The first weekend in January can be a lot of things; sometimes it's cold and snowy, other times it's sunny and pleasant. One thing is for sure, it's always home to the Western Nursery and Landscape Association's annual trade show.
I've always enjoyed this chance to get together with good friends in the green industry to reconnect and catch up. It also allows me the chance to get updated on new trends and see the up coming plant material varieties to be on the look out for at the local nurseries. Plus, my best friend, Tara Dudley of Plant Life Designs makes the trip down from Des Moines, Iowa (my native country) to hang out.
I love checking out all the garden products. One of my favorite new pottery pieces is this sweet little golf ball themed pot from Craftware. It's a glazed clay piece that is considered frost proof. I think this could be used in a contemporary setting and might be good for guys, too. The white is an excellent backdrop to any color palette you may chose, and that might change from year to year.
Looks like succulents are still really popular. These have such a wide range of applications from indoor arrangements, to door wreaths and living walls to wedding bouquets and center pieces. Check out some neat options here. These are just a few cute table top pieces from the Blue Bird Nursery booth.
I learned a ton about how to identify and treat the dreaded Emerald Ash Bore that is threatening the ash tree population across the Midwest. It's crazy how such a small insects can destroy so much. Stay tuned for an entire post devoted to this issue and how to save your existing ash trees. I also scored this sweet free t-shirt courtesy of the University of Missouri Extension office.
Chad, from Loma Vista Nursery, gave a talk about selecting plants for tough spots in the landscape. Most properties have that one problem spot where I find myself standing there thinking "What on earth will grow here?" He gave great tips on tackling hostile conditions, more to come in a future blog.
The famous, Dr. Michael Dirr, gave several talks about new woody plants introductions.
Dr. Dirr is well known for his hydrangea breeding. The new variety he's particularly excited about is 'BloomStruck". It's a sister plant to the original 'Endless Summer' phenom.
I'm loving the red stems on this one and the deep fall color in the blooms. Plus, it's more sun and heat tolerant than your traditional mopheads.
The folks at Greenleaf Nursery let us know all about some of the new introductions coming out of their production greenhouses and fields.
I'm excited to try the 'Smoothie Fusion' Althea, also known as Hardy Hibiscus or Rose of Sharon. Beautiful double blueberry, raspberry, and peppermint flowers bloom summer through fall on this unique, upright growing shrub. Will reach 8 feet tall by 4 feet wide and doesn't reseed!!! Winner!
We capped off the night at The Green Lady Lounge in the Crossroads District in downtown Kansas City, MO. Sunday nights they have a big jazz band play for a few hours, great wait service and fantastic drink prices. What a super place to chill!
We spent the night at the Sheraton in Crown Center. I would highly recommend them to anyone checking out the Kansas City area for a weekend road trip. Check out our beautiful skyline. Reminds me of how much I love living in KC!!!