The nursery-greenhouse trade show in Baltimore was an eye-opener as growers from all over the country and Canada set up “set up shop” to display their product.
Dwarf grafted conifers are quite a specialty item most notably produced in the State of Oregon where the climate is more conducive to a longer growing season due to the Pacific climate. One such grower that we have used for several years has acknowledged less than half of what we hoped to offer next spring. In order to offset future shortages, we are now teaming up with two growers from Oregon and one from New Jersey that will spread the risk from last minute cuts in stock. All confirmations have been received although revisions from the original one resulting in even more cuts that are the result of inaccurate inventory and the lack of supply.
The lack of supply as more than one grower has stated is the result of the 2008 financial crisis as lack of planting and cut backs of planting of new stock occurred during the period as late as 2013. Much stock that is not now available would have normally been planted from 2013 and before as many slow growing items such as dwarf conifers have a long production cycle and as with manufactured products that in most cases can be produced relatively quickly to meet demand.
More patented annuals and herbaceous perennials were displayed at the trade show and all toting more and bigger flowers and vigor. Navigating between the different growers is difficult as most make similar claims about similar new products. Some of the newer perennials and annual flowers we will trial in our greenhouses and not list in our catalog as the numbers available of such new product will be limited and we will test them first to be sure they live up to their claims.
No doubt “what’s new” has a fascination for every gardener as printed catalogs begin to arrive in the mail with beautiful color photographs with many of them “revised” to make them more appealing. In a way these catalogs are the “pornography” of the gardening world.