April 2009
‘Plant Geek’ for a Week By Paige Worthy

For as long as I can remember, my mom has always maintained a gorgeous backyard. If I call her almost any evening between April and October, she walks with the phone to the flower bed, mud between her bare toes, and deadheads, waters or spreads mulch while we chat.

As a young girl, I went with her on frequent trips to our local garden center, where I was dazzled and happily distracted by a huge swingset and rows of wind chimes dancing in the spring breeze. The actual gardening aspect of those trips was secondary — I was just along for the ride.

But since I started working at Lawn & Garden Retailer and GPN a year and a half ago, that’s all changed. Surrounded by people who live and breathe horticulture, I can feel their enthusiasm, and I can’t help but get carried away myself: Passion by osmosis. And there is no time of year that I get more carried away than in early spring, when the editorial staff joins hundreds of industry professionals as they make their way through California for Pack Trials.

It’s “plant geek” paradise; breeders, growers, retailers, academics and others making the pilgrimage buzz about the past year’s successes and what’s to come in the next 12 months, and unbridled joy over the latest variety introductions and revolutionary breeding is the norm. We also see beautiful new POP materials and come home with countless inspirational ideas.

Despite being in a different hotel every night and logging hundreds and hundreds of miles, I return to the office energized and ready to tell the world — including friends who know nothing about horticulture — about all of the varieties and merchandising programs I’ve just seen.

Eyes and Ears

I know it is difficult for many retailers to break away for a week to attend this event, but there’s plenty of valuable information there for you, too. So let us be your eyes and ears: Special coverage of the 2009 trials is on its way in next month’s issue. Can’t wait until June? Check out the Pack Trials zone on www.lgrmag.com, or watch our Hort TV @ Pack Trials videos on www.gpnmag.com for a glimpse of what went on in California — direct from the people who made it happen.

And now that your spring selling season is well under way, let me know how it’s going! Shoot me an e-mail at pworthy@sgcmail.com. Or message me on Facebook. Or connect with me at @lgrmag on Twitter. You know where to find me!








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