Guest Blog Post by: Linda Nitchman
The National Green Centre trade show in St. Louis provided the venue for a Region V breakfast meeting January 7,2013 with Dr. Michael Dirr. The plant guru sparked a lively discussion on the state of the green industry and why new plant introductions are necessary to engage younger gardeners always looking for the next new thing.
Vince Dooley, retired University of Georgia head football coach turned garden book author, shared his passion for gardening that began in a horticulture class taught by Dirr. The two forged a lasting friendship. Dooley’s showplace home garden, born of Dirr’s “throw-away plants,” attracts tour buses of visitors.
Maria Zampini, of the GWA Outreach Task Force, discussed how garden writers can interface with the green industry to their mutual benefit. Jennifer Hatalski of HortCouture Plants, talked about runway-worthy plants and her journey down the garden path to her current position. She also participated in the Green Centre’s new plant fashion show.
In a brief business meeting, Region V Director Linda Nitchman announced the schedule for upcoming meetings and asked for future venue suggestions.
The ever-popular door prize drawing ended the meeting. Attendees had the rest of the day to visit the trade show floor and attend its educational programming. An optional tour at Missouri Botanical Garden January 6, 2013 began with lunch in the garden’s café. The convivial group included Holly Berthold of MBG’s public relations department who arranged a private guided tour of the lush tropical garden inside the Climatron. Food producing plants from warmer locales were a focus of the tour as the garden kicks off its yearlong “Foodology” programming.
A special thanks goes to:
• Meeting Sponsors: Western Nurseryman & Landscape Association and Ball Horticulture
• “Under the Sea” centerpieces: HortCouture
– Originally published in Garden Writers Association,
Quill and Trowel, February 2013 member newsletter
Written by Linda Nitchman