California Grown Show and Nursery Mart 2011
I attended the 2011 California Grown Show and Nursery Mart yesterday. The show is smaller than many I attend, but it is also more intimate. It was fun to walk the aisles and see old friends, some I have not seen for years, and make many new ones.
Our updated catalog will show several of the new varieties of dwarf shrubs and perennials, which are our specialty, that I see are coming to market this year. Dwarf Photinia and Phormiums, mimulas that will bloom longer in the heat and some interesting wattles, that are typically large trees, all staying under 5 ft tall. I’ll do an update later on these and many other plants that were on display.
What I liked about this show was that many of the nurseries were represented by their owners and upper management, people I don’t see unless I go to their shops and catch them between their other clients.
We have been 20 year customers of Weeks Roses, one of our suppliers of bare root roses. Weeks and Iselli nursery were in the news this week. They were purchased by a company that is known to be very technology oriented. Their product lines will remain the same, but efficiencies of scale will be brought into play and I am excited to see what new products can come out of this.
I also had a long conversation with Brad Fickes of Normans Nursery, one of the largest nurseries in the western US. Normans is one of our neighbors and they have been working hard remaking themselves, growing more varieties of trees and shrubs that we at Neighborhood Nursery find exciting. They are using new types of growing containers that help prevent root girdling in the cans. New varieties of plants that will fit into the small planter beds of our Southern California homes will hit the market next year. Brad was telling me about their new dwarf Photinia. I haven’t specified a Photinia-Red Tip to a project in nearly 15 years because there just isn’t any room for a 10 ft wide growing shrub in any of our homes, unless you hack it back. So this dwarf variety may be a great addition. I will plant one in a display somewhere and see what happens.
I also met a few new aquatic plant vendors. When their product hits our displays, I let you know.