity for social interaction with peers and instructors. Over the course of the study, teachers were impressed by the transformation of the overall demeanor of the students. They changed from a state of passive, lonely dependence to being more active, socially connected, and responsible for something other than themselves, demonstrating improvement in quality of life and mastery. […]

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February 26, 2009

Ball Launches Burpee Plants At Retail

At the upcoming 2009 California Pack Trials, Ball Horticultural Company will launch the Burpee Home Gardens plant program. This line will offer Burpee-branded, garden ready plants at garden centers in select markets this year and nationally in 2010. With the help of Ball’s marketing and distribution capabilities, an assortment of exclusive Burpee plants will be sold at garden centers, many of which have not previously been available in plant form at retail outlets. “The combined efforts of both Burpee and Ball will offer strong products and supports to make this plant program successful at retail,” says Chris Romas, president of W. Altee Burpee Company.

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February 25, 2009

Park Brothers Launches New Consumer Website

Park Brothers Farm has launched a new consumer website dedicated to the branded Charley’s Vegetables line. The site explains that Park Brothers “started this website to help new and veteran gardeners grow successful gardens full of tasty vegetables.” Users can search for information on specific vegetable crops (cucumber, cantaloupe, eggplant, etc.) and uses a chatty tone to speak to consumers on a more personal level.

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February 19, 2009

Proven Winners Idea Book Wildly Popular

Proven Winners has been promoting its Gardener’s Idea Book in January and February ads in major consumer publications with great success. All told, they have received more than 21,000 requests for the free book, which features colorful inspirations for mixed containers. Those numbers are three times the amount of people who requested the books during the same period last year, so members of Proven Winners are optimistic for a great gardening year. The top six sources for requests are: Star Radio in San Diego, Backyard Living magazine, KIIS radio in Los Angeles, Martha Stewart Living magazine, Country Living magazine and P. Allen Smith’s Newsletter. Check out an online version of the book here. Proven Winners also asked consumers about their anticipated spending for the spring, and the results were very encouraging. More than 56 percent of those who responded said they would buy more plants than last year, while nearly […]

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