Monday, July 4, 2011

It's Been a Long Time...

Holy cow, it's been over three months since I last posted - call me the worst blogger ever. Life/work were a bit insane during this time, worthy of at least 10 posts if I wrote about every single plant-related topic. However, I figured I keep things from getting too long-winded and I'd write one instead - consider this the Cliff's Notes edition to my life - and just in time for OFA Short Course starting this upcoming Saturday!

Dear Horticulture Consumers - I'd like my month's worth of sales back. Love, Stephanie
Let's not talk about the Month from Hell now and leave that discussion for a time where we can have a drink (or a bottle of wine. Each.)

"Yes, I have Non-horticulture friends who grow their own plants."
Wendy LaManque - lawyer. Dani Zylberberg - foodie, wine sommelier. Hanna Block - ex-barista, teacher. Tristan Whitehouse - sailing instructor, teacher (ok, cheap point, he's my brother). I was having a conversation with one of our sales reps from a majore brokerage firm about the Edibles trend and whether it is gaining momentum with consumers. Rich made the comment that has been resounding in the industry for the last three years or so: "Baby Boomers are not getting any younger - how is this industry going to survive? It's not like [Gen X/Yers] are buying plants..." Do any Gen X/Yers beg to differ? My response: "Wendy LaManque, Dani Zylberberg, Hanna Block, Tristan Whitehouse. Give them a call and thank them for buying some plants."

My Future Sister-In-Law's College Graduation - Yay Kalee!

Urban Garden Season 2
We received the "Garden Writers" edition of the Hort Courture Sample Pack of plants at work and Lloyd told me I could use them in my garden as long as I kept record throughtout the season of the varieties' performances. Breeding companies like Hort Courture send out samples of their newest plants to growers and garden writers each spring in hopes of getting feedback and publicity. So far the annuals are doing quite well - more posts to follow!

Bucks County Garden Tour
A great girls' day out with Candy and Kristen, we toured the gardens of three houses in Bucks County and Paxton Hill. Beautiful, relaxing, and energizing!

Cornell Reunion - Class of 2006
We broke some reunion records (would you expect anything less from us?), gawked/cried at construction and fences, sang some songs, and drank out of Solo cups on the Arts Quad. It was supurb! Plants WERE involved too, with a visit to the updated Cornell Plantations with its LEED certified headquarters building, and a romantic picnic lunch at the Horticulture Field Trials in hopes of seeing this year's plantings underway.

APGA More! Conference in Philly
The American Public Garden Association (APGA) hosted its annual conference in Philadelphia, a perfect location since the city and its suburbs is home to the greatest number of gardens/arboretums/conservatories per mile than any other city in the country. My company decorated the hotel with mixed planters of some pretty unique and beautiful plants.

My Dad, the Next Charlie Hall
While at home this weekend for the Fourth, I was telling my parents all about this upcoming week as I prepare to travel to Columbus for the OFA Short Course and all that is planned for the trade show booth Peace Tree Farm is having for the first time. My dad is a graphics designer whose company does work for P&G and Energizer and so I thoroughly enjoy talking about market trends with him. Dad's market prediction/conclusion: "In the next few years there is going to be a major shipft in the way retail shopping works; it's starting to happen now. With Gen X/Yers becoming more and more prevalent and active in different markets, decisions are going to become more consumer-driven. [Your generation] is so used to customization - you are going to want to make every product and shopping experience your own." There's your homework friends! I'll be looking forward to your thoughts and comments later this week!

Plant on,

Song for the Garden: Lisztomania - The Phoenix