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Fort Lauderdale: Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition – TPEI

TPEI is the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition, and it was there to showcase the latest trends in foliage, floral and tropicals in warm and sunny South Florida.   The exhibition was dedicated to gardening and nurseries, celebrating the elegant presence of a wide variety of plants including flowering plants, herbs, shrubs and other decorative plants.  TPIE’s trade show was 200,000 square feet of living and vibrant plants creating a virtual indoor garden of showstopping displays.  With almost 400 exhibiting companies in nearly 800 booth spaces, TPIE offered wholesale buyers the widest array of resources for foliage and tropical plants in the country. The show also conducted a program of free demonstrations and educational sessions on themes specific to interiorscape professionals and business managers.  Visitors could connect with vendors in person and touch and feel their plants and products.  We noted, however, that there was less touching and feeling around the cactus exhibits…

Baltimore: Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show – MANTS

MANTS is the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show, and it asks us to recognize it as “the masterpiece of tradeshows”.  The expo was focusing on the premium promotion of productivity of green vegetation, specifically decorative plants grown in pots and miniature gardening. There was an impressive presence of distinguished expert horticulturists and expert botanists joining the expo to meet with visitors and discuss with them the optimal development of the nursery industry.  The official exhibitor count was a whisker shy of 1,000 from across the United States and internationally, making it one of the largest trade show market places serving the Horticulture Industry. MANTS is where the industry comes to buy, shop, meet, see and be seen every January.  100 new exhibiting companies were there to display this year, which enhanced the already impressive variety of products, goods and services available, and underscoring that MANTS means business.  Hey, you see that suspicious looking guy in the green trenchcoat?  I think he’s a plant….  #MANTS2015

Denver: ASLA: American Society of Landscape Architects – ASLA

ASLA is the American Society of Landscape Architects.  ASLA is THE national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 72 student chapters, all dedicated to leading the stewardship, planning, and design of our built and natural environments.  The Society does this through advocacy, communication, education, and fellowship.  Landscape architecture encompasses the analysis, planning, design, management, and stewardship of landscape. Types of projects include: Conservation, Gardens and Arboreta, Historic Preservation and Restoration, Interior Landscapes, Landscape Art and Earth Sculpture, Monuments, Parks and Recreation, Reclamation, Streetscapes and Public Spaces, Therapeutic Gardens, Urban Design and Water Resources.  Therapeutic gardens?  You never heard of therapeutic gardens as a cure for what ails ‘ya?  Take two arboreta and call me in the morning….

Orlando: The Landscape Show – FNGLA

The Landscape Show’s identifying initials are FNGLA, which in full spells out Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association.  FNGLA is Florida’s oldest and largest association targeting the needs of the Florida’s environmental horticulture industry, which has an estimated $15.2 billion in industry-wide sales annually. There were over 6,500 green-fingered attendees, all there to attend the southeast’s premier landscape and horticulture conference and trade event. The Landscape Show featured over 200,000 square feet of trees, shrubs and equipment from nearly 450 exhibiting companies. This show offered a complete cast of plants, trees, palms, landscape equipment, hardscape products, irrigation, production equipment, business services and garden center supplies.  Dig deep, and you could discover the best new garden and horticultural looks, talent and ideas the industry has to offer.  You dig?  #LandscapeShow

Cologne: Spoga + Gafa

New inspirations and fresh impulses were in the (garden) air again when Cologne, Germany, was once again the “treffpunkt”  (that’s meeting place to us non-German speakers) for the garden industry.  Around 40,000 trade visitors discovered trends, collected ideas and established contacts at what describes itself as the world’s leading horticultural trade fair.  On the tour bus, Claudia Gölz, head of the NED.WORK agency from Düsseldorf, informed visitors about the latest garden trends in Germany, as part of a guided tour through  over 200 magnificent model gardens at local attraction Appeltern.  The group learned about the diversity of garden creation in Europe, the different ways gardens can be planted and furnished, and about the specific materials that can be used.  What’s that scent in the air?  Appeltern blossom?  Or Cologne…?  #spoga+gafa

San Antonio: Nursery & Landscape Expo – TNLA

TNLA is the Nursery & Landscape Expo — the initials stand for Texas Nursery & Landscape Association.  Half a million square feet of the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center played host to an impressive one thousand vendor booths.  Among the attractions were the Gift & Garden Marketplace, the 2014 Parks & Patio Display, and countless new product innovations.  After a hectic day plant-spotting, delegates could wander at leisure along San Antonio’s riverside walks, take in the old Spanish Governor’s Palace (“the only remaining example in Texas of an aristocratic 18th-century Spanish Colonial townhouse”), historic Mission Churches, and of course the star turn of Old San Anton’s attractions, The Alamo.  Okay, I’m back at the show now.  Which booth has the famous Yellow Rose of Texas?  #TNLAEXPO2014

Portland: Farwest Show

Farwest Show is the sought-after ticket to the nursery and retail garden center industry. This year’s Farwest Trade Show was a biggie, whether you were a retailer, grower, landscape professional, wholesale buyer of plants or horticultural services or a supplier.  There were a host of new ideas for all, to increase efficiency, sales and profitability.  Among the 800 booths, there were trends, insights, ideas, new plants and state-of-the-art products to be found. Shortages sometimes appear in the market, we were told, and some plants have been getting more difficult to find, so the Farwest Trade Show was where frustrated buyers could meet up with hundreds of the best growers in the country, and track down that elusive plant-life product.  Okay listen, I don’t know what it’s called, but there’s this cactussy-looking thing with bluish leaves that look like toothbrushes and these really weird bulbous kind of orange-and-purple flowers….  #FarwestShow