Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The hardscape and landscape industries offer many innovative forms of natural stone products. However, a deeper look reveals many subsidiary and supportive products such as these.

Paver Kare Sand Joint Stabilizer keeps sand in its place by bonding individual grains together. The consolidated joints stabilize the entire installation and prevent weed growth. Easily applied with pump-up or low-pressure spray equipment, Sand Joint Stabilizer also makes pavers and joints water-repellent.

Paver Kare products for cleaning, protecting and maintaining concrete, clay and natural stone pavers include Deep Sheen, a high-gloss protective treatment. Non-yellowing and slip-resistant, Deep Sheen’s lustrous finish guards pavers against destructive water penetration and other contaminants.

To learn more about these great products visit:

~ Adam

Friday, August 21, 2009

Controlled Release Fertilizer

Consider taking a few moments to read a past article about controlled release fertilizer written by Don Eberly. Given today's continuing legislation regarding run-off regulation, the use of controlled release fertilizers continues to be a relevant topic. CRFs are a means to reduce and mitigate the possible harmful effects of run-off. Please visit Greenhouse Grower.


A Few Design / Decorating Tips on Color:

The use of color in interior and exterior design and decorating should demonstrate order and harmony. When the elements are unbalanced they radiate chaos, leaving an unfavorable impression.

Red – Whether positive or negative, the color red is an attention grabber. The use of red should be used sparingly in the home. It is a vibrant, powerful color. Accents are an essential aspect of interior design, the color red possesses the illusion of depth as it seems to spring these items forward.

Brown – Often paired with red for a warm, rustic texture, the color brown is frequently associated with the age or richness of the space. However, lighter shades of brown such as tan, beige, and sand offer a clean earthy feel. When used in an interior setting, brown helps other colors appear fuller and brighter, conveying a sense of wholesomeness.

White – White is one of the most widely used colors in interior design and decorating. The use of a white background offers a sharp contrast to other colors, like red curtains amongst white furniture and walls. However, white should be used carefully as it can be seen as cold.

What are some of your design techniques and / or tips regarding the use of color? We would love to hear from professionals from different industries!

~ Adam

Thursday, August 20, 2009


A decade ago, a professional grower decided that creeping perennials needed a face (and "feet"), as they were particularly well-suited for problem areas in the landscape and areas that need to tolerate foot traffic. Thus, Fran Hopkins created the STEPABLES® brand. Now, as part of its ten year anniversary, Under A Foot Plant Company has decided to enlighten the market again with the launch of a one-of-a-kind merchandising campaign called Grab n’ Go Paks, to be sold in conjunction with the brand’s well-known 3-inch STEPABLES pot line.

I was privileged to see the new packaging first hand during the grand unveiling at this week’s IGC Show in Chicago, and, wow…I’m just floored! There are three new unique programs from which growers and IGCs can select, including:

· Tough Ten – Top 10 most robust plants in the entire STEPABLES line
· Sole Mates – Top 45 best plants for direct foot traffic usages
· Garden SOLEutions – The most diverse 40 solution plants for common
landscape applications

The paks serve to reduce retailer’s 2010 signage and POP costs, as the new packaging targets consumers with clear and concise brand messaging printed directly on the pak. When I spoke with Fran about it, the concept was made even clearer by her simple statement, “Think of it like this; instead of point-of-purchase, it is point-of-contact.” Customers don’t have to search for signs to provide essential purchasing information, and retailers no longer have pressure to search for ample signage space. Customers will have all the plant information readily available the moment they pick up the package. Not only that, retailers are now able to sell a value-added product to consumers, offering a quick solution to buying STEPABLES in bulk.

Because this is such an innovative concept, I really enjoyed standing in the STEPABLES booth today and yesterday, listening to what passers-by had to say. I was really excited to find most people were thrilled by the idea. Several retailers commented that their customers will love the colorful, handled paks. One IGC owner said, "My customers are going to like these since they are drawn to plants with innovative information. The packaging is creative and just makes gardening look like a lot of fun."

Research has shown that consumers, especially Gen Xers and Yers, want information immediately and opt not to take extensive time to research a product or even ask questions of an employee at times. Therefore STEPABLES Grab n’ Go Paks market directly to consumers who are used to being able to look at a cereal box or shampoo bottle and find all the information regarding that product readily available at-a-glance.

Thank you everyone for stopping by the booth and for your positive feedback.

~ Leslie

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Trailing Vinca Series from Goldsmith Seeds

Cora Cascade is a new trailing vinca series from Goldsmith Seeds, a Syngenta company and one that is dedicated to the innovative breeding of plant material.

Every vinca is covered with beautiful, vivid flowers with no bald spots. These gorgeous blooms are available in five colors, Cherry, Lilac, Magenta, Peach Blush, Polka Dot, and a mix.

The Cora Cascade Series is not only heat and humidity-tolerant, but it has been tested and trialed to perform with a high level of reliability, making the plants an excellent choice for large beds, landscapes and hanging baskets. Also, Cora Cascade offers patented resistance to aerial Phytophthora.

These beautiful yet tough plants are a must-have for any gardener who wants to enjoy bountiful blooms all season long. We hope members of the media, bloggers and garden writers share these varieties with their readers. They are certainly worthy and will catch the attention of home gardeners everywhere.

The company’s motto is "Quality Products through Creative Research." We have enjoyed seeing Goldsmith Seeds’ solid breeding goals and outcomes in many cases as well as the support the company and its personnel provide to the industry.

Take a look at the Web site for more details:


Country Living Writes About STEPABLES

Even after a few years of belonging to the STEPABLES team, we still find ourselves amazed at just how useful, resilient, low-maintenance, eco-friendly and quite beautiful creeping perennials can be.

Country Living recently featured STEPABLES in a syndicated article online and in its magazine, written by Melissa Ozawa, about these unique plants that allow for foot traffic. Check it out HERE.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Review from PANTS: Garden Splendor

The Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association’s (PLNA) annual 2009 Penn Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (PANTS) just ended last week, and we’ve heard several stories already about the show’s success once again this year.

While we were unable to attend, a client of ours, Garden Splendor®, was kind enough to pass over a few thoughts and photos from their company’s exhibit booth we thought everyone might enjoy.

This year’s Garden Splendor® 20’ by 20’ booth encompassed an outdoor room with deck and decorative wooden patio, a plethora of colorful and creative containers, and large backdrop of a memorable landscape with garden and pool. Garden Splendor® was also excited to enhance the space with a custom-designed Pent Arbor from Vixen Hill outdoor wood products.

However, the primary focus of the booth centered on the brands exciting line of fully sustainable decorative patio plants called Footprints™ an innovative line introduced last year. Because of its popularity and success over the past 12 months, Garden Splendor® wanted to provide visitors a glimpse into the expanded line with new plant offerings. Footprints™ plants are grown using sustainable practices such as compost made from renewable soil ingredients and recycled irrigation water. In addition, the plants are potted in natural-component containers and labeled with tags that are biodegradable.

Some visitor “favorites” from the display included Pentas ‘Pompom Rose’, Heuchera 'Plum Royale', Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureloa’, Pennisetum 'Fireworks', Deschampsia c. 'Northern Lights', and Caladium 'Candyland'.

While PANTS opted to not award prizes this year for notable booths, Garden Splendor® was pleased to hear very positive feedback all three days of the show from visitors. Judging by the photos, they were indeed correct!

If you were able to attend the PANTS show this year, what was your favorite Garden Splendor® plant? Any other notable trends you would like to share? We’d love to hear from you!

~ Leslie

Friday, August 7, 2009

According to N.V.S. Kitchen & Bath, Inc., as kitchens continue to increasingly become the social gathering area of the home, homeowners are tearing down walls between the kitchen and dining rooms to increase the open space.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Congratulations to GPN Magazine!

Congratulations to GPN Magazine for earning its second Tabbie Award! Selected from approximately 500 submissions around the world, Trade Association Business Publications International (TABPI) awarded the September 2008 issue of GPN with a 2009 Tabbie Award for Best Single Issue.

The award is given to a publication for superior overall editorial content and design quality, and how well a publication fulfills its editorial charter. We think it’s well deserved!!

~ Leslie