Jelitto Booth, Vaananen photo

Where’s the Wow? The Green Industry Takes Stock.

Garden suppliers’ sights are set on next spring. Last month, representatives from nurseries, greenhouses, independent garden centers and even Big Box Stores loaded up their cars, vans and trucks, heading to two vastly different Ohio trade summer shows. Cultivate ’14, in Columbus, is the biggest North American trade show, attracting more than 10,000 attendees. The […]

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Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on August 13, 2014 at 6:37 am   This post has 39 responses.

Gardening Under The Affluence

  I’m getting a little uncomfortable with something, and I’d like the Ranting World to let me know if I’m on point or totally off the mark. As I look through magazines and design blogs, I see fancy gardens everywhere. Industries are colluding to make us desire an outdoor...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, Real Gardens, Taking Your Gardening Dollar, Uncategorized
Posted by on July 29, 2014 at 9:38 pm   This post has 112 responses.

Is Your Local Garden Center Taking Action on Neonicotinoids?

What’s killing the bees?  The pesticide neonicotinoid, for one thing, and it’s routinely used on plants for sale and earlier in the plants’ lives, at the wholesale growers’.  That discovery has led to an anti-neonic campaign targeting the boxes in particular, leading to headlines like “Bee  Activists Swarm Home Depot and...

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Posted by on June 9, 2014 at 7:06 am   This post has 26 responses.

The brand that dares not speak its name

Remember subliminal advertising? One of the books that exposed it is Subliminal Seduction, by Wilson Brian Key. The examples in the book use the eternal themes of sex and death to sell products. According to the book, imagery evoking these two themes appears in advertising (often deliberately inserted), thus...

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Posted by on March 3, 2014 at 8:00 am   This post has 15 responses.

It’s Valentine’s Day. Do You Know Where Your Roses Came From?

Guest Rant by Debra Prinzing Earlier this week, Libby Francis-Baxter, owner of The Modest Florist in Baltimore, made headlines in the local media by announcing her plans for a rose-free Valentine’s Day. “I don’t support outsourcing flower production to South and Central America at the expense of our own...

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Posted by on February 14, 2014 at 7:15 am   This post has 16 responses.

Sightings at a Trade Show

Every January I attend the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) in Baltimore and even if nothing were new there of interest to me or my imagined readers, I’d love the dose of plants and plant talk and running into people I know.  The show, now in its 44th year,...

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Posted by on January 17, 2014 at 9:19 am   This post has one response.

Eastern Gardener ISO Desert Plants

One of the many press releases coming my way recently was from High Country Gardens, and I found myself wanting all of its new introductions, especially the Salvias.  Loved by hummingbirds but NOT by deer or rabbits!  But then I read this quote from David Salman, the company’s chief horticulturist,...

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Posted by on January 10, 2014 at 11:08 am   This post has 13 responses.

Wintering Over in the Garden Center

Business is slow.  This is the reason some garden centers here in Massachusetts close until April, but there is so much to do here before then.  In between selling carts of wood and the occasional orchid or pot of paper whites, while we water what’s left of the rosemary...

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Posted by Janet Belding on January 9, 2014 at 6:52 am   This post has 11 responses.

Garden in a gun

While some conspiracy theorists believe that shadow organizations such as the Illuminati or the New World Order or the American military-industrial complex are heck-bent on taking over our lives, ProfessorRoush has long suspected that marketing groups are the real shadow organizations that will bring about the downfall of civilization.  After all, they’ve already convinced...

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Posted by on December 23, 2013 at 7:48 am   This post has 15 responses.

Overpriced, useless, or just plain bizarre: an anti-garden gift guide

Inspired by the wonderful Haters Guide to The Williams Sonoma Catalog, which you have no doubt enjoyed via its countless Facebook postings, here is a similar look at the world of garden-related mail order. Sadly, a) I am not even one millionth as funny, and b) the gardening world...

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Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on December 19, 2013 at 8:04 am   This post has 24 responses.

Serenity now

Who knew that this forward-thinking garden center was only 15 minutes or so from my house? Make no mistake, Western New York is relatively wealthy in excellent independent garden centers and seasonally open greenhouses. I never need to  visit the local big boxes. But Serene Gardens had not really...

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Posted by on December 12, 2013 at 9:01 am   This post has 4 responses.

Pink for a Girl

It was a shock to the senses, when I looked for a ‘Baby Shower’ gift recently, and found that the world had suddenly become divided into pale pink and powder blue – gender stereotyping clearly begins at birth. Clothes, toys and accessories were all sorted by colour into male...

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Posted by Jane Scorer on December 9, 2013 at 10:04 am   This post has 15 responses.

One step ahead of the garden police

I never liked Japanese barberry shrubs anyway. They do not have pretty flowers. They smell bad, as in, cat urine bad. They have vicious thorns that really hurt whenever I tried to prune them or to weed in their vicinity. I never could understand why folks planted them. So last year, armed with...

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Posted by Barbara Conner on November 11, 2013 at 8:10 am   This post has 23 responses.

Could the bulb campaigns be paying off?

Shortly after mocking this marketing effort, I heard via email from some industry insiders that the big bulb houses were desperate—bulb sales had slumped along with all else gardening during the housing meltdown, but (unlike vegetable seeds, for instance) they never rebounded. I was also informed that the big...

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Posted by on September 30, 2013 at 7:35 am   This post has 11 responses.

Smart Remarks from the Seasonal Department, or How to Not Get Promoted at the Big Box Retailer

Following years of selling to and then working for independent garden centers and landscapers, I went to work for a mass merchandizer – the seasonal department of Home Depot, the other half of the retail horticulture industry.  It was a great place to try out comedic patter, or just...

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Posted by on August 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm   This post has 22 responses.

How Flora Grubb and an Airport DJ Saved My Soul

I never saw it coming. Flora Grubb, the pioneering urban gardener and style maven, convinced me—to my great relief—that the Millennial Generation is beginning to shop for plants. Meanwhile DJ Juice proved that airports needn’t be a gauntlet of unending insult. I’d never heard of Flora Grubb and might...

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Posted by on July 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm   This post has 12 responses.

Seen at the “OFA Short Course”

Welcome to the business side of gardening – the trade show!  First let’s get the name out of the way first – because what kind of name for a trade show is “OFA Short Course”?  See, it started 85 years ago as the Ohio Florist Association show, but it...

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Posted by on July 26, 2013 at 9:45 am   This post has 9 responses.

Totally Silly?

Like most of humanity, I am a largely inexplicable and highly individual mixture of profligacy and frugality.  I think I should only wear the nicest Italian shoes, which are no longer affordable for the middle class.  So I wait like a cat in the bushes watching a bird, until they...

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Posted by on July 23, 2013 at 6:20 am   This post has 28 responses.

Monday peeves

It was a beautiful weekend and I spent most of it outside weeding, planting, deadheading, and enjoying the scent of oriental lilies. So what do I have to complain about? Not much, just this: A bag of mulch by any other name What’s in this? I like the stuff;...

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Posted by on July 22, 2013 at 8:53 am   This post has 6 responses.

Okay, I Love Columbus!

Invited to visit Columbus during its really big gardening trade show and then shown a fabulous time in their clean, beautiful city, how could I not write good things about it? I’d never taken part in a “press junket” before and planned to decline them – if ever asked...

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Posted by on July 19, 2013 at 12:31 pm   This post has 12 responses.
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