What's Happening

The Heart and Sole(s) of Horticulture

Jelitto's Mary Vaananen and Bonnie Strasko of Creek Hill Nursery.

Jelitto’s Mary Vaananen and Bonnie Strasko of Creek Hill Nursery.

Over 10,000 nursery folks, greenhouse growers, retailers, landscapers, gardeners, designers, plant brokers, teachers, students, writers and gawkers showed up last week at the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS), held annually in Baltimore.

Anyone interested in a wide selection of seeds of perennials, alpine species, herbs, or ornamental grasses eventually circled around to the Jelitto Perennial Seeds booth. (Jelitto offers 3,774 different seed items.)

But the cavernous Baltimore Convention Center is hard on feet. A long day walking aisle after aisle on a thinly carpeted concrete floor takes a toll. Shoes that combine style and comfort are vital.

Hundreds of friends and customers dropped by the Jelitto booth to talk and to rest their weary bones.

Mary Vannanen and I were honored to host the well heeled.

A few of the standouts are featured below.


Mary Vaananen, Jelitto Perennial Seeds, Indigo.

Mary Vaananen, Jelitto Perennial Seeds. Indigo.


Bonnie Strasko, Creek Hill Nursery, Clark.

Bonnie Strasko, Creek Hill Nursery. Clark.


Alex Betz, Kurt Bluemel, Deer Stag.

Alex Betz, Kurt Bluemel, Inc. Deer Stag.


Andy Shelley, Valley View Farms, Red Wing.

Andy Shelley, Valley View Farms. Red Wing.


Ruth Clausen, author and speaker, Bass.

Ruth Clausen, author and speaker. Bass.


Richard Olsen, United States National Arboretum, Franco Fortini.

Richard Olsen, United States National Arboretum. Franco Fortini.


Kathy Betz, Kurt Bluemel Inc, Easy Spirit.

Kathy Betz, Kurt Bluemel Inc. Easy Spirit.


Patrick Kern, green roof enthusiast, recently returned from apprenticeship with Plantica in Guadalajara, Mexico Frye boots.

Patrick Kern, green roof enthusiast, recently returned from apprenticeship with Plantica in Guadalajara, Mexico. Frye boots.


Katie Sanford, horticulturist and young mom. Adidas.

Katie Sanford, horticulturist and young mom. Adidas.


Ed Carroll, National Nursery Products, Timberline.

Ed Carroll, National Nursery Products. Timberline.


Ron Strasko, Creek Hill Nursery, Piccolino.

Ron Strasko, Creek Hill Nursery. Piccolino.


Brad Smith, Aris Horticulture, Bass.

Brad Smith, Green Leaf Plants. Bass.


Monika Burwell, Earthly Pursuits, Josef Seibel.

Monika Burwell, Earthly Pursuits. Josef Seibel.


Posted by on January 18, 2017 at 8:58 am, in the category What's Happening.
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11 responses to “The Heart and Sole(s) of Horticulture”

  1. Joe Schmitt says:

    Manolo Blahniks would double as a dibble.

  2. Deborah Banks says:

    Love it!

  3. Vicky says:

    I appreciate your reply, Allen, as well as
    your article about that day you refer to which was published in a local Omaha Nebraska newspaper after Harlan’s untimely death. Harlan would be the first to recognize others… case in point: naming the white Callirhoe ‘Logan Calhoun’ after another who met with an u timely death. I feel like there might be a rant article in this somewhere. …

  4. Allen Bush says:

    Vicky, I have a picture in my mind of Harlan when we were together with Bill Barnes, Joel Hayward and Steve Castrorani at Pawnee Buttes, Colorado in June 2012. He was wearing his trademark pointy cowboy boots. We were all enjoying thousands of prickly pear cactus in bloom. A memorable day.

  5. Diana Stoll says:

    This was hilarious. Thanks for this awesome report from MANTS. Awesome, awesome, awesome!

  6. Chris N says:

    If there’s an award for the least likely Garden Rant column, I think yours is a shoo in.

  7. Vicky says:

    Very funny, Allen Bush. We are still missing Harlan Hamernik however, and he would have had cowboy boots!

  8. Dawn says:

    Shoes say so much about a person…..it’s always about the “foundation”
    Best post ever! Thanks!

  9. Carol says:

    If your feet hurt, gardening no longer matters. Thanks for a great report!

  10. Allen Bush says:

    Everyone was a little curious at first. “Say what?” I explained the possible soleful RANT report. No one turned me down.

  11. Garden Rant SUSAN HARRIS says:

    The best MANTS report ever! Looks like the most comfortable shoe collection ever assembled, too.
    I want to know -what did everyone think of your request for a footwear photo?