Archive for October, 2009

Explore Our New Website

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

We have a new, simpler web address…www.grandiflora.pro. You can also reach our salespeople at their new shortened e-mail addresses – pat@grandiflora.pro, mark@grandiflora.prolaurie@grandiflora.pro and frank@grandiflora.pro.  Less time wasted typing means more time for placing orders, right?

1Osmanthus Fudingzhu at Bracy's

Osmanthus Fudingzhu

Our revamped website has some wonderful new features like this Blog. Since I won’t be writing for Ornamental Outlook magazine any more (they are closing down operations in December), I will have more time to post to the Grandiflora site with industry news, pictures and stories about places Ellen and I visit, and new plant information. We welcome your comments on the blog. Let us hear from you.

A really handy tool on the new site is the Plant Search in Products. You can check off boxes delineating zone, shade levels, season of bloom and a whole list of other special qualities like fragrance and butterfly attraction, then press Search and a list of plants filling those requirements will be generated. We have also added more pictures in small, medium and large sizes for your viewing pleasure.

Customers will be able to generate a Wish List from the Product Search that actually works! Once we get your list, we will get back to you right away to finalize the order.

1Alan in watering can at ABG 8-08

Alan at Atlanta Botanical Garden Children's Area

Take a moment to check out Cool Pix too. It contains hundreds of unique pictures of amazing plants and landscaping ideas from nurseries, private yards and botanical gardens around the country (and abroad) arranged by category. If you send me a picture that I like, I may include it in Cool Pix.

Explore and enjoy! Let me know if you see any problem areas that need attention.

IPPS IN BILOXI MS

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The International Plant Producers Society Annual Meeting is the single most important educational event that a grower can attend.

Note the new name. We are no longer the International Plant Propagators. This decision was made by the International Board of Directors after discovering that only 25% of papers presented each year related to propagation. The other 75% included talks on every other conceivable grower concern – soil mixes, pest and disease eradication, new chemicals, trademarks and patenting, labor issues, plant introductions, mechanization, and so on.

This year’s IPPS Southern Region Symposium took place October 23-28 in Biloxi MS at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino, so between tours, seminars, and networking, participants could sneak away to gamble, visit the spa or watch football games in the lounge. I managed to see the Gators squeak by Mississippi State and also lost a few bucks at the Blackjack table.

Margie Jenkins on tour

Margie Jenkins on tour

We visited some amazing nurseries in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana in three seperate days of bus tours. Especially nice large operations were Kinney’s, Green Forest, Flowerwood, Bracy’s, Windmill and Buddy Martin’s. The other growers like Dodd and Dodd, Coach’s Cedar Creek Farm,Van Der Giesen’s, and Jenkin’s Farm and Nursery generally had less inventory and land, but were more specialized. Each day we enjoyed terrific food reflecting the cuisine of the area – gumbo, crawfish etouffe, fried catfish, oysters, shrimp and hush puppies were plentiful.

The seminars were very timely with a great line-up of speakers including legendary educators Dr. David Creech, Dr. Mike Dirr, Dr. Carl Whitcomb, Dr. Richard Beeson, and Dr. Gary Bachman. Other papers were presented by well-known nurserymen like Ted Stephens, Eelco Tinga, Buddy Lee, and Dennis Neimeyer. The infamous Question Box was thought-provoking and entertaining with Charlie Parkerson providing controversy as always. After the banquet, Dirr and Creech were guest auctioneers at the annual fund-raising auction, encouraging members to spend hundreds of dollars for plants worth a fraction of their selling price, but all for a worthy cause.

Patricia Knight and Hiram Baldwin

Patricia Knight and Hiram Baldwin

Next year’s meeting will be October 10-13 in Raleigh NC with Tony Avent as site chairman. There are some great tours planned, including visits to the Sarah Duke Gardens, JC Raulston Arboretum, Hoffman Nursery, Pender’s, Swift Creek, Plant Works, and Avent’s Plant Delights. To get more information about IPPS membership, visit www.IPPS.org/SouthernNA .

Hello world!

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
Alan espaliered

Alan espaliered

Welcome to Alan’s Blog at Grandiflora. From here, we will explore beautiful gardens, unusual plants and nursery happenings. Hope to hear from y’all.