August 13, 2008

Recognizing Community Garden Achievement

The annual Growing to Green awards ceremony and dinner celebration to honor the best Ohio community gardens from the 2008 season will be held Wednesday, September 17 at Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus. Youths, gardeners and neighborhood improvement projects will be recognized in a celebration that takes place from 6-9 p.m. Individual and garden nominations for 2008 Growing to Green awards are still being accepted. Click here to download an application, or stop by the Visitors Center at Franklin Park Conservatory during regular business hours. Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. on August 22. Any questions about the event or applications can be directed to Bill Dawson, Growing to Green coordinator, at bdawson@fpconservatory.org.

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August 6, 2008

San Francisco Neighborhood To Get Garden Makeover

More than 50 people from San Francisco’s Goettingen Neighborhood and Fiskars will roll up their sleeves for an intensive one-day garden transformation August 26 in a Fiskars Project Orange Thumb initiative to create a beautiful, flourishing green space for the Goettingen community. With a donation of more than $100,000, Fiskars is helping the Goettingen Neighborhood create a garden that provides food and beauty as it fosters community pride. The new Goettingen Garden will be filled with brilliant flowering plants, shade-giving trees and tasty fruits and vegetables. Since 2003, communities across the country have received more than $200,000 in tools, plants and expertise through Project Orange Thumb, which is designed to foster neighborhood pride. The grant program has helped install rain gardens, establish neighborhood vegetable plots and revitalize local parks.

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August 6, 2008

Tipp City, Toledo In Bloom – And In News

Five Ohio cities are among those entered in the America In Bloom contest this year. Two of them, Tipp City and Toledo, were respectively featured in recent editions of the Dayton Daily News and Toledo Blade. Tipp City (pictured) is now in its fourth year in the AIB program, moving to a larger population category of between 10,000 and 15,000 this year. It will compete against Bexley and Ironton, Ohio; Bemidji, Minn.; Greendale, Wis.; and Warrenville, Ill. Toledo, meanwhile, is entered in the category of 100,000 or more people this year. To read the stories from the Dayton Daily News and Toledo Blade, click the respective links.

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July 30, 2008

Standards Committee Members Selected

Leonardo Academy received an overwhelming number of applications from individuals and organizations interested in serving on the standards committee for sustainable agriculture. Fifty-eight people were finally chosen among nearly 200 who applied to develop a final standard for American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval–and seven of those selected have floriculture backgrounds. Committee members will examine the Sustainable Agriculture Draft Standard For Trial Use, which was developed by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) and submitted to ANSI last year. SCS also developed the VeriFlora sustainable certification program for the floriculture industry. The committee’s charge is to go through the 128-page draft standard with a fine-toothed comb and reach consensus on a final standard in the next two years. Hans Brand of B&H Flowers and Mark Yelanich of Metrolina Greenhouses were among the growers selected to serve as committee members, and Will Healy of Ball Horticultural Company and Tom Leckman of Sierra Flower […]

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July 30, 2008

View: Jerry Montgomery On Big Box Retailing

Marketing consultant Jerry Montgomery visited retailers this year during OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio. His mission: to determine what’s selling, who’s supplying and who understands retail marketing of plants the best among the three national retailers. Bell Nursery is clearly best, Montgomery found, and it has raised the bar higher for all growers serving big box stores. In all, Montgomery visited eight Home Depots, five Lowe’s, four Wal-Marts, two Sam’s Clubs, one Meijer and a Costco. Here are his observations on Bell Nursery and its service with Home Depots: Bell Nursery stocks the shelves of Home Depot with the highest quality plants you will see at any of the three national retailers. My definition of quality is plants that are the right size for the container they are grown in and the amount of color displayed on each plants. Sounds pretty simple, but you would not believe what we […]

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July 30, 2008

All Aboard For National Promotion

Is the time for the turf and landscape and nursery and floriculture sectors to unite for national promotion? Green industry leaders gathered to brainstorm a few ideas last month at a summit Bailey Nurseries hosted, and a grower wrote us even more recently offering her thoughts on the need for a unified industry. Kellie Bowen of Full Bloom Nursery in Clermont, Ga., wrote in response to the July 2008 column written by Delilah Onofrey, editor of Greenhouse Grower. Here is Kellie’s letter: A national promotion that would include all sectors of the green industry is something we should already have in place. And we’re all in this together, whether you’re a sod producer, a wholesale grower, a garden center or a soil manufacturer. I think one of the reasons our industry is hit with everything from labor laws to water use issues is that we’ve always been a very divided […]

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July 25, 2008

It’s Not Enough To Be Green

An interesting article in Forbes on some sustainable clothing lines and how they’ve done. One is thriving because of marketing efforts and one has gone down the tubes with the stagnant economy.

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July 23, 2008

Sky-High Messaging

New behavioral researchers say that besides the emotional benefit in giving and receiving flowers, there are physiological, psychological and emotional benefits on human behavior. And the Flower Promotion Organization is taking that message to the skies this summer and fall, building on its Sky Radio campaign. “The timing of this new campaign will help us reach not only the vacation/leisure traveler, but also that elusive business professional who will be a captive audience for this message,” says Stan Pohmer, executive director of the Flower Promotion Organization. Pohmer was recently interviewed on Sky Radio about the studio, and that three-minute message will be broadcast on all American Airlines and NWA flights in August and on 20,000 US Airways flights in September and October. The interview will also be mentioned in the monthly issues of each airline’s in-flight magazine, with a link to the FPO Web site from the airline sites that […]

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July 23, 2008

New Course Post-Short Course

Most OFA Short Course attendees packed their bags and headed home last Tuesday following the trade show, but a group of about 25 growers, retailers and vendors trekked up Interstate 71 to Cleveland for a little more knowledge. They were treated to a two-day tour of five local garden centers, one greenhouse and the Meister Media Worldwide office in Willoughby, Ohio.   The tour began Wednesday morning at Eagle Creek Wholesale in Mantua, and wound its way toward a seven-mile stretch on a single road southeast of Cleveland. Somehow, that single stretch of road includes three quality garden centers–Eagle Creek Garden Center in Bainbridge and two Chagrin Falls garden centers, Breezewood Gardens & Gifts and Lowe’s. The ongoing and upcoming design programs at Eagle Creek, the gift selection at Breezewood and the growing facilities at Lowe’s were certainly impressive. Eagle Creek has had success with its landscape design service, and […]

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July 22, 2008

Growing Green: Marketing Sustainability

    Gary McColeman of Bellan International watched closely as the sustainability revolution took off in the United States. McColeman’s company manufactures biopots–biodegradable containers made of rice husks, bamboo and straw. The pots made their debut three years ago at OFA Short Course, and McColeman has since seen an evolution as some ornamentals growers transitioned from skepticism to adoption of sustainable practices. “The first year … they stood across the aisle and scratched their heads,” he says. “The second year it was like an evangelical movement; people moved inside the booth and they picked it up and felt it, squeezed it and broke it. “They knew a little bit more about the environment at this point.” This year, Short Course has a Green Industry Showcase to highlight sustainable products. And McColeman says the push is definitely coming from the end consumer and big retailers who are making sustainability a priority, […]

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July 9, 2008

Coming Home To Columbus

  By far, the best way to learn about the America In Bloom (AIB) program is to attend its inspirational and educational awards symposium. It’s the best opportunity for community leaders who are interested in revitalizing their towns to network and see for themselves before entering the competition. For growers, landscapers and garden center retailers, it’s the best way to learn how to get your town blooming and plant demand for plants.   Now in its seventh year, AIB is a national campaign and contest that promotes enhancing communities through beautification. In the friendly competition, communities are matched by population and evaluated on efforts related to floral displays, urban forestry, landscaped areas, turf and groundcover, tidiness, environmental awareness, heritage conservation and community involvement. Event Highlights At A Glance The AIB symposium will begin Thursday evening, Oct. 2, with an opening reception and the presentation of sponsored criteria awards for the […]

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July 9, 2008

Going Places With Great Spaces

Adequate seating, shade, fabulous foliage and fountains are some of the elements that add up to create a mini destination at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. There’s a place for everything and everything in its place. How landscape architects, growers and horticulturists interpret that message was the main topic of discussion during the 2008 Magic of Landscapes event held in early May at Disney’s Epcot in Orlando, Fla. Housed by Epcot and presented by Cherry Lake Tree Farm in conjunction with partner organizations — Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association, Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, American Horticultural Society (AHS), Florida Department of Transportation, Urban Land Institute Orlando and Rollins College — the goal of the program is to communicate and quantify the value of landscapes. “This conference is about celebrating landscaping, best practices and good ideas,” says Katy Moss Warner of AHS, who also serves on the Magic of Landscapes […]

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