Friday, December 14, 2007

Consumers are Willing to Pay More for Green Power

As recently reported by Green Daily, sixty-seven percent of consumers polled across six countries would be willing to pay for clean energy, according to Plugging in the Consumer, a report from IBM.

Consumers were polled across six countries -- Australia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, the UK and the US. Out of all the countries, more Australians were willing to pay more when compared to the other countries. However, in the U.S., those willing to pay more were willing to pay quite a sizable
premium, up to 20 percent more.

- Is this surprising? Not really. It's very "American" to fork over a premium to get what you want, when you want it, whatever the cost. After all, Americans are notorious for their never-ending need for instant gratification, wanting more, and paying more to get it (whether it's Tickle Me Elmos for the kids, the newest technology, or latest fashion/ automobile trend... or, now, clean energy).

Blogger Patricia Mayville-Cox writes: "We switched to a clean power option in our home and it did add a small monthly premium to our energy bill. However, because we found ourselves paying a bit more each month, we became even MORE careful about turning off the lights and keeping the temperature moderate. We joked about it, 'Turn off that light, wind turbines don't grow on trees!' And now, the irony is that our bills are lower than they were because of our conservation habits, motivated by both money and the earth."

- So, I wonder, will Americans continue to absorb the higher premium for clean energy as well as other sustainable innovations for the longterm, or will the early adopters eventually become "motivated by both money and the earth"? And, speaking of early adopters...where does America exist today on the innovation adoption curve for a sustainable environment? While I feel like we lag terribly as a nation, I believe that many individual citizens are working to educate themselves and pro-actively seek new ways to be environmentally sound on a day-to-day basis.

To look into green power options in your state, see the Department of Energy's Green Power site here.

Note: I've been checking out Green Daily.com for the last week or so, and I highly recommend it's combination of "green" news and humor!

Examples:

Paris Gets Naked, but Not for PETA
Extreme Environmentalism: Condom Recycling in China
Will Smith is Greening Up the Bathroom

- Sally


HIP Develops New “Green” Plant Identification Tags

HIP Develops New “Green” Plant Identification Tags
Horticultural Identification Products expands offerings with newly developed, eco-friendly plant tag products.

Nov. 1, 2007 – Thomasville, NC – Horticultural Identification Products (HIP), a customized tag and labeling products company for the horticulture industry, announced today that it has developed two sustainable plant tag products, EcoTag and BioTag.

EcoTag is a degradable alternative to traditional plastic plant tags. Manufactured using wind power as one energy source, EcoTag is environmentally-friendly from beginning to end with added consumer appeal during its functional life. These rigid tags retain their integrity until buried in compost or disposed of in a landfill. The buried tags disintegrate in one to five years.

BioTag is a first-of-its-kind tag made of biodegradable plastic. The BioTag material is produced using a state-of-the-art polymer technology that relies on bio-based products, such as corn and soybeans, rather than fossil fuel-based resins. The end-product has a natural composition that is totally biodegradable. The degradation process takes approximately one year.

HIP is at the forefront of the “green” revolution in the horticulture industry as a marketing innovator. Bob Lovejoy, president / CEO of HIP, has identified a need for environmentally-friendly packaging options and developed alternative materials for custom-designed labels.

“These environmentally-conscious horticultural tags contribute to the brand image of a horticulture company, not only enhancing the look of plant products, but also conveying a corporate commitment to environmental awareness and the conservation of natural resources,” says Lovejoy.

HIP believes its “earth-friendly” products, when combined with the innovative “green” product offerings produced by container manufacturers, provide both growers and retailers with an opportunity to satisfy consumer demands with a profitable, premium product combination.

For more information about sustainable labeling products from HIP please visit www.hiplabels.com.

Friday, October 5, 2007

New Plants Set Outdoor Living and Gardening Lifestyle Trends


New Plants Set Outdoor Living and Gardening Lifestyle Trends

Novalis® Showcases 2008 Plants that Work® Introductions and 2007 Trend Plants at Fashion In Bloom, Sept. 19-22, 2007.

September 10, 2007 – Moncks Corner, S.C. – Novalis®, a national consortium made up of regional nursery and greenhouse growers, will present its new 2008 plant introductions and existing core plant programs at this year’s Fashion In Bloom event, Sept. 19-22, 2007. The Conard-Pyle Company, a leading member of the Novalis® network of growers, will serve as site host. The display will feature Novalis®’ Plants that Work®, a national brand of trialed perennials and annual “color,” in an outdoor living setting that includes open-air living rooms and alfresco kitchens through alliances with Summer Classics and Viking.

The varieties will include selections from specialized programs encompassing a series of exclusive plants only available through Novalis® and landscape solution-based plant collections.

The concept of the overall design exhibit is based upon the growing trend of homeowners juxtaposing easy-to-grow plant material and active outdoor lifestyles. While showcasing the latest artistic trends pertaining to lavish, yet practical, outdoor living spaces, Novalis® will, in tandem, present creative approaches for retail-ready plant displays to the attending independent garden center (IGC) owners and personnel.

Novalis® representatives will be present to share information about all of the 2008 plant programs and a new expansion initiative to add superior “color” growers to the network in conjunction with the latest plant program, Plants that Work® by Color™. As part of the most notable advancement of the Plants that Work® brand to date, Novalis® will bring more than 150 varieties of world-class “color” genetics to IGCs for spring 2008.

Currently, Novalis® leaders are incorporating select “color” growers with a common goal of providing proprietary breeding, diverse product selections, and controlled liner production and distribution, all of which will be available exclusively to IGCs.

Individual interviews with Novalis® representatives are welcome, and may be pre-scheduled by contacting Eberly Public Relations at 866-574-2906 or seeing Don Eberly or Jeff Collard at the event. Post-event media kits and interviews will also be available by calling the aforesaid number.

The Novalis® 2008 product and program line-up, all part of Plants that Work® with full marketing and merchandising support for IGCs, will include the following:

Plants that Work® – Exclusives:

  • NEW: ‘Pink Double Knock Out’® Rose
  • NEW: The Garden Sensation™ Series – a new line of ornamental shrubs, including: Philadelphus ‘Snow White Sensation’™ and Weigela ‘Shining Sensation’™
  • NEW: Gaillardia Commotion™ Series – two new vibrant Gaillardia varieties, including: Gaillardia CommotionTM ‘Frenzy’ and Gaillardia CommotionTM ‘Tizzy’
  • NEW: MysticalTM Series – a new line of five lovely, rust-resistant Hypericum varieties, including: Hypericum ‘Mystical Red Star’TM, Hypericum ‘Mystical Orange’TM, Hypericum ‘Mystical Beauty’TM, Hypericum ‘Mystical Black’ TM and Hypericum ‘Mystical Sweetheart’TM
  • Hydrangea ‘Lemon Daddy’™
  • Hydrangea ‘Big Daddy’
  • Hydrangea ‘Bits of Lace’™
  • Lonicera ‘Edmee Gold’
  • Hydrangea ‘Color Fantasy’®
  • ‘Empress of China’TM Dogwood
  • Acer ‘Shirazz’TM

NEW: Plants that Work® in Nooks & Crannies™ – A program with a mix of small-stature varieties for compact spaces and special applications with over 200 selections presented in convenient 8-pack carrying trays.

Plants that Work® – Bring on the Heat™ – This reliable, striking collection of perennials and shrubs from Plants that Work® is back for 2008. Performance-rated for thriving in the hot areas of gardens and patios, Bring on the Heat now encompasses 40 plants.

Plants that Work® – In the Shade™ – This robust and dependable collection of plants has returned with best-of-breeding offerings that have beautiful mixtures of texture and color for shade areas. The program consists of nearly 40 cutting-edge shade-lovers.

Bamboo – A favorite program from Novalis® Plants that Work®, seven clumping and running varieties are offered as part of this stunning collection.

Twice as Nice™ Daylily Collection – Novalis®’ award-winning collection of repeat-blooming Hemerocallis still remains a strong selling choice of gardeners and landscape professionals for outdoor rooms. It has been expanded to include two dozen daylilies in a vivid color spectrum.

Oriental x Trumpet Hybrid Lilies – This collection continues to represent a breakthrough in great garden lilies. With new colors and enhanced garden performance, Oriental x Trumpet lilies have thick latex-like petals and a soft fragrance.

Evison TM / Poulsen® Garden Series Clematis – The series of clematis returns with free-flowering habits and large, open flowers. Working in various garden locations and offering USDA Zone 4 hardiness, these clematis varieties grow well in conjunction with shrubs and other climbers, or as container plants on the patio.

NEW: Plants that Work® by Color™ – The most impressive expansion to date of the Plants that Work® line, brings world-class genetics to gardeners in a rainbow of color and form. In spring of 2008, retailers and homeowners will have new and unique options for year-round “color,” with more than 150 varieties that make spectacular beds, borders and containers.

These offerings, along with hundreds of other robust and branded plants from the Novalis® network, are cultivated to accentuate outdoor living, provide solutions for novice and expert gardeners, and address consumer high-demand for new collections of unparalleled variety and quality in every region of the country.

In an effort to maintain its mission of offering consumers a complete outdoor “lifestyle,” Novalis® is continuing to form alliances with outdoor product companies like Summer Classics, creator of high-end outdoor furniture, and Viking, producer of premium outdoor kitchen appliances. Products manufactured by Summer Classics and Viking have been incorporated into the Novalis® trade show and event design, which has been awarded “Best of Show” honors at two recent industry events, the Ohio Floriculture Association and Southern Nursery Association trade shows, and will be featured at this year’s Fashion In Bloom event.

- Sally

Garden Splendor® Announces New Showcase Plants for 2008

Garden Splendor® Announces New Showcase Plants for 2008

Garden Splendor® by Overdevest Nurseries Introduces 2008 Showcase Plants at Fashion In Bloom, Sept. 19-22, 2007.

BRIDGETON, N.J. Sept. 1, 2007 – The Garden Splendor® brand by Overdevest Nurseries will present its new 2008 Showcase Plants at this year’s Fashion In Bloom event, held Sept.19-22, 2007. The Garden Splendor® plant selections will be on display at the Homestead Growers site in Davidsonville, MD.

Overdevest Nurseries / Garden Splendor® management will be present and on-site to share information about the brand and new additions to the product line in person and in the form of a take-home meia kit. The kit will include an Associate Press-ready Frequently Asked Questions page regarding the Garden Splendor® brand, a sample Remember Me® plant identification marker, detailed plant profiles, and high-resolution close-up and landscape application images.

“We look forward to sharing the new 2008 Garden Splendor® Showcase selections with the independent garden center community at this year’s Fashion In Bloom event,” said Ed Overdevest, president of Overdevest Nurseries / Garden Splendor®. “The plant material on display has been chosen and incorporated into the product line for its quality, innovation and reliability, which represent the Garden Splendor® concept of outstanding genetic qualities with a proven record of performance under various garden conditions.”

Individual interviews with Overdevest and David Wilson, director of marketing for Garden Splendor®, are welcome, and may be pre-scheduled by contacting Eberly Public Relations at 866-574-2906 or seeing Sally Credille at the event.

Post-event media kits and interviews will also be available by calling the aforesaid number.

The new Garden Splendor® 2008 Showcase Plants will include the following:

  • Clematis ‘Daniel Deronda’
  • Coreopsis ‘Pinwheel’
  • Echinacea ‘Pink Double Delight’
  • Geum ‘Mango Lassi’
  • Hakonechloa ‘All Gold’
  • Heuchera ‘Peach Flambe’
  • Mukdenia ‘Crimson Fans’
  • Silene ‘Rolley’s Favourite’
  • Veronica prostrate ‘Goldwell’

Garden Splendor® will be incorporating components of its award-winning PANTS trade show booth design at the Homestead site to display its new 2008 Showcase Plants.

Wilson developed the display to showcase the high level of quality and consistency that the Garden Splendor® plant products possess. By displaying them individually and elevating them on “tree shelves,” the plants are raised to eye-level and above, allowing visitors to view the products at a glance. The display also reserves floor space, which is valuable in smaller garden centers where square footage is at a premium. By adding inventive and low-cost display methods like these to showcase plant material, the retailer can achieve premium prices and higher profit margins.

Ultimately, the display is indicative of Overdevest Nurseries’ innovative and resourceful approach to marketing, and demonstrates how the Garden Splendor® program is based on creative yet realistic and practical objectives for retailers.

Independent garden center managers / owners, landscapers, and growers may contact Overdevest Nurseries / Garden Splendor® for additional information by calling 1-888-842-6567or logging onto the web at www.gardensplendor.com. Members of the media and garden writers may seek supplemental information and interviews by contacting Eberly Public Relations at 1-866-574-2906.

- Sally

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Today’s Garden Center Magazine Launches TGC’s Revolutionary 100 Garden Centers for 2008

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio (Aug. 6, 2007) – Today’s Garden Center® Magazine today announced the launch of TGC’s Revolutionary 100 Garden Centers for 2008. Those interested in being considered for the list can take the online survey at www.todaysgardencenter.com.

The program, now in its third year, surveys garden center owners and managers and culminates in a listing of the 100 most revolutionary garden centers – 20 in each of five national regions. It is open to all garden centers, large and small, and is based on leadership and innovation, not on size or revenue.

“In the garden center industry, there is a ranking focused on dollars that also includes big-box retailers,” says Richard Jones, Group Editor of Today’s Garden Center. “We decided we would create a definitive report focused solely on independent garden centers that would give single-location retailers equal weight with larger independent chains. In our first two years, the response has been tremendous.”

Garden center owner and managers across the United States fill out the online questionnaire covering topics such as employee training, industry involvement, profitability, marketing, use of technology, purchasing, and customer and community service. The entrants are ranked according to a point system, and the 100 top entries make the list.

The online survey is posted at www.todaysgardencenter.com. The survey deadline will be October 12 and the top 100 rankings will be listed in the January issue of Today’s Garden Center magazine.

For more information, contact:
Richard Jones
440-942-2000 x 217

Friday, August 24, 2007

Winner Announced for STEPABLES® "Best in Sole" Display Contest

As many may remember, Under a Foot Plant Company™ and its STEPABLES® brand, created a point-of-purchase plant display contest this past spring for nationwide independent garden centers carrying the plants.










We are excited to announce that a winner has been selected in the
STEPABLES® "Best in Sole" Display Contest and the donation check has been presented to the winning garden center.















A $2,500
donation was given to the winner's charity of choice, The Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity, on July 10, 2007 on behalf of The Andersons Inc. and STEPABLES®.

Congratulations to The Andersons Inc. garden center and nursery in Maumee, Ohio for creating an inventive and winning STEPABLES® "Best in Sole" Display for their customers.















- Sally













Industry Blog, Sara's Green Space, Re-launched with New Format

Congrats to our friend Sara Tambascio, managing editor of Greenhouse Grower magazine (Meister Media publication) on the recent re-launching of her greenhouse industry blog, Sara's Green Space! We love the new format and are excited to keep up with Sara's industry news and insight through the blog. We're also looking forward to reading future posts, which will surely include her thoughts on various happenings and developments effecting the greenhouse-growing world. In the near future, we hope to have Sara featured as a guest blogger on MAAN to share her outlook on what's to come for and from the industry in 2008. In the meantime, be sure to check out Sara's Green Space for the latest from Sara Tambascio and Greenhouse Grower.
- Sally

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Overdevest Nurseries, LP Takes Home PANTS Award

Overdevest Nurseries, LP and Its Garden Splendor® Plant Brand Receive PANTS “Best of Show” Booth Award.

August 6, 2007 Bridgeton, NJ – Overdevest Nurseries, LP, founder of the Garden Splendor® plant brand, announced today it has been awarded the Pennsylvania Allied Nursery Trade Show’s (PANTS) “Best of Show” booth award.

The Overdevest Nurseries, LP/ Garden Splendor® booth was chosen from over 600 exhibitors occupying 1,100 booths and representing a variety of horticultural products and services geared toward garden centers and professional landscapers.

By developing an innovative, creative and low-cost way to display its plant products, Overdevest Nurseries, LP/ Garden Splendor® built a booth which can be replicated and recreated to merchandise its products at the garden center retail level, both indoors and outdoors.

PANTS was held in Atlantic City, NJ from July 24-26 and organized by the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association (PLNA). PLNA is the leading trade association representing Pennsylvania's $5.6 billion green industry. Founded in 1904, its 750 members include production nurseries, garden centers, landscape designers, landscape maintenance firms, arborists, interiorscape firms, florists and other private sector companies in the northeast.

More on Garden Splendor®

Garden Splendor® Plants Worth Remembering™ is a premium plant collection that includes more than 500 varieties of perennials, ornamental grasses, patio plants, trees, shrubs and vines. The Garden Splendor® concept successfully merges the efforts of some of the most respected independent garden centers in the country with one of the East Coast’s leading nursery growers to bring quality, innovation and reliability to gardeners of the region.

PHOTO: Overdevest Nurseries, LP/ Garden Splendor® receiving its “Best of Show” booth award at PANTS, which is publishable for your readers. From left to right is David Wilson, director of marketing for Overdevest Nurseries, LP/Garden Splendor®; Peter Kyne, chair of the PANTS committee and vice president of Eisler Nurseries, Inc.; Ed Overdevest, president of Overdevest Nurseries, LP/ Garden Splendor® ; Gail Overdevest, vice president of Overdevest Nurseries, LP; and Donna Stemberger, director of sales for Overdevest Nurseries, LP.

- Sally

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

SNA 2007 - Media Day Panelist: Look, Ma, I'm famous!

The annual Southern Nursery Association's horticulture industry trade show begins this week at the Georgia World Congress Center, Building C. On Thursday, August 9th, I'll be a participating as a panelist for SNA's Forum 2007 Media Day Lunch along with several other industry, garden writer experts. I've been asked to speak and discuss new/ social media and blogging as it relates to "Trends in Garden Communications". I'm looking forward to hearing the thoughts and ideas of the other panelists and sharing a few of my own!

Media Day starts at 9 a.m. in room C105-106 with a coffee welcome session and a Regional GWA business meeting. At 9:30, the media will visit the trade show floor to view all the exhibits, see new products and speak with SNA Forum 2007 attendees and exhibitors. The panel discussion will begin at 11:30 and lunch will be served after the panel discussion at 12:30 p.m., followed by another visit to the trade show floor.

The participating panelists are:


Pam Beck, Freelance Garden Writer and Photographer

Bob Polomski, Clemson University Extension Horticulturist

Felder Rushing, Horticulture Magazine Contributing Editor

Linda Askey, Former Southern Living Garden Editor

Walter Reeves, Radio/TV/Newspaper Host and Gardening Expert

Randy Hunter, Agility Marketing

Sally Credille, Eberly Public Relations

SNA Media Day is prod
uced in cooperation with the Garden Writers Association (GWA) and is sponsored by Carolina Nurseries (founding grower of the Novalis consortium/ Plants that Work brand) and McCorkle Nurseries.

Hope to see you there!

- Sally

Monday, August 6, 2007

Eberly PR to be Heard at SNA Media Panel and Ball Publishing/ Green Profit's Retail Experience



This week marks another year with the Southern Nursery Association's annual horticulture industry trade show. Eberly PR will be on hand to support clients and mingle with media and industry representatives this Thursday-Saturday at the Georgia World Congress Center, Building C.

On Thursday, August 9th, I'll be a participating as a panelist for SNA's Forum 2007 Media Day Lunch along with several other industry garden writer experts. I've been asked to speak and discuss new/ social media and blogging as it relates to "Trends in Garden Communications".

Media Day will begin at 9 a.m. in room C105-106 with a coffee welcome session and a GWA business meeting. At 9:30, the media will visit the trade show floor to view all the exhibits, see new products and speak with SNA Forum 2007 attendees and exhibitors. The panel discussion will begin at 11:30 and lunch will be served after the panel discussion at 12:30 p.m., followed by another visit to the trade show floor.

The participating panelists are:


Pam Beck, Freelance Garden Writer and Photographer

Bob Polomski, Clemson University Extension Horticulturist

Felder Rushing, Horticulture Magazine Contributing Editor

Linda Askey, Former Southern Living Garden Editor

Walter Reeves, Radio/TV/Newspaper Host and Gardening Expert

Randy Hunter, Agility Marketing

Sally Credille, Eberly Public Relations

SNA Media Day is prod
uced in cooperation with the Garden Writers Association (GWA) and is sponsored by Carolina Nurseries and McCorkle Nurseries.

In a few short weeks, Don Eberly will be speaking at Ball Publishing/ Green Profit magazine's Retail Experience in Cleveland, OH (September 8th and 9th) and has prepared an excellent presentation for garden center retailers entitled "Marketing & PR: Getting It Right". As a green industry public relations and marketing specialist, Don will show garden center owners, managers and employees how to create successful PR campaigns, draw up an effective advertising budget, and plan and promote the garden center's business in a rapidly changing world of media and consumer relations. Be sure to check it out at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday the 8th if you'll be in town for "the experience".

We look forward to seeing you at both of these industry events!

- Sally



Friday, August 3, 2007

OFA Re-cap

Well, what can I say? It was a GREAT show. I had hoped to update/ post happenings and news each day while there, but as you can see (now two weeks past post-show), that didn't happen. But, because I waited, I've got some great photos to share! Let's do a visual re-cap of OFA 2007. Go!


















































Novalis Recognized for Show Booth and Marketing Efforts at 2007 OFA

Novalis, the national grower consortium responsible for the Plants that Work brand, was recently honored with two awards at this year's OFA trade show in Columbus, OH.

Left: Delilah Onofrey, J. Guy, Novalis, Sara Tambascio, and Jim Frederick, Landmark Plastic. Novalis won the Medal of Excellence Marketer of the Year Award.

First, Novalis was recognized for its marketing efforts by receiving the Meister Media/ Greenhouse Grower Medal of Excellence for Marketing. The wonderful folks over at Meister provided a great evening and awards reception, including video presentations for all award nominees. The Medal of Excellence Awards are being called "the
Oscars of the industry". We certainly enjoyed it.

One the last day of the show, Novalis was awarded the "Best Booth" award by Branch-Smith Publishing. They were excited and honored for the recognition and encouragement from many within the industry. At the show, we heard comments like this from attendees and exhibitors alike:
"It's a tree house."
"You can't call that a 'booth'."

"I went to bed in Ohio and woke up in Charleston."




The Novalis booth at OFA.


- Sally

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Eberly Public Relations Awarded 2007 GWA Silver Award for Media Kit Development


Eberly Public Relations Honored with Garden Writer’s Association Media Award

June 29, 2007 – Atlanta Eberly Public Relations, a public relations and advertising firm specializing in the home, garden, horticulture, agribusiness and design industries, was awarded a 2007 Silver Award of Achievement by the Garden Writer’s Association (G.W.A.) for the firm’s development of a hardcopy and electronic media kit. The media kit was created for Novalis®, a national grower consortium specializing in breeding, cultivation, and distribution of perennials, trees, shrubs, and annuals under the brand auspices of Plants that Work®.

The G.W.A. Silver Award for “Best Trade Press Kit” will be presented to Don Eberly, president and chief operating officer of Eberly Public Relations, during G.W.A.’s annual awards banquet on Oct. 1, 2007. Eberly Public Relations utilized the media kit as Novalis®’ primary communicative means for interfacing with garden writers, radio program hosts / producers, and other members of the media during the first half of 2007, an effort that has resulted in hundreds of published articles, online plant profiles and radio interviews.

The winning Novalis® Plants that Work® media kit consists of marketing and Associated Press-ready materials collaborated on by both Novalis® and Eberly Public Relations. Contents include various outdoor living, plant trend and garden solution articles that feature Novalis® and its Plants that Work® brand as well as a press release and biographical story on the history and founding of the grower consortium. Plant profile information coupled with high-resolution and captioned photos were also included for all plant programs.

The award was granted to the firm by a panel of G.W.A. judges based upon the accuracy, content, organization, style and originality of the media kit, which was selected from an assemblage of over 250 others.

The G.W.A. media awards are given annually to recognize excellence in gardening-related communications and have been a tradition in the gardening media community for over two decades.

- Sally


Thursday, July 12, 2007

I'm Thinking of Fall.


Even though it's July and 90 degrees outside, I'm thinking of fall. I'm already dreaming of crisp mornings and cool autumn breezes. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays (As the hysterical Kathy Griffin says, "Food is my thing. I don't smoke or drink, so food is my vice."). Watching fall tones appear and the changing colors of leaves and foliage is my favorite seasonal transition. The current sweltering heat and humidity, along with the dehydration and wilting of every living green thing around me caused by the drought, has given me a constant internal heat wave I'm far too young to experience.

I was recently surprised to learn, from my favorite source, Wikipedia, that Heat waves are more lethal than I thought: "Heat waves are the most lethal type of weather phenomenon, overall. Between 1992 and 2001, deaths from excessive heat in the United States numbered 2,190, compared with 880 deaths from floods and 150 from hurricanes. The average annual number of fatalities directly attributed to heat in the United States is about 400."

I think the part I like the best is: "In addition to physical stress, excessive heat causes psychological stress, to a degree which affects employee performance, and is also associated with an increase in violent crime." Who knew?!

But, as I said above, we humans are not the only living things struggling with the enduring summer heat. I was visiting with my mother a few weeks ago when she showed me the hostas her landscaper installed in some bare beds around the front of the house. One group of about 6-8 plants sits nicely under a young Dogwood and near a few foundational shrubs (rhododendrons). They are adequately shaded by the Dogwood and have done well with the mediocre waterings they're getting this summer. But, two of the hostas that the landscaper installed near the front entryway, in the same bed as the others, have been zapped! They only receive an hour or two of more morning sun than those under the cool shade of the dogwood. But, it just goes to show you that even an hour or two of summer sun can be deadly. I recommended to my mom that she dispose of the two deceased/ scorched hostas and wait it out a few months, when she could install something with great color for fall that has more direct sun tolerance.

On a lighter note, it wouldn't summer without OFA (an Association of Floriculture Professionals - the association's annual trade show event in Columbus, Ohio) which is where I'll be tomorrow through Tuesday (7-14 to 7-17). I hope to keep you updated with OFA/ industry happenings, news, and events via this blog each day so check back soon!

Sally

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mulch: A Definition and Debate

I like The Blogging Nurseryman's recent post about defining mulch (and his definition for his northern California customers), which came in response to a post at Garden Wise Guy on soil amendments and was then followed-up with a discussion at Garden Rant.

Obviously, the definition and discussion on amendments, mulches, composts, etc. is an important one that is often overlooked. Many times, it seems easier to throw all of these "applications" into one basket. But, the devil is in the details. And, as Susan Harris (a "ranter" at Garden Rant) asks in her post, "is there an Organic Matter Debate, or is this just a regional difference?"

So, as the loyal reader and lover of Wikipedia that I am, I wanted to check out Wikipedia's definition of mulch, which reads: in agriculture and gardening, mulch is a protective cover placed over the soil, primarily to modify the effects of the local climate. A wide variety of natural and synthetic materials are used.

Hmmm, vague. But, I can live with that. It about sums up the general definition of mulch... one that gardeners in any zone of the U.S. can start with. To me it says: "Protect the soil. Modify it from the local climate as needed. Use an array of materials to do so." Thus, it would seem to me that we ARE in the midst of a great "Organic Matter Debate" over the details, for what is best and how to decide.... but one with answers and opinions that we'll find to be regional in nature.

Sally

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Web 2.0





















I recently attended a great seminar conducted by Michael Pranikoff, director of emerging media with PR Newswire, called Public Relations in a Web 2.0 World. Now, for someone who is a novice when it comes to the Web 2.0 revolution, I thought the seminar was not only highly engaging and interesting, but that it provided (I'd be willing to bet) almost all in attendance with some new information and Web 2.0 tools to take back and apply at our respective agencies and to our client accounts. It was well worth it and well put on. Thanks to PR Newswire and staff for a wonderful seminar.

A few things I picked up...

1. A quote that perfect describes the new media landscape:

“If you think what is driving demand —we think of it as four C's. It's Collaboration. It's Content. It's Converged Services—doing multiple things. And it's Community. The opportunity for those who get ahead and develop a set of services that are more personalized, customized, location-based and presence-based in this next generation is going to help define who can win.”--Patricia Russo, CEO, Alcatel-Lucent

Michael likes to add a 5th C: Conversation... I couldn't agree more.

2. The Tools for Web 2.0:

•Personalization of Web Pages
•RSS Feeds/Readers
•Blogs
•Tagging Sites / Social Bookmarking
•Search Engines Optimization (SEO)
•Podcasts/Vodcasts

3. This a powerful video... but, it basically says it all.

The Machine is Us/ing Us

4. Some of the most popular "tools" of Web 2.0:

MySpace
Facebook
Del.icio.us
Digg
PR Newswire
Net Vibes
Technorati
You Tube
iVillage

And many more...

I'm still waiting to hear about a "Part II" to this seminar...

- Sally

Sunset magazine Recommends 8 Things You Can Do Now to Get Your Outdoor Dining Area in Shape for Summer's Get-togethers.

Sunset, arguably the most highly read home, garden and lifestyle magazine in the west, recently sent me (via the magazine's e-newsletter) 8 ways to shape-up an outdoor dining area - or living area - for the summer. Here are their recommendations:

1. Plant living centerpieces










2. Drop plants into decorative pots
3. Plant flowers in containers

4. Mulch bare soil (the simplest way to make a garden look finished)








5. Tuck blooms in borders
6. Add lighting near paths
7. Camouflage undesirable elements

8. Furnish your outdoor room










I really appreciate easy-to-use, quick, and valuable tips and pieces of information like these. They're things every homeowner can do to update and spruce-up their outdoor living spaces, whether for an evening of entertaining or simply for aesthetics. And, all of these do the trick nicely.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Future of Gardening - Washington Post Column by Adrian Higgins

Today's Washington Post features garden editor Adrian Higgins' column entitled, "Dear Adrian, Where Do I Start When I Know Nothing at All?" In the article, Adrian advises a young WP assistant on the trials of novice landscaping and how to begin her first garden with her husband. Adrian also addresses the changes in today's trends regarding DIY and DIFM (Do It For Me) gardening by saying, "...younger homeowners have neither the time nor the interest in the types of domestic pursuits enjoyed by earlier generations, gardening among them. It seems that the current mantra is, pay somebody else to do it. But that is expensive, and not nearly as satisfying or enriching. So the conventional wisdom about the demise of gardening may not be so wise."

The Future of Gardening - Don Eberly Quoted in Washington Post



As many already know, addressing the future of gardening is a widely discussed industry topic. At Eberly Public Relations, we understand the value of having the latest information on industry trends and changes, and we're glad to share it with consumers and other industry leaders/ educators.

Today's Washington Post features garden editor Adrian Higgins' column entitled, "Dear Adrian, Where Do I Start When I Know Nothing at All?" Don Eberly, president / ceo of Eberly Public Relations, was quoted in the column regarding focus groups conducted by the company which show an increase in the number of younger homeowners who are buying and using plants and other gardening/ home products as part of a lifestyle practice.

In the article, Adrian advises a young WP assistant on the trials of novice landscaping and how to begin her first garden with her husband. Adrian also addresses the changes in today's trends regarding DIY and DIFM (Do It For Me) gardening by saying, "...younger homeowners have neither the time nor the interest in the types of domestic pursuits enjoyed by earlier generations, gardening among them. It seems that the current mantra is, pay somebody else to do it. But that is expensive, and not nearly as satisfying or enriching. So the conventional wisdom about the demise of gardening may not be so wise."