Sunday, April 24, 2016

Packed and Shipped

Mini Plants packed and shipped from Florida

           Yes, you can get Mini plants packed and shipped from Florida.  Sometimes this is what you get.

            Or, you can get them locally delivered on our truck---- Unscrambled!

Primulina 'Loki' grown and shipped by Gary's Specialty Plants

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Full circle with Frosted Jade

Primulina yungfuensis grown by Drew Norris.

            We have come full circle with my blog story about Frosted Jade (Primulina yungfuensis) in Gleanings - April 2016.

            Gleanings is a free monthly e-newsletter from the Gesneriad Society edited by Mel Grice.  Sign up – there is always interesting news.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

What's New?

Primulina 'Rachel' grown by Karyn Cichocki

            The most common question I got over the years when talking to Garden Center buyers is “What’s new?”

            New plants keep gardeners interested and help sales.  Of course, “New” is relative to what you’ve seen before.  And there is a lag between what the Garden Center buyer decides is new and what the final consumers see as different.

            This helps explain how managers in the plant industry think that Fairy Gardening has peaked while the facts show  that people are just now learning about it.  We forget that the subjects we think about daily are only casually observed by consumers --- sometimes for only 5 minutes per year.

            Asian Violets are new and will be for years.  Only hard core hobbyists know about Primulina.  Casual observers have not been exposed to them.

            The main issue has simply been --- no supply.

            I have P. ‘Loki’, P. ‘Rachel’, P. ‘Piccolo’ and P. ‘Betty’ in production and for sale.  By 2017, Frosted Jade (P. yungfuensis) will be available.

            ‘New’ plants are here now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Frosted Jade

Primulina yungfuensis grown by Bill Price

Primulina yungfuensis grown by Drew Norris

            Common names and marketing names are a part of Horticulture.  They evolve and there is no stopping them.

            Primulina yungfuensis has tremendous potential as a commercial plant, but we need a better name if it will be talked about.

            Several names have been proposed to me and the consensus is that Frosted Jade should be the one. Jade has a Chinese connection and the leaf has a dark green color.  If you look at yungfuensis with the sun shining on it, the silver variegation on the dark green jade sparkles like frost looks on grass.

Hybrids get nice English word names that have some significance to the hybridizer who usually gets to name his selected new releases.

Species have Latin names but can be designated with a cultivar name, if there is variability in the collected specimens.  Sometimes, a geographical name will be added to a species name to distinguish it from other clones of that species.  Occasionally, some named species cultivars are determined, by taxonomist, to be different enough to be named a different species.

            While all of this is going on, common names and marketing names are valuable to keep the plant world turning and the horticulture trade moving.

            Through a technicality, the botanical name cannot be Primulina yungfuensis ‘Frosted Jade’.  By adding the cultivar name, it implies that there are other different clones of the yungfuensis species.  Since at this time there is only one known clone of yungfuensis in North America, there cannot be any distinction.

            By announcing my marketing name of Frosted Jade, I hope that it becomes the common name for Primulina yungfuensis.

            In casual conversation it will be much easier to ask:  “How’s your Frosted Jade doing?” then saying: “How’s your Primulina yungfuensis doing?”

            Will Frosted Jade gain acceptance? --- The market will decide.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Primulinas have longevity

Primulina yungfuensis grown by Bill Price

            Since I’ve been trying to build the case that Primulina will become a common foliage houseplant, it is nice to see this picture of an old plant getting ready to flower again.  This is Primulina yungfuensis grown by Bill Price which is now 10” in diameter.

            Asian Violets survive drought without harm, take sun or shade and can tolerate hot or cold.

            Now we can say that they can live for years and will flower when big and old.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Fairy Gardens Trending Up!

Asian Tray Garden by Gary's Specialty Plants

            From the trade magazine, Greenhouse Manager, there is a very valuable report by Carol Miller on April 4, 2016.  She has used Google Trends to create a graph of selected terms.  By searching for “Fairy Gardens”, the graph shows (the blue line) that interest in the subject has continued to increase since 2012 and 2016 will be the highest ever.

Fairy Garden Trend - Blue Line

Quoting from the source:

"This graph has a lot to say. First, “hanging baskets,” instead of declining as a search term as baby boomers get older, is only getting more and more popular. Although “container gardens” was a competitive term in 2005, “hanging baskets” have increased in frequency while “container gardens” has declined sharply.
If you thought fairy gardens peaked in popularity somewhere around 2012, if search terms are any measure, this graph shows otherwise. “Fairy gardens” did not really begin registering as a search term until that year, and has grown every year since. It’s on track to reach its most popular level yet in 2016."

            I ask everyone in this niche market what their opinion is about the Fairy Garden/Miniature Garden trend.  Those involved feel like it has lost its newness and may be leveling out.  This may be wrong.  This data from the general population shows that they are just now finding out about Fairy Gardens and are searching for information on the internet.

            Our sales of ‘Mini’ plants have doubled each year for five years.  I get one to two inquires per week from Garden Centers who have found me by seeing my plants at other stores.  Of the Garden Centers who have a ‘Small Plant’ department, all continue to stock our plants.  No one has abandoned Miniature Gardens.

            The facts are:  Fairy Gardens --- Trending up !

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Good Ole Days, OT

Buttermilk Junction, Martin County, Indiana, April 1937

            We all like to think that the good old days were better.

            Would you like to be progressing toward the life shown here?

            Through free market capitalism, human ingenuity and just striving for a better standard of living, life is better.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Do you know any cats? , OT

Maurice Sendak
                     If this doesn’t make you smile, you don’t know any cats!