August 21, 2012

Darrell Messick Of Messick Company Dies

The following statement was issued by Messick’s nephew, Kurt: Long-time industry legend, Darrell Messick (1930-2012), passed away due to natural causes in Saratoga, Calif., on Aug. 13, 2012 at the age of 81. Darrell spent nearly 60 years in the horticultural industry. His contribution and impact on our industry was immense and far-reaching throughout the world. Darrell spent the first half of his career working for George J. Ball Company. The long time vice president of ‘Ball,’ he was a driving force in the company’s explosive growth of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. One of the industries’ top salesmen early on, he evolved into a real industry leader. He had a huge impact in developing the West Coast azalea industry, was a major factor in the Easter lily bulb business and among other areas he had considerable involvement in the bare root rose industry.   Always dedicated to the industry […]

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August 14, 2012

Monrovia Brand Will Be In Lowe’s

Monrovia will begin selling its branded plants in Lowe’s stores in 2013. As a result of an exclusive agreement with Lowe’s, Monrovia plants, currently sold in Home Depot in plain pots, will pull out of Home Depot. The new relationship differs significantly from what the industry expects of a mass merchant agreement. The Monrovia plants will not be sold to Lowe’s at a deep discount, and Lowe’s will not have access to exclusive varieties. “They will have the standard trade discount that applies to all our customers. So, no additional sideline pricing for Lowe’s,” says David Kirby, Monrovia’s new vice president of sales. Kirby says that Lowe’s agreeing to maintain the premium brand image, partly through pricing, was key to Monrovia making the agreement. Until 2010, Monrovia had sold exclusively to independent garden centers. In late 2010, Monrovia’s lenders demanded the grower prove its current business mode was viable by […]

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August 7, 2012

NGMA Advertising Coordinator Julie Sullivan Dies

The National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association sent out the following announcement about Julie Sullivan: It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart that we must tell you of the unexpected passing of Julie Sullivan. Julie was, in her usual spirit of optimism and graciousness, battling uterine cancer or the “beast” as she was affectionately calling it, for the last few months. She had been undergoing chemotherapy and took a turn for the worst Thursday morning. Julie truly loved working for NGMA as their Advertising Coordinator. She had a remarkably upbeat personality and her smile and laugh were contagious. She was a joy to work with and a wonderful friend to anyone who got to know her. She was simply… an amazing person. Our thoughts and prayers are with Julie’s husband Michael and their teenage twin sons, William and James, during what is most assuredly a very difficult time. Julie […]

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August 7, 2012

Green Fuse Botanicals Moves To Santa Paula, Calif.

Green Fuse Botanicals has tripled its greenhouse space with a move to new facilities in Santa Paula, Calif. The new location at Fides Oro gives Green Fuse the opportunity to test and trial many more plants. “This is a big step forward in our ability to evaluate plants and bringnew products to market,” says Steve Jones, Green Fuse founder. “It gives us the flexibility to trial a wide variety of genera in different growing environments. With this expanded control, we can closely replicate our customers’ conditions in North America and overseas.” Previously, Green Fuse was trialing new plants at GroLink in Oxnard, Calif. They will continue that strong working relationship, including producing Ipomoea ‘Sweet Georgia’ crops for the coming season. “The Santa Paula site was needed to accommodate the expanding genetics we plan to introduce in the future,” Jones says. “With the move, we’re a stronger trialing resource for our […]

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August 7, 2012

Costa Layman Farms Holds 7th Annual Health Fair

‘Miracles happen where you plant them’ was printed on the t-shirts of more than 425 Costa Layman Farms’ employees at the 7th Annual Interdisciplinary Health Fair on July 20, 2012 in Trenton, S.C. Costa Layman Farms, one of the leading perennial companies in the U.S., teamed up with Georgia Health Sciences University College of Nursing (GHSU) to plant other miracles: free health assessments for farm workers and academic hours for student nurses. The health fair featured dental screenings, HIV testing, cholesterol and glucose screenings, pulmonary function testing, grip strength and screenings for vision, bone density, sleep apnea, height, weight, blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol and glucose and body mechanics classes. “The comprehensive health screenings provided by GHSU are of the highest caliber and a wonderful benefit we are able to offer our employees,” says Debbie Layman from Costa Layman Farms and founder of the health fair. “We are extremely fortunate to partner […]

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July 31, 2012

Waterloo Anticipates Coming Out Of Bankruptcy Late 2012, Early 2013

According to a story in Mainline Media News, despite Waterloo Gardens’ financial troubles the past few years, Chief Financial Officer Jerry Monagle and President Bobby LeBoutillier remain confident that things are looking up for the garden center retailer. Today’s Garden Center previously reported that Waterloo Gardens filed for bankruptcy protection. As a condition of that protection, the retailer was required to shut down its Devon, Pa., store on July 15, 2012 instead of late 2012 or Spring 2013 as planned. The purchase of two locations in in Wilmington, Del., and in Warminster, Pa. in 2007 supposedly began the financial troubles. The Warminster store closed in 2008, and the location in Wilmingtonclosed in December 2011. Monagle confirms to Mainline Media News that although the Warminster store was purchased at the height of the economic boom, having to close operations a year later and carry the mortgage, as well as weathering the […]

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July 15, 2012

OFA And ANLA To Re-form As A Single Organization

In a move that was not wholly unexpected, the Boards of Directors of OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals and the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) have voted to begin the process of organizing a new association. Following several months of working together in a joint venture, the working group comprised of leaders from both organizations determined it was time to formally explore creating a new trade association. In January 2012, OFA and ANLA announced the formation of a joint venture to support business education and government relations activities. Since June 2011, leadership of both organizations had been discussing the opportunity for and viability of a formal relationship between the two organizations. As early as the first meeting, the idea of forming a new organization was discussed by the joint venture working group. According to ANLA board member Dan Mulhall, of Mulhall’s, “The two organizations bring very different strengths […]

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July 12, 2012

OFA And ANLA Announce First Joint Event At OFA Short Course

OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals and The American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) are scheduled to announce the development of a new, joint event on Monday, July 16, 2012 at the OFA Short Course. The new event, named Next Level, will be held Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2013 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. According to OFA CEO Michael Geary, “Every individual, every organization has a next level, the next dimension of performance and results to realize. The Next Level event is designed to help participants clarify their own next level, expose them to the ideas and insights to help bridge that gap, and connect them to like-minded colleagues who can support their journey.” The Next Level event will be unique in its focus on education that focuses attendees on working on their business, not just in their business. ANLA and OFA have retained the […]

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July 11, 2012

James Greenhouses Is The Greenhouse Grower 2012 Operation Of The Year

This is the second consecutive year Colbert, Georgia’s James Greenhouses has been a finalist for Greenhouse Grower’s Operation Of The Year. This grower of high-quality perennial plugs and liners has grown by leaps and bounds and currently produces more than 13 million vegetative perennial and annual liners per year. Founded in 1998, James Greenhouses is a first-generation greenhouse business, and owners Ken and Leah James have built an operation that exemplifies current, high-quality production practices. They grow in clean, modern facilities that are designed for propagation. In 80,000 square feet of production space, they utilize mist booms, under-bench hot water heat, sub-irrigation, naturally ventilated houses and computerized environmental controls. All are designed to keep quality up and costs down. James Greenhouses recently installed state-of-the-art shade and heat retention curtains and are planning additional energy saving retrofits. They plan for efficient future growth. Both Ken and Leah have Bachelor’s degrees in […]

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July 10, 2012

The Southern Nursery Association Announces Plans For An Event In 2013

The Southern Nursery Association (SNA), a non-profit, professional trade association representing the horticultural industry in the southern U.S., has announced preliminary plans for an event in 2013. Scheduled for August 5 to 7, 2013 at Atlanta’s Georgia International Convention Center (GICC), this event will combine the SNA Research Conference, the Southern Plant Conference, the SNA State Officer’s Conference and the Annual SNA Business Meeting to deliver one event under one roof. The GICC, conveniently located adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and minutes from downtown Atlanta, is Georgia’s newest and second largest convention center, featuring more than 400,000 SF of meeting space one level. The ATL SkyTrain, a free light rail train linking the GICC to the airport and the rental car center and the GICC station, as well as a wide array of nearby hotels (including two new Marriott properties on the GICC campus) and restaurants. This new regional […]

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July 10, 2012

Molbak’s Opts To Close Production Facility, Focus On Retail

In a statement released July 3, 2012, CEO Jens Molbak announced that Molbak’s would be suspending growing operations and stop production at the company’s 40-acre Sammamish Valley production facility in Redmond, Wash., at the end of 2012. Molbak says the company will continue to focus on its retail business. “I’ve been looking at this for many years. We made the decision that we want to focus on retail and not growing,” Molbak says. “Our retail store was profitable and it was paying for our growing operation for the past three years. Molbak’s, which was unique in that it offered customers a wide assortment of plants in small qualities, grew 30 percent of what was sold at retail. The other 70 percent came from a network of growers in the Midwest.   “From the growing side, I see a series of smaller specialty growers with unique plants. You need a large […]

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