September 2, 2015
Under Siege? Not Really, Just Go For A Walk
I have no trouble with people buying chocolates or wine instead of flowers to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays or peoples’ lives. We should all have choices. However, the other night I felt like I was entering the Republican caucus. I was minding my own business by the television set and became more than a little upset. A website called insteadofflowers.com came on the screen. It provided serene music and wholesome images of busy women doing busy things. It turns out that such busy women enjoy a small token of appreciation, but apparently their enjoyment, according to the voice-over, does not include flowers. This website delivers meals to the house, anything from beef brisket to beef bourguignon. It is a fine website with a good idea. But why pick on us? Why not use “insteadofbaloneysandwiches.com” or “insteadofgrilledcheeseandsoup.com,” “insteadofburgerdoodle.com,” or a dozen other things. When did flowers get to be the whipping boy? […]
July 30, 2015
Allan Armitage: Let’s Talk About Starflowers. Why Is Pentas Not More Popular?
It is good to talk about production techniques, performance results and then to see how our friends garden. Diversity of plant material has always been a strength in American garden centers, and we should never run out of plants to get people excited. However, perhaps people are tired of Petunias or Callas or Geraniums, but we will never run out of options to put in front of them. One plant that is often overlooked is Pentas, a fabulous summer crop for late spring sales. These are heat-tolerant plants, and growing them below 65°F in the greenhouse results in significant delay. Fertility should be at least 150ppm nitrogen, but avoid ammonia in the fertilizer. Plants are best grown at a somewhat higher pH than usual, between 6.4 to 6.8. For best presentation, pinch out the center bud. Side flowers will bloom together, and plants will walk off the shelf. Garden centers […]
May 15, 2015
Allan Armitage On Plants: We Are Alive And Well, Thank You
Allan Armitage tells why the horticulture industry is about the people, not the plants, not the marketing and not the social media, and why horticulture is here to stay.
March 23, 2015
Update To Armitage’s Greatest Perennials & Annuals App Expected In April
A new update to the Greatest Perennials & Annuals app narrows the gap between consumers and grower-retailers, while providing more of Armitage’s top picks and growing advice for success with plants.
March 11, 2015
Annual Salvias – Not Just Red Bedding Plants Anymore
Salvias are popular — and they need not all be the same. Here are a few you know well, and perhaps a few you do not. All are easy to grow and may be found through a broker or grower.
March 11, 2015
Memoirs Of A Plantsman: Q & A With Allan Armitage
In light of the upcoming release of Dr. Allan Armitage's memoir, "It’s Not Just About the Hat — The Unlikely Journey of a Plantsman," Greenhouse Grower caught up with him for an in-depth Q & A about his newest work and what he’s planning next.
January 28, 2015
Ornamental Grasses Bring Low Maintenance To The Landscape
Read about Allan Armitage's picks for low-maintenance grasses for the landscape.
August 22, 2014
The Plant Season Is Over — What I Have Seen
Annuals, perennials, shrubs, even trees, assailed us all season. We started out viewing new plants in April at the California Spring Trials and watched these newbies and their older siblings in trials, gardens and field days. Here are some thoughts on the four crops that keep filling my radar screen almost everywhere I go.
November 1, 2013
Field Trials Help Deliver The Right Plant For Every Customer [Opinion]
Finding the right plants that will make consumers happy and keep them coming back for more is the benefit of an increasing number of industry trials — and it’s the benefit of having people like Allan Armitage.