1 Earlier this week, I attended the Independent Garden Center Show (East) as one of its keynote speakers. The show was at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland. http://www.igcshow.com/
2 The event was specifically for independent garden center business professionals. Before my speech, I had a little time to walk around the venue and see all the vendor booths filled with plants and innovative new gardening supplies.
3 Bailey Nurseries, Inc. from St. Paul, Minnesota displayed their Endless Summer collection of Hydrangea macrophylla. They also featured their premium collections of shrubs, trees, and evergreens.
4 Green tiles are a growing trend. Here are sedum tiles made by Etera. These are pre-vegetated mats for green roof planting. They were so interesting.
5 Sedum are well known for their distinctive fleshy foliage. They come in a wide range of shapes, and sizes.
6 Foliera, a wholesale distributor in southern Ontario, Canada, specializes in tropical plants.
7 Their displays were very unique, and eye-catching.
8 Livingston Seed in Columbus, Ohio, offered seed packets for vegetables, herbs, and flowers. They also had organic and heirloom collections, as well as bulk seed.
9 There were many wholesale vendors specializing in seed packets. I always look forward to the beginning of every year when seed catalogs arrive in the mail. It's so exciting to peruse them and order seed packets for spring.
10 Mobjack Nurseries in Virginia is a wholesale field and container business that specializes in both traditional plant materials as well as hard to find items. They brought a lot of specimens to fill their booth. It was quite an impressive display.
11 So was the display by Eaton Farms in Leesport, Pennsylvania. They are a specialized grower of container trees, topiaries, fruiting trees, shrubs. They had some beautiful plants.
12 Distylium 'Coppertone' is a mid-sized spreading evergreen with copper red foliage that matures to blue-green. Distylium is a member of the witch hazel family. Behind it was Loropetalum chinensis 'Sparkling Sangria', which forms a larger shrub that's great for hedges, and mass planting. It produces electric pink flowers in the spring.
13 Oregon's Monrovia grows more than three-thousand varieties of trees, woody ornamentals, flowering shrubs, and perennials. To grow all their plants successfully, they use an exclusively formulated, nutrient-rich soil.
14 Monrovia's plants looked so healthy. My eye caught these small pink roses on the floor - a new, compact, disease resistant shrub rose called, 'Ruby Rose'. It's great for containers and borders. It's also heat and drought resistant once established.
15 I always like to see what new products are being developed and sold. The Seedsheet is an agricultural paint-by-numbers cloth. It contains organic non-GMO seeds arranged in a way that best suits their growth characteristics. The all-in-one sheet is placed over the soil and watered - it was a very interesting concept.
16 Proven Winners is based in Sycamore, Illinois. They're constantly developing new varieties of plants and flowers, and work hard to create ones that are vigorous, healthy, and vibrant. https://www.provenwinners.com
17 Proven Winners displayed beautiful varieties of their "Spring Has Sprung" and "Summer Celebrations" collections.
18 About 700-attendees came to hear my keynote speech entitled "Independents Bring So Many Good things to Gardening." this was my second keynote speech for the IGC. I also spoke at last year's event in Chicago.
19 I was hosted by IGC co-founder and publisher, Jeff Morey. I answered questions about my garden and spoke about my outlook on the future of gardening.
20 I talked about my love for daffodils, and the thousands and thousands of daffodil bulbs I've planted over the years at my farm.
21 I shared stories and photos about my Skylands garden, at my home in Maine.
23 I talked about what I thought differentiated good garden centers from others - the "uniqueness and variety is what will keep independent garden centers alive."
24 And, I commented about the growth of rooftop and container gardening, especially for urban dwellers who want to have gardens, but just don't have the space to accommodate them.
25 It was so much fun to speak with so many passionate garden professionals and entrepreneurs.
26 Here I am with Jeff and Cheryl Morey, co-publishers and co-founders of the IGC Show.