February 2015 Issue #62  Kudos, Trade Shows and Flamingos -  by John Friel 



Props galore to MANTS, 2015's first trade show and the east coast's premier green event, held last month in Baltimore. It seems to get bigger & better each year. 
But flamingos? That must concern our Florida location, right? Nope. MANTS
was infested with big pink birds. Blame
it on Janet Draper, MidAtlantic Director
of the Perennial Plant Association, who coined the phrase "The flock is gathering!" to trumpet the PPA's upcoming National Symposium - also in Baltimore, in July. More below.

Flamingoriole...because it's Baltimore.





Our new greenhouses are buttoned up and battened down for their first winter with new benches cradling newly-divided grasses making new roots & new blades for your spring & summer shipments. No flamingos, but liners are taking wing. Our cartons, cages, racks and tractor-trailers are on the road, laden with lovelies, bound for glory everywhere from New Jersey to Toronto to Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain. Wherever you call home, our trays will roam. Your range is in our range.


How's your Latin? Are you a genus genius? At our MANTS booth, Latin lovers won spiffy ECG jackets and polo shirts by naming most of the seven genera in the big pot pictured here. Some came close, but nobody nailed them all. The quiz was easier, and harder, than it could have been.We only asked for genus, not specific epithet or cultivar. But the plants were dried, ergo a bit less recognizable, and our cagey VP Al Mueller snuck in a trick question. The answers: CalamagrostisHakonechloa,
Perovskia, and one we don't grow:
Phoenicopterus. It's a tad obscure, and probably not hardy here in Zone 6. Hoity-toity gardeners and designers find it tacky and refuse to use it, hardy or not. Did you Google it yet? Heh... It's the pink one.


"I didn't realize MANTS was so big! I knew it was big, but not THAT big!"
-- Jen Polanz, Ball Publishing 

"This is a great show! I think this is the best show I've ever been to in this country!"
-- Gary Doerr, Blooms of Bressingham




Wild flamingos are pink because they eat brine shrimp, rich in beta carotene. Flamingos in zoos, and farmed salmon, are pink because they're fed a chemical, canthaxanthin, which some people ingest in search of an artificial tan; but it often turns them oddly orange. Sounds like a certain Congressman from Ohio, doesn't it? 





Carex pensylvanica: Native Wonder-ful! A true star of our Native Wonders™ collection, "Pennsylvania sedge" is in chronically short supply. This shade-loving lawn alternative is much in demand for installations large, small and in-between that call for native American species. It's a quick but manageable spreader with rich green undulating blades. Get it while you can: When the 50's on Availability now are gone, they won't be back til August!


Carex pensylvanica August 2013 at Mount Cuba Center

The same Carex pensylvanica planting, 11 months later


February, often a wet month, is appropriately shared by two wet signs.

Pisces: you'll get along swimmingly with Aquarius. But don't take the bait and get fresh with Libra, or your scales will end up on her scales at the seafood counter.






Is there a more famous perennial than Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro'
? It's the one daylily most gardeners know by name. Its vivid blooms and carefree performance made it an instant staple when Walter Jablonski introduced it in 1975.

When it comes to splendid sequels to a famous original, only "Godfather II" can match Hemerocallis 'Happy Returns', a 'Stella' offspring released by Dr. Darrell Apps in 1986. It lives up to its name with lemon-yellow blooms from June to frost.

Try our hefty 36s, and you'll see why these are the only two daylilies we grow - and why they account for most of the sales in the whole genus. It's an offer you shouldn't refuse.
Hemerocallis 'Stella dOro'
Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro'
Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro'
Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro'


Mark your calendar: If you missed us at GSHE in Mobile, come see us at New England Grows in Boston, February 4-6. Mark it in red: the PPA National Symposium flocks into Baltimore this July 27 - August 1. At the PPA booth at MANTS, I was accosted by a couple of puffed-up flamingos and forced to join that infamous big-haired cult, the Baltimore Hons. It was tacky, tasteless, mortifying, and... fun, Hon.






John Friel  

Marketing Manager    


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