Friday, July 31, 2009

New Name for Super Floral Show

We thoroughly enjoyed attending the Super Floral Show this year. So, we wanted to share Diversified Business Communications’ recent announcement that a new name has been selected for the show to reflect the expansion and broadened focus of the exposition. The new show, the International Floriculture Expo, will be the only industry-wide event that brings buyers and sellers together from North and South America to serve all segments of the floriculture process.

Now with a permanent event location in Miami Beach, The International Floriculture Expo addresses each stage of the floral and foliage production cycle by showcasing live products as well as the equipment, technology and education necessary for cultivating and retailing. The show will have a larger exhibit hall to display products for the retailer as well as greenhouse technology products for the commercial grower. Educational components will deliver quality keynote presentations, informative sessions and panels, and technology solutions for retailers, commercial growers and suppliers.

Bob Callahan, Show Director of The International Floriculture Expo, had this to say about the change and growth, “Uniting the floriculture supply chain together under one roof creates an abundance of new business opportunities and expands synergies and efficiencies bringing product to market.”

The 2010 International Floriculture Expo will take place June 23 to 25, 2010, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. For more details, visit the organization’s Web site at www.floriexpo.com.

~ Leslie

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Products from Braun Horticulture

Spending time with Suzanne Di Staulo in the Braun Horticulture exhibit booth was definitely an OFA highlight for us this year. Sue is a great friend of ours, and she is a true gem in the industry! If you have not had the pleasure of meeting her, you should.

Her Urban Collection of containers caught our eye. This brand new collection of containers is constructed of galvanized metal with a smooth, matte-gray finish. These ingeniously designed containers are sure to grab the attention of the younger, modern gardener - based upon their shapes, finish and sizes.

Another fantastic product offering from Braun Horticulture is the company’s unique set of hanging baskets woven from natural seagrass. These baskets are sustainable, durable and rich in tonal and texture variation. These baskets bring the coast to the front porch.

Learn more about the exceptional product offerings from Braun Horticulture at www.braungroup.com.

~ Don

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

OFA: Edibles and Other Must-haves with a Little Urban Zest

Personally, my absolute favorite aspect about OFA Short Course is the energetic buzz that emanates from every person walking the show hall – exhibitors, buyers, marketers, media, brokers, everyone. It is a refreshing energy unlike anything I’ve felt at another tradeshow.

Everyone is excited to introduce his or her new products and services, and start the new product year with a fresh start. It is an optimistic and positive attitude that, in my opinion, keeps this industry moving forward with innovative ideas and products. When I was a child, my father used to wake us up for school with the token line, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” And, this is the underlying mind-set I so enjoy at OFA.

With that said, OFA is always one of the best outlets for seeking out new trends in horticulture. The most innovative companies have had enough time to observe grower, retailer and consumer wants and needs, and are inspired to develop inventive ways to meet them directly. One example of this could be seen at Kurtz Farms’ booth with the Urban Gardener program.

To quote directly from the Kurtz Farms’ brochure, “Urban Gardener products and programs allow anyone to be a gardener regardless of time, space, agility or ‘know-how.’” Specifically, Urban Gardener products target small-space gardeners, busy homeowners, patio entertainers, outdoor decorators, children and first-time gardeners. I think this is fantastic.

The newest market of gardeners has less time to spend on gardening.

Developed by Jen Kurtz, the folks at Kurtz Farms have launched a product line that directly mirrors popular urban product and décor trends. From the trendiest Pantone color selections to the latest veggie / organic craze, Kurtz Farms has created a niche for the average Gen X and Y person…one who, perhaps, lives in a condo or small home, works 11 hours a day, and grew up in the suburbs or city without a garden. Each product is designed to be decorative and practical, and often sold in ready-made containers for a stress-free, low-maintenance purchase. Each product is tagged with a number internet-savvy buyers can easily use by logging onto the Urban Gardener Web site, for details on their exact purchases.

The product line includes annuals, perennials, tropical foliage, and edibles. The edibles encompass products such as eggplant, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, and herbs. There are also decorative options such as faux pumpkins planted with colorful mums and climbing clematis in urban-use cages perfect for indoors or out, and much more.

I look forward to seeing how Urban Gardener continues to develop new product trends in the coming months...while the Gen Y shopper in me truly hopes my local garden center brings in a few of those tomato cages.

P.S. Check out the Urban Gardener Recipes section of the Web site! I LOVE it.

~ Leslie

OFA: Travel Destination, Novalis Plants that Work

Each year Novalis® Plants that Work® builds a destination display at OFA. In some inspired way, the network’s growers always feature their new product lines creatively with a mix of beauty and retail-ready ideas.

Novalis® did not disappoint again this year as they broke up the display into a village of Plants that Work® growers. Guests were able to oogle at all the new plant selections such as the very popular evergreen shrub, Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’, very prominently displayed in the Carolina Nurseries area; and the striking arrangement of Nooks & Crannies in the Imperial Nurseries alcove. My personal favorite was a large, compact gathering of Phlox Confetti Candy Store™ ‘Bubblegum Pink’ displayed in the Willoway area of the overall booth. It was the perfect set-up to show the kind of wow-factor this bright bloomer can have en masse.

The best part about the village set-up? Customers were excited to visit the booths that were most applicable to their specific regions. They were each able to see the best new selections that would thrive in their climate as well as speak to the contact most knowledgeable about their particular needs. It was simple, easy to understand… and quite perfect.

Another Novalis® crowd favorite this year was the announcement (and attractive displays in several of the growers’ booths) of Plants that Work® In the Kitchen™, a brand new program for early spring 2010. The existing herb program will be expanded to include products such as blueberries, raspberries, figs, and others. Veggies will also be added to the line to include popular varieties and heirloom plants like eggplant, beans, peppers, and tomatoes. A few of the displays even showed-off the retail packaging options for the new line, including convenient 6-pack trays for garden herbs, and larger containers for fruits and veggies.

For more information on the new Novalis® Plants that Work® exclusive options and In the Kitchen™ program, visit the Web site, or please access the brand new press release about these products HERE.

*Novalis® perennial and woody ornamental growers include Armstrong Growers, Bailey Nurseries, Carolina Nurseries, Fisher Farms, Greenleaf Nursery Company, Hackney Nursery Company, Imperial Nurseries, The Conard-Pyle Company, Willoway Nurseries, and Windmill Nursery of LA. Novalis® color growers include Armstrong Growers, Beds & Borders, Carolina Nurseries, Peace Tree Farms, Sunbelt Greenhouses, and Wenke Greenhouses.

~ Leslie

Monday, July 20, 2009

Braun offers a unique line of causal seating and dining sets as part of the Braun Classic Living Collection for those with eco-friendly design tastes. What makes this furniture unique is its natural jute fiber, which is treated to be weather resistant.
The new edition of TOTO’s exclusive NEOREST Bath Collection pushes the envelope of distinctive design and interior trends; it combines the advanced technology for which its original ultra-luxe collection is well known with a new innovation in hybrid epoxy resin, LUMINIST, adding both refreshing light and the essence of interior design.
Whether choosing from standard or custom designs of any motif, KOBE is now offering a stunning copper hood series from KOBE Range Hoods. These hoods create a total sense of kitchen style and address the popular trend of customized kitchen décor.
The Habersham Gardens landscape design team created this decorative vertical garden. The simple yet elegant design consists of an aged wood trellis surrounding the homeowner's favorite wall statuary, complete with climbing fig. The effect is a softened wall façade on a trend-setting roof top garden.

Friday, July 17, 2009

OFA: Let's Start from the Beginning

The ECPR team just arrived home after three days attending the prestigious OFA Short Course, where our minds were filled to capacity with new trends, new friends and new products. Because there is simply too much information to disclose at once, I’ll just start from the beginning by sharing a few important announcements from trusted breeder and grower, Terra Nova Nurseries.

With 54 brand new plant introductions, five new breeding breakthrough collections, a brand new catalog, and an entirely new grower / IGC support system, I’ll surely be posting more Terra Nova Nurseries information and photos in the coming weeks. But, for now, I’ll just give you a quick overview regarding the latest growth changes to the company. You are welcome to read a new press release about the 2010 introductions and new collections here. This release will give you a brief summary of what the company is offering for 2010, so I can spend the remainder of this post telling you something quite extraordinary Terra Nova Nurseries is doing, and will continue to do.

Terra Nova Nurseries is listening to what growers, landscapers and independent garden centers want and need to set themselves apart. In a lagging market, companies want to bring in profit as much of the year as possible – not just during those epic weeks of spring. They need alternatives to mums and poinsettias; they need plants that will not fail during unpredictable weather; and they need additional marketing and educational support.

Terra Nova Nurseries deemed this a “personal” challenge, and spent months (and in many cases, years) breeding, trialing and brainstorming to solve problems for these folks. This company is unique in that it has the breeding technology, staffing and resources to actually accomplish a feat this large.

This year at OFA Short Course, Terra Nova Nurseries announced its brand new Web site with a plethora of information for growers, retailers AND consumers. The company also has a brand new catalog that easily spells out where plants will thrive and how they compare to previous breeds. The staff at Terra Nova Nurseries has introduced dozens of new plants that have been specifically bred to solve problems wholesale growers encounter throughout the cultivation season. An example of this would be the brand new line of Winter Jewels™ Hellebores and the novel selection of Cyclamen forced to bloom in winter – all excellent, unique options that contribute to year-round retail. Terra Nova Nurseries is also now offering grower-customers free tags on shipments. Can you imagine how helpful these extra savings might help a grower looking for an edge?

So, it seems there is a lot more available here than just incredible new plants. In these times, Terra Nova Nurseries is a positive and supportive partner to its customers. It’s an invaluable trait to have in an industry where working together is imperative.

~ Leslie

Friday, July 10, 2009

It’s Official! Eberly & Collard Public Relations

We are thrilled to announce we have officially started a new era here at Eberly & Collard Public Relations (formerly Eberly Public Relations). We have a new name, new brand, new online presence, and a new outlook on communication to the masses!

First off, let me just say that an overarching component of the new brand is the company’s name. We have added Jeff Collard’s last name as an obvious and necessary change. Even though Don Eberly, president and CEO, founded the firm nearly eight years ago, Jeff Collard, vice president and CFO, joined the firm only six months after its original inception. Jeff’s work background and education in horticulture and design always have been, and continue to be, the perfect match to complement ECPR’s service structure. Combine that with Don’s career history and degree in public relations, journalism and education, and we’ve got a well-suited mix of expertise and readiness to meet the needs of our clients and friends in the media. And, we are proud of the fact we have a staff of writers and marketers that understands the industry…and the many products and services of industry companies.

With the introduction of our new name, we are expanding to include a range of online and Social Media devises to enhance communicative activities for the firm and our clients. Please feel free to friend, follow, reply, tweet, and comment on all our new online aspects via the following channels:

Web site: www.eberlycollardpr.com
Blog: www.eberlycollardpr.blogspot.com
Twitter: @eberlycollardpr
Fan Page: Facebook

We’re excited about all the new conversations to come!

~Leslie

Plants on the roof

The Epsten Group, an architecture and building consulting firm, partnered with Live Roof to install a pre-vegetated invisible-modular green roof system on the company’s office roof. Live Roof is an integrated system designed by growers in conjunction with experts in the fields of architecture, roofing, logistics, and ergonomics. The Live Roof system is designed to grow green roof plants, such as sedums and succulents, to address the particular design and climate needs. Live Roof systems, because they are pre-vegetated at the nursery, require minimal maintenance. If there is ever a need to make changes to the roof, Live Roof modules are easily moved aside and replaced after the work is done.

To learn more, visit http://www.theepstengroup.com/ & http://liveroof.net/

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ovation for Orchids

The American Orchid Society offers a great “Beginners’ FAQ” including common questions and answers regarding orchids and their care. This covers many helpful aspects of orchids and is an easy and quick read. The American Orchid Society (A.O.S.) Botanical Gardens, which were slated to close at the end of June, were given a new lease on life by the A.O.S. Board of Trustees. The board voted on Tuesday, June 2, 2009 to continue to keep the gardens open to members and the public. Congratulations!

And, as always, check out the best of Phalaenopsis orchids from Silver Vase, Inc. Silver Vase, Inc. is an innovative orchid and bromeliad producer that is based in Homestead, Fla. Since 1988, the owners and staff have dedicated themselves to growing and expanding consumer demand for high-quality, exotic plants. In its environmentally controlled greenhouses and through its now 10-year-old Clean & Green Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, the operation guarantees its customers quality, proven varieties of Phalaenopsis orchids and a wide array of bromeliads in a spectrum of color. One of the many things that sets Silver Vase, Inc. apart from other orchid and bromeliad growers / brands is the company’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. Silver Vase, Inc. created its IPM program 10 years ago to ensure a clean environment and to deliver a fresh, healthy product line. Today, the company delivers amazing orchids and bromeliads to retailers that end up in homes and businesses in all corners of the country and in parts of Canada. The owners of Silver Vase have an incredible passion for growing, and it shows in every plant they ship.

Silver Vase, Inc. did a beauitful job of displaying orchids, bromeliads and gardens (planted home-ready decorative containers) at the Super Floral Show (S.F.S.) in Atlanta this June. Andrew Bartha, owner / CEO, and sales representatives Christian Maldonado and Carmen Perez were on hand to meet with customers and the media.

At the S.F.S., we talked with the folks from Just Add Ice Orchids. Knowing (and enjoying) orchids as well as we do, and after writing about orchids many times, their brand name made us smile. This is because it does a lot for helping people understand just how easy it is to care for orchids. With so many consumers afraid to use orchids in their homes – due to the fact they think care is time-consuming and difficult – this name says a lot, for sure. They recommend adding just three ice cubes to orchids in containers once a week. No more, no less. The results will be months of longevity. They created a consumer Web site to provide high-level information regarding orchid care and an interactive orchid community. Enjoying orchids is really this easy, and these plants are rewarding in ways other houseplants usually cannot provide.

~ Don

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Distracted By Shiny Objects

Upon my arrival at this year’s Super Floral Show in my own backyard of Atlanta, GA, I was dumbstruck by all the breath-taking flower displays and irresistible sweet scents engulfing the entire hall. While looking around, wondering which booth to visit first, Don, Jeff and I noticed an eye-catching floral merchandising object … hundreds of square feet away on the OTHER side of the showroom.

We headed in the direction of the mysterious, blinking product, and found ourselves in the Floral-lites booth. It was there we discovered that the objects which caught our attention were the company’s line of fiber optic and LED-lit ornamental products designed to enhance the natural beauty of floral arrangements and bouquets (fresh OR silk).

Kajira Roseby, the CEO of Floral-lites, was kind enough to tour us through her booth and share the Floral-lites vision with us. Floral-lites is a system of interchangeable heads that attach to LED-lit, battery operated stems. The stems are discretely concealed within the arrangement while the heads gently glow or blink with the flick of a switch. From twigs to butterflies, Floral-lites are available in hundreds of shapes, colors and sizes to suit any arrangement. They also have two brand new lines of diverse Party Dots and Stickylites for small, fun ways to spruce up a floral gift.

Floral-lites is the result of 2 years of research, working with select florists around the globe to create a product line that enhances the natural beauty of flowers and adds an entirely new, creative dimension to floral displays. Floral-lites last the life of the arrangement, so florists can be confident about their customer’s satisfaction.

Talk about market potential! It drew us across an entire show hall… what could it do for your retail center to lure customers? To learn more about the Floral-lites system, feel free to visit the Web site at www.floral-lites.com.

~Leslie