People Make Plants Come Alive at IGC

P. Allen Smith & me holding his beautiful rooster Edwin at #G2B14 in Little Rock, AR
P. Allen Smith & me holding his beautiful rooster Edwin at #G2B14 in Little Rock, AR
P. Allen Smith & me holding his beautiful rooster Edwin at #G2B14 in Little Rock, AR

Do plants give life to people or do people give life to plants? It’s the age old chicken or the egg causality dilemma, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” At The Independent Garden Show last week in Chicago, August 19-21, I had reason to ponder this theory. When I post pictures of the people behind the plant scene y’all say, “What’s with all the people?! We want to see plants and roses! Show us what new plants are there!” OK. Then when I post the newest plants inevitably y’all say “Who was there?!” Here is my theory:

Kate Porter from David Austin Roses, UK
Kate Porter from David Austin Roses, UK

People give life to plants

The Independent Garden Show Jeff and Cheryl Morey, Show Owners and their Management Team know and apply this theory quite well and brought us a world class event in the most idyllic setting along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan at Navy Pier, captivating the gardening world with new and exciting things we want to see, offering information we are eager to learn, while entertaining us and engaging the larger audience via multi-channels of social media.

Jeff kicked off the show by interviewing key note speaker Martha Stewart in a comfortable morning talk show setting where Martha was at ease sharing pictures of her garden and tips to a standing room only crowd.

Martha Stewart Live with Jeff Morey at IGC
Martha Stewart Live with Jeff Morey at IGC

 

Here are 3 takeaways from Jeff Morey’s talk with Martha Stewart:

  • Folks want plant variety that only an Independent Garden Center offers
  • Smaller plants are a much better value for today’s gardener and for the financially strapped shopper her advice is “they’ll grow.”
  • She knows time is also of short supply so easy care plants are essential

 

Jerry Amoroso, Mr. Rose of Weeks Roses
Jerry Amoroso, Mr. Rose himself, truly a ‘Class Act’ of Weeks Roses

 

 

 

Here are the key people behind the scenes that give life to the plants that you love: Weeks Roses was there with Karen Kemp-Docksteader and her sales team including NE Sales, Jerry Amororso who I coined, Mr. Rose himself. They were debuting their 2015 rose collection including famous Downton Abbey’s ‘Anna’s Promise’.

 

 

 

 

David Austin Team at IGC, Kate Porter from the UK & Shellie Reese, Tyler
David Austin Team at IGC, Kate Porter from the UK & Shellie Reese, Tyler

Kate Porter, commercial & projects manager for David Austin Roses had flown over from the UK and Shellie Reese from the Tyler, Texas office was there as they showed the David Austin beautiful new collection of roses. The David Austin Team was constantly busy with new orders. Their “Simple-to-Grow Roses” Campaign and demand of English roses is growing in the US and I witnessed it in action while I was at their exhibit.

David Austin Rose 'Carding Mill'
David Austin Rose ‘Carding Mill’ at the Independent Garden Show in Chicago

 

 

 

Shannon Springer Up Close with New Proven Winner shrub rose 'Livable La Vida'
Adorable Shannon Springer Gets Up Close with New Proven Winner shrub rose ‘Livable La Vida’

The Proven Winner’s Team was there with so many beautiful plants. Of course I saw that doll Shannon Springer who was at P. Allen Smith’s Garden 2 Blog 2014 event with me. And I can’t forget ‘John Vodka’, (Josh) and wonderful Jeanine Standard! These folks are all the people that bring us the plants that we love. Tony Abruscato, owner of The Chicago Flower & Garden Show, Greenmark PR and The Seedkeepers Thank-you one and all!

Jeanine Standard of Proven Winners kindly said "Susan you get on over there by 'Vermillionaire and I'll take your picture" So here it is! Great picture Jeanine! ;)
Jeanine Standard of Proven Winners kindly said “Susan you get on over there by ‘Vermillionaire and I’ll take your picture” So here it is! Great picture Jeanine! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Abruscato, Mr. Chicago Flower & Garden Show and I pause for a minute to take in all the excitement at the great show!
Tony Abruscato, Mr. Chicago Flower & Garden Show and I pause for a minute to take in all the excitement at the great show!

Tony Abruscato, owner of The Chicago Flower & Garden Show as we put our heads together already talking about the show in March! There were so many wonderful people there that are behind the scenes that make the plants that you love come alive everyday. Look for the album that I will post to Facebook with more plant pictures.

Shannon Springer of Proven Winners and Sue Markgraf of Greenmark PR
Shannon Springer of Proven Winners and Sue Markgraf of Greenmark PR

 

 

Chris Thier from Laguna Ponds, Star of P. Allen Smith's G2B Happy Dance Video, See the video on my home page!
Chris Thier from Laguna Ponds, Star of P. Allen Smith’s G2B Happy Dance Video, See the video on my home page!

 

 

Garden Girl Gloves
Garden Girl Gloves

Memory Lane of Roses

'Moonstone' bred by Tom Carruth Former Director of Research & Marketing, Weeks Roses is as at home in a garden setting as Queen of the Rose Show. #roseshows #gardenchat #rosechat #rosepicoftheday
'Moonstone' bred by Tom Carruth Former Director of Research & Marketing, Weeks Roses is as at home in a garden setting as Queen of the Rose Show. #roseshows #gardenchat #rosechat #rosepicoftheday
‘Moonstone’ bred by Tom Carruth Former Director of Research & Marketing, Weeks Roses is as at home in a garden setting as Queen of the Rose Show. #roseshows #gardenchat #rosechat #rosepicoftheday #weeksroses #Carruth #moonstone #barns #rural

Memory lane is strewn with magnificent roses in central Illinois this summer.

Double Delight with Morning Dew #nofilter #rosepicoftheday
‘Double Delight’ lit by sunlight glistening with Morning Dew #nofilter #rosepicoftheday

Dew glistening on petals of roses appears as ice crystals when lit by the first rays of dawn.

Illinois crops and vegetable gardens are bountiful with enough rain to sustain the corn and soybeans until harvest. Every day reminds me of why I love Illinois summers.

A Gaga's Garden View in July
A Gaga’s Garden View in July. This is the basket I planted for the P. Allen Smith Garden2Blog Event that Proven Winners sponsored. Petunia lovers, can you believe the petunias still look like this through the heat of summer? I used the #Jobes Organics Soil and Fertilizer they sent, as they requested and of course I’ve watered plenty and kept the spent blooms dead-headed.#landsacping #containergardening #G2B14 #ProvenWinners #companionplants

The stages of adding Illinois rose gardens continue. Last fall we planted Dr. David Zlezak’s test roses and Proven Winners winter hardy Oso Easy® Series of Roses. The fall of 2013 is the first time we’ve ever planted roses in the fall.

Proven Winner Series Two Oso® Easy Rose 'Pink Cupcake' bred by Chris Warner, UK
Proven Winner Series Two Oso® Easy Rose ‘Pink Cupcake’ bred by Chris Warner, UK

Last winter then went on to be the 3rd coldest winter in Illinois recorded history. The roses that survived can truly be considered winter hardy. This year has been one of the most beautiful years I’ve seen for the rose garden bloom cycles. I’ve chosen some beautiful pictures to share with you.

A Spray of 'Europeana'
A Spray of ‘Europeana’

Starting over is always a challenge. Yet who could imagine starting first with the floribunda rose garden in 2011 we could have come this far with the stages of the rose gardens. Here are the gardens that we have added since grandfathering our Texas Rose Garden of over 200 roses in 2011 and moving back to Illinois.

'Sugar Moon' by Weeks Roses Christian Bédard will "bull doze you down with its powerful cold cream fragrance"
‘Sugar Moon’ by Weeks Roses Christian Bédard will “bull doze you down with its powerful cold cream fragrance”

 

Floribunda Rose Garden Spring 2012

Elevated Hybrid Tea Garden Spring 2013

Vegetable Garden Summer 2013

Walkway Grandiflora, HT Summer 2013

Dr. Zlezak ‘Oso Happy’ Rose Garden Fall 2013

 

Europeana and Monarch Grande Rose (G14) by Dr. David Zlezak
Europeana and Monarch Grande Rose (G14) by Dr. David Zlezak
for sale by wholesaler Plant Peddler, Iowa

Dr. David Zlezak sent ageratum that he has been breeding for over a decade and I planted them as companion plantings around the rose garden. I thought you would especially enjoy seeing it next to ‘Europeana’.

 

'Neil Diamond'
‘Neil Diamond’

My family is coming to visit from Texas with all four kids, their black Labrador and two cats. Watch for pictures of boating action. I plan on teaching the kids how to deadhead roses. All righty then I have a plan for keeping them out of trouble.

Cherry Parfait Grandiflora Rose, Gagasgarden
Cherry Parfait Grandiflora Rose, Gagasgarden

 

P. Allen Smith Garden2Blog 2014 Event Announced

P. Allen Smith at Proven Winner Booth at IGC Sho
P. Allen Smith at Proven Winner Booth at IGC Sho
P. Allen Smith at Proven Winner Booth at IGC Show, Susan Fox

Pretty, sharp, and professional, Mimi San Pedro, CMO of P. Allen Smith at the Proven Winners display during the #IGCShow last August greeted me instantly. Delighted to wait while P. Allen mesmerized the crowd with the new Proven Winners Purple Passion and to meet him in person, I was tickled ‘Supertunia Picasso in Pink’ to be invited to The Chopping Block event that P. Allen was privately hosting that evening.

Chopping Block Chef
Chopping Block Chef

Folks let me tell you P. Allen dazzled us with his charm, wit and talent. He was a ‘Sunsatia’n. His good energy is boundless. I told you all that… to say this. Mimi has graciously extended an invitation to the P.Allen Smith annual Garden2Blog event in May where some of the most talented Garden Writers and Bloggers will be attending. It will be sponsored by your favorite products, who I would like to personally extend my thanks as well. Paul Allen Smith is a television host, designer, gardening and lifestyle expert. He is the host of two public television programs, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, and P. Allen Smith’s Garden to Table and the syndicated 30-minute show Garden Style.[1] His television show P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home has been aired on PBS member stations and in syndication on other networks.[2] Smith is one of America’s most recognized garden and design experts, providing ideas and inspiration through multiple media venues.[1] He is the author of the best-selling Garden Home series of books published by Clarkson Potter/Random House, including Bringing the Garden Indoors: Container, Crafts and Bouquets for Every Room and the recently published cookbook, Seasonal Recipes from the Garden, inspired by the abundance of food from his farm and a family of cooks. In 2014, Smith’s television shows took the Taste Awards by storm with Smith returning to Little Rock with four Taste Awards.[1][ Source wikipedia

A Basket of Proven Winners
A Hanging Basket of Proven Winners

It’s good to support products that keep us, our gardens and families growing strong and beautiful. I’ve listed the attendees and sponsors so you can visit their Web sites. Many of these folks I am familiar with their work and I’ve learned a great deal from them. Their Web sites are a treasure trove of gardening information and fun. I have a goal on my trip: experience the P.Allen Smith adventure and share it with you like you were there and hopefully you can visit P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home in Little Rock in the future as well. I look forward to meeting new friends and seeing everyone I know in May!

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Pics are from #IGC
Proven Winners Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs
Berry_W14Berry Family of Nurseries Berry Family of Nurseries Berry Family of Nurseries
Bonnie Plants Bonnie Plants
Laguna Ponds Laguna Ponds
Jobe’s Organics
Troy-Bilt
Flexilla @Flexilla
Heritage Seeds @HeritageSeeds
Wild Bird Feeds @WildBirdFeeds
Le Creuset Le Creuset

PP_PAW14