Saturday, July 19, 2008

The OFA Short Course

My First Lawn & Garden Trade Show

The Ohio Short Course, which took place in the Greater Columbus Convention Center, is a well known event in the lawn and garden industry. Everyone is there! Growers, garden center operators, suppliers, and more show up in Columbus to network and exchange ideas.

Participants were given exposure to panel discussions with garden magazine editors, lectures by industry experts, and enough inspirational booths and displays to make one anxious to get back to work!

Colorful Columbus

Of course, the mood was set before we even made it in
to the the trade show. Columbus had beautiful plantings all
around the city, and the less humid environment made them
all appear ever so perky!
Look at the lovely way that they have chosen to adorn the
lamp posts in town. The vibrant hues were made even more
attractive by their sharp contrast to the concrete jungle around them.

Aren't these planters fabulous?

I have two words for you: LIQUID FERTILIZER

Maybe three words: LACK OF HUMIDITY

Shop Talk

Many of you are familiar with a line of plants from Proven Winners. We have had great success with their plants. A lot of you out there fell in love with Diamond Frost Euphorbia. I had a wonderful conversation with Proven Winners Representative Doug Parkinson about how much sun and heat this delicate-looking gem can really take. He told me to fear not! Savannah residents can place it in our hot sunny spaces and feel confident it will not fizzle!

Doug is such a great resource that we have extended him an invitation to pay you all a visit down the road. He said that he would love to come to our store and hold a Question and Answer session with our customers about what Proven Winners have to offer! So, stay tuned.
In the mean time, take a look at these stunning Fall combinations.


Those of you who have been getting into water conservation and succulents should take cues from these cool booths that we saw. You see, succulents really look their best when they are given some uneven terrain to meander about. This effect can be achieved with pieces of clay pots, statuary, broken pieces of wood furniture, or even an old worn shoe.

Those of you searching for more advanced ways
to use succulents should consider 3-D options. By finding or creating wire forms to hold some soil and moss, one can separate themselves and their plants from the pack. Below is the back of an alligator topiary form. A variety of succulent plugs have been pinned in place around the moss-covered form. The result is a charming little guy that can take the heat!

Think of your summer tables? Your next dinner party? Your next shower? This type of an arrangement communicates an eco-friendly message far greater than that of a bouquet of cut flowers.

Beyond The Convention Center

Although the OFA show had much to offer, we decided to visit A Proper Garden. Located in Delaware, Ohio, this retail garden center is doing many cool things.
For starters, take a look at this effective display! There is no better way to show people what to put by their door than to have an actual door! Oh, and what child would not love a little fairy garden like this? (Or a G.I. Joe garden?)

The nursery is full of fountains like this one nestled in Hydrangeas. Take note of how in Ohio the Hydrangeas are not wilting in the sun! In our region, try this with some Cleome or Butterfly Bushes!

Speaking of butterfly plants, check our this lovely Cinderella variety of Butterfly Weed. I am fond of this selection, because not every butterfly lover wants the oranges and yellows so often used to attract the little devils. I couldn't tell whether the pink variety was as effective, but I'd certainly give it a try.

Finally, I found something that A Proper Garden has that we don't want! The dreaded Japanese Beetle! This is a pest that has made it to Georgia, but not plagued our area as of yet! Click here to see what counties in our state it now calls home. If you think you see one, bring it in. (No fish tales about it being THIS BIG! )

Our OFA and Ohio experiences left us eager to come back to our store, our cats, and our customers where we can put our newly-found knowledge to good use.

We hope to see you all soon!


paige worthy said...

Hi ladies,
It was so lovely to meet you at Short Course! I'm looking forward to keeping up with this blog and hopefully getting in touch for some stories in the future!
Lawn & Garden Retailer

Hester and Zipperer said...

Hi Paige!

We had such a great time! (Nice to let the girls out. haha) If you are ever in the area, please let us know! We will take you out on the town or something.